Panama Guidance on SEAs and Certificates extension due to COVID-19
03 November 2020 | C20048
The Panama Maritime Authority has released MMN-03/2020 to provide guidance on the extension of SEAs and Seafarer’s endorsements.
Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Surveyors / Auditors
Due to COVID-19 outbreak, the Seafarers on board may have certificate(s) which are expired or will expire soon, In those cases where crew change is not possible, the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) has issued MMN-03/2020 to advise Ship Owners on how this can be handled.
The PMA considers appropriate to inform how to proceed in the following scenarios of crew change:
- If the seafarers employment agreement expires or will expire soon, an exception to Standard A2.4.3 ‘Entitlement to leave’, and Standard A126.96.36.199 (b) ‘Repatriation’ of the Maritime Labour Condition 2006, will be granted in order to extend it;
- In those cases where the change of crew, due to expiration of the Certificate/s cannot be carried out, the Administration will consider issuance of an Extension or Dispensation Letter based on evaluation of the nature of the case; and
- The transitory measures mentioned above applied up to September 14, 2020. After September 14, 2020 this Administration will return to compliance with the provisions of Executive Decree No. 86 of February 22, 2013 and MMC-262.
In this sense, PMA has determined the following instructions for the issuance of the correspondent letter:
- Extension of Seafarers Employment Agreement;
- Extension of Seafarers Certificates including Certificate of Endorsement;
- Dispensation Letter;
- Authorization Letter of the Certificate of Inspection of Crew Accommodation (CICA);
- Extension of the Validity of Colour Copy of Full terms of Technical Documents onboard;
- Extension of Medical Certificate and Certificate of Proficiency;
- Extension of the Validity of Color Copy of Full terms of Technical Documents onboard; and
- Extension of the Validity of the Medical Certificates.
All relevant provisions should be taken and applicable documents should be submitted to the flag as per MMN-03/2020, in order relevant extensions and exception to be granted.
Owners/ Managers/ Operators of Panama flagged vessels should take into consideration above guidance and apply where necessary to the Panama Maritime Authority for the relevant extensions in order to avoid any complexities with any local Port State Control Authority.