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COVID-19 continues to challenge our industry on many fronts.

While we all work through this unprecedented situation it is important to maintain delivery of essential goods and services on a global basis. OCIMF members, SIRE/OVID report users, vessel operators and inspectors are finding it very difficult to continue normal inspection regimes due to restrictions in travel, access through terminals, social distancing and health and safety considerations to varying degrees depending on location. The situation is fluid and will continue to change country by country for some time. This latest update aims to provide additional guidance on inspections and use of inspection reports. OCIMF continue to encourage stakeholders to apply a pragmatic approach during this period of impact and for operators and inspection submitting members to maintain close communication.

OCIMF Members

OCIMF Members will be acutely aware of many restrictions in place which impact their ability to conduct SIRE and OVID inspections. These restrictions vary on a country by country basis and are continuing to evolve almost on a daily basis.

The decision to undertake an inspection, or not, is for the Member company. OCIMF would however encourage all decisions in relation to conducting an inspection to have safety and health considerations of all those involved at their forefront.  

The OCIMF vision is “No harm to people and no harm to the environment”. With this vision in mind a pragmatic approach may include consideration of the following:

  • Can an inspection be deferred to a later date – is it essential at this time?
  • The health and safety of all those involved in the inspection, and those they interface with to conduct the inspection.
  • What steps need to be taken to adequately protect the people involved, including social distancing and PPE, if the inspection goes ahead?

SIRE/OVID Report Users

OCIMF expect a much reduced number of new inspection reports will be submitted to the SIRE and OVID databases because of the challenges of undertaking the inspections during the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Recipients of reports from both databases are encouraged to consider this new reality and take a pragmatic approach when reviewing reports against the current COVID-19 background. The decision however is for the report user to make.

A pragmatic approach may include consideration of the following:

  • Age of the Report - can an older report than normally required be accepted?
  • What are the additional risks if an older report is used?
  • Can these risks be mitigated through other means – e.g. additional data from the operator or from other sources?
    Extension of SIRE/OVID Report Availability due to Covid-19

As mentioned in the bulletin released last week, OCIMF is extending the availability of ‘live’ reports in the SIRE and OVID programmes to 18 months. In order to do this, some changes in the system are needed. The intention is to ‘go live’ with extended reports on 1st April. 

We hope this action will assist both marine assurance organisations and operators during this period of uncertainty.

The OCIMF Secretariat is regularly reviewing the situation as it changes and are investigating potential options that could be applied if the situation trends to a longer-term issue. We will provide updated bulletins as new information becomes available.