Employer and union representatives have agreed on a new protocol for the Ukrainian crew who want to return home, or to another country.

The agreement has been made under shipping’s largest collective bargaining agreement the International Bargaining Forum (IBF).

It comes after both sides agreed the returning Ukrainian seafarers home has become “all but impossible,” under current guidelines.

The unique circumstances of the conflict in Ukraine has also put repatriation outside the scope of the terms of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, and the current IBF agreement.

The agreement suggested that Ukrainian seafarers who have completed their term of employment should be recommended to extend their contract of employment rather than return home.

Seafarers who wish to return to Ukraine should be entitled to expenses right until they reach the Ukrainian border, and free board for a minimum of two nights.

Ukrainian Seafarers which require medical treatment should be repatriated to a mutually agreed country and with the agreement of the ship’s protection and indemnity insurer.

The ITF and the IBF earlier came to an agreement on pay and conditions for crew working in warlike operations areas designated for seafarers around the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.