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The Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented crew change crisis, which has affected hundreds of thousands of seafarers. This week saw the launch of the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change, signed by over 300 maritime industry and human rights leaders. The declaration recognizes the shared responsibility of the international community to resolve this humanitarian crisis, and highlights the need for progress in key areas including recognition of seafarers as key workers, air connectivity between key maritime hubs, and the need for ‘gold standard health protocols’.
Enabling the safe passage of seafarers by providing secure proofs of health status based on best practice protocols is a unique value provided by CERTUS® myHealth Pass. Since late 2020, SICPA has been engaged in an ITF-IMEC pilot project in the Philippines in co-operation with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) affiliated union, the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP). The pilot project shows how high standard protocols can function and be validated. It includes strict processes for travel, quarantine and testing of seafarers, and has demonstrated a 100% success rate. The Covid-free status of seafarers is validated by myHealth Pass, which provides irrefutable proof in a portable and easily checkable fashion with universal applicability.
Certus®myHealth Pass assures the authenticity of a test or vaccine status certificate using a secure QR code, which is universally verifiable through a simple web or mobile application. It can also be presented as a hard copy by its holder, which makes it accessible for all. The security, based on blockchain technology, does not require the implementation of any infrastructure or PKI type key certification authority. It respects personal data privacy concerns, and the information and its security are contained in the QR code itself. Verification is independent of the issuer of the document and can be done without the need for an internet connection.
As the Neptune Declaration highlights, it is vital in this ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to seek international cooperation to protect the rights of seafarers. The implementation of proven technologies for health certificates on a wider scale is an essential step to doing this. Certus® myHealth Pass is agnostic and interoperable with the different ecosystems being developed in both maritime and aviation sectors.
Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), said “CERTUS® myHealth Pass works. In the Philippines, the ITF-IMEC pilot project has shown that strict protocols combined with secure certificates for Covid-19 tests and vaccines are going to be crucial to get crews on and off ships. This crisis requires urgent action, and we need to work together to put in place a system that meets the needs of seafarers who deliver the essential services on which our economies depend”.
Richard Budel, Chief Commercial Officer Digital at SICPA said “Certus® myHealth Pass has been tested in a range of situations. It is proven, scalable and ready to implement more widely. We stand ready to work with all parties who wish to take serious action to resolve the many emerging crises which have arisen from the pandemic”
Marco Aloe, Director of Digital Integrity at SICPA said “We are pleased to have been able to work with the ITF over the last year. The ITF-IMEC pilot project managed by AMOSUP was seamless with no hiccups and enacted by local actors with minimum training. The support of Crew Assist was vital to understand the local complex ecosystem and deliver successful results”