Technical Circular No: 33/2020

Subject: Consideration of service being provided by IRS due to outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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  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:
  1. 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.


  • Nil


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.

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