Canada issues notices regarding shore leave, COVID-19, and Georgian seafarers
Oct 21, 2022
1 min read
Transport Canada has issued three ship safety bulletins regarding shore leave, mitigation of risks associated with COVID-19, and Georgian seafarers.
Access to shore leave
Bulletin No. 19/2022 reminds authorized representatives and masters of vessels of their legal obligation to approve shore leave for seafarers.
Authorized representatives of vessels are reminded of the requirement under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) to grant shore leave to their vessel complement. The MLC 2006 reads, “Seafarers shall be granted shore leave to benefit their health and well-being and consistent with the operational requirements of their positions”. (MLC 2006, Regulation 2.4, Paragraph 2).
Authorized representatives of foreign ships in Canadian waters are expected to make every effort to approve shore leave for seafarers as soon as possible after a ship’s arrival in port, which is essential for seafarer physical and mental health.
Guidance for cruise operators regarding COVID-19
Bulletin No. 22/2022 outlines recommended measures for Authorized Representatives of cruise ships operating in Canadian waters, and persons on board those vessels. These measures aim to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 transmission, and the severity of the disease, on board cruise ships.
Due to the unique nature of cruise ships which sees large groups of people congregating in communal areas, often for extended periods of time, it is recommended that Authorized Representatives of cruise ships operating in Canadian waters follow the measures set out in this bulletin.
Seafarers from Georgia
Bulletin No. 20/2022 says that Canada has signed a reciprocal arrangement with Georgia, meaning Georgian seafarers holding a valid STCW certificate of competency can now apply for a Canadian endorsement.
This is similar to reciprocal arrangements Canada has already signed with Australia, France, Norway and Ukraine.