Updated COVID 19 measures

14 Apr 2020 / Canada

Prior to arriving at port, vessels must report to Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security (TC MSS) and abide by the below guidelines:

  • 96 hours & 24 hours pre-arrival inspection reports (PAIR): Pay particular attention to the health of crew/passengers and report all relevant symptoms with the PAIR form
  • Report immediately to TC Marine Safety and Security via email
  • Transport Canada (TC) will advise the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) who will follow up directly with vessel and provide directives to crew
  • TC and PHAC will notify other entities as needed
  • Once a vessel has arrived to anchor or berth, it must inform local health authorities, ship's agent and TC MSS; Local health authority will issue directives.

Marine Sector Workers who have to travel to Canada to perform their duties to board an international flight destined to Canada are exempt from the ban on entering the country. No traveller may board a flight/enter Canada if they are symptomatic with a fever and cough or a fever and breathing difficulties.

Shore leave is prohibited for both symptomatic and asymptomatic foreign nationals for optional or discretionary purposes such as tourism, recreation or entertainment. Essential shore leave that is not optional or for a discretionary purpose may be granted to an asymptomatic seafarer of a ship, but may not exceed four hours in duration. When granting shore leave, the Master of a vessel shall determine that such leave is essential (e.g. a personal, family or medical emergency) and not discretionary.

For ship inspections, Inspectors must maintain a 2-meter distance from others at all times; Inspectors (TC, CFIA, etc) can travel in the same vehicle/launch only if 2-metre separation can be maintained throughout the transit.

For Port State Control (PSC) Inspections:

  • Canada will continue to use a risk-based approach in selecting vessels for PSC inspections
  • On-site inspection will be maintained mostly for foreign vessels identified as High Priority (P1) under regional PSC MOUs; Time onboard and interactions with crew will be minimized as much as possible during these on-site inspections
  • For other selected vessels (including foreign tankers identified as Medium Priority (P2)), verification done through document review - with the possibility of on-site inspection, if document review not satisfactory
  • If a ship cannot fulfill convention/statutory requirement despite best efforts (e.g.: challenges to revalidate seafarer or ship certificates or delays in completing required audit, surveys, repairs, etc), TC will take a pragmatic approach to compliance - in accordance with the Paris and Tokyo MOUs guidance on PSC inspections under COVID-19 situation - assessing situation on a case by case basis.

For Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) inspections, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are to conduct non-compliant inspections (at anchorage) and import inspections at a particular rate based on risk. Other measures may include requesting additional information prior to inspections to reduce the amount of time spent on a vessel and interacting with crew.

(For information about operations in Canada, contact the GAC Houston Hub Agency Center at [email protected])

Source: Robert Reford Shipping Agency – GAC agent

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