A European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) audit has found the Philippines does not comply with STCW regulations. As a result, the European Commission is now mulling whether it will still recognise Filipino seafarers’ competency certifications.

This was reported by the German newspaper Deutsche Welle.

In its “Review of Maritime Transport 2021“, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) states the Philippines is the world’s largest source of seafarers. As of 2019, there were 380,000 Filipino seafarers overseas. Over a quarter of all global merchant shipping crew members come from the Philippines.

Also read: Shipowners and seafarers’ unions agree new three-year global minimum wage for seafarers

EC may ban Filipino seafarers

EMSA presented its findings, which in particular concern training and certification shortcomings with respect to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), after an audit, but says it has been warning the Philippines about noncompliance since 2006.

According to Deutsche Welle, the European Commission may now no longer recognise the seafarers’ competency certifications, which would prohibit them from working on EU-flagged vessels. Existing certificates would only be recognised until they expire.

The European Commission is expected to decide on the matter at the end of the first quarter of this year, reports Deutsche Welle. A spokesperson for the European Commission told the German newspaper that the Philippines had submitted a response to the EMSA audit and that the Commission was still analysing this before reaching a final decision on the matter.

Picture by Laurahayes7751.

Also read: Maritime Safety Guide maps safety and security risks for seafarers