New agreement to boost job chances for local sailors on foreign vessels |25 May 2021
Seychellois seafarers who wish to pursue a career on a foreign vessel will soon gain smoother access to fulfilling their dream.
This follows the approval of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the government of Seychelles and other countries on mutual recognition of credentials pursuant to the maritime STCW regulations.
The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978 sets minimum qualification standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships and large yachts.
It was adopted in 1978 by conference at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London, and entered into force in 1984. The Convention was significantly amended in 1995.
The cabinet of ministers approved the signature of a MoU between the government of Seychelles and other countries on mutual recognition of certificates pursuant to regulation I/10 International Convention on the STCW.
The agreement will allow for the Seychelles’ Seafarers Certificates of Competency to be endorsed and recognised internationally by the signing countries, including Georgia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, India, Myanmar, Germany, Spain, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia.
It will also be applicable with respect to seafarers holding certificates issued by the member states in accordance with the relevant provisions of the STCW Convention.
The MoU will also allow more Seychellois to gain employment on foreign vessels.
In a press conference held yesterday at the Botanical House at Mont Fleuri, Minister for Transport Antony Derjacques, along with Joachim Valmont, chief executive of the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority – which administers, regulates, co-ordinates and oversees maritime affairs and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto – gave more details on the importance of the MoU and benefits for Seychelles, especially local seafarers who are planning to work on foreign vessels.
Also present was the authority’s deputy chief executive Brigitte Adrienne.
They explained that, primarily, the move will be advantageous for Seychelles as it will allow the Certificates of Competency of local sailors to be endorsed and recognised internationally by the signing countries, while boosting the opportunities for more employment on foreign vessels.
The MoU will be equally beneficial to seafarers from signing countries, allowing them to work on Seychelles flagged vessels, especially the Seychelles Petroleum Company (Seypec) tankers.
The agreement is equally important as it maintains the standard of Seychelles which was placed on the IMO White List in 2015.
The White List distinguishes the nations that have displayed and established a plan of full compliance with the STCW-95 Convention and Code.
Presently in the proposal phase, once completed, the document will be sent to the above-mentioned countries that will assess the terms and conditions involved, before endorsing it.
The 1978 STCW Convention was the first to establish minimum basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level.
Previously the minimum standards of training, certification and watchkeeping of officers and ratings were established by individual governments, usually without reference to practices in other countries.
As a result, minimum standards and procedures varied widely, even though shipping is extremely international by nature.