If an in-person inspection by a Nautical Inspector is not feasible due to COVID-19 safety concerns, the regional Fleet Operations Manager may employ the TAIP after reviewing the performance history of the vessel and company, the Administration explains. This includes possibly postponing or rescheduling the inspection for a later date or conducting the inspection remotely with crew interaction.

With regards to annual safety inspections, RMI-flagged vessels due for an inspection or becoming due for an inspection within three months of this notice, that have good flag and port State control performance histories, and are currently on a 12-month inspection interval, will be given an additional three months to complete the required annual flag State inspection.

This postponement will be documented in the Administrator’s inspection scheduling database and rescheduled as needed.Other RMI-flagged vessels not in the above category may be required to complete a remote inspection. Vessels identified for a remote flag State inspection will be notified and provided with a list of questions relevant to ship’s documentation, equipment maintenance, and crew’s emergency preparedness.

As far it concerns the Quality Control Boardings, the Administrator will continue to conduct these which may also be done remotely following many of the same principles explained in the circular below.

An important aspect of this program isinteraction between the Administrator’s Fleet Operations department, the vessel owner and operator, the vessel’s crew, and the proper notification of deficiencies to local coastal State or port State control authorities when required. Transparency of operations and information will be essential to the success of this program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lastly, RMI highlights that at this is a temporary alternative program which may be employed as an alternative means to verify compliance with the Administrator’s requirement for a safety inspection of the vessel. What's more,  communication between the vessel, owner/operator, Administrator, Recognized Organizations, and port/coastal States is critical.

Explore more by reading related circular herebelow