Use of the term dispensation

Our organisation has observed that a number of Administrations are issuing dispensations to ships where a defect has occurred to a critical piece of equipment. There are differing circumstances where we will and will not accept the dispensation.

We have communicated with a number of Administrations on this issue although it is an ongoing problem.

When a dispensation may be used

If the dispensation is an acknowledgement that the defect has occurred and directs it to be addressed at the next port, the dispensation will be accepted.

If exemptions or short term certification are relied upon and these are consistent with the Convention we will generally accept them. These documents should be issued in accordance with the scope allowed by the relevant convention. 

When a dispensation cannot be used

If a dispensation is issued allowing the vessel to operate with that defect and is passing through multiple ports, we will unlikely accept it.

Where a flag Administration issues a dispensation—and the convention does not allow for a dispensation—it is highly unlikely it will be accepted by us. In these circumstances, we would expect action to be taken to bring the ship into compliance or appropriate documentation issued. 


Last updated: 29 May 2020