During this time of uncertainty that has been caused by COVID-19, and in line with the advice from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), AMSA has taken a pragmatic approach to seafarer certification.
Specifically, AMSA issued exemptions which:
- enable the holders of all AMSA-issued seafarer certificates, endorsements and certificates of medical fitness to continue performing duties beyond the expiry of those certificates; and
- enable owners and masters of ships to permit holders of the above certificates to continue performing duties.
In addition, the arrangements that applies to a specific certificate depends on the expiry date of that certificate:
- holders of seafarer certificates that expired between 26 March and 31 July 2020 inclusive may continue to perform duties as if the certificate remains in force for a period of 12 months from the expiry date of the certificate; and
- holders of seafarer certificates that expire between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021 inclusive may continue to perform duties as if the certificate remains in force until 31 July 2021.
Yet, it is highlighted that
There is no requirement for a vessel owner, operator or seafarer to make application to AMSA for the above measures to apply.
Also, AMSA notes that the seafarers that meet the eligibility requirements for revalidation of their seafarer certificate and have the ability to make an application, are strongly encouraged to apply to revalidate their certificate before it expires, or as soon as possible after that date.
Concerning the revalidation of the expired certificates, a new replacement certificate will be issued for a period of five years from the original certificate expiry date.