Technical Circular No: 18/2020

Subject:Tokyo MOU and Indian Ocean MOU Press Release on Guidance for dealing with impact of the outbreak of the COVID-19

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  1. Recognizing that, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, the Global Shipping industry is facing challenges in meeting statutory requirements stipulated in Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) and relevant IMO Conventions, member Authorities of the Tokyo MOU and Indian Ocean MOU vide attached Press Release have agreed to adopt guidance for dealing with the circumstances (such as extending periods of service onboard of seafarers, delaying periods for surveys, inspections and audits, etc.) in a pragmatic and harmonized approach.

  2. The guidance by MOUs provide that requests/issues from the operators/ owners/ managers would be considered on a case-by-case basis by the relevant port State Authority.

  3. Further the operator/ owner/ manager concerned will have to confirm that flag State and/or the RO, relevant Seafarer’s Organizations (as appropriate) have been involved in the process.

  4. For consideration of the request by the port State Authority, operators/owners/ ship managers concerned should provide a plan or process containing equivalent solutions to address the COVID-19 situation and letters of dispensation or exemption issued by the flag State or RO, under which the period of grace for delaying surveys, inspections or audits should be reflected. However, such periods at this moment, shall not be exceeding more than three months from the date of expiry of the applicable certificates, in accordance with the relevant regulations of the Conventions.

  5. The guidance will be reviewed by the Tokyo MOU and Indian Ocean MOU upon any future initiatives taken by the IMO/ILO or developments of the situation.

  6. Ship owners, operators and Masters are advised to be guided by above.


  1. Press Release by Tokyo MOU issuing guidance for dealing with impact of the outbreak of the COVID-19, dated 12 March 2020.

  2. Press Release by Indian Ocean MOU issuing guidance for dealing with impact of the outbreak of the COVID-19, dated 20 March 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.

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