According to industry insiders, Ukraine’s decision to permit its sailors to leave the nation despite wartime restrictions will free up crucial staff for both Ukrainian grain exports and the larger global shipping business.
The action, which this week received official confirmation, is a part of Ukraine’s efforts to boost grain imports through an UN-mediated Black Sea corridor that, when it went into operation in early August, removed a Russian embargo on Ukraine’s south coast.
Finding enough sailors to man the estimated 80 vessels stranded in Ukrainian ports since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February, according to industry figures who spoke in late July, just after the grain export agreement was reached, would be difficult.
While Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 who are physically fit are prohibited from leaving the country while the war against Russia’s invasion continues, qualified seafarers and those pursuing a mariner certificate are exempt.
According to a copy of the order published on Monday night, the action, which was initially proposed by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in late August, was declared into law by his cabinet last Friday.
According to research from trade organizations the International Chamber of Shipping and BIMCO, Ukrainian seafarers make up 4% of the 1.89 million-strong worldwide mariner workforce.
In order to meet the need for skilled sailors during the upcoming four years, it will be critical to have Ukrainian seafarers return to the international shipping industry. Natalie Shaw, the International Chamber of Shipping’s director of employment affairs,