Merchant Shipping: EU Countries

Department for Transport written question – answered on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Liz Saville-Roberts Liz Saville-Roberts Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities) , Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that UK seafarers can continue to work on EU flagged vessels in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Photo of Liz Saville-Roberts Liz Saville-Roberts Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities) , Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on UK seafarers continuing to work on EU flagged vessels in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Photo of Liz Saville-Roberts Liz Saville-Roberts Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities) , Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that certificates of competency for UK seafarers will be recognised by EU member states in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Photo of Liz Saville-Roberts Liz Saville-Roberts Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities) , Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

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.

Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)

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.

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