Circulars
  • Date: 3/13/2020
  • Series: IC
  • Number: IC 2 - 2020
  • Case number: 2020/781

COVID-19 - Extension of certificates and vessel instructions

1. Purpose

1.1 IC 2-2020 instructs Recognized Organizations on the extension of statutory inspections and issuance/endorsement of statutory certificates due to COVID-19

2. Application

IC 2-2020 applies to Norwegian flagged vessels registered in the Norwegian Ordinary Ship Register (NOR) or the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS).

3. Definitions

3.1 N/A

4. References

4.1 Agreement of 1 June 2002 between the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and ROs concerning surveys of ships registered in a Norwegian ship register (the Agreement) article 2.2.

4.2 IMO Circular Letter No. 4204/Add.1
      IMO Circular Letter No. 4204/Add.2
      IMO Circular Letter No. 4204/Add.3
      IMO Circular Letter No. 4204/Add.4

5. Background

5.1 Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19), the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) has received inquiries from shipowners and Recognized Organizations (RO) regarding postponement of inspections and extending the validity of mandatory certificates due to difficulties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes an extension of statutory certificates or postponement of bottom inspections as a result of unavailable dry-dock facilities.

5.2 Travelling, both nationally and internationally, has become more increasingly difficult as travel bans have been imposed. Combined travel restrictions given by governments and companies cause difficulties with providing inspectors when needed. Furthermore, numerous of shipyards cannot accommodate vessels, even for booked and planned inspections and surveys which require dry-dock.

5.3 Based on the above conditions, the NMA considers the COVID-19 outbreak to be a force majeure situation.  

5.4 For the NMA, the main focus is that ships registered in NOR or NIS to the largest extent possible shall not be out of operation due to possible expired certificates caused by the current and probable COVID-19 situation.

6. Repeal

6.1 None

7. Item

The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) has decided that certificates and vessel instructions which expire before 12 June 2020 may be granted a 3-month extension without further approval from the NMA.

7.1 While all reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that certificates are kept valid and inspections are performed, the NMA will accept that for vessels for which the time frame of endorsement or renewal of certificates is before 12 June 2020, a 3-month extension may be granted without further approval from the NMA.

7.2 The extension will also apply to certificates provided by companies providing services to the Administration or RO, including, but not limited to service providers re-certifying life-saving equipment, fire-fighting equipment or radio control.

7.3 While all reasonable efforts should be taken to ensure that statutory certificates are kept valid, ROs are hereby authorized to grant extension as described in paragraph 7.1 above.

7.4 The NMA shall be kept informed of when and to which vessels the extension under paragraph 7.1 are issued.

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