The MPA Singapore issued a new shipping circular to provide update on the requirements for Seafarer Recruitment and Placement Services (SRPS) which operate in Singapore.
ll companies based in Singapore which are engaged in recruiting and placing seafarers shall conform to requirements set out in the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) Act 2014 and the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Seafarer Recruitment and Placement Services) Regulations 2014. These standards are applicable when the seafarer recruitment and placement services are operated in, or provided from, Singapore, and include those provided for Singapore-registered and foreign-registered ships.
All such SRPS are also required to apply to the Director of Marine for a Certificate of Authorisation (COA). The fee for a COA is $100 and is valid for 3 years. For SRPS that requires both COA as well as an Employment Agency (EA) licence from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the validity of the COA will be tied to the EA licence whichever is earlier.
Audit of SRPS by Recognised Organisations
With effect from 1 March 2024, all SRPS operating in Singapore will be subject to mandatory audit by the Recognised Organisations (ROs). There are eight (8) ROs appointed to act on behalf of the MPA in surveys and conduct audits and certification for Singapore- registered ships.
There will be three (3) audit cycles:
- Initial audit to be carried out within three (3) months before or from the date of application for a COA (“Initial”).
- Intermediate audit to be carried out within the window from three (3) months before the 1st and three (3) months after the 2nd anniversary date of the COA (“Intermediate”).
- Renewal audit to be carried out within three (3) months before expiry of the COA (“Renewal”)
Given that the audit scheme will take effect from 1 March 2024, existing SRPS with COA that have been recently issued or renewed will be subjected to renewal audit by the RO within three (3) months before expiry of the COA. In ensuring the continued compliance of the SRPS, MPA may carry out audit of the SRPS within the COA validity period.
SRPS that do not meet the requirements and/or SRPS that are found to be inactive over the last one (1) year from the date of issue of the COA, their application may be rejected and if a COA has been issued, the COA may be withdrawn. The SRPS will be notified prior to withdrawal of the COA. New registration can be made and will be subject to the prevailing requirements.