Skip to main content

COVID - 19

 

GUIDELINES DURING STATE OF EMERGENCY OVER COVID-19

(updated 25.05.2020)

In order to limit the spread of Covid-19 and because of the emergency situation in the country, Maritime Administration of Latvia has made changes in provision of services:

1. Registry of Seamen: more information here;

2. Registry of Ships: Customers will not be served in-persona unless booked in advance. An Application form and all relevant documents shall be submitted before attendance.
All customer appointments shall be agreed and booked in advance by phone +371 67062162 -/165 -/164 or e-mail: kratlja.llv

3. Maritime Safety Inspectorate:

  • Flag State inspections on ships outside Latvian borders are being cancelled, more information here;
  • Port State control inspections on foreign vessels are being cancelled, more information here;
  • Inspection on service stations and repair facilities will be carried out, more information here;

4.Ship and Port Security Inspectorate: more information here.

 

REGISTRY OF SEAMEN (RS)

The premises of the Registry of Seamen (hereinafter – the Registry) have been defined as restricted access area. As of 25 May 2020, provision of services for seafarers have been changed: submission or reception of documents, and assessment of the competency of seafarers, are provided by appointment only, whereas electronical submission of documents has been closed.

For the submission of documents, the seafarers shall apply by the telephone calling the number +371 67099419. Reception of seafarers is carried out at 15-minute intervals.

The seafarer shall arrive at the Registry on the appointed time exactly. In case of being late, the Registry shall be informed immediately by calling the number +371 67099419, and another appointment shall be arranged. The seafarer is not allowed into the Registry, if he/she misses his appointment.

Only those seafarers are admitted into the Registry, who:

  • are on the list of visitors and can prove, by the entries in his/her seaman’s discharge book, that 2 weeks have passed since the last sign-off from the ship; and
  • present printed out and personally signed statement that he/she is not infected with COVID-19, has not been identified as COVID-19 contact person, and have not been abroad during last 14 days (except Lithuania and Estonia). If the statement has not been printed out, it can be filled at the Registry; and
  • wear a face mask.

In order to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 infection caused by the novel coronavirus, seafarers with visually noticeable symptoms of a disease shall not be admitted. In addition, body temperature measurements of the visitor may be taken (by the distance thermometer).

Seafarers are asked to keep the 2m physical distance from other persons and not to stay in the Registry longer than necessary for submission or reception of the documents.

According to the restrictions in force in Latvia, seafarers may be denied admittance into the Registry if these guidelines are not obeyed.

Appointments for the visits to the administration of the Registry are made by the telephone (+371 67099401).

In case of any questions, please call: + 371 67099419

 

SEAMAN’S DISCHARGE BOOK

  1. Reception of the documents for the issue of the seaman’s discharge book is carried out in accordance with the Cabinet Regulation No. 992 “Regulations regarding the seaman's discharge book”, adopted 20 December 2005.
  2. The senior inspector of the Certification division informs the seafarer about the date and time of the reception of the seaman’s discharge book. The seaman’s discharge books are issued by appointment on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
     

TRAINING OF SEAFARERS

  1. All educational and training activities of the professional maritime education programmes requiring physical presence have been suspended, excluding those mentioned in Cabinet Order No. 103 “Regarding declaration of the emergency situation”, adopted 12 March 2020.
  2. On-site implementation of the short training programmes of seafarers is allowed in compliance with the Order No. 01-03/121 of the minister of transport, adopted 22 May 2020, and the guidelines of the Registry No. 2020/3 “Guidelines regarding implementation of short training programmes of seafarers during the state of emergency”, adopted 22 May 2020.
  3.  As far as possible and practicable, maritime education and training programmes shall be implemented by distance learning or e-learning.
  4. If the seafarer holds a valid Qualification Certificate (COC or COP), issued in accordance with chapter II, III of the STCW Convention, but any of the training COP or DE issued in accordance with the STCW regulations V/2, VI/1, VI/2, VI/3 or VI/4, has expired, the validity of the training course certificate is automatically extended until the end of the declared emergency situation in Latvia or until the end of the voyage.

 

CERTIFICATION OF SEAFARERS

  1. Reception of the documents for the Qualification Certificates is carried out in compliance with the Cabinet Regulations No. 895 “Regulations regarding certification of seafarers”, adopted 22 November 2005 (hereinafter – Certification regulations).
  2. Qualification Certificates are issued based on the following:

2.1.  If the seafarer has not completed the required training course, but has submitted a written statement, issued by the employer, that, during nearest 30 days, a seafarer is due to be assigned for the sea service on board ship:

  • For masters and officers new endorsements extending the validity of the qualification certificates for 6 months shall be issued;
  • For ratings and seafarers, holding national certificates (without endorsements), new certificates with validity of 12 months shall be issued;
  • The starting date of extension of validity shall be applied taking into account the date of expiry of the document. If the document has expired less than 6 months ago, it is extended for the relevant period starting from the date of issue of the extension, but, if the document is still valid, it is extended starting from the date of expiry of the document;
  • If the document to be extended has expired 6 months ago or more, or is due to expire in 6 months or more, it shall only be extended by the resolution of the administration of the Registry.

2.2.  If the seafarer has completed the required training course, and assessment of the competency at the Registry is not necessary, certificates of qualification are issued in compliance with the Certification regulations.
2.3.  If the seafarer has completed the required training course, and it necessary to pass the assessment of the competency at the Registry, he/she shall be appointed for the assessment of competency on-site by the employee of the Registry when all the required documents have been submitted.
 

3. Assessment of competency is carried out in compliance with the Certification regulations based on the following:

3.1. Assessment of competency is carried out on Tuesdays (for deck department and catering department) and on Thursdays (for engine department);
3.2. The computer-based test is carried out in two groups (from 8.00 am to 10.00 am, and from 10.00 am to 12.00 am), not exceeding 3 (three) persons in one group. After passing the test, the applicant is assigned for the assessment interview on the same day.
3.3. The assessment of competency by an interview is carried out from 13.00 pm to 16.00 pm at 15-minute intervals.

4. The senior inspector of the Certification division or the inspector of the Examination class shall inform the seafarer on the date and time of the reception of the certificate.

 

DELAY IN VOYAGE

Due to the restrictions introduced by the countries throughout the world, the crews may not be changed in due time.

In cases when, due to force majeure situation, a seafarer has to work for a considerable longer period of time that it has been envisaged in the employment agreement and there is a risk that a seafarer will not be signed off till the end of the validity of the qualification documents, the Registry shall issue a document on the extension of the validity of the certificates.

In order to perform it, the ship owner or the recruitment company shall send to the Registry email address: jratlja.lv, cc: jazeps.spridzansatlja.lv an officially signed application, which has been prepared on an official form of the company, with a short description of the situation and information about the period of time for which the extension is required and if the extension of the documents will be accepted by the flag state administration of the ship. The copy of the employment agreement has to be attached. Based on the application, there will be a scanned (unless required otherwise) confirmation of the extension sent. The confirmation will be issued only if the application contains all required information.

The order shall not be applied to the cases, which the ship owner or the recruitment company could have foreseen.

 

MEDICAL CERTIFICATE

  1. If the validity of a medical certificate issued in Latvia expires during the voyage, due to unplanned length of it, caused by the consequences of Covid-19 virus, the Administration shall permit to use it for the period of time not exceeding three months till the moment when the seafarer returns to Latvia, provided that the seafarer does not have visible symptoms of disease. Inversely, Article 6 of Regulation I/9 of STCW Convention is to be strictly complied with.
  2. In order to ensure the protection of the medical practitioners of seafarers against the COVID-19 disease, a seafarer may , for the purpose of medical certification, visit the medical practitioner of the seafarers  not earlier than on the 15th day after returning to Latvia from the voyage, and provided that the seafarer does not have visible symptoms of disease.
     

SURVEYS, INSPECTIONS AND AUDITS ON LATVIAN FLAG SHIPS

  • Flag State inspections for vessels abroad are suspended until further notice; for vessels in Latvia - Flag State inspection will only be carried out after careful assessment of the situation with COVID-19.
  • In case of reaching deadlines for ISM/ ISPS/ MLC certification, the Maritime Safety Inspectorate will either carry out remote verifications or delegate these verifications to the Recognized Organizations, or extend the validity of appropriate certificates.
  • Upon request from the Recognised Organisation for extensions for due surveys and statutory conditions/findings, the Maritime Safety Inspectorate may extend the validity of appropriate certificate or statutory conditions/finding for a period of three month by the Recognized Organisation.
  • If circumstances would require the issue of new short-term certificates without carrying out surveys/inspections and audits, the validity of such certificates will be valid for three months, and can be applied as a short-term solution only.
  • The surveys and supervision of repair works on domestic ships will be carried in routine manner except in cases when COVID-19 poses risks to surveyors. Each such case will be assessed individually by the Maritime Safety Inspectorate and solutions will be agreed with shipowner.

SERVICE STATIONS AND REPAIR FACILITIES

  • The inspection on service stations and repair facilities will be carried out in routine manner except in cases posing COVID-19 risks to surveyors.
  • Each such case will be assessed separately by Maritime Safety inspectorate and solutions will be agreed with the company.

PSC INSPECTIONS ON FOREIGN SHIPS

The PSC inspections on ships having PI and PII are suspended until further notice. In some exceptional cases such as grounding, collision, pollution, erratic manoeuvres and similar, PSC inspection will be carried out after careful assessment of the situation with COVID-19 on a particular ship.

SHIPS AND PORT SECURITY INSPECTION 

  • Security inspections on foreign vessels are suspended until further notice;
  • Port / port facility security inspections will be resumed remotely to avoid service in person after 14 April 2020 on case by case basis in close corporation with Port / port facility security officer;
  • All issued Certificates of Conformity which has expired remain valid until further notice;
  • While there is emergency situation declared in Latvia, any information regarding security measures which deviates from the Security Plan must be fully reflected by Security officers in security records.