Technical Circular No: 65/2020

Subject: Palau Marine Circular No. 187.1 regarding handling the validity of ship certificates due to outbreak of COVID-19

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  1. Palau Maritime Administration has issued Marine Circular No. 187.1 providing instructions on the handling of ship certification and surveys constrains due to the restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic caused by CIVID-19.

  2. The instructions provided are applicable to statutory surveys and inspections coming due prior to 1st July 2020 and for statutory certificates issued under the following Conventions/Codes;

    a. International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)

    b. International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)

    c. International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as amended by the Protocol of 1988 (Load Line)

    d. International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWMC)

    e. International Safety Management Code, (ISM)

    f. International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS); and

    g. Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC)

    h. Exemptions Certificates issued by the Palau Ship Registry Administrator

  3. Recognized Organizations (ROs) have been advised to ensure that all statutory certificates remain valid using remote surveys or visits whenever is possible. However, in those cases that a remote survey or visit are not possible to be carried out, the ROs are authorized to maintain the validity of the statutory certificate for up to three months.

  4. A record of ships receiving extensions to surveys or certificates will be maintained by the Recognized Organizations and will be included in the survey status of the vessel for future reference.

  5. When a survey or inspections is required to confirm the rectification of deficiencies of a minor nature, the Administrator has no objection to an alternative evidence-based proposal which is acceptable to the RO.

  6. Extension of Dry Dock surveys:

    a. For extension of dry dock survey, provided that there is evidence suggesting best efforts have been made to secure dry-dock space, the Administration will consider extensions to intermediate and special dry dock survey for a period of three months. Further extensions will be reviewed case by case including the submission of supporting evidence.

    b. Application for the extension of dry dock survey must be submitted, indicating the reason for the extension, letter of confirmation from the shipyard, and non-objection letter from the RO confirming that the vessel is with no major structural deficiencies or damage at the time of the request.

    c. All statutory surveys are to be completed as far as practicable and possible while afloat, leaving only the minimum pending items to be checked in dry dock survey. Any minor deficiencies can be recorded as Conditions of Class, or Statutory Condition, as appropriate, with due date until dry-docking. Major deficiencies must be rectified.

  7. Installation of Ballast Water Management System:

    a. Ships experiencing problems installing and commissioning Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) are to approach the Administration in order to seek guidance.

    b. Vessels to maintain an approved plan for conducting D-1 ballast water exchange and the same will need to be maintained until the BWMS system can be properly installed for D-2 Compliance.

  8. Annual service of life saving appliances and firefighting equipment:

    Annual servicing of life saving appliances and firefighting equipment with due date before July 2020, are allowed for an immediate extension valid for two (2) months subject to the agreement of the Recognized Organization. Further extensions will be reviewed case by case including the submission of supporting evidence.

  9. Ship owners/ operators and masters of Palau 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.

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