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 the statutory certificate expires on or after 16th March 2020 and before 30 June 2020 the certificate will remain valid for 3 months from the date of expiry of the certificate without a specific consent or approval from the Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration;
  • In case of endorsement of statutory certificates when annual, periodical, intermediate, bottom survey, audit, inspection cannot be held within the window, the certificate will remain valid for 3 months after the end of the applicable window without 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 that do not fall under above circumstances will be taken on a case-by-case basis and due regard to the priority of safety.

In case the above mentioned provisions allowing for an extension of the validity of a certificate are used, the shipowner or company shall notify the RO or Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration, as appropriate, and notification shall include information that the ship has a plan how the ship will be brought back in compliance with the requirements.

 

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. Moreover, till 18 May 2020 there was no possibility to carry out examination of seafarers, during the quarantine period there was no possibility to have training required for obtaining or extension of seafarer’s certificates. Also, due to the effects of COVID-19, the seafarers' issue of medical certificates till 18 May 2020 had been halted in Lithuania. Taking this into account:

  • According to the order of the Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania No. 3-223 of 21 April 2020 "On the Extension of the Validity of Documents", 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 quarantine period, are granted an extended validity from the date of expiry till the 30 September 2020; if the validity of mentioned documents expires while the person is on board the ship whose voyage began during the quarantine period and lasts longer than the 30 September 2020, validity of documents are granted an extended validity until the end of the ship's voyage, but not longer than 16 December 2020. No application to Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration by an individual seafarer is needed for this purpose;
  • Decisions concerning the extension of validity of documents which do not fall under above circumstances will be taken on a case-by-case basis;
  • For seafarers’ whose medical certificates expire during quarantine period, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania and Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration allow the usage of such medical certificates on board the ships for 3 months following the expiration date;
  • 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


  • 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;
  • Until 1 July 2020 premises of Lithuanian Transport Administration have restricted access but services will be provided electronically and through service windows. Documents can be sent by courier at the request of customers;
  • 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: 17-06-2020