The Directorate General of Shipping has extended the validity of seafarers’ certificates till December 31, 2021, in the wake of renewal difficulties due to the second wave of COVID-19. Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Mansukh Mandaviya said in a tweet that India’s seafarers can now join the ships easily.
“@dgship_goiextends the validity of Seafarers’ COC/COP till December 31, 2021, in the wake of the renewal difficulties due to the second wave of #COVID-19,” he said. The Directorate General of Shipping deals with implementation of shipping policy and legislation under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.
In an order issued on April 28, the DG Shipping announced the onset of COVID-19 measures, including closure of Maritime Training Institutes (MTI), to protect and safeguard seafarer and associated people working in the MTI from getting infected from the virus. “The Directorate…extends all seafarer certificate of competency (COC)/certificate of proficiency (COP) till December 31, 2021, or one contract, whichever is later and irrespective of whether a seafarer has availed extension under any previous order/SOP or is ashore or on board the ship at the time of issue of this order, subject to…conditions,” the order said.
The decision has been taken in consideration of the urgency in which the seafarers are required to man the ships to continue transportation of goods and people and that they need to be in possession of valid COCs or COPs, it added. India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with over 3 lakh daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals in several states are reeling under the shortage of medical oxygen and beds.