The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) announced an extension of the Temporary Alternative Inspection Protocol (TAIP) that was established in April 2020 to meet inspection requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
MI-108), §5.34, and all RMI-flagged vessels requiring inspection under MI-108, §5.34 are considered qualified for the purposes of this TAIP.he TAIP was established to meet inspection requirements identified in RMI Maritime Regulations (
It is reminded that TAIP is a temporary alternative program that may be employed as an alternative means to verify compliance with the Administrator’s requirement for a safety inspection of the vessel. It does not alter any of the Administrator’s other requirements. The final decision to utilize the TAIP will be assessed and approved by the Administrator on a case-by-case basis.
Communication between the vessel, owner or operator, Administrator, Recognized Organizations, and port or coastal States is critical as all must work together to ensure continued crew and vessel safety, security, and protection of the marine environment while facilitating essential maritime trade during this pandemic.
Procedures for vessel owners or operators
On receiving the automated “inspection due” email notification, the owner or operator must provide the vessel’s itinerary and any additional requested information to the appropriate regional office.
If an in person inspection by a Nautical Inspector is not feasible due to COVID-19 safety concerns, the regional Fleet Operations Manager may use a TAIP after reviewing the performance history of the vessel and company. This includes possibly postponing or rescheduling the inspection for a later date or conducting the inspection remotely with crew interaction.
A successfully completed remote inspection will be satisfactory for fulfilling the RMI Safety Inspection requirements for a maximum of six months.
Annual Safety Inspections
1.In the case of COVID-19 safety concerns, RMI-flagged vessels due for an inspection can be given additional months to complete the required annual flag State inspection, if
- they have good flag and port State control performance history; and
- are on a 12-month inspection interval.
2. The inspection postponement can be for three months maximum.
3. This will be documented in the Administrator’s inspection scheduling database and rescheduled as needed.
4. Other RMI-flagged vessels not in the category above may be required to complete a remote inspection.
5. Vessels identified for a remote flag State inspection will be notified and provided with a list of questions relevant to the ship’s documentation, equipment maintenance, and crew’s emergency preparedness.
a. The questions must be completed by the Master or Chief Engineer and submitted to the scheduling office before arrival in port.
b. A regional critical items checklist may be used to meet this requirement, such as:
(i) MSD 340, Critical Items Checklist for vessels calling ports in the United States;
(ii) MSD 340AC, Critical Items Checklist (Australia-China) for vessels calling in Australia or China; or
(iii) sections of the MSD 252, Report of Operational Safety Inspection.
c. The Master also may be required to submit evidence to demonstrate compliance. This includes:
(ii) copies of logbook entries;
(iii) maintenance records; or
(iv) other information as requested.
6. Instead of physically boarding the vessel while in port, the Administrator will contact the Designated Person Ashore, Master, or Chief Engineer (if possible) on the telephone, or other agreed communication means, and review the results of the self-inspection checklists and the submitted information.
7. RMI-flagged Mobile Offshore Units (MOUs) not meeting §4.1.1 (above) may be required to complete a remote inspection.
a. MOUs identified for a remote flag State inspection will be notified and requested to complete:
(i) MSD 252MOU, Safety Inspection Report;
(ii) MSD 252MOUSUPP, Operational Safety Inspection Supplement; and
(iii) provide compliance verification for the critical items noted in the MSD 252MOUIG, Inspectors Guide (those with an asterisk).
b. The Master, Offshore Installation Manager, or appointed designee may be asked by the Administrator to provide answers to additional questions about the unit’s documentation, equipment maintenance, and crew’s emergency preparedness. Further supporting photographs, copies of logbook entries, maintenance records, or other information may be requested.