Bangladesh Maritime Administration has issued Circular No. 01 of 2020 (copy attached) providing instructions with regards to extension of Seafarers Certificates, Seafarers Employment Agreement (SEA), statutory surveys, audits, inspections etc as outlined below due to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
a. Extension of the validity of Seafarers Certification:
Certificate of Competency (CoC) and Certificate of Proficiency (CoP) expiring before 30th April 2020 are granted a general extension till 30th June 2020. Seafarers are not required to apply for the extension.
The Administration will consider allowing seafarers holding foreign issued Certificate of Competency (CoC) to continue serving onboard Bangladesh flagged Ships, if they are unable to revalidate their CoC before the expiry date due to COVID-19 outbreak. Ship owners/ managers may submit such request in writing to the Administration accompanied with a confirmation of continued validity from the issuing authority of the seafarers CoC.
b. Expired Medical Certificates:
If a medical certificate expires whilst the seafarer is at sea, the Administration allows the certificate to remain in force until the next port of call where the seafarer can obtain a medical certificate from a qualified medical practitioner. This is permitted for up to 30th June 2020.
The Administration is to be contacted to request permission in case a seafarer is urgently required to join a ship with an expired medical certificate.
c. Continues Discharge Certificate (CDC):
Continues Discharge Certificate (CDC) expiring before 30th April 2020 are granted a general extension till 30th June 2020. Seafarers are not required to apply for the extension.
d. Extension of Seafarers Employment Agreement (SEA):
If a seafarer’s employment agreement (SEA) expires, it must be extended or a new one is to be issued. The Company needs to ensure that the seafarer is sent home at the first available opportunity. Evidence is to be retained by both the seafarer and the Company clearly demonstrating the reason why the seafarer was asked to extend the contract.
e. Extension of mandatory surveys, audits and expiry of Statutory Certificates:
Statutory certificates expiring before 30th April 2020 are granted a general extension till 30th June 2020. Owners or operators of Bangladesh flagged ships are not required to apply for the extension.
f. Minimum Safe Manning Document (MSMD):
Where it can be demonstrated that a crew member is required to depart a vessel owing to the COVID-19 and is unable to be replaced, exemption to MSMD will be considered by the Administration on a case by case basis.
Ship owners/ operators and masters of Bangladesh flagged ships are advised to be guided by above.
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.