SICPA, in partnership with CREW ASSIST, has announced a solution to facilitate sustainable and resilient maritime crew exchange in the midst of a pandemic.
SICPA, a global leader in authentication, identification and secure traceability solutions, today announces the start of a proof-of-concept trial featuring “CERTUS™ myHealth Pass”, a technology-based solution for maritime crew changes.
The trial is in partnership with maritime non-profit Hong Kong Registered Crew Assist Ltd and addresses travel restrictions which are currently impacting almost half a million seafarers with shipowners unable to facilitate crew changes at many ports. Governments have questioned the validity of Covid-19 tests as seafarers have been left stranded on board their ships for months after their scheduled sign-off dates. Despite a growing chorus of concern from ship operators, the delayed sign-offs are having a negative impact on the mental wellbeing of seafarers onboard and onshore. Regulatory bodies and government agencies that question the authenticity of paper documents are preventing seafarers from disembarking their vessels and blocking potential replacements from traveling to board ships.
“CERTUS™ myHealth Pass” solves this issue by validating digital documents through SICPA’s existing and widely accepted solution, CERTUS™. As a key enabling technology, SICPA’s CERTUS™ authenticates both paper-based and digital critical information. The solution will be used to issue, and secure WHO approved Covid-19 test results, guaranteeing their authenticity. Seafarers will be able to carry their authenticated digital health pass via their smartphone. The trial is supported by the shipping industry, including the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) of employers, and seafarers themselves through the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).
The three representative bodies have been working together to support the development of technology and techniques which help resolve the present crew change crisis. The initial trial will be conducted both in Singapore and the Philippines, home to the largest pool of seafarers in the world. If the proof-of-concept trial succeeds, then Filipino seafarers using “CERTUS™ myHealth Pass” will overcome one major obstacle preventing them from disembarking and travelling overseas to connect with ships for boarding. A successful trial will also allow an expansion to different countries.
“SICPA and its partners are committed to working with government agencies, companies, and other organisations to provide network security and ensure the reliability of sensitive data,” said SICPA Regional Managing Director of Marking Security Solutions in Asia, Alain Augsburger. “We are keenly aware of the challenges facing the world’s seafarers and are excited to work with Crew Assist to offer a solution in line with SICPA’s motto of “Enabling Trust”, protecting seafarers private information while providing governments with a trustworthy way to verify and identify any abnormalities that may prevent free passage of seafarers”.
The trial will include two Singapore-based shipping companies, Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), a leading operator with 5,000 seafarers, and Thome Group, a fully integrated ship management company with 7,000 seafarers.
Crew Assist CEO Jonathan Jones said today: “Since the onset of the pandemic, the industry has been battling the bureaucracy and fluctuating regulations preventing seafarer changes. “CERTUS™ myHealth Pass” offers a technology-based solution that can potentially eliminate a major concern, allowing us to focus on other aspects of facilitating a crew change to get our colleagues home.”
The trial is scheduled to start on 1 September 2020.