FAQ regarding NMA and the Corona virus

  • Changed: 16/03/2020

Send your questions to post@sdir.no and we will publish updates and answers on this site on a continuous basis.

Exemptions for remaining in vehicles during crossings

Answer: The Norwegian Maritime Authority has received requests for exemption from the requirements of Regulation 15 June 1987 No. 507 regarding such safety measures on passenger ships, cargo ships and barges §13. The regulations allow passengers to stay in vehicles during transit in speed range 2 and less, if given reservations are met.

For vessels operating in speed range 3 / class D or larger, and on closed ferries, it is prohibited to stay in vehicles during the crossing. As long as there is a risk of corona infection, the Norwegian Maritime Authority can accept that passengers stay in the vehicles during transit as long as the following guidelines are followed:

Recommendations and guidelines from central and local health authorities must be followed. Particularly related to the number of people assembled and the area in which they assemble.

The shipping company must consider whether passengers can sit in vehicles during the crossing. This risk assessment must be available on board.

The following points must be considered as a minimum:

  • How can passengers be evacuated from the area in question in the event of a fire or other rescue operation?
  • Is there sufficient crew on board to handle evacuation from car decks in addition to normal muster stations?
  • Should the number of passengers be reduced?
  • Securing the load

Will the measures introduced to reduce the risk of infection lead to delays for newbuildings, rebuilds and flag registrations?

Answer: As with other public sector organisations, the Norwegian Maritime Authority is also affected by the corona pandemic. As a result, we have reduced our supervisory activities. This applies to both registration, inspection of vessels and verification of documentation that is the basis for certification of the vessels. This can cause delays. If you have questions about the certification process, contact the project manager for the relevant vessel.

I am an approved provider of recreational skipper training / practical exam ICC (International  certficate of competence), course holder and / or test center for the boat licence exam. Can I still arrange training courses and exams?

Answer: On 12.02.2020, the Government and the Directorate of Health published a resolution banning meetings and closing down of businesses in order to prevent the spread of the corona virus. The decision can be read here: https://www.helsedirektoratet.no/nyheter/the-norwegian-directorate-of-health-has-issued-a-decision-to-close-schools-and-other-educational-institutions 

The Norwegian Maritime Directorate's assessment is that approved providers of recreational skipper training and practical exam ICC, as well as course holders and approved test centers for the boat master's test, fall under the category of other educational institutions.

Among other things, it has been decided to close kindergartens, schools and other educational institutions from Thursday 12 March to Thursday 26 March. These measures may be extended.

The Norwegian Maritime Authority recommends to regularly check the current and future measures from the authorities dealing with educational institutions.

We have a vessel where the certificates and the date for equipment are approaching their expiry date. What should we do?

Answer: The Norwegian Maritime Authority has decided that certificates and vessel instructions that are due before June 12, 2020 will be extended for 3 months without further approval from the NMA. You can read more about these extensions, as well as download the documentation on this, via this link:  https://www.sdir.no/en/news/news-from-the-nma/regarding-extension-of-statutory-inspections-and-issuanceendorsement-of-statutory-certificates-due-to-covid-19/

I have a personal certificate that expires, and I cannot apply for renewal as the safety course location is currently closed due to the corona outbreak. What should I do?

Answer: Due to the challenges related to the corona virus, the Norwegian Maritime Authority has decided to grant an extension for personal certificates for a period in the future. There is no need to apply for this extension of validity. Read more here: https://www.sdir.no/en/news/extending-the-validity-of-personal-certificates/

What is the situation for seafarers in relation to travel restrictions at airports, with regard to crew changes on ships?

Answer: When it comes to travel restrictions, the Norwegian Maritime Authority will refer to updated information at the Directorate of Health.

The same regulations apply to seafarers as for other travellers. Questions regarding the practical enforcement of these regulations must be directed to national or local health authorities. More info can be found here: https://www.sdir.no/en/news/presisering-av--og-pamonstring-skip-i-norge/

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