COVID-19 Update

Supporting Clients, Protecting People 

 

This page is dedicated to keeping ABS clients and communities informed about our response to the evolving Covid-19 (formerly known as the Coronavirus) outbreak.

ABS remains committed to supporting our global clients and our team continues to provide services worldwide while complying with all government-directed health and operational requirements and guidance.

We continue to focus on protecting the health of our colleagues, clients and members while taking steps to help contain the spread of the virus.

ABS has been a maritime safety leader for 150 years and we are using all that experience to inform our response to the outbreak.

 

Update – March 13

Further to our Feb. 20 letter, ABS remains committed to supporting our global clients with our team continuing to provide services worldwide while complying with all government-directed health and operational requirements and guidance.

We remain focused on protecting the health of our colleagues, clients and members while taking steps to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

ABS has been a maritime safety leader for 150 years and we are using all that experience to inform our response to the outbreak. We are maintaining updated guidance for clients on our website at www.eagle.org.

ABS has introduced enhanced measures to ensure the safety of our employees and continuity of service.

  • An incident management team is monitoring and coordinating our global response.
  • All non-essential domestic and international air travel has been temporarily suspended.
  • Colleagues are using virtual meeting technologies wherever possible.
  • Employees in acutely affected areas are working from home.
  • We have instituted a thorough program of education and information to train colleagues to minimize the spread of infection.

Update – Remote Survey Options and Force Majeure

Leveraging our work since 2018, ABS continues to utilize alternative means for smarter, efficient, thorough and safe surveying experiences to minimize operational interruptions, especially in light of the current public health situation. With ABS Remote Survey, you have 24-hour worldwide coverage from our global network of surveyors. Currently, you may request the following surveys through remote operations:

Depending on the specific circumstances, ABS also may grant survey extensions as allowed by its Rules and IMO requirements and has a process in place for granting force majeure extensions for vessels scheduled to drydock for repairs or renewal surveys in affected areas.

In the event it is not possible for a Surveyor to immediately attend the vessel as scheduled, then ABS will grant a one-month extension of class surveys administratively without attendance.

Longer force majeure extensions (up to three months) require a surveyor to attend to complete surveys equivalent to annual class surveys to the extent possible afloat.   

At the same time as ABS is processing the owner’s request for force majeure, we will contact the Flag Administration to extend the affected statutory certificates.  To date, ABS has observed that the Flag Administrations are generally supportive and, provided the owner has a plan to address the surveys at the end of the extension, force majeure may be authorized.

As long as the owner has made alternate plans to complete required surveys at another shipyard, ABS will consider additional force majeure extensions as necessary.

The Assistant Chief Surveyor’s office is responsible for processing all requests for extensions within ABS, with a turnaround time of 48 hours or less in most cases.  Kindly note the turnaround time may vary due to the volume of requests for extensions received.

You should note that ABS cannot consider a force majeure application that does not include a plan as to when the surveys will be completed.

Requests for postponement of surveys due to force majeure should be submitted to one of the ABS Hemisphere Survey departments as noted below:

 

Lou O’Donnell, Western Hemisphere Survey Department

Telephone: +12818776021

Email: WHSurveyMarine@eagle.org

 

Duncan Peart, Eastern Hemisphere Survey Department

Telephone: +862123270601

Email address: DL-EHsurveydept@eagle.org

 

As the extent of the COVID-19 situation continues to remain uncertain it may take some time for shipyards and other key stakeholders to resume normal operations.  At ABS, we encourage each owner who applies for force majeure to make every effort to secure a docking slot at another shipyard in an unaffected region. We understand slots are filling up very quickly; however, securing an alternative location for docking will be beneficial if the situation is prolonged.

ABS remains committed to providing its full support to our clients in these extraordinary times and will continue to deliver services to the highest standards. Our commitment is to work with all our clients to keep everyone healthy and safe.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your nearest ABS office.

 

Update – March 5

ABS has introduced enhanced measures to ensure the safety of our people and continuity of service.

  • An incident management team is monitoring and coordinating our global response.
  • All non-essential domestic and international air travel has been temporarily suspended.
  • Colleagues are using virtual meeting technologies wherever possible.
  • Employees in acutely affected areas are working from home.
  • We have instituted a thorough program of education and information to train colleagues to minimize the spread of infection.

 

Update – Force Majeure

ABS is committed to supporting our clients and has a process in place for granting force majeure extensions for vessels scheduled to drydock for repairs or renewal surveys in affected areas.

In the event it is not possible for a Surveyor to immediately attend the vessel as scheduled, then ABS will grant a one-month extension of class surveys administratively without attendance.

Longer force majeure extensions (up to three months) require a surveyor to attend to complete surveys equivalent to annual class surveys to the extent possible afloat.   

At the same time as ABS is processing the owner’s request for force majeure, we will contact the Flag Administration to extend the affected statutory certificates.  To date, ABS has observed that the Flag Administrations are generally supportive and, provided the owner has a plan to address the surveys at the end of the extension, force majeure may be authorized.

As long as the owner has made provisions to complete required surveys at another shipyard, ABS will consider additional force majeure extensions as necessary.

The Assistant Chief Surveyor’s office will be responsible for processing all requests for extensions within ABS, with a turnaround time of 48 hours or less in most cases.  Kindly note the turnaround time may vary due to the volume of requests for extensions received.

ABS cannot consider a force majeure application that does not include a plan as to when the surveys will be completed.

Requests for postponement of surveys due to force majeure should be submitted to one of the ABS Hemisphere Survey departments as noted below:

 

Lou O’Donnell, Western Hemisphere Survey Department

Telephone: +12818776021

Email: WHSurveyMarine@eagle.org

 

Duncan Peart, Eastern Hemisphere Survey Department

Telephone: +862123270601

Email address: DL-EHsurveydept@eagle.org

 

While the extent of the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, shipyards and other key stakeholders may continue to take some time to resume normal operations.  At ABS, we encourage each owner who applies for force majeure to consider securing a docking slot at another shipyard in an unaffected region. We understand slots may fill up very quickly; however, securing an alternative location for your docking could be beneficial if the situation continues.

Everyone at ABS will continue working to provide our full support for your business and deliver our services to the highest standards. We are committed to work with all our clients to keep everyone safe.

If you have any questions, please contact the nearest ABS office – all contact details may be found here.