In light of the preventive measures taken by ports states, making crew change and repatriation difficult, if not impossible, many flag states and administrations are taking a pragmatic approach to statutory certificates and agreements in line with *IMO circular 4204, add. 5.
Using publicly available sources and information provided to the secretariat, BIMCO is relaying circulars and notices outlining the formalities to extension and exceptions to statutory certificates for:
The general opinion is to recognise seafarers as essential keyworks in the supply chain, bringing food, medical equipment and other commodities across the world. For this reason, it is of uttermost importance to take a pragmatic approach.
It is not unusual for ships to have mixed nationalities onboard with seafarers subject to different administrations. For ships flying yet a different flag, the crew composition is becoming even more relevant, as original certificates and the seafarers’ employment agreements will expire.
The national administrations can only make exceptions to national certificates such as:
- Certificates of competency
- Medical fitness certificates
- Radio operator certificates
- Certificates of endorsement
If the ship is manned with the foreign crew it is therefore important to make sure the underlying certificates are valid and that the flag state have made arrangements for endorsement of a potential temporary extension. Generally, flag states are showing a pragmatic approach and will in most cases extend the endorsement if the underlying certificates are extended.