AMSA to enforce seafarers’ stays onboard capped at 11 months
In view of the crew change crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSA has noted the tremendous commitment and sacrifice of seafarers to sustain both global trade and world economies. Observing their being subjected to mandatory quarantine measures and suffer separation from their families, the authority announced the cessation of extension-centred Temporary Marine Notice 10/2020.
AMSA’s prior Temporary Marine Notice 10/2020 imposed strict safety measures which included a mandatory plan for seafarers’ repatriation after a maximum onboard stay lasting 14 months. The mandate added extensions can be allowed if the shipowner or master is able to prove all possible efforts to facilitate repatriation have been exhausted, plus received consensus from the seafarer on the extension. This regulation was to remain in effect till 28 February 2021.
Compliance to maximum 11 month onboard mandate
From 1 March 2021, AMSA will disallow any onboard stays beyond 11 months. AMSA said in its notice, “There has now been sufficient time for ship operators to adjust to the COVID-19 world and develop new plans for seafarer repatriation and crew changes. Under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 the maximum period that a seafarer can serve aboard a vessel without leave is 11 months.”
It added AMSA inspectors will verify compliance with Regulation 2.4, of the Maritime Labour Convention to ensure seafarers serve no longer than 11 months continuously on board a vessel.