The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is providing Australian seafarers impacted by COVID-19 with an automatic six-month extension on their qualifications.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the extension was one of the many measures the Federal Government was taking to support the Australian commercial maritime industry.
“The National Cabinet has made it clear – the Australian commercial maritime industry provides an essential service by ensuring the movement of critical goods and supplies continues throughout this challenging time,” Mr McCormack said.
“Everything we are doing as a Government is about saving lives and saving livelihoods and we know how important Australia’s maritime industry is to both.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted some of the systems in place for seafarers to revalidate their qualifications and this extension offers a common-sense solution.”
The certification regime ensures that seafarers are qualified to operate commercial vessels enabling them to continue carrying out their essential work.
AMSA CEO Mick Kinley said AMSA was committed to supporting the Australian commercial vessel industry.
“We already have a number of existing exemptions that might assist operators who find themselves unable to comply with the National Law due to COVID-19, including a temporary crewing permit and suspension of a certificate of survey to name just a few.
“AMSA can also issue specific exemptions to help operators and crew continue to operate in exceptional circumstances.”