To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of encouraging UK seafarers to renew EU members state endorsements attesting to their recognition before 29 March 2019 in order to mitigate the effect on UK seafarers working on EU flagged vessels in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The Government published a Technical Notice in September on the recognition of seafarer certificates of competency if there’s no deal with the European Union https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/recognition-of-seafarer-certificates-of-competency-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/recognition-of-seafarer-certificates-of-competency-if-theres-no-brexit-deal .
This outlined how the government is providing continuity for EU trained seafarers working on board UK flagged vessels. The notice also explained the action we are taking to encourage other Member States – in the event of no deal - to initiate the well- established process of third country recognition for UK certificates of competency (CoCs). It confirmed the advice from the European Commission that in all circumstances current CoCs will remain valid until their expiry date.
I will be meeting Nautilus and the Chamber of Shipping shortly to discuss whether further advice to seafarers on CoCs would be helpful at this time.
The action that the UK is taking on EU trained seafarers has been welcomed by employers and trade unions. The European Community Shipowners’ Associations and the European Transport Workers Federation have urged Member States to follow the UK’s lead to ensure continuity for UK trained seafarers.
The government will continue to work with the European institutions and Member States to ensure that UK and EU trained seafarers can continue to serve on EU and UK flagged vessels as they do now.