European Maritime Group welcomes EU decision on Filipino seafarer certificates

The Joint Maritime Committee of the Dutch, German, Nordic, and Norwegian Chambers of Commerce welcomed the decision of the European Commission to maintain recognition of Filipino seafarers' certificates.

Filipino seafarers (Photo from the Maritime Industry Authority)
Filipino seafarers (Photo from the Maritime Industry Authority)

“The decision of the European Commission to continue recognizing Filipino seafarer certificates presents a very positive development in the Philippine Maritime Industry,” said Tore Henriksen, chairperson of the Joint Maritime Committee, in a statement on Thursday, April 13.

“It is commendable that the Philippine authorities have taken necessary steps towards complying with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), and have demonstrated their commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of Filipino seafarers who contribute significantly to the global shipping industry,” he added.

On April 1, EU announced it will continue to recognize certificates issued by the Philippines to seafarers, allowing Filipino nationals to continue working on EU-flagged ships.

European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean stated that the EU would provide additional technical assistance to improve Manila's implementation and oversight of minimum education, training, certification requirements, and living and working conditions.

“The Philippines provide a significant and valued part of the European and global shipping industry’s maritime workforce – indeed, with roughly 50 000 Filipino masters and officers currently working on EU-flagged ships,” she said.

The committee, meanwhile, lauded Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, the Maritime Industry Authority, and the Commission on Higher Education for their efforts in implementing the changes recommended by the European Maritime Safety Agency and European Commission for providing technical assistance to the endeavor.

The Joint Maritime Committee represents the interests of a significant portion of Europe's maritime private sector community including Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.