Operations during Coronavirus(COVID-19) outbreak. Updates from IRS, Flag Administrations and MOU's.

Update on IRClass Services

In view of the global medical emergency due to the nCovid19(novel Corona virus) outbreak and recent Government Directives. Indian Register of Shipping(IRClass) wishes to inform all the customers and stakeholders that we have taken measures for continuation of our services while ensuring the safety of all our employees.

IRClass has provided specific guidelines to our Surveyors to follow precautions and country specific advisories while planning Surveys.

We have taken necessary preventive measures towards safeguarding employee health including permitting work from home.

All messages will be monitored and dealt with appropriately and we will exercise maximum efforts to maintain business response to highest possible levels.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide our services and request everyone to co-operaqte with us to overcome these challenging times.

Everyone at IRS will continue working to provide our full support for your business and deliver our services to the highest standards. We are committed to work with all our clients to keep everyone safe.

If you have any questions, please contact the nearest IRS office – all contact details may be found here.


 

Update-1 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some ships may experience operational challenges such as shipyards or dry docks closing down. In addition, surveys and audits can in some cases not be conducted because surveyors are unable to attend the ships due to travel restrictions or quarantines.

IRS has issued Technical Circular 013/2020 dated 16th March 2020 enclosing the IMO Circular Letter No. 4204/Add.1, Add2, Add3 and Add4 which are   addressed by IMO to all its member states. In the Circulars issued by the IMO Secretary-General has addressed the impact of COVID-19 on the shipping industry, including implementation and enforcement of mandatory IMO requirements. The Circulars provides encouragement for flexibility as the IMO can only encourage co-operation and a pragmatic approach between flag and port states, and cannot issue a general exemption from the mandatory provisions of the relevant statutory conventions, nor delay implementation of mandatory regulations coming into force - not even in the current uncertain situation.

The current situation due to outbreak of Covid-19 presents operational challenges to everyone in the maritime industry. Protecting the health of our colleagues and our clients while taking steps to help contain the spread of the virus is our main focus.

IRS remains committed to supporting our global clients with our team continuing to provide services worldwide while complying with all government-directed health and operational requirements and guidance.

Depending on the specific circumstances, IRS may grant survey extensions as allowed by its Rules and IMO requirements for granting force majeure extensions for vessels scheduled to drydock for repairs or renewal surveys in affected areas or in the event if it is not possible for a Surveyor to immediately attend the vessel as scheduled.

To contain the spread of the virus, depending upon the specific circumstances, each survey request will be reviewed on a case to case basis wherein we will be considering alternative options, including rescheduling inspections outside affected regions. IRS is working very closely with its clients and may also consider to postpone non-critical work where appropriate. 

IRS has “force majeure” provisions in our Rules, applicable when survey work cannot be undertaken. The IRS Sub Committee of Classification will consider Force Majeure in the following circumstances:

  1. When surveyors cannot attend a vessel because the ship is quarantined or due to travel or quarantine restrictions prevents the surveyor from attending the vessel.
  2. In cases where the owner cannot mobilize essential technicians/service teams and any specialized equipment; or have essential spares delivered.

IRS will generally accept the current COVID-19 situation as the justification for postponement of Class Surveys for up to 3 months beyond the due date in accordance with its Class Rules.

Where Class Rules do not permit a postponement of the survey, IRS will consider an application for postponement based on Force Majeure.

In all cases the basis for Force Majeure request is to be submitted by the client.

Considering force majeure for statutory surveys is also subject to flag agreement being received for the duration of postponement/ delay in survey completion and towards this IRS will liaise with the Flag Administration where we are authorised to undertake statutory surveys on their behalf.

Requests for postponement of surveys due to force majeure should be submitted to our Head Office at statutory@irclass.org . Each case will be different and will need careful consideration. Supplying information about the ship, its location and survey plan, as well as documents showing force majeure, will assist this process. IRS will not be able to consider a force majeure application which does not include a plan as to when the surveys will be completed. We will endeavor to process such requests as quickly as possible and should be able to respond to such requests within 48 hours.

These are challenging times for everyone, as the Covid-19 outbreak is constantly evolving. IRS is actively monitoring the global situation and is committed to working with all its clients to support their business needs.

If you need clarification in respect of any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact our Head Office or our local IRS Office.

Everyone at IRS will continue working to provide our full support for your business and deliver our services to the highest standards. We are committed to work with all our clients to keep everyone safe.

If you have any questions, please contact the nearest IRS office – all contact details may be found here.


 

Update-2 

  1. Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the subsequent travel restrictions established by national governments in the vast majority of countries, both Survey and audit activities have been seriously affected in different ways. Under this situation it is envisaged that there could be cases when surveys/audits/inspections of ships may not be possible to be arranged as planned and may require deferment.

  2. The current situation due to outbreak of Covid-19 presents operational challenges to everyone in the maritime industry. Protecting the health of our colleagues and our clients while taking steps to help contain the spread of the virus is our main focus.

  3. IRS remains committed to supporting our Indian and global clients with our team continuing to provide services worldwide while complying with all government-directed health and operational requirements and guidance.

  4. Depending on the specific circumstances, IRS may grant survey extensions as allowed by its Rules and IMO requirements for granting force majeure extensions for vessels scheduled to drydock for repairs or renewal surveys in affected areas or in the event if it is not possible for a Surveyor to immediately attend the vessel as scheduled.

  5. To contain the spread of the virus, depending upon the specific circumstances, each survey request will be reviewed on a case to case basis wherein we will be considering alternative options, including rescheduling inspections outside affected regions. IRS is working very closely with its clients and may also consider to postpone non-critical work where appropriate

  6. Under these circumstances a pragmatic and practical approach is being adopted by IRS while rendering its services in considering such cases. Depending on the specific circumstances, survey extensions will be considered under “Force Majeure” condition even for cases where Class Rules do not have provision for postponement.

  7. Further due to restrictions imposed on travel due to lockdown condition as a result of outbreak of Coronavirus, when it is not possible for the IRS surveyor to attend a ship or works, surveys/inspections will be undertaken using remote survey techniques which will be based on self-check by Master/Chief Engineer  of ship or the Senior Staff of the works based on IRS survey checklist being made available and assessment of the supporting documentation, photograph/videography review by the surveyor. Facilities for video conferencing including live video streaming for visualization of specific section of ship or equipment for cross verification, where available, may also be utilized.

  8. For cases involving statutory surveys, inspections or management system audits, assessment technique including verification of records and use of remote survey will be processed in accordance with the Flag state Circulars issued by the flag administration of the vessel for dealing with the situation developed as a result of outbreak of Coronavirus and in the absence of any such circular issued by Flag Administration, Flag will be consulted to deal with the situation in an expeditious manner.

  9. The intention is to keep the ships moving without any undue delay and at the same time ensuring safety of life, assets and protection of environment through safe operation.

  10. For processing request for survey, inspections or audits, our surveys stations or head office can be contacted. Contact details can be found in below link: https://www.irclass.org/contact

  11. IRS is closely following the development of the coronavirus crisis in order to take any further action when needed and will publish more specific advice and relevant information.

If you have any questions, please contact the nearest IRS office – all contact details may be found here.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 updates by IMO

COVID-19 Circulars issued by Flag Administrations and MOU’s

(Click individual items to read more.)