In December 2021, following an in-depth assessment of the existing training and certification system, the Commission had informed the Philippines that it would have its seafarers’ certificates recognized be withdrawn unless serious action was taken, including compliance with the International Convention on Training Standards, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW). Since then, the Philippines has worked to meet the requirements, particularly in key areas such as supervision, monitoring and assessment of training and assessment.
The Commission intends to provide technical assistance to the Philippines to further improve its education, training and certification system for seafarers, as agreed between President Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, in the margins of the EU-ASEAN summit last December .
Filipino seafarers represent 14% of the global labor force and around 50,000 Filipino captains and officers currently work on EU-flagged ships.
The European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have welcomed the Commission’s decision. ECSA and ICS along with other industry partners and the Government of the Philippines began working together in January under the newly formed International Advisory Committee on Global Maritime Affairs (IACGMA).
The Association of German Shipowners (VDR) also welcomes the decision. VDR President Dr. Gaby Bornheim said: “The decision is an extremely important step in securing quality standards and promoting international cooperation in maritime transport. Filipino seafarers are also an indispensable part of the crews in German shipping. Thanks to the decision of the European Commission, there is now finally planning security and reliability for the future.”
The EU’s decision is also an important signal to other countries that also want to train seafarers and have their seaman’s certificates recognized. “Maintaining high internationally applied quality standards in the training and certification of seafarers is essential and a necessary prerequisite for the safe operation of our ships,” said Bornheim.
Source: News Network
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