Minister Ross outlines support measures for Maritime Transport
Shane Ross, the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, has outlined measures put in place to ensure that maritime transport can continue to operate as normally as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister stated: “Recognising how important the maritime sector is to us as an island nation, I have put in place a number of temporary contingency measures to provide for flexibility which will allow the sector to continue its work as normally as possible during this extraordinary time. The measures I have set out include a general extension to seafarer documents as well as an extension to ship certificates where it is not possible for a survey to take place before the certificate expires. Shipping services are continuing and Irish ports are open for business.”
The temporary contingency measures are set out in a number of marine notices available on the Government’s website here Marine Notices or alternatively, all updates in relation to COVID-19 and the maritime sector are available on https://www.seafarers.ie/Home. Further details of the individual notices are detailed below.
The Minister further stated, “In addition to the maritime transport sector, workers in the freight, haulage and aviation sectors are also vitally important in ensuring the supply of essential goods. It is imperative that the health and safety of these workers is protected while they work to transport goods internationally.” Guidance on COVID-19 and the protection of supply chain workers is available on the Government’s website here – Guidance for Supply Chain Workers
The Minister also noted that the National Health & Emergency Planning Team, at their meeting on Tuesday 24th March 2020, agreed that no cruise ship will be permitted to enter any Irish port or anchor in Irish waters.
He added that: “My Department is in daily contact with maritime stakeholders. In the past few weeks we have significantly ramped up our efforts to ensure we can respond quickly and effectively to all issues as they arise. We are working to anticipate potential challenges before they impact on the supply chain. We are also protecting the men and women who are working hard to keep supply chain moving in these difficult times.”