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Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of Seafarers

Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of Seafarers

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: STCW convention, features, significance and implications.

Context: Cabinet approves Model MoU with foreign countries for unilateral/bilateral recognition of Certificates of Competency of seafarers.

This is in pursuant to Regulation  1/10 of International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers.

Benefits:

  1. It will facilitate unilateral recognition by another country of the certificates issued by the Directorate General of Shipping to Indian seafarers, without seeking similar recognition by India of the certificates issued by that country.
  2. Indian Seafarers, therefore, will be eligible to be placed on ships under the flag of that country for employment, thus leading to increased employment opportunities.
  3. The bilateral MoU would make the seafarers of both the countries to be eligible for employment on ships of either party based on the certificates so recognized.  India being a seafarer supplying nation with large pool of trained seafarers will stand to be benefitted.

About STCW convention:

The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (or STCW), 1978 sets qualification standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships.

  • STCW was adopted in 1978 by conference at the International Maritime Organization (IMO)in London, and entered into force in 1984.
  • The 1978 STCW Convention was the first to establish basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level.
  • The Convention prescribes minimum standards relating to training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers which countries are obliged to meet or exceed.
  • One important feature of the Convention is that it applies to ships of non-party States when visiting ports of States which are Parties to the Convention.
  • The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code were adopted on 25 June 2010, marking a major revision of the STCW Convention and Code.

Sources: pib.