COVID-19 continues to impact the global maritime industry and this article looks at the impact it is having to the industry in Venezuela.
On 13 March 2020, the Government of Venezuela confirmed the existence of infected patients with the novel Coronavirus “COVID-19” in the country.
COVID-19 has impacted the global maritime industry, and Venezuela is not an exception to it. Even though it was on 13 March that the virus was confirmed and its impact in Venezuela is still in development, the Government has already imposed strict measures to contain the spread of this novel virus.
The Maritime Authority of Venezuela, Instituto Nacional de los Espacios Acuáticos (INEA for its acronym in Spanish) has issued a Circular titled (in its translation into English) “Special Notice-02 COVID-19” dated 13 March 2020, in which it imposes a series of precautionary measures to the National Maritime Sector that apply to domestic and foreign flagged vessels.
These measures include:
- The Captain of the vessel to inform of the last three (3) ports she called;
- Sanitary surveys pursuant to the Law are applicable to all vessels (domestic and foreign);
- Any vessel on which a crew member presents symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent to a quarantine area;
- Control and/or restrict from disembarking crew members of vessels coming to Venezuela from foreign ports; and amongst other preventive measures that highlight personal hygiene
- The mandatory use of protection masks to all crew members during their stay in Venezuela, as well as to authorities that perform the visits to vessels as required by law.
The impact of COVID-19 on the maritime industry creates several legal considerations such as: demurrage, force majeure issues, deviations and claims under insurance and protection and indemnity certificates.
We are closely following the situation at a regional level throughout our network of offices and correspondents, and will follow up with an update in due course.