BIMCO: Guidance From OCIMF On Inspection Practices In Relation To COVID-19

With the aim to keep our members updated on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, BIMCO has reached out to Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) to obtain the guidance they provide to inspectors of the Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) and Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID).

The SIRE/OVID inspectors conduct inspections of tanker and offshore ships on a regular basis, and the information obtained can help inform our members dealing with tanker and offshore ships. Below, the information gathered from OCIMF regarding inspections and COVID-19 is available.

The outbreak of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has now been declared as being a Pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and sadly, continues to cause loss of life.

COVID Corona virus Representation Image
Representation Image – Credits: Baltic Exchange

The WHO and many countries are providing health and travel advice which continues to change as the situation develops. The WHO urges all countries to take a comprehensive approach tailored to their circumstances – with containment as the central pillar. It also stresses that advice must strike a fine balance between protecting health, preventing economic and social disruption, and respecting human rights.

Impact on SIRE/OVID Inspections conducted in affected regions

The spread of this novel coronavirus (Covid-19) will have an impact on the ability of submitting members to conduct SIRE/OVID inspections in affected regions. This will, therefore, require the cooperation of all involved in the inspection process to ensure that health and safety considerations are always paramount.

OCIMF encourages its submitting members to take a pragmatic approach when considering the commissioning of inspections in affected areas in the current situation. It should be noted that SIRE/OVID inspections are commissioned by submitting members and not the OCIMF Secretariat. The acceptance, or otherwise, of a SIRE/OVID report for reasons of age is a matter for individual recipients and not the OCIMF Secretariat.

In response to recent industry engagement, a number of submitting members and recipient members have indicated that they will apply sound judgement, pragmatism and flexibility when considering the commissioning of inspections and evaluating inspection reports for vessel eligibility.

OCIMF encourages vessel operators to engage early and engage directly with submitting members with regards to any challenges that may be experienced in conducting SIRE inspections.

Inspectors are encouraged to engage with the member commissioning the inspection and to monitor and follow the health and travel advice provided by the WHO and by relevant national health authorities when making their decision on travel for SIRE/OVID inspections. This includes the use of prevention and control measures such as personal hygiene and use of personal protective equipment.

OCIMF has published a Frequently asked Questions aimed at SIRE and OVID inspectors which can be accessed for clarifications.


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