Technical Circular No: 21/2022

Netherlands – Corona virus (COVID-19) Contingency Plan and Guidelines.

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  1. Netherlands Maritime Administration vide ‘COVID-19 Contingency Plan and Guidelines’, Revision No.9 has provided following interim instructions which are to be applied in exceptional cases where various attempts made to meet the statutory certification requirements for both the ship and/or crew were without success, due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

a) Statutory ship certificates requiring an extended validity:

If a ship cannot be surveyed by a RO or in case audits need to be postponed due to continued COVID-19 related difficulties, the ship-owner may submit a well- founded request to the RO for an extension of the validity of the statutory ship certificate(s).

Upon receipt of the request from a shipowner for an extension of the validity of a statutory ship certificate(s), a step-based approach will be used, which is based on Annex to IMO Circular Letter No. 4204/Add.19/Rev.3, to determine the conditions under which the extension may be granted in consultation with the Administration.

The above also applies to the extension of the Document of Compliance (ISM), International Safety Management Certificate, or the International Ship Security Certificate

b) Remote verification (remote audits / remote surveys):

Request for remote surveys and/or audits are no longer accepted without prior acceptance of the Administration.

Further, Administration permits remote surveys and/or audits only under the following conditions

i. The initiative for remote survey / audits must come from the ship owner / manager, with the agreement of the Master and the other personnel of the ship;

ii. The decision to accept and perform remote surveys / audits is up to the RO. The RO to have strict guidelines / requirements in order to assess if it is possible at all and the work shall be performed accordingly;

iii. Remote surveys / audits to be undertaken in compliance with the procedures developed by the RO and which are acceptable to the Administration. For the various remote inspections techniques used for surveys, IACS Recommendation No.42 Rev. 2 must be followed;

iv. As for remote auditing in relation to ISM-Code, ISPS Code and MLC, 2006 Convention: such is allowed if a combination of on-site and off-site audit arrangement is provided for. The on-site audit is to be carried out at the first reasonable possibility.

c) Exemptions to the Minimum Safe Manning Document (MSMD):

If a crew member needs to leave the ship due to urgent circumstances and cannot be replaced immediately due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, a dispensation can be requested from the Administration.

 d) Certificate 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

e) Acceptance of Certificates of Proficiency (CoP) issued by or on behalf of other Administrations:

Certificates of Proficiency issued by another administration, other than those issued under STCW Regulations V/I-1 and V/1-2, of which the validity has been extended by a generic measure by the subject administration will remain to be accepted as valid for service on board Dutch flagged ships.

f) Recognition of a Certificates of Competency (CoC) or Certificate of Proficiency (CoP):

i. Dutch recognitions issued before COVID-19 pandemic:

a. The Recognition of the CoC/ CoP is still valid - No additional measures needed.

b. The underlying CoC / CoP and therefore the Recognition has expired or will expire soon - If the validity of the underlying CoC / CoP is individually or generically extended by the national maritime authority, the validity of the Recognition is also extended automatically. No action required.

ii. Application of a new or renewed Dutch recognition since the COVID-19 pandemic:

a. The national CoC / CoP is valid - An application for a Dutch recognition can be submitted according to the normal procedure at KIWA Register. The seafarer will automatically be granted a Certificate of Receipt of Application (CRA), valid for 3 months. If more time is needed for the verification, a second CRA will be issued. After the successful verification has taken place, a Dutch Recognition of the national CoC is issued.

b. The national CoC / CoP has expired but it has been individually or generically extended by the national maritime authority - An application for a Dutch recognition can be submitted at KIWA Register. The seafarer will automatically be granted a Certificate of Receipt of Application (CRA), valid for 3 months or shorter if the extension is less than 3 months. The application will be put on hold until a new national CoC / CoP is issued.

In case the validity of the national CoC / CoP is further extended, individually or generically, a new CRA will be issued to cover the further extension

g. Seafarer Employment Agreement (SEA):

A SEA will 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 to be documented. The shipowner to make sure that the seafarers are repatriated at the first available opportunity. A SEA can only be extended beyond 11 months if there is a mutual and documented consent of both the seafarer and the employer. The master may sign the extension of the SEA on behalf of the employer. The seafarer to receive a copy of the extension of the SEA. The already accrued entitlement to paid annual leave continues to exist and continues to accrue during the extension of the SEA.

Upon request of the shipowner together with a copy of the extension of the SEA, a recent crew list and a repatriation plan, Administration can issue a statement to the ship serving as written evidence of the flag State's authorization for that ship and its individual seafarers on board that ship to perform any period of service on board beyond the default 11 months. This request can be send to:

h. Joining and Repatriation of seafarers from ships:

Before or during the process of repatriation, any expense for medical care and boarding and lodging for periods spent by seafarers in self-isolation or in quarantine – whether the seafarers have symptoms, have been exposed or are quarantined as a safety precaution – must be covered by the shipowner / employer until the seafarers are considered to be duly repatriated, unless the expenses are assumed by public authorities in accordance with the applicable national legislation

2. The above interim requirements are valid until 30th June 2022.

3. A copy of the enclosed COVID-19 Contingency Plan is to be kept onboard the ship for presentation to the relevant authorities upon request.

4. Ship owners/ operators and masters of Netherlands flagged ships are advised to be guided by above.

5. This Technical Circular supersedes and revokes earlier Technical Circular No. 034/2020, dated 03rd April 2020.


  1. Netherlands - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Contingency Plan and Guidelines, Revision 9.


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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