Specifically, the UK MCA has implemented contingency plans to mitigate disruption to essential statutory activities during the current worldwide coronavirus pandemic. The aim of the notice is to provide a basis for the continued operation of UK vessels during the period of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Accordingly, MCA encourages ship operators to arrange the survey/audit/inspection of their vessels at the earliest opportunity within the window provided by the regulations and, where the operation of the vessel permits, in an area with no or limited instances of infection by COVID-19.
The Notice states that if the vessel is located in the UK, then, ship operators must firstly contact the local Marine Office who will advise as to the availability of MCA Surveyors to undertake the audits. Yet, should the MCA not be in a position to undertake them the operator is able to make arrangements for the conduct of the activities directly with the recognised organisations (RO).
The short-term certificates that will be issued by the Authority, will remain valid for not more than 3 months from the date of expiration of the current certificate or the closure of the required window for the conduct of the required activity.
MCA highlights that the Master is the one responsible to ensure that the ship is maintained and operated according to the statutory requirements for the duration of the short-term certificate.
When it is not possible for a surveyor to conduct a survey or audit on board, if the original certificate has been issued by the MCA, then the short-term certificate will be issued by the MCA on the basis of the declaration received.
To learn more about the marine notice, click herebelow