Technical Circular No: 103/2020

Subject: Vanuatu flag Administration on extension of Seafarers Employment Agreement (SEA) due to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic

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1. The Vanuatuflag Administration vide Fleet Safety Letter 031420.GENhadinformed that in those cases where crew change is not possible due to the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Administration considers granting exemptions as follows;

“If the seafarer’s employment agreement expires or will expire soon, an exception to Standard A2.4.3 ‘Entitlement to leave’, and Standard A2.5.1.2 (b) ‘Repatriation’ of the Maritime Labour Condition 2006, will be granted in order to extend it”.

2. By the end of extension provided, the concerned seafarer shall have the right to annual leave with pay and be duly repatriated as per standard A 2.4.3 and A

3. Administration had informed that exemption granted under above provision will be reviewed within a period of 45 days in which it will be decided whether the exemption granted will be maintained or terminated.

4. Further Extensions/ exemptions will be granted by VanuatuAdministration through an Authorization letter and must be requested throughone of Vanuatu’s Special Agent Offices located in either Japan, Korea or Istanbulsubmitting the following requirements;

• Email requesting the extension of the seafarers employment agreement, including the particulars of the ship, seafarer name and position onboard,

• Copy of Seafarer Employment Agreement of each seafarer for whom extension is requested,

• Copy of Crew List of the ship.

 5. Administration vide Fleet Safety Letter 063020.GEN, dated 30 June 2020 has now;

a. Modified paragraph 6 of Fleet Safety Letter 031420.GEN granting an automatic 45 days extension from the date of 14 March 2020 resulting in an expiration date of 30 April 2020 and;

b. Revoked paragraph 7 of Fleet Safety Letter 031420.GEN establishing a procedure to extend any SEA past the original period of 45 days.

c. Informed that any seafarer on a Vanuatu flagged ship that has been issued a 60 day extension under paragraph 7 of Fleet Safety Letter 031420.GEN past the original 45 days and due to expire on or about 30 June 2020 and the ship owner/ manager/ship's agent cannot relieve and repatriate any affected seafarer due to any travel restrictions caused by the pandemic it is hereby automatically extended up to and including 30 September 2020.

6. All efforts are to be made where practical to make the appropriate crew changes as the conditions allow.

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


  1. Vanuatu Fleet Safety Letter 031420.GEN, dated 14 March 2020

  2. Vanuatu Fleet Safety Letter 063020.GEN, dated 30 June 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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