Wed | Jun 3, 2020

Maritime authority extends validity of seafarers’ certificates amid COVID

Published:Thursday | April 2, 2020 | 9:02 AM
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The Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) has extended the validity of certificates due for renewal by seafarers over the next three months amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

The documents include Seafarers Certificate of Competence and the ship’s statutory certificate.

Seafarers are being advised to present the MAJ bulletin regarding the extension of validity of these documents along with the expired papers to Port State Control at their various ports of call.

Port State Control is the inspection authority for foreign ships in national ports to verify that the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of international regulations and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with these rules.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, MAJ Director General, Rear Admiral Peter Brady, explained that the provision is to assist crews who will be impacted by border control measures implemented by states to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

He noted that crews work on board ships for about six months at a time then they do changeovers, which takes them through airports.                                             

He said that under the current restrictions, these changeovers may not be possible and, as such, maritime states around the world, including Jamaica, have put measures in place, such as seafarers extending their contracts.                  

“What we have also done, which is fairly consistent with what is happening around the world is… we have issued bulletins that for the next three months, any certificates that would become due for renewal during this time would remain valid,” he informed.

He pointed out that most member States of the International Maritime Organization have implemented similar measures because he says it is the practical thing to do.

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