The Maltese Merchant Shipping Directorate has issued an MS Notice in relation to the sensitive COVID-19 outbreak and the disruptions and difficulties that this is causing to the shipping industry worldwide.
To this effect the Directorate is granting, on a case by case basis, extensions of sea service beyond the seafarer employment agreement period, for a maximum of three months. This period may be extended for further periods should the present situation remain the same. The Directorate is also allowing for the extension of Maltese Flag State Endorsements, which may expire during an extended period on board for crew members.
The attendance of statutory surveys has also become increasingly difficult since the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease and several shipyards cannot accommodate ships for both pre-booked and planned supervisions which require dry docking. In view of these exceptional circumstances, in cases where surveyors, auditors and/or inspectors are not able to undertake scheduled surveys, audit and inspections due to restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the Directorate will consider requests for extension/postponement under force majeure or unforeseen exceptional circumstances, on a case by case basis.