“We are approaching the end of what has been a long and difficult year. Many have had their lives turned upside down and miss being able to travel wherever they want, while others have been stranded at sea for periods far beyond their plans and wishes. We want to express our appreciation for the efforts of the entire maritime industry and keep our fingers crossed that 2021 will bring better news,” says Acting Director General of Shipping and Navigation, Lars Alvestad.

Over the last few months, we have received pictures showing the working day of seafarers during the pandemic. Some of these can be seen in a new video greeting from the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA).

We are here - with english subtitle from Norwegian Maritime Authority on Vimeo.



New ways of working

2020 has presented new challenges for the NMA as well. When the pandemic reached Norway in March, several measures were introduced to ensure that the pandemic would not affect safety at sea. Initially, there were status meeting every morning and afternoon to keep employees and customers informed. Deadlines for supervisions and certificate renewals were extended and published on a new page on our website, where we gathered all content on COVID-19 and consequences for the industry. Our technical coordinators wanted to find a solution and developed guidelines for online remote supervision when travel restriction made it impossible to carry out supervision on board.

On 27 April, some supervisory activities were resumed, primarily certificate surveys and unscheduled inspections. Remote supervision was still carried out where possible if desired by the shipping company.


Learning experience

“The pandemic has led to changes for many, including the NMA. It has been challenging, but we have learned a great deal. We see advantages of the new working methods that we want to bring into the post-pandemic world. Video conferencing saves time and is less damaging to the environment, which gives us motivation to continue our new ways of working after COVID-19,” says Alvestad.