BDAR

Maritime transport

MEASURES TAKEN BY LITHUANIA CONCERNING COVID-19


First and foremost, due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and quarantine announced through the territory of the Republic of Lithuania from 16 March 2020, all shipping companies, ships and seafarers strictly must follow advice, instructions and guidance from the Lithuanian Government, health and port authorities including those related to infection, risk, disease, treatment, travel or port calls:

Lithuanian Government http://koronastop.lrv.lt/en/

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania https://urm.lt/default/en/important-covid19

Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration considers the COVID-19 outbreak to be force majeure situation and is putting all efforts to provide all necessary assistance, guidance and solutions in any specific situation related to or affecting the shipping.

Being a flag State Lithuania has adopted some relaxations of requirements for the shipping industry.

 

Ship‘s statutory certificates


If the Lithuanian flagged ship is in a situation where deadlines cannot be met in relation to conducting annual inspections, renewal of certificates, repair of equipment or urgent maintenance, etc.:

  • shipowners and companies must take efforts to make arrangements for the survey, audit, inspection of their vessels at the earliest opportunity within the window provided by the regulations;
  • in case of circumstances related to the epidemic situation of COVID-19 disease (coronavirus infection) due to which there is no possibility for the survey (audit, inspection, etc.) and issuance (endorsement) of the relevant certificates for Lithuanian flagged ships, the certificate(s) will remain valid for 3 months from the date of expiry (3 months after the end of the applicable window) without a specific consent or approval from the Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration;
  • the expired or not endorsed certificates are valid along with this notice. Ships are encouraged to retain a copy of this notice on board.
  • the extension as indicated above is also applicable to servicing of equipment and issuing of certificates necessary for all statutory surveys including, but not limited to, service providers certifying life-saving appliances, fire-fighting equipment, radio equipment, etc.;
  • other decisions concerning demand to extend the validity of ship documents due to the COVID-19 outbreak will be taken on a case-by-case basis and due regard to the priority of safety.

Issuance and revalidation of seafarers’ documents


In view of travel restrictions, seafarers may be forced to spend longer on board than usual as they are not being allowed to leave the vessel. Taking this into account:

  • validity of all seafarers’ documents issued by the Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration (Seaman’s Books, Endorsements of Certificates of Competency, Endorsements of GMDSS Radio Operators certificates, Endorsements of Qualification Certificates, Endorsements of Recognition of Certificates of Competency issued by Foreign States, Certificates of Proficiency, Special Certificates) which have expired during the the ship's voyage which was unexpectedly prolonged due to the epidemic situation of COVID-19 disease (coronavirus infection), are granted an extended validity until the end of the ship's voyage, but for no longer than six months from the expiry of the relevant document; an extended validity of mentioned documents is granted without a specific consent or approval from the Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration;
  • decisions concerning the extension of validity of documents which do not fall under above circumstances will be taken on a case-by-case basis;
  • the competent authorities of Lithuania request the competent authorities of other States to permit the continued employment of Lithuanian seafarers on their flagged ships after the expiry of the medical certificate in accordance with the decisions taken by these States;
  • seafarers’ health survey in the Klaipėda Seamen’s Hospital is reopened from 18 May 2020. Registration in advance by phone +370 46 491050 is required;
  • seafarers’ examination in premises of Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration is reopened from 18 May 2020 and carried out according to approved schedule and taking into account precautions to avoid spreading of COVID-19.

 

Additional information


 

  • All crew members (seafarers) arriving / returning to the Republic of Lithuania by regular, special and charter passenger transport routes (all modes of transport):
    • shall have a document (in one of the official languages of the European Union) confirming that the person has been tested for COVID-19 disease (coronavirus infection) not earlier than in 72 hours prior arriving / returning to the Republic of Lithuania and received a negative COVID-19 test result (serological antibody test is not recognized)
      and
    • are subject to self-isolation.

 

COVID-19 test is not required for the crew members (seafarers) engaged in carriage of passengers on international routes by all means of transport.

 

All crew members (seafarers) arriving / returning to the Republic of Lithuania by other ways than those mentioned above (not by regular, special and charter passenger transport routes (all modes of transport):shall have a document (in one of the official languages of the European Union) confirming that the person has been tested for COVID-19 disease (coronavirus infection) not earlier than in 72 hours prior arriving / returning to the Republic of Lithuania and received a negative COVID-19 test result(serological antibody test is not recognized)

 or

 

- within 24 hours upon returning / arriving in the Republic of Lithuania shall contact the Coronavirus Hotline by tel. 1808 or the body performing the tests for COVID-19 (coronavirus infection), register for the test and perform the test at the appointed time;

 

COVID-19 test is not required for the crew members (seafarers) arriving / returning to the Republic of Lithuania by other ways (not by regular, special and charter passenger transport routes (all modes of transport), who are engaged in international commercial transport and whose purpose of travel is related to work functions.

 

Crew members (seafarers) entering the Republic of Lithuania by any mode of transport (air, road, rail or waterborne) who are not engaged ir international carriage, are not subject to self-isolation requirements (relevant documents, e.g. seaman’s book, contract, etc. should be provided) if the seafarer has a negative result of a test for COVID-19 disease (coronavirus infection) (serological antibody test is not recognized) carried out not later than 48 hours before returning / arriving in the Republic of Lithuania or within 24 hours upon returning / arriving in the Republic of Lithuania contacts the Coronavirus Hotline by tel. 1808 or the body performing the tests for COVID-19 (coronavirus infection), registers for the test and performs the test at the appointed time;

 

Self-isolation requirements do not apply to seafarers:

 

  • who are not engaged ir international carriage
  • whose purpose of travel is related to work functions provided that they have a negative  test for COVID-19 (coronavirus infection).

 

In uncertainty cases, please contact the HOTLINE tel. No. 1808, calling from abroad +370 (52)196 180 (calls are accepted from 8 am to 8 pm).

 

  • Port of Klaipėda is open for navigation;
  • Travelling restrictions have also caused difficulties for specialized staff, such as inspectors, to access the vessels and conduct legally required inspections. Therefore, Flag State inspections, audits, assessments, etc., for Lithuanian flagged ships located in foreign ports are now suspended;
  • Port State control of a foreign ships calling Lithuanian ports will be performed after the assessment of potential risks and consultations with National Public Health Center and taking into account guidelines  established by IMO http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx and Paris MoU https://www.parismou.org/paris-mou-guidance-regarding-impact-covid-19;
  • Premises of Lithuanian Transport Administration have restricted access but services will be provided electronically. Issued documents shall be sent by courier;
  • In view of epidemic situation regarding COVID-19 disease (coronavirus infection) and in order to reduce the spread of the disease internationally, the National Public Health Center under the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania (NPHC) is conducting enhanced medical quarantine control at Lithuanian border crossing points;
  • Please be informed that in order to avoid an unnecessary interference for the international carriage of goods and the limitation of the movement of goods, the medical quarantine control procedures are applied in Klaipėda State Seaport in accordance with the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization, as follows:
  • 24 h prior arrival the master of the ship shall submit a Maritime Declaration of Health, as required by International Health Regulations approved by World Health Organization, confirming that all crew members are healthy;
  • Information about crew‘s health has to be confirmed 2 hours prior arrival to the port.

 

If the Maritime Declaration of Health contains an information about a sick person on board the ship, actions must be taken as follows:

  • The ship shall be moored at the quay;
  • NPHC personnel comes on board to investigate the epidemiological situation;
  • When a person is detected with COVID-19 symptoms, he is transported to a medical institution by an ambulance;
  • As directed by the NPHC, common areas and the cabin(s) on board the ship must be cleaned and disinfected by the ship's appointed personnel, if not available - by a Lithuanian licensed company;
  • Only after cleaning and disinfecting the ship, activities and work of agents, stevedores, surveyors are allowed on board, so that the works of unloading/loading the cargo could begin;
  • Crew is not allowed to leave the ship;
  • Persons (e. g. ship's agent) who are in contact with the ship's responsible personnel (captain, chief mate, etc.) must wear personal protective equipment;
  • Non-crew members, who had no contact with crew members, are allowed to participate in the loading / unloading the cargo after ship‘s cleaning and disinfection.

Information will be updated.

For more information please contact LTSA Director of Maritime Department Linas Kasparavičius by phone: +370 687 56143 or email linas.kasparavicius@ltsa.lrv.lt

 

Last updated: 18-03-2021