THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,
and in particular Article 80(2) thereof,
Having regard to the
proposal from the Commission,
Having regard to the opinion of the
European Economic and Social Committee ,
After consulting the
Committee of the Regions,
Acting in accordance with the procedure
laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty ,
(1) In its conclusions of 5 June 2003 on
improving the image of Community shipping and attracting young people to the seafaring
profession, the Council highlighted the necessity of fostering the professional mobility
of seafarers within the European Union, with particular emphasis on recognition
procedures for seafarers' certificates of competency, while ensuring thorough compliance
with the requirements of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Convention on
Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (the STCW
Convention) in its up to date version.
Maritime transport is an intensively and rapidly developing sector of a particularly
international character. Accordingly, in view of the increasing shortage of Community
seafarers, the balance between supply and demand in personnel can be maintained more
efficiently at the Community, rather than the national level. It is therefore essential
that the common transport policy in the field of maritime transport be extended to
facilitate the movement of seafarers within the Community.
(3) As regards seafarers' qualifications, the
Community has laid down minimum maritime education, training and certification
requirements by way of Directive 2001/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 4 April 2001 on the minimum level of training of seafarers . That
Directive incorporates into Community law the international training, certification and
watchkeeping standards laid down by the STCW Convention.
(4) Directive 2001/25/EC provides that
seafarers must hold a certificate of competency issued and endorsed by the competent
authority of a Member State in accordance with that Directive and entitling the lawful
holder thereof to serve on a ship in the capacity and perform the functions involved at
the level of responsibility specified therein.
(5) Under Directive 2001/25/EC, mutual
recognition among Member States of certificates held by seafarers, whether or not
nationals of a Member State, is subject to Directives 89/48/EEC  and 92/51/EEC 
setting up, respectively, a first and a second general system for the recognition of
professional education and training. Those Directives do not provide for the automatic
recognition of formal qualifications of seafarers, as seafarers may be subject to
(6) Each Member State
should recognise any certificate and other evidence of formal qualifications issued by
another Member State in accordance with Directive 2001/25/EC. Therefore, each Member
State should permit a seafarer having acquired his/her certificate of competency in
another Member State, satisfying the requirements of that Directive, to take up or to
pursue the maritime profession for which he/she is qualified, without any prerequisites
other than those imposed on its own nationals.
(7) Since this Directive is aimed at
facilitating the mutual recognition of certificates, it does not regulate the conditions
concerning access to employment.
(8) The STCW
Convention specifies language requirements for seafarers. These requirements should be
introduced into Community law to ensure effective communication on board ships and
facilitate the free movement of seafarers within the Community.
(9) Today, the proliferation of certificates
of competency of seafarers obtained by fraud poses a serious danger to safety at sea and
the protection of the marine environment. In most cases, holders of fraudulent
certificates of competency do not meet the minimum certification requirements of the
STCW Convention. These seafarers could easily be involved in maritime accidents.
(10) Member States should therefore take and
enforce specific measures to prevent and penalise fraudulent practices associated with
certificates of competency as well as pursue their efforts within the IMO to achieve
strict and enforceable agreements on the worldwide combating of such practices. The
Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS) is an
appropriate forum for exchanging information, experience and best practices in this
(11) Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 ,
established a European Maritime Safety Agency (the Agency), for the purpose of ensuring
a high, uniform and effective level of maritime safety and prevention of pollution from
ships. One of the tasks assigned to the Agency is to assist the Commission in the
performance of any task assigned to it by Community legislation applicable to the
training, certification and watchkeeping of ships' crews.
(12) The Agency should therefore assist the
Commission in verifying that Member States comply with the requirements laid down in
this Directive and Directive 2001/25/EC.
The mutual recognition among Member States of certificates held by seafarers, whether or
not nationals of a Member State, should no longer be subject to Directives 89/48/EEC and
92/51/EEC, but should be governed by this Directive.
(14) Directive 2001/25/EC should therefore be
(15) Since the objective
of this Directive, namely the mutual recognition of the seafarers' certificates issued
by the Member States, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can
therefore be better achieved at Community level, the Community may adopt measures in
accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In
accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this
Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective.
(16) In accordance with paragraph 34 of the
Interinstitutional Agreement on better law-making , Member States are encouraged to
draw up, for themselves and in the interest of the Community, their own tables, which
will, as far as possible, illustrate the correlation between this Directive and their
transposition measures, and to make those tables public,
 OJ C 157, 28.6.2005, p. 53.
 Opinion of the European Parliament of
23 February 2005 (not yet published in the Official Journal). Decision of the Council
of 27 June 2005.
 OJ L 136, 18.5.2001, p.
17. Directive as last amended by Commission Directive 2005/23/EC (OJ L 62, 9.3.2005,
 Council Directive 89/48/EEC of 21
December 1988 on a general system for the recognition of higher-education diplomas
awarded on completion of professional education and training of at least three years'
duration (OJ L 19, 24.1.1989, p. 16). Directive as last amended by Directive
2001/19/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 206, 31.7.2001, p. 1).
 Council Directive 92/51/EEC of 18 June
1992 on a second general system for the recognition of professional education and
training to supplement Directive 89/48/EEC (OJ L 209, 24.7.1992, p. 25). Directive as
last amended by Commission Decision 2004/108/EC (OJ L 32, 5.2.2004, p. 15).
 Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 of the
European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2002 establishing a European
Maritime Safety Agency (OJ L 208, 5.8.2002, p. 1). Regulation as last amended by
Regulation (EC) No 724/2004 (OJ L 129, 29.4.2004, p. 1).
 OJ C 321, 31.12.2003, p.
Article 1 Scope
This Directive shall apply to seafarers who are:
(a) nationals of a Member State;
(b) non-nationals who hold a certificate
issued by a Member State.
Article 2 Definitions
For the purposes of this Directive the following definitions shall
(a) "seafarer" means a person who is
trained and who is certificated by a Member State at least in accordance with the
requirements laid down in Annex I to Directive 2001/25/EC;
(b) "certificate" means a valid document
within the meaning of Article 4 of Directive 2001/25/EC;
(c) "appropriate certificate" means a
certificate as defined in Article 1(27) of Directive 2001/25/EC;
(d) "endorsement" means a valid document
issued by the competent authority of a Member State in accordance with Article 5(2) and
(6) of Directive 2001/25/EC;
means the acceptance by the competent authorities of a host Member State of a
certificate or appropriate certificate issued by another Member State;
(f) "host Member State" means any Member
State in which a seafarer seeks recognition of his/her appropriate certificate(s) or
(g) "STCW Convention"
means the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and
Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, in its up-to-date version;
(h) "STCW Code" means the Seafarers'
Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code, as adopted by Resolution 2 of the 1995
STCW Conference of Parties, in its up-to-date version;
(i) "the Agency" means the European Maritime
Safety Agency, established by Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002.
Article 3 Recognition of certificates
1. Every Member State shall recognise appropriate
certificates or other certificates issued by another Member State in accordance with the
requirements laid down in Directive 2001/25/EC.
2. The recognition of appropriate
certificates shall be limited to the capacities, functions and levels of competency
prescribed therein and be accompanied by an endorsement attesting such recognition.
3. Member States shall ensure the right to
appeal against any refusal to endorse a valid certificate, or the absence of any
response, in accordance with national legislation and procedures.
4. Notwithstanding paragraph 2, the competent
authorities of a host Member State may impose further limitations on capacities,
functions and levels of competence relating to near-coastal voyages, as referred to in
Article 7 of Directive 2001/25/EC, or alternative certificates issued under Regulation
VII/1 of Annex I to Directive 2001/25/EC.
host Member State shall ensure that seafarers who present for recognition certificates
for functions at the management level have an appropriate knowledge of the maritime
legislation of that Member State relevant to the functions they are permitted to
Article 4 Amendments to Directive 2001/25/EC
Article 5 Transposition
1. Member States shall bring into force the laws,
regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 20
October 2007. They shall forthwith inform the Commission thereof.
When Member States adopt these measures, they shall contain a
reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such reference on the occasion of their
official publication. The methods of making such reference shall be laid down by Member
2. Member States shall communicate to
the Commission the text of the provisions of national law which they adopt in the field
covered by this Directive.
Article 6 Entry into force
This Directive shall enter into force on the 20th day following that
of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Article 7 Addressees
This Directive is addressed to the Member States.
Done at Strasbourg, 7 September 2005.
For the European Parliament
J. Borrell Fontelles
For the Council