1. In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cyprus Maritime Administration, vide Circular No. 16/2021 has established urgent provisional measures with regard to extensions, postponements of surveys, audits, inspections etc as outlined below.
A. Extension of Seafarers Certificates:
Certificate of Competency, Certificate of Proficiency and documentary evidences issued by the Administration with expiration date between 01/03/2020 and 29/06/2021 will be considered valid until 30/06/2021.
B. Provisions related with seafarers’ repatriation during COVID-19:
The Administration will approve application of seafarers’ employment agreement (SEA) extensions over twelve months due to COVID-19 imposed travel restrictions, provided that this is supported by documented evidence.
Accordingly, immediately after a seafarer completes eleven months continuous sea service, a repatriation plan is to be submitted by the owner / bareboat charterer or manager of a ship flying the Cyprus Flag, for the approval of the Shipping Deputy Ministry.
The following supporting documents need to be submitted;
1. Signed contracts for the period for which the extension of SEA is requested.
2. Repatriation plan, as per the attached form, with the inclusion of seafarers whose contracts have been extended, as well as the rest of the crew.
3. Justification for the untimely repatriation of seafarers after the expiry of their contract.
4. Evidence of the actions taken by the owner / bareboat charterer or manager of the ship to protect the mental health of seafarers and to fight fatigue due to long stay on board.
Applications and supporting documents are to be submitted electronically at email@example.com
C. Statutory Certificates for Internationally Trading Vessels:
a. Surveys in areas not affected by Covid-19:
Operators are urged to consider arranging surveys/ audits/ inspections of their vessels as early as possible and, if practicable, within the window provided by the relevant international maritime Conventions at locations and under conditions which will not adversely affect the health of the personnel involved
b. Extension of surveys:
i. The Administration may authorize an extension of the annual/ intermediate/ periodic or renewal surveys for all ships’ statutory certificates, for up to 3 months from the last date of the window survey, provided that the request for extension is supported by the Classification society of the vessel.
ii. Remote Inspection: The Administration may also accept a remote inspection in lieu of the onboard survey, whenever the Recognised Organisation (RO) proposes that any of the above-mentioned surveys may be carried out by remote inspection techniques.
iii. Short Term Certificate: In the event that the authorised RO is unable to attend the vessel to complete a survey or inspection leading to the endorsement or renewal of a relevant certificate, then a short-term certificate may be issued with validity of not more than 3 months from the date of expiration of the current certificate or the closure of the required window for the conduct of the required activity. It remains the responsibility of the operator and the Master to ensure that the vessel is maintained and operated in accordance with the statutory requirements for the duration of the short-term certificate.
iv. Re-alignment of Certificate dates: On expiration of the short-term certificate, or earlier if circumstances permit, a survey or inspection, must be completed and a new certificate is to be issued, aligned with the expiration date of the previous certificate.
D. ISM Code and ISPS Code Verifications:
If, due to restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, an auditor or inspector cannot attend ISM/ISPS upcoming audits, or verifications, the Company of the ship or the relevant Recognised Organisation (RO) or Recognised Security Organisation (RSO) must notify the Administration and obtain relevant authorisation, unless specified otherwise, as follows
a. ISM Code:
i. Internal Annual ISM Verification: Authorisation is required for up to a 3-month extension to the 12-month interval for shore-side and shipboard internal audits. The audit may be postponed for a further 3 months without further authorisation from the Administrator, however, prior notification is required. Remote internal audits in lieu of physical audits are accepted by the Administration. Companies are required to carry out these audits by using their own remote auditing techniques which must be communicated to the Administration.
ii. Initial ISM Verification: Authorisation is required for an extension of the Interim Safety Management Certificate (SMC) with validity for a minimum period required to complete the initial verification and for a period up to 3 months.
iii. Intermediate ISM Verification: Authorisation is required for the issuance of a short term SMC that is valid for a period up to 3 months.
iv. Renewal ISM Verification: Authorisation is required for an extension of the SMC up to 3 months.
v. Document of Compliance Verification: Authorisation is required for the issuance of a short-term DOC, valid for a period of no longer than 3 months, in the event that a company is unable to complete the necessary verifications due to the current Covid-19 circumstances.
b. ISPS Code:
i. Internal Annual ISPS Verification: Internal annual ISPS Verification may be postponed for up to 3 months with an authorisation from the Administration. The audits may be postponed for up to a further 3 months with no further authorization by the Administration, however, prior notification is required. Remote internal audits in lieu of physical audits are accepted by the Administration. Companies are required to carry out these audits by using their own remote auditing techniques which must be communicated to the Administration.
ii. Initial ISPS Verification: The Administration will authorise a consecutive Interim International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC) with validity for the minimum period required to complete the initial verification and for a period up to 3 months.
iii. Intermediate ISPS Verification: Authorisation is required for the issuance of a short term ISSC with validity of up to 3 months.
iv. Renewal ISPS Verification: Authorisation is required for an extension of the ISSC for up to 3 months.
c. Remote Audits:
The Administration may also accept a remote audit in lieu of the onboard or shore-based audit, whenever the RO/RSO confirms that such audits cannot be carried out physically and can be carried out by using remote auditing techniques
2. The provisions of Maritime Circular No. 16/2021 will remain valid until 31.12.2021 or until is revoked by the Administration if it occurs earlier. A copy of the attached Cyprus Maritime Circular No. 16/2021 is to be placed onboard.
3. Ship owners/ operators and masters of Cyprus flagged ships are advised to be guided by above.
4. This Technical Circular supersedes and revokes earlier Technical Circular No. 111/2020, dated 28th August 2020.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.