Greece’s influential maritime technical managers association has proposed a set of 15 specific measures to classification societies to help avert the immobilisation of seaborne trade amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Technical Managers Association in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean (Martecma), In a letter to the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) copied to Bimco, Intertanko, Intercargo and SIGTTO, Technical Managers Association in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean (Martecma), is seeking a prompt response to its proposals as the industry looks for a possible way forward out of the current extraordinary situation”.
“The most critical issue is the extension of the special survey and the associated drydocking beyond the three months that are foreseen by the International Maritime Organization (IMO)”, said Martecma, which brings together executives of around 160 ship management companies operating a fleet of around 2,800 ships of a capacity of 270m dwt.
Martecma said: “Travel and visiting to and from the ships is becoming highly complex and in many occasions unpredictable; dry dock space is difficult to book and, in many occasions, cancelled at the last moment; service engineers and vital material suppliers cannot attend or supply the ships [and have] to spend a long time in mandatory quarantine before and after their attendance. Port calls are subject to local regulations that are sometimes irrational.”
The technical managers noted “several flag administrations are willing to consider the current period as a force majeure period during which certain criteria can be relaxed provided ROs will also work towards minimising the risks associated with the relaxations and assure the administrations in this respect.
The nine Martecma council members, many of whom represent Greece at Imo, who signed the letter said “any temporary measures will cease to gradually unwind immediately after the coronavirus situations gets better”.
Martecma’s intervention said special surveys and drydocking surveys should be extended by three months, on top of the three-month grace period that flag states customarily grant under certain conditions. Windows for other types of surveys should be widened by six months.
To further accommodate hard-pressed companies, remote and underwater surveys techniques should be adopted. Chief engineers, ship crews and non-exclusive surveyors should get a bigger role in crediting machinery and equipment. It also proposed that in view of the lack of local surveyors surveys should be by the surveyors of other IACS members or non-exclusive surveyors.
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