From 28 February 2021, the interim COVID arrangements which have permitted seafarers to serve longer than 11 months onboard ships will end.
There has now been sufficient time for ship operators to adjust to the COVID-19 world and develop new plans for seafarer repatriation and crew changes. Under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 the maximum period that a seafarer can serve aboard a vessel without leave is 11 months.
Seafarers have shouldered a heavy burden during the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining global trade and keeping our economies moving by delivering the vital supplies. However, it has come at a personal cost to the seafarers who have spent longer on board ships, unable to take shore leave due to mandatory quarantine and separated from their friends and families.
Temporary Marine Notice 10/2020 (supersedes 04/2020) which outlines our approach to maximum service periods for seafarers during the COVID-19 pandemic, will be cancelled on 28 February 2021 and we will revert back to the enforcement approach in the original Marine Notice 17/2016.
This means AMSA inspectors will verify compliance with Regulation 2.4, of the Maritime Labour Convention ensuring seafarers serve no longer than 11 months continuously on board a vessel.