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COVID-19 – Information from the FMA regarding manning

Information from the FMA regarding manning in respect of the COVID-19 outbreak

The Faroese Maritime Authority hereby informs seafarers and other affected stakeholders about changes in relevant procedures regarding manning and the issuing of certificates.
We monitor the situation closely and will update our procedures according to the recommendations of the authorities.

Certificates of Competency and certificates of Proficiency
Certificates of Competency and Certificates of Proficiency will be renewed with the regular period of validity. If a seafarer, because of measures taken in connection with the Covid-19 outbreak, has been unable to attend or renew

- a course required by STCW to renew his Certificate of Competency
- a course required by STCW to renew his Certificate of Proficiency
- his medical certificate

the FMA will issue a formal letter accompanying the Certificate of Competency or Certificate of Proficiency stating that the document is valid, and that the seafarer has been given a 6-month time limit from the expiry date of the document to renew the dated competences.

The FMA will also issue a letter accompanying the Medical Certificate with a 3-month time limit. The expired medical certificate must only recently have expired in order to be covered by the FMA extension.
Medical certificates that have not yet expired will be extended with 3 months from the expiry date on the certificate.
Medical certificates that have a limited period of validity due to an assessment from the medical practitioner will not be prolonged unless the medical practitioner allows it.

Minimum Safe Manning Document
If a seafarer is unable to sign on a ship or has to sign off because of COVID-19 and this
affects the ship’s MSMD, the Faroese Maritime Authority must be contacted to request permission to sail with fewer seafarers than stated in the MSMD. The FMA will assess the vessel’s manning levels and may give permission for the ship to sail with a temporary dispensation from the minimum manning levels.

Financial Security
According to “Parliamentary Act no. 4 from 15th of January 1988 on seafarers’ employment”, and under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, seafarers are required to have coverage for medical care (Standard 4.1 MLC), repatriation (Standard A2.5.2 MLC) and contractual claims for sickness and injury (Standard A.4.2.1 MLC). Shipowners are urged to check with their providers that their insurance or financial security covers seafarers for COVID-19 related issues and extend their coverage if necessary.

Faroese Recognition of Foreign Certificates 
The procedure for obtaining a Faroese certificate of recognition and CRA is the same as normal, but with the following deviations for applicants that have been affected by measures put in place to combat the COVID-19 outbreak:
Certificates of Competency, Certificates of Proficiency and Medical Certificates for Seafarers and Fishermen with extended period of validity issued by the relevant authorities due to CORONA-19 measures will be accepted according to the content of the extension terms.

All seafarers should follow the guidance from the relevant health authorities concerning
quarantine and self-isolation. If this occurs whilst the seafarer is in the service of the ship, it shall count as part of their service period.