1. The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 requires that the maximum duration of service periods of Seafarers onboard is to be less than 12 months.
2. However, due to lock down situation and travel restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 pandemic, in few cases, seafarers have been onboard ships for a period exceeding the maximum duration of service onboard as required by MLC, 2006.
3. In view of above, Maritime Administration of Belize (IMMARBE) vide Merchant Marine Notice- MMN-20-005 has informed that when the change of crew is not possible due to restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 pandemic, a prompt notification must be submitted to IMMARBE’s Head Office with following info;
a. Proven evidences of all unsuccessfully attempts for repatriation.
b. Published local restrictions.
c. Vessel’s itinerary.
d. Action plan taken in order to ensure the repatriation in a short period.
e. Risk assessment in order to mitigate the fatigue due to long period inboard.
5. Compliance to above requirements will be verified by Administration/ Recognized Organization. Where it is noted that seafarers are intentionally kept onboard with invalid/ expired Contracts or SEA, owners/ operators will be subject to disciplinary action by the Administration.
6. Ship owners/ operators and masters of Belize 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.