Netherlands Maritime Administration vide attached ‘COVID-19 Contingency Plan and Guidelines’ has provided following interim instructions in respect of extension/ postponement of statutory certificates and seafarers certification due to restrictions resulting from the outbreak of the COVID -19.
a. Extension of Statutory Certificates, Surveys, Audits and Inspections:
b. Exemptions to the Minimum Safe Manning Document (MSMD):
c. Extension of Seafarers Employment Agreement (SEA):
A SEA must remain valid until the seafarer has been repatriated. If the SEA has expired, the validity of the SEA must be extended or a new SEA is to be issued and the reasons for this decision is to be documented. The company is to make sure that the seafarers are repatriated at the first available opportunity. Any extension of an SEA is to be recorded in the ship’s official logbook.
d. Extension of the validity of Seafarers Certificate of endorsement:
As of March 19th 2020, the validity of Dutch Certificates of Competency and - Proficiency which will expire before June 19th 2020, are granted an extended validity of 4 months (from date of expiry). The individual seafarer will not be required to submit an application for renewal pending the COVID-19 related restrictions.
After the period of 4 months, it will be evaluated if this period will be extended for another period of 4 months.
As soon as new Certificates of Competency and Certificates of Proficiency can be issued, their period of validity of five years will start from the expiry date of the previous certificates
e. Extension of Certificates of Proficiency (CoP) for ratings:
CoPs for ratings of which the validity has been extended by a generic measure by the subject administration will also remain to be accepted as valid for service on board Dutch flagged ships.
f. Issue of a Recognition of a Certificate of Competency where a seafarer is unable to disembark the ship:
g. Seafarers with expired Certificates of Proficiency:
For a Dutch CoC holder whose Safety Training certificates have expired or will expire before June 19th 2020, are granted also an extended validity of 4 months (from date of expiry), provided that the certificates were valid on March 1st 2020.
h. Seagoing Service:
All days spent on the ship when it is fully crewed and operational or warm layed-up, although not carrying cargo, will be accepted as valid seagoing service for the revalidation of the CoC.
i. Expired Medical Certificates:
If a Seafarer Medical Certificate expires during the voyage or at a location where it is not possible to obtain a new medical certificate, the medical certificate which is expired can still be used for a period of maximum 3 months beyond the expiry date.
Expired Seafarer Medical Certificates with an expiry date in between March 19th and June 19th 2020 are recognized as valid Seafarer Medical Certificates.
j. Port State Control:
Port State Control has issued the ‘Temporary Guidance Related to COVID-19 for Port State Control Authorities’ on March 18th 2020 in which they require that when a ship does not comply with the requirements of the surveys, inspections and audits contained in the relevant Convention instruments, the ship must provide evidence to the port State that the Flag state has agreed to an exceptional delay specific to COVID-19. There should also be evidence that the ship has a plan that covers how the ship will be brought back into the regular survey or audit cycle.
Ship owners/ operators and masters of Netherlands flagged ships are advised to be guided by above.
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.