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COVID-19 – Information from the FMA regarding surveys, audits, etc.

Information from the FMA regarding surveys, audits etc.

The following information applies to the disruption caused to statutory surveys or audits as a result of COVID-19. This may be because an FMA or RO surveyor is unable to attend a vessel due to travel restrictions or issues with the availability of dry-dock facilities.

Delay in RO Statutory Surveys/Audits (vessels above 24m in Class)
In the event that a RO, due to COVID-19 is unable to undertake a statutory survey or audit, the RO concerned shall submit an application to FMA for the extension of surveys, inspections or audits and/or the validity of statutory certificates accompanied by a recommendation of the course of action to be followed.

Delay in Dry Docking
The FMA will, upon request, consider extension of a vessel’s drydocking period, or servicing of critical equipment as required under the respective IMO Conventions. In all cases, such applications should be supported by the vessel’s RO and shall include the reasons and evidence of why the vessel is unable to comply. It is strongly advised that owners and managers submit such applications to the RO well before the due date of the surveys/audits or expiry date of the statutory certificate in order to avoid port State control issues.

Delay in FMA Inspections (vessels under 24 m)
When an inspection is due and an FMA surveyor is unable to attend an inspection due to COVID-19, FMA will consider issuing an exemption on a case-by-case basis with a suitable time scale.

Internal ISM Audits
Companies should be aware that regulation 12.1 of the ISM Code allows up to 15 months between audits in exceptional circumstances. If a company is unable, due to COVID-19 to undertake internal ISM audits within this range date, the company is to contact FMA with reasons and evidence of why the internal audit cannot be completed. On a case-by-case basis, FMA will consider issuing an agreement to extend the period beyond 15 months.