The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted, probably in an unprecedented way, the vital role of shipping in a highly globalised and interconnected world. Despite extraordinary disruptions and many exceptional challenges, ships continue to make and complete their voyages. Had this vital part of the global logistics chain not endured, lockdowns and curfews would have been overshadowed by phenomena far worse, like food and medicines shortages, even lower levels of production, social unrest etc.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and despite extraordinary disruptions and many unprecedented challenges, ships kept the world moving.

Naturally, onboard the thousands of ships that kept the wheels of the world economy from grinding to a halt are hundreds of thousands of seafarers, who have worked selflessly for months away from home and their families and who are still facing problems joining vessels and being repatriated.

To deal with the continuous economic impact of the pandemic on shipping enterprises, the EU institutions should continue to review the already adopted recovery tools and measures in order to effectively address short-term pressing matters, while also catering for the longer-term sustainability and the financing of the shipping sector. 
The EU shipping sector should be provided with the necessary financial liquidity and flexibility both during and aſter the pandemic.