Classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) says it is driving proactive collaboration with key shipping stakeholders to support the IMO’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) recommendations for facilitating maritime trade – including the movement on food and medical supplies – during the pandemic.
Following the publication of the circular on 27 March to all IMO member states, as well as governmental and intergovernmental agencies, where IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim stressed it was “crucially important that the flow of commerce by sea should not be unnecessarily disrupted”, LR is pushing to ensure that global sea trade can continue to deliver the services that societies need.
LR’s efforts will focus on encouraging regulators and Recognised Organisations to act more effectively, consistently and quickly during these difficult times by establishing a uniform approach for properly evidenced postponement of classification and statutory surveys on ships.
“In these clearly extenuating circumstances, Lloyd’s Register will push for the necessary changes outlined by the IMO with the regulatory bodies and other key stakeholders to ensure that maritime services continue to operate and deliver the necessary support to counter this pandemic. Each one of us has a role to play in creating the necessary equivalence to the rules and regulations to ensure that the critical supply chains are maintained,” said LR Marine and Offshore Director Nick Brown.
In addition to the above, LR is actively working with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) in the UK to drive the necessary changes. The MCA, which has been quick to act at publishing pragmatic guidance for operators and seafarers, is also working to consider a consistent approach across the regulators to expedite the necessary changes.
Katy Ware, MCA Director of Maritime Safety and Standards & Permanent Representative of the UK to the IMO, said, “At the MCA we’ve been determined to do all we can to support the maritime sector throughout these exceptional circumstances, which is why we’ve put in place a number of measures to make sure that shipping of freight and other vital lifelines will continue. We know operators and seafarers need clear, practical guidance and are working with our international colleagues on providing a consistent approach which will allow maritime services to keep moving across the world, without compromising on safety.”