EU RECOGNITION OF FILIPINO CERTIFICATION
In December 2021, the European Maritime Safety Agency carried out a detailed assessment of the training and certification system in place in the Philippines for seafarers whereby a number of shortcomings were identified. The European Commission informed the Philippines that unless serious measures are taken and International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) requirements are complied with, the seafarer certificates issued by the Philippines would be withdrawn.
The Filipino authorities reacted proactively and made serious efforts to comply with the necessary requirements, particularly in relation to monitoring, supervision and evaluation of training and assessment. As a result, on the 31st March 2023, the European Commission issued a press release confirming that the Philippines are now in conformity with the STCW Convention and that the European Commission shall continue to recognise the Philippines’ training and certification system. Both the European Community of Shipowners’ Associations and the International Chamber of Shipping, being instrumental organisations within the industry, have welcomed this decision.
Representing 14% of the global workforce in the sector and with circa 50,000 masters and officers working onboard EU-flagged vessels, Filipino seafarers play a crucial role within the global shipping industry, thus making this development all more important to the Philippines and to the global shipping industry in general.