MARINA reiterates passenger rights amid cancelled, delayed, or uncompleted inter-island ship voyages caused by COVID-19 pandemic

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), through its recently issued MARINA Advisory 2020-76, reiterates the observance by ship operators of their obligations relating to the rights of passengers in cases of cancelled, delayed, or uncompleted voyages.

Following the subsequent declarations by various local government of different levels of community quarantine as a precautionary measure against the spread of the corona virus, the MARINA urges shipping companies to communicate to their confirmed passengers at the fastest available means appropriate information about the status of their voyages, particularly cancelled or delayed voyages.

MA 2020-76 reiterates provisions under the MARINA Circular 2018-07 regarding a passenger’s Right to Refund, Right to Revalidate Ticket, and Right to Amenities in the event of a cancelled or delayed voyage.

MARINA further reminds ship operators about the rights of passengers to refund / revalidate a ticket, and their obligation to provide amenities such as free meals, access to first aid / medicine, access to communication facilities and services, or accommodation as necessary.

Refunds of the fare or ticket price should also be granted without any further deductions or additional charges, if the passenger chooses to do so even with the option of revalidating their tickets for future use.

Passengers may cite their right to refund regardless of the nature or cause of the cancellation or delay. Ship operators may only deny refunds or revalidation of tickets if the cancellation or delay of their trip can be attributed to the fault of the passenger.

Ship operators who fail to comply with the provisions stated above will be held liable in accordance with the provisions of MC 2018-07 and the MARINA Revised Rules of Practice and Procedures. This applies especially to cancellations or delays without prior information provided to the passenger, which are caused by the travel restrictions imposed as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To access MARINA Advisory 2020-76, visit this link.