The Authority highlights that this decision is similarly applicable to vessels whose certificates are due to expire during to the lockdown, granted an extension of up to three (months) provided an application is made well in advance.

The extension concerns both seafarers certification with respect to validity of seafarers certificates, medical and eyesight certificates and safe manning of ships, as well as ships certificates and surveys.

Also, it is stated that the concessions are contained in a correspondence submitted by Government to the IMO a week ago, outling the measures South Africa is taking to ease the grip of the pandemic lockdown regulations implemented since March 2020 in the country..

Concerning seafarers' medical and eyesight certificates, SAMSA notes that

Medical Certificates for seafarers shall remain valid as issued. Under the measurers in place to combat COVID-19, medical practitioners will still be operating and seafarers will be allowed to visit the medical practitioner (doctor) for medical examination. Seafarers whose medical certificates expires whilst onboard a ship may continue to serve on that ship for three (3) months from the expiration date in accordance with STCW Regulation I/9.

They also state that they will not issue an endorsement to a foreign COC unless such certificate is still valid, except where there is a policy from that administration regarding the same.