BIMCO asks IMO members to soften policy on stowaways
The Baltic and International Maritime Council, an association of shipowners and vessel operators, has asked the International Maritime Organization's Facilitation Committee to request coastal states that refuse to allow any stowaways to disembark to reconsider their policies.
BIMCO, at a meeting in London with the IMO panel, referred to 'the general principles of the Facilitation Convention, which calls on all parties to 'cooperate to the fullest extent possible' in resolving stowaway cases.'
BIMCO acknowledged that progress had been made on the issue of stowaways, and expressed gratitude toward coastal states that are dealing with stowaways in a pragmatic manner by cooperating with ships' crews, shipowners, and representatives of P&I clubs.
However, BIMCO expressed concerns regarding the policies of countries that have chosen to flatly deny the disembarkation of all stowaways, even when the stowaways possess valid travel documents and when arrangements have been made for their timely repatriation. Such policies compel vessels to deviate from shipping schedules to disembark stowaways, which can become very expensive for shipowners.