The current crisis in Ukraine could have a profound impact on the shipping industry and global supply chains. File Image / Pixabay
Shipping industry body ICS has warned the free movement of Russian and Ukrainian seafarers is needed to keep global trade moving.
Russian and Ukrainian seafarers make up 14.5% of the global shipping workforce, ICS said in a statement on its website on Thursday. These workers will need to be able to perform crew changes unrestricted around the world despite the current crisis in Ukraine to keep global supply chains free of disruption, the organisation argued.
"The safety of our seafarers is our absolute priority," Guy Platten, secretary general of ICS, said in the statement.
"We call on all parties to ensure that seafarers do not become the collateral damage in any actions that governments or others may take.
"Seafarers have been at the forefront of keeping trade flowing though the pandemic and we hope that all parties will continue to facilitate free passage of goods and these key workers at this time."