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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Making fishing at sea a safer profession

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Making fishing at sea a safer profession

SUMMARY OF:

Decision (EU) 2015/799 authorising EU countries to become party to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THIS DECISION DO?

It authorises EU countries to become party to the 1995 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F), which came into force in 2012.

KEY POINTS

The STCW-F International Convention of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) sets out minimum standards for training, certification and watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel.

Eligible EU countries not currently party to the Convention should accede to it ‘within a reasonable time’, if possible before 23 May 2017.

Only those EU countries which have fishing vessels (generally more than 24 metres in length), ports used by them, or training institutions for seafarers are bound by this requirement.

The Convention gives IMO powers to check on government actions, and EU countries have to submit information about compliance, particularly in relation to the recognition of seafarers' certificates of competency.

The European Commission will present a report to the Council reviewing the progress EU countries are making towards accession by 23 May 2018.

EU countries should do what they can to ensure compatibility between the Convention and EU law.

Non-EU countries should be encouraged to join the Convention.

WHEN DOES THIS DECISION APPLY?

It entered into force on 26 May 2015.

BACKGROUND

Fishing at sea is one of the most hazardous professions, and therefore appropriate training and qualifications are seen as essential to reduce the number of accidents.

The STCW-F Convention was the first to establish basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for fishing vessel personnel on an international level. Previously, standards had been established by individual governments, often without reference to practices in other countries. As a result standards and procedures varied widely.

The STCW-F Convention is currently being reviewed with the aim of modernising its regulation, reflecting the current situation in the fishing industry and promoting the accession of more countries. The review would also align the structure of the Convention to that of the pre-existing International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW).

ACT

Council Decision (EU) 2015/799 of 18 May 2015 authorising Member States to become party, in the interest of the European Union, to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, of the International Maritime Organisation (OJ L 127, 22.5.2015, pp. 20-21)

last update 07.01.2016

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