covid impact on seafarers: COVID-19: Govt extends validity of seafarers certificate by 6 months

NEW DELHI: Noting that the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has impacted 2 million seafarers worldwide, the government has extended the validity of Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC) for seamen for six months.

A CDC, issued by the Director General of Shipping after completion of training is a seafarer’s identity document issued in India and is required in order to serve on board a ship.

“The coronavirus (COVID-l9) pandemic has created a global crisis which has impacted all aspects of life and badly affected the world of work. ln the maritime sector, it has severely disrupted the functioning of shipping and affected the work of nearly 2 million seafarers worldwide.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has meant that the shipping industry and maritime authorities are facing challenges,” an order from Director General of Shipping Amitabh Kumar said.

The order said the challenges also includes conduct of the maritime training courses under STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) including courses relevant to revalidation of Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC) required in accordance with Merchant Shipping (CDC) Rules,2017.

The order said: “ln view of the difficulties being faced by the seafarers it is decided that the validity of CDC, expiry date of which is falling during 1st February, 2020 to 1st October, 2020 (both dates inclusive) is extended for a period of 6 (six) months.”

It said there would be no requirement for any endorsement in the respective CDCs for the this relaxation.

“However, once the said situation become normal, seafarers shall apply for revalidation of such CDCs as per prevailing procedure and such CDCs shall be revalidated for further period by the Shipping Masters from the date of expiry printed in the CDCs,” it added.

India is the second largest supplier of seafarers globally after the Philippines and it is estimated that about two lakh Indian seafarers are employed in foreign flag vessels across the world.

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