UK Chamber presses Minister on Certificates of Competency

The UK Chamber and trade union Nautilus International met with Shipping Minister Nusrat Ghani this week to discuss the recognition of UK Certificates of Competency following the UK’s departure from the European Union.

At present the mutual recognition of seagoing officers’ Certificates of Competency (CoCs) throughout the EEA is guaranteed by an EU directive.  This enables holders of CoCs issued by the UK to take employment on any ship registered in any EEA Member State, subject to obtaining an endorsement by the relevant flag state authority.  

The directive also enables operators of UK-flag ships to employ holders of CoCs issued by any EEA Member State, provided they obtain a Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC) from the MCA.  Again the period of validity for a CEC will match that of the accompanying CoC.

After Brexit, this directive will no longer cover the UK.

UK Chamber CEO said:

“The Minister spoke clearly of her commitment to guaranteeing UK seafarers can continue to work for EU operators.  Bilateral discussions between the UK and other maritime nations are clearly progressing in a constructive way, but it is vital that the EU provides an overarching framework to give long term assurances to British seafarers and UK shipping lines.  

“We are working with our European partners at ECSA closely to lobby the European Commission to that end.”

Mark Dickinson of Nautilus International said:

“'As social partners, it was reassuring to hear of the minister’s determination to ensure that UK CoC holders could continue to work in the EU fleet,’ he added. ‘We pledged to do what we can to ensure that officers are aware of what measures have been taken and the availability of support from the MCA to anyone seeking to renew CoCs now.'