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COVID-19 affect on DP operations

In information note IMCA M 01-20, IMCA provided the following information for DP annual trials programmes:

For those DP annual trials programmes due now or in the near future, IMCA recommends that vessel operators take full advantage of the window for trials already provided by IMO MSC/Circ. 1580. This gives a +/-3-month window either side of the anniversary date of either FSVAD/DPVAD or in most cases the FMEA proving trials. Beyond the 3-month window of the anniversary date, IMCA recommends trials are undertaken as soon as practically possible thereafter with safety of personnel as top priority.

IMCA now provides the following supplementary information:

Specific extensions to the window stated within IMO MSC Circ. 645 / IMO MSC/Circ. 1580, may be granted on a case by case basis by respective flag states. IMCA recommends that those in need of such an extension consult with their flag state to ensure compliance with International/National/Class and other NGOs’ recommendations in this respect.

Lloyds register has produced a convenient summary of flag state instructions in relation to Covid-19:

Should any vessel operators have concerns regarding continued safe operation of the DP system as a result of being unable to undertake formal annual DP trials, IMCA recommends the continuation of documented field arrival trials and DP exercises and drills. The selective use of parts of the DP annual trials programmes by vessel crew may also build further confidence that the performance, protection and detection attributes of the DP System remain intact until such time as normal trials can be undertaken in accordance with Guidance for developing and conducting DP annual trials programmes (IMCA M 190).

Advice for IMO member states, seafarers and shipping is available on the IMO website:

Originally issued with the following reference(s): IMCA M 09/20

IMCA Contact

Richard Purser
Technical Adviser - Marine

Information Note Details

Published date: 3 April 2020
Information note ID: 1498

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