Technical Circular No: 35/2020

Subject: Vanuatu - Interim Policy on ISM internal audits and ISM/ISPS/MLC audits/inspections due to outbreak of COVID-19

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  1. In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Vanuatu flag Administration has established following interim policy to accommodate any possible disruptions with regard to ISM/ISPS/MLC audits.

    a. Internal Audits: The Administration accepts the following alternative audit approach; 

    1. Masters may audit the Engine Department, and Chief Engineer may audit the Bridge Department, if possible under remote supervision from qualified internal auditor/DPA from company.

    2. A fully remote audit performed by a qualified internal auditor/DPA of the company is also acceptable.

    3. In the alternatives described under ‘i & ii’ above, all requirements of the ISM Code must be met.

    4. The due date of any internal audit due by 30 April 2020 is extended by this policy for 90 days from its due date. The extension is to be communicated to the Administration with the alternative to be utilized.

    b. ISM/ISPS/MLC Audits/ Inspections: 

    1. Recognized Organizations are authorized to postpone any ISM/ISPS/MLC audits/ inspections due by 31 May 2020 for a period of not more than 90 days from the due date without prior authorization provided that the Administration is informed about the extension. For renewal/initial audits, the due date is the expiration date of the relevant certificate. In the case of annual/intermediate audits, the due date is the last day of the permissible window.

    2. Following details are to be included when informing to the Administration in above cases;

      • Due date of the audit.
      • Copy of the relevant certificate.

    3. Above authorization is only valid for COVID-19 reasons.  All other cases must be submitted to the Administration for approval. 

  2. The above interim policy will be reviewed and revised as required by the Administration as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.

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


  • Nil


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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