IMO ISSUES GUIDANCE FOR DELAYS IN NEWBUILD VESSEL DELIVERIES DUE TO COVID-19
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has released guidance for cases when COVID-19 results in unforeseen delays in the delivery of newbuild bulk carriers and oil tankers originally scheduled to be delivered before 1 July 2020. The guidance is particularly relevant to shipbuilders, equipment suppliers, shipowners, surveyors and service engineers.
The epidemic of the coronavirus infection has to a large extend been unexpected, and its impact is far beyond the control of shipowners and shipbuilders. As a consequence, shipbuilders and their associated supply chains may have difficulties in resuming normal production of ships under construction and may as a result miss timely delivery according to contract.
Ships originally scheduled to be delivered before 1 July 2020 may be delayed, and the consequence might be that some of these ships were not designed and constructed in accordance with the requirements of SOLAS regulation II-1/3-10 (Goal-based ship construction standards for bulk carriers and oil tankers). These requirements enter into force by 1 July 2020.
The IMO guidance focus on oil tankers and bulk carriers of 150 m in length and above, which were scheduled to be delivered before 1 July 2020 but, due to COVID-19, are being delayed and delivered on or after 1 July 2020.
The guidance urges the flag administration to thoroughly consider applications on a case-by-case basis, bearing in mind the particular circumstances. In doing so, a formal report from the authorities of the country in which the ship was built, should state that the delay was due to unforeseen circumsta.