According to SAMSA acting Chief Executive Officer, Sobantu Tilayi, the withdrawal of the threat took place after discussions between SAMSA, other Member States of the IMO and the organization.

Namely, Mr. Tilayi said that:

Discussions on the matter between the parties concerned came to a conclusion that the drawing up of the list of countries for delisting from the STCW Convention ‘White List’ earlier this year did not follow due process

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As a result, the IMO agreed to withdraw the list of affected countries and start a new process, that will be more transparent over the next year or two. Thus, the list that was drawn up will no longer be presented to the IMO Maritime Safety Committee that is scheduled to take place in June.

This means that concerns over South Africa possibly being delisted, have been prevented and the country no longer faces a threat of being delisted from the IMO STCW Convention White List.

South Africa remains on course to complete its compliance work during the period that we understood to be required. In fact, we will have completed the work by the end of 2019, way ahead of schedule as we have now begun to speed up the process, with assistance we have sought from the IMO

Mr. Tilayi added.

IMO holds a 'White List' containing countries who have confirmed to the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) to be following the relevant provisions of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW Convention).

The Sub-Committee was provided with a list containing only those Parties which had communicated the relevant information, representing a significantly smaller number of Parties than those on the current “White List” set out in MSC.1/Circ.1163, IMO informed.

Specifically, nearly two-thirds (58%) of flag states on the current list would be wiped off if they were forced to comply with reporting standards, according to Nautilus International.

Among them could be Panama, the world’s largest flag state by deadweight tonnes, Bahamas, South Africa, UK, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the Philippines.

STCW-95 non-compliant Member States are often described as being on a ‘black list’. Ships flagged by a black-listed country can be denied entry to a port, inspected intensely, or detained when attempting to enter a port.