• 2020 May 27 15:13

    Traficom extends validity of certain seafarers’ competency and proficiency certificates

    The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency has announced temporary legislative changes to facilitate the extension of the validity of seafarers’ competency and medical certificates.

    The coronavirus pandemic affects ships’ crew changes as well as the organisation of seafarers’ training courses and refresher training courses, which may in turn have an impact on renewals of competency and medical certificates. Proposed legislative changes aimed at temporarily facilitating validity extensions are currently scheduled to enter into force on 1 June 2020. The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has decided to extend the validity of certain seafarers’ competency and proficiency certificates and may, when justified by a compelling reason, permit seafarers to continue serving on board without a valid medical certificate.

    The coronavirus pandemic has made crew changes difficult or, in some cases, impossible, while restrictions on gatherings have prevented the organisation of seafarers’ training courses and refresher courses.

    The Finnish Parliament has approved a government proposal concerning temporary amendments to legislation in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Against a backdrop in which seafarers working on board find themselves unable to renew their competency certificates and medical certificates are at risk of expiring, the proposed changes include measures aimed at facilitating the renewal of maritime professional qualifications.

    The amendments are currently scheduled to enter into force on 1 June 2020.

    Under the Act on Medical Fitness Examinations of Seafarers (1171/2010, section 10), Traficom may, for compelling reasons, grant a seafarer a permit to temporarily serve on board without a valid medical certificate, if the medical certificate has recently expired. Such a permit is valid until the next port of call where an examination can be performed, but no longer than three months.

    In such cases the shipowner must contact the team responsible for maritime qualifications at merimiesyksikko(at)traficom.fi. Please note that this only applies to vessels flying the flag of Finland. In other cases, the shipowner should contact the flag State in question.

    Traficom issues the Finnish certificates of competency, certificates of proficiency and endorsements attesting the recognition of foreign certificates on the basis of the STCW Convention. Traficom also issues dispensations in accordance with article VIII of the Convention.

    In order to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, legislative amendments have been proposed to allow for an extension of the validity of Finnish certificates of competency and certificates of proficiency whose expiration date falls between 16 March 2020 and 31 October 2020. The extension is valid for six months from the original expiration date, and no application is required. The amendments are currently scheduled to enter into force on 1 June 2020.

    Traficom has been temporarily authorised in circumstances of exceptional necessity to issue dispensations to seafarers regarding certificates of proficiency, if this does not put life, property or the environment at risk. Shipowners must apply for the dispensation and declare the circumstances of exceptional necessity.

    If an endorsement attesting recognition is about to expire while the seafarer in question is on board, the seafarer or shipowner must submit an application for a new endorsement. Electronic applications are accepted.

    Traficom will update these instructions as the situation develops and make the necessary decisions in accordance with the relevant legislation. Traficom is also actively monitoring the relevant international guidelines.




2020 July 12

16:21 Carnival Corp announces change in leadership team
15:38 UMS Skeldar gets contract to supply mine countermeasures drones system
15:23 Samson introduces the latest in mooring line innovation
14:19 Coast Guard halts 2 illegal charters near Star Island
13:41 Carnival Corporation's AIDA Cruises to restart sailing vacations in August
13:18 New OCIMF Committee structure
12:51 American P&I Club and ABS Consulting join forces to drive cyber awareness for maritime insurance
11:49 Royal Caribbean Group acquires remaining interest in Silversea

2020 July 11

15:28 Cox Powertrain celebrates as first 300hp diesel outboards roll off the production line ready for delivery
14:51 WCI names Tracy R. Zea as President & CEO
13:45 NOS expands its fleet with two additional M-Class vessels
11:37 Huisman to deliver 250mt Knuckle Boom Crane and 500mt Towing Winch for Nanhai Rescue Bureau
10:52 Wabtec wins federal order for advanced marine engines on new multi-use ships

2020 July 10

19:08 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Mediterranean
18:30 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Europe
18:04 HHLA implements machine learning for the first time to increase productivity
18:01 Port of HaminaKotka throughput in 6M’2020 fell by 14.2% YoY
17:38 Information on the seaport of Murmansk changed in the Register of Russian Seaports
17:13 Thun Tankers takes delivery of the fifth L-class at China Merchants Jinling Shipyard
16:52 Russian Railways: Loading of export cargo bound for domestic ports up 3.3%
16:33 Valenciaport reaffirms its leadership as the first Spanish port at UNCTAD index
16:03 Port of Marseille to maintain €57 million in investments to stimulate the recovery
15:43 DNV GL launch support for new Dynamic Positioning system failure guideline enabling quicker and cost effective implementation
15:30 Volga Shipping Company delivered project cargo to the Caspian Sea
15:13 COVID-19 causes problems for implementing EU legislation - BIMCO
14:48 Throughput of Russian seaports in HI’2020 grew by 0.1% Y-o-Y
14:23 Wärtsilä simulator complex delivered to enhance operations at the Training and Education Office of the Indonesian National Police
14:03 Port of Oakland imports up 1.9 percent in June 2020
13:44 Onezhsky Shipyard delivers hybrid workboats Anatoly Klimov and Victor Vorotylo (video)
13:22 Governments of 12 countries pledge action for seafarers at crucial crew change summit
13:19 GTT receives an order from Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding for the tank design of three new LNG carriers
13:01 Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard commenced making hull of yet another minesweeper of Project 12700, Aleksandrit
12:38 Throughput of Murmansk Sea Fishing Port fell by 12.7% in HI’2020
12:13 Nuclear-powered icebreakers of Rosatomflot assisted 462 ship calls in winter-spring navigation season
11:35 Construction commences on Austal's largest ever ferry
11:04 GIWACAF launches webinar series on oil spill preparedness and response
10:46 FSUE “Rosmorport” takes award-winning place in the annual sailing regatta
10:32 LR to develop structural digital twin for Bluewater FPSO Glas Dowr
10:22 Rosmorport changes tariffs on berth assignment services in Astrakhan and Olya seaports
09:59 Bunker prices are slightly up at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:37 Oil prices decrease amid concern over demand recovery rates
09:20 Baltic Dry Index as of July 9
09:11 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, July 10

2020 July 9

19:03 OOCL receives Gold Award from the HKAEE for the fourth time
18:10 Aquila Power Catamarans announce a luxuriously versatile new model
17:55 Tallink Grupp’s vessel Sailor to operate on Paldiski-Kapellskär Route from Sunday
17:31 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
17:28 Port of Rotterdam to start trial with PIN-free container handling
17:18 Damen holds keel-laying for Port of Auckland’s fully electric RSD-E Tug 2513
17:12 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Selina with ST Shipping
16:44 "K" Line participates in JV for FPSO owning and chartering business offshore Brazil
16:23 Jan De Nul Group has started offshore installation activities in Taiwan
16:06 Port of Liepaja throughput in 6M’2020 fell by 15.6% Y-o-Y
15:48 Russia remains in Paris MOU’s White List
15:24 PD Ports submit response to national Freeport consultation
15:03 Khabarovsk Territory Governor Sergey Furgal detained by officials of Russia’s Investigative Committee
14:39 Aibel awarded Oseberg portfolio agreement
13:47 Ukraine is still on Paris MOU’s Black List
13:22 MOL announces joint development of energy-saving rudder
12:50 Container shipments on Russian Railways’ network up 15% in 1H 2020