In consideration of the prevailing circumstances due to the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the GOI vide DGS Order No. 13 of 2020 has informed regarding continuation of the existing provisions related to waiver of processing fees for extension of surveys/ audits/inspections, beyond what is permitted by various IMO Conventions, only for those ships, where surveys/ audits/ inspections are falling due on or before 30th June 2020;
The revised procedure for extension of Statutory Certificates are as follows;
Extension of Annual /Periodical Surveys and Initial/Intermediate/Renewal of Audits/Inspections by three months:
Since no extension of annual/periodical surveys are permitted under the Conventions, the Company is to make all efforts to ensure Surveyor of the Recognized Organization (RO) boards the vessel to conduct surveys/inspections/audits prior to expiry date.
In case servicing suppliers are not available, such surveys can be kept part held pending completion of same and accordingly recommendation request is to be forwarded seeking extension.
In case the RO Surveyor cannot board the vessel, RO is to recommend the same for extension based on Master/CE/DPA declaration and verification of past survey/inspection history records. Though the extension may be granted for 3 months, the RO and Company are required to monitor and ensure that at first available opportunity the Surveyor of RO boards the vessel and completes the survey/inspection/audit.
Extension of Renewal/Docking Surveys beyond Convention allowed period:
Company is to make all efforts to ensure RO Surveyor boards the vessel for progressing with the renewal surveys as far as possible and carrying out a general examination, examination of Cargo Holds in case of Single Hull Bulk Carriers for extension of renewal surveys beyond 3 months of expiry date and examination of Double Bottom Tanks and underwater examination for extension of Docking Survey beyond 36 months period since last docking. Usual procedures for extension is to be applied when extension requested is within what is permissible under the Convention.
When extension is granted without a Surveyor visit (based only on review of past survey/inspection record, Master/CE declaration and RO recommendation), as soon as the RO Surveyor is ready to board the vessel, company is to offer the vessel for completion of surveys as far as possible and a general examination for remaining items and Under Water CCTV Examination (only in cases where Docking Survey is extended) and Double Bottom Tank examination (all cases of renewal surveys) and Cargo hold examination (in the case of single hull Bulk Carriers renewal surveys). Continuation of extension will be subject to satisfactory results of these examinations by RO Surveyor.
Exemptions from Safe Manning Document:
Where the Ship Owners/Operators/ Managers need to sign-off a crew member from a vessel due to the port restrictions at some ports and travel restrictions and the Ship Owners/Operator/Manager is unable to place a reliever, exemptions to Safe Manning Documents will be considered by the Administration on a case by case basis. Each request is to be supported by risk assessment from the company. There will be no fees charged for these exemptions and exemptions will be issued on email.
The extension of surveys beyond the IMO Convention provisions will be under the following conditions;
If the extension is granted beyond the IMO Convention provisions, the Company, prior entering any foreign load/discharge port, must take permission from relevant Maritime Authorities for acceptance of statutory certificates.
Enhanced monitoring of ship by shore staff to ensure safety and security of ship and seafarer during the period of extension. Procedure for such monitoring is to be developed and approved by DPA (for ISM/DDOC vessels). Records for same will be verified at the next audit/FSI.
Extension of Seafarers Certificate of Competency / Proficiency/ Recognition of Equivalence (COC / COP / COE) :
All STCW certificates (includes the training certificates i.e., certificates required under Chapter VI of the STCW) and associated endorsements issued by the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) which are expiring between 1st March and 31st December 2020 (both dates inclusive), shall stand extended for a period of 6 (six) months from the expiry date printed/typed on the relevant certificate (COC/COP/COE), irrespective of whether the seafarer is/was on ship at the time of expiry or not.
Whenever the revalidation of the expired certificate is carried out, the new validity shall be issued for a period of five years from the original certificate expiry date.
Notwithstanding above, the seafarers are advised not to wait until the expiry of the extension period granted and should endevour to get their COC revalidated after completing the online / offline courses, as applicable to their COC at the earliest opportunity.
After restoration of normalcy, it is the responsibility of the Company to bring back the ship to normal survey / audit cycle.
Records with respect to aforementioned relaxations will be verified during the next scheduled audit of the ship/ company.
Ship owners/ operators and managers of Indian flagged ships contemplating delay in carrying out mandatory periodical surveys, audits and inspections due to the COVlD-19 situation are advised to be guided by above and act accordingly.
This Technical Circular supersedes and revokes our earlier Technical Circular No. 022/2020, 042/2020 & 062/2020.
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.