MEASURES TAKEN BY LITHUANIA CONCERNING COVID-19
First and foremost, due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) 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;
- according to ministerial order 2021-11-19 Nr. 3-356 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 seafarer’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 seafarer’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 Seamen’s Health Care Center is opened from 23 August 2021 (registration in advance by phone +370 46 297045 is required) and seafarers’ health survey in the SG KLINIKA is opened from 4 September 2021 (registration in advance by phone +370 601 99454 is required)
- seafarers’ examination in premises of Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration is carried out according to approved schedule and taking into account precautions to avoid spreading of COVID-19.
Crew members (seafarers) shall comply with the requirements laid down in the orders of the Minister of Health:
1. The following persons are exempted from isolation only if the purpose of their journey is related to the performance of their work duties:
- seafarers, with the exception of crew members, who carry out passenger transport on international routes.
2. Testing and isolation requirements and exemptions for crews and crew members employed by companies engaged in international commercial transport or engaged in international commercial transport by all modes of transport.
Crews and crew members who work for companies engaged in international commercial transport or international commercial transport by all modes of transport (where the purpose of the journey is related to the performance of their work duties)
- if the planned stay in LT is less than 24 hours, no test is required (but if the carrier has left the vehicle in another country and is flying to LT as a passenger, a test is required before boarding the aircraft, as for other passengers)
- a test is required if it is known in advance that the stay on the territory of Lithuania will be longer than 24 hours (crew members who are carrying passengers on international routes and arriving by carrier transport must bring a test; other crew members arriving by other means can either bring a test or take it in LT)
- if such persons stay longer than 24 hours unscheduled in the LT (unless objective circumstances, such as customs, border procedures, etc., have resulted in a longer unscheduled stay), they need to register for the test within 24 hours.
- Isolation is compulsory from the date of entry into the Republic of Lithuania until the date of departure from its territory, but no longer than 10 days from the date of return/departure (the isolation period can be shortened if a PCR test is carried out on the 7th day of isolation and a negative result is obtained)
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 and Paris MoU ;
- 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 [email protected]