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September 17, 2018

UK Chamber of Shipping warns no-deal Brexit could affect UK seafarers

The UK Chamber of Shipping has expressed concerns over the future prospects of the seafarers, including employment, if the country goes for a no-deal Brexit.

The UK Chamber of Shipping has expressed concerns over the future prospects of the seafarers, including employment, if the country goes for a no-deal Brexit.

The concerns were revealed after the Government of the UK published another 28 technical notices to alert on how to reduce the potential disruption in the event of a no-deal exit from the European Union (EU).

Two of the notices were related to two shipping-related issues, one on seafarer certification and the other on maritime security.

The notice on seafarer certification establishes the basis for seafarer employment in the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), as well as requirement for a Certificate of Competency (CoC) and a Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC).

It also includes the methods of recognition for these two certificates.

The notice also describes the legality of the current CoCs and CECs in a no-deal Brexit.

UK Chamber of Shipping Policy director Tim Springett said: “The UK will need to secure recognition by the European Commission as a third country if UK CoCs are to be accepted for service on ships registered under EU flags.

“Our discussions with Commission officials indicate that they see this as a straightforward process, but clearly in a no-deal scenario it cannot be taken for granted.”

According to the UK Chamber, the government’s plan to continue accepting CoCs from other EU Member States will allow the operators of UK-flagged ships to recruit new ships’ officers from European sources.

“We urgently need confirmation from the Government that it is aware of this and is taking appropriate steps to address the matter.”

Springett further added: “However, if the UK ceases to have a relationship with European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), it may no longer be able to rely on the latter’s assessments of member states’ training and certification systems to meet its obligations under the STCW Convention to evaluate other countries’ system.

“We urgently need confirmation from the Government that it is aware of this and is taking appropriate steps to address the matter.”

The UK Chamber of Shipping urges the government to negotiate a long-term deal for the recognition of UK and EU seafarer certificates in future.

In the new technical notice on maritime security, the government recognises the existing exemption for UK-EU scheduled services from security declarations.

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