THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
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 (2),
- Directive 2001/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4
April 2001 on the minimum level of training of seafarers
(3) has been significantly
amended on several occasions
(4). Now that new amendments are
being made to that Directive, it is desirable, for reasons of clarity, that the
provisions in question should be recast.
- Actions to be taken at Community level in the field of maritime safety and
pollution prevention at sea should be in line with internationally agreed rules and
- In order to maintain and develop the level of knowledge and skills in the
maritime sector in the Community, it is important to pay appropriate attention to
maritime training and the status of seafarers in the
- A consistent level of training for the award of vocational competency
certificates to seafarers should be ensured in the interests of maritime
- Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7
September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications
(5) applies to maritime
occupations covered by this Directive. It will help promote compliance with the
obligations laid down in the Treaty abolishing obstacles to the free movement of
persons and services between Member States.
- The mutual recognition of diplomas and certificates provided for under
Directive 2005/36/EC does not always ensure a standardised level of training for all
seafarers serving on board vessels flying the flag of a Member State. This is,
however, vital from the viewpoint of maritime safety.
- It is therefore essential to define a minimum level of training for
seafarers in the Community. That level should be based on the standards of training
already agreed at international level, namely the International Maritime
Organisation (IMO) Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and
Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW Convention), as revised in 1995. All Member
States are Parties to that Convention.
- Member States may establish standards higher than the minimum standards laid
down in the STCW Convention and this Directive.
- The Regulations of the STCW Convention annexed to this Directive should be
supplemented by the mandatory provisions contained in Part A of the Seafarers’
Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code (STCW Code). Part B of the STCW Code
contains recommended guidance intended to assist Parties to the STCW Convention and
those involved in implementing, applying or enforcing its measures to give the
Convention full and complete effect in a uniform manner.
- For the enhancement of maritime safety and pollution prevention at sea,
provisions on minimum rest periods for watchkeeping personnel should be established
in this Directive in accordance with the STCW Convention. Those provisions should be
applied without prejudice to the provisions of Council Directive 1999/63/EC of 21
June 1999 concerning the Agreement on the organisation of working time of seafarers
concluded by the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) and the
Federation of Transport Workers’ Unions in the European Union (FST)
- Member States should 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.
- In order to enhance maritime safety and prevent loss of human life and
maritime pollution, communication among crew members on board ships sailing in
Community waters should be improved.
- Personnel on board passenger ships nominated to assist passengers in
emergency situations should be able to communicate with the
- Crews serving on board tankers carrying noxious or polluting cargo should be
capable of coping effectively with accident prevention and emergency situations. It
is paramount that a proper communication link between the master, officers and
ratings is established, covering the requirements provided for in this
- It is essential to ensure that seafarers holding certificates issued by
third countries and serving on board Community ships have a level of competence
equivalent to that required by the STCW Convention. This Directive should lay down
procedures and common criteria for the recognition by the Member States of
certificates issued by third countries, based on the training and certification
requirements as agreed in the framework of the STCW
- In the interests of safety at sea, Member States should recognise
qualifications proving the required level of training only where these are issued by
or on behalf of Parties to the STCW Convention which have been identified by the IMO
Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) as having been shown to have given, and still to be
giving, full effect to the standards set out in that Convention. To bridge the time
gap until the MSC has been able to carry out such identification, a procedure for
the preliminary recognition of certificates is needed.
- Where appropriate, maritime institutes, training programmes and courses
should be inspected. Criteria for such inspection should therefore be
- The Commission should be assisted by a committee in carrying out the tasks
related to the recognition of certificates issued by training institutes or
administrations of third countries.
- The European Maritime Safety Agency established by Regulation (EC) No
1406/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council
(7) should assist the
Commission in verifying that Member States comply with the requirements laid down in
- Member States, as port authorities, are required to enhance safety and
prevention of pollution in Community waters through priority inspection of vessels
flying the flag of a third country which has not ratified the STCW Convention,
thereby ensuring no more favourable treatment to vessels flying the flag of a third
- It is appropriate to include in this Directive provisions on port State
control, pending the amendment of Council Directive 95/21/EC
(8) on port State control of
shipping in order to transfer to that Directive the provisions on port State control
which are included in this Directive.
- It is necessary to provide for procedures for adapting this Directive to
changes in international conventions and codes.
- The measures necessary for the implementation of this Directive should be
adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down
the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission
- In particular the Commission should be empowered to amend this Directive in
order to apply, for the purposes of this Directive, subsequent amendments to certain
international codes and any relevant amendment to Community legislation. Since those
measures are of general scope and are designed to amend non-essential elements of
this Directive, they must be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure
with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision
- The new elements introduced into this Directive only concern the committee
procedures. They therefore do not need to be transposed by the Member States.
- This Directive should be without prejudice to the obligations of the Members
States relating to the time limits for transposition into national law of the
Directives set out in Annex III, Part B,
ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:
(1) OJ C 151, 17.6.2008, p. 35.
(2) Opinion of the
European Parliament of 17 June 2008 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and
Council Decision of 20 October 2008.
(3) OJ L 136, 18.5.2001,
(4) See Annex III, Part A.
(5) OJ L
255, 30.9.2005, p. 22.
(6) OJ L 167, 2.7.1999, p. 33.
(7) OJ L 208, 5.8.2002,
(8) OJ L 157, 7.7.1995, p. 1.
L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.