This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 17 September covers Azerbaijan, Iran, Philippines, Russia and the latest from the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Every week, BIMCO summarises measures imposed by governments for sea transport, including for crew change, as well as updates from United Nations bodies such as the IMO, World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO).
The below circulars represent the latest information to-date from the IMO.
- Addendum no.4/Rev.3 to IMO circular no. 4204, issued on 16 July 2021, providing a further update to the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)’s guidance for ship operators relating to the protection of the health of seafarers.
- Addendum no. 35/rev. 7, issued on 20 May 2021, provides a consolidated list of the IMO members that have so far notified IMO on their designation of seafarers as key workers.
The list is shown below:
- Addendum no.42 to IMO circular no. 4204 “Coronavirus (COVID-19)” issued on 17 September 2021 relating to joint IMO/ILO statement on upholding medical assistance obligations to seafarers and accelerating seafarer vaccination programmes.
2. IMO Crew Change – National Focal Point for Crew Change and Repatriation of Seafarers
As per our BIMCO news of 12th April, the IMO has discontinued the issue of the IMO circular in series: MSC.7/circ. 1 relating to government states informing the IMO of their national focal point for crew change and repatriation of seafarers. Instead, the IMO’s online Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) will be used to contain such information.
According to GISIS today, the list of countries (45) informing the IMO of their national focal point of contact for crew change and repatriation of seafarers are: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Cook Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore (new), Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand , Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vanuatu.
3. Government States
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
According to information provided by the Maritime Administration in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and circulated by IMO in Circular letter no. 4248/add. 13 are the following the following measures in place effective 18 September:
- Scheduled statutory surveys by the classification society may be postponed based on an individual case-by-case assessment
- Dry docking and service of equipment may be extended based on individual applications
- ISM Internal audits may be extended for up to three months if prevented by travel restrictions. After expiry of the extension may the crew be allowed to conduct the internal audit if necessary arrangements are in place
- Document of Compliance renewal audit may be extended until 18 December 2021 if prevented by travel restrictions
- Safety Management Certificates and International Ship Security Certificates may be extended for three months following individual applications
- Maritime Labour Certificate renewal may be done administratively by the classification society valid until 18 December 2021 if renewal inspection cannot be conducted
- Seafarers’ Employment Agreements may exceed 12 months if repatriation is not possible
- Minimum Safe Manning Dispensations may be issued if replacement crew cannot be facilitated and onboard crew members have to leave due to urgent circumstances
- Seamans’ books may be extended administratively
- Seafarers with expired Medical Certificates may continue to serve onboard for additional three months
BIMCO General COVID-19 Links
BIMCO is continuously monitoring COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on the shipping industry in particular on crew changes. Below are some of the type of information currently being provided by BIMCO :
- Details about implementation measures imposed for sea transport
- Overview of challenges to crew mobility
- Overview of extensions and exceptions to seafarers’ certificates
- COVID-19 seafarers’ mental health
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