The International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) stresses importance of COVID-19 test results’ detection
A recent incident in Manila involving a ship manager’s resuming voyage after overlooking an individual’s positive COVID-19 test result wound up with a whopping US$175,000 liability.
An expensive overlook
The ship manager’s appointed agent carried out the crew change. However, a positive COVID-19 test result fell through the cracks despite following all protocols. Negligent parties comprised the ship manager, Manila’s port agent, health immigration authorities and the vessel’s master. Subsequently, the vessel was ordered to return to Manila to test the entire crew and deploy replacements where necessary. The ship had to be disinfected – adding another six days in Manila, with another five for steaming.
The vessel owners submitted a claim to the ship managers for about US$350,000. The claim was eventually settled at US$175,000 after negotiations given multiple parties, including the shipowner failed to spot the red flag.
Though ITIC reimbursed the ship manager, it encouraged all parties to remain vigilant and check documentation thoroughly. Nothing COVID-19 testing is likely to be a regular feature for seafarers, a simple oversight of this degree can result in costly delays for the vessel, its cargo, as well as unwelcomed disruption for the crew.