Greek-based Attica Group, owner of Superfast Ferries, Blue Star Ferries, and Hellenic Seaways, claimed to have taken all necessary precautionary measures from the first moment the COVID-19 pandemic occurred.
The focus has been on the protection of the passengers and crew members of its vessels in close collaboration with the requirements of NPHO (the Greek National Public Health Organisation) and all the relevant authorities, the Group said.
With the tourist season now re-commencing and the transportation of passengers to and from the Greek islands now allowed, Attica is using Bureau Veritas’ (BV) new service ‘Restart your business with BV’ (see ICSI website, 30th May) in order to certify its quality and reliability.
Introduced in May, ‘Restart your business with BV’ addresses biological risks, posed by COVID-19 and other infections, providing procedures and measures to protect people. It includes a framework of standards, which after the completion of strict audits and certification, is validated through a new BV label – ‘SAFEGUARD’.
Ten vessels from the Attica Group have now been certified by BV, acquiring the label ‘SAFEGUARD’, recognising the successful completion of BV audits and that the ships and the company confirm with health, safety and hygiene requirements; that procedures have been applied correctly; and that the operator has trained the crew and the necessary shore personnel.
Spyros Paschalis, Attica Group CEO, said: “Attica Group is systematically implementing measures towards the protection of the health of its passengers and crews on board its vessels. Since the first day of the outbreak of COVID-19, we intensified and adapted our procedures accordingly, remaining always in close collaboration with the health authorities. During this process, we became familiar with ‘Restart your Business with BV’.
”After checking carefully our procedures and based on the standards it has established, Bureau Veritas concluded that they are being implemented correctly and proceeded to the issuance of certification for each vessel with the ‘SAFEGUARD’ label, demonstrating that the services offered by Attica Group are effectively addressing health, sanitation and hygiene requirements,” he said.
Paillette Palaiologou, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore’s Vice President for the Hellenic, Black Sea and Adriatic Zones, added: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Attica. This customised service is helping Attica put in place and confirm that the measures they have established meet the required standards to provide confidence.
Our RYB team has audited 10 ships in Attica’s fleet and we are very pleased to issue the first certificates and the accompanying ‘SAFEGUARD’ labels. This service is all about protecting people, fitting perfectly with our core mission as a class society.
Part of the reason we can address these issues so effectively is the combination of our specific marine risk expertise and the BV group’s 78,000 employees working in all industries to help address the reality of pandemic risk,” she said.
In addition, BV has started working with CroisiEurope to implement its infection prevention measures.
The inland waterways cruise company operates on canals, rivers, and seas in Europe and in other areas of the world, with hundreds of destinations served by its ships.
BV will help the company demonstrate that infection prevention measures have been put in place and they have been subjected to a rigorous audit process under the ‘Restart your business with BV’, banner.
Speaking for CroisiEurope, the Schmitter family, said: “We are delighted to partner with Bureau Veritas for setting up the ‘SAFEGUARD’ label. This certification confirms the efficiency of the health protocol our teams have been working on for several weeks. It will allow our guests and crews to stay in high health security environment for the restart of our cruises.”
Herman Spilker, BV’s Vice President for Northern Europe, added: ‘This customised service is helping CroisiEurope put in place and confirm that the measures they have established meet the required standards to provide confidence as they resume operations. This service is all about protecting people, fitting perfectly with our core mission as a class society, as well as our expertise in both seagoing and inland waterway passenger ships.”