Recognizing that, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, the entire Global Shipping industry is facing numerous challenges in meeting statutory requirements stipulated in the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) and other relevant IMO conventions.
Understanding that there is a necessity to deal with such crucial circumstances (such as extending periods of service onboard of seafarers, delaying periods for surveys, inspections and audits, etc. as necessary) by adopting some important and critical guidance among the member Authorities.
Also realising that the Indian Ocean MOU’s one of the primary responsibilities is to harmonise its port State control activities along with the other MOUs associated with IMO.
The Member Authorities of the IOMOU have agreed to adopt an important and pragmatic guidance in the most practical and harmonized approach.
This guidance is prepared based on the general principle that requests/issues from the operators/owners/managers would be considered on a case-to-case basis by the relevant port State Authority.
In accordance with the guidance, the port State Authority should request the operator/owner/manager concerned to confirm that the flag State and/or the RO, relevant seafarers’ organizations (as appropriate) have been involved in the process.
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 period 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.
The guidance will be reviewed upon any future initiatives taken by the IMO/ILO or developments of the situation.