Covid-19 Outbreak: Instructions for Maritime Industry

On 16 March 2020, the Prime Minister of Malaysia (“PM”) announced a nationwide Movement Control Order ("MCO") from 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020 under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and Police Act 1967. The Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Declaration of Infected Local Areas) Order 2020 and Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020 ​ (“Regulations”) set out the infected areas and regulations in relation to the MCO.

The Regulations stipulate that any premises providing essential services may be opened provided that the number of personnel and patron at the premises are kept to a minimum. “Essential services” include the following:-

  • Port and dock services and undertakings, including stevedoring, lighterage, cargo handling, pilotage and storing or bulking of commodities;
  • Production, refining, storage, supply and distribution of fuel and lubricants;
  • Immigration;
  • Customs; and
  • Transport by land, water or air.

In relation to the maritime sector, the Marine Department of Malaysia has issued Malaysian Shipping Notice (MSN 02/2020) (“Notice”) to the maritime industry, including ship owners, ship agents, masters and port operators. The Notice and its annexures set out precautionary action, further instructions and guidelines to be adhered to by the maritime industry. 

The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (“RMCD”) has also issued an announcement on their operations during the MCO. Please refer to the announcement (with office translation) for full details. In brief:

  • All customs operations and services at ports, airports and Malaysia’s entry and exit points will be operating as usual with minimum personnel.
  • Operations at other divisions of the RMCD will continue through an online platform.
  • The period to submit any statements ending 31 March 2020 has been extended to 15 April 2020, and online payment or payment by post is encouraged.

The Skrine Maritime and Shipping Practice Group will continue to keep you updated on the latest developments.

Should you require legal advice on the Notice or the RMCD announcement, please contact one of the lawyers in our Maritime and Shipping Practice Group listed below:

Siva Kumar Kanagasabai

Trishelea Ann Sandosam

Fariz Abdul Aziz

Tan Shi Wen