Right now, the mutual recognition of seagoing officers’ Certificates of Competency (CoCs) throughout the EEA is guaranteed by an EU directive. This allows holders of CoCs issued by the UK to work on any ship registered in any EEA Member State, subject to obtaining an endorsement by the relevant flag state authority.

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The directive also allows operators of UK-flag ships to employ holders of CoCs issued by any EEA Member State, provided they have a Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC) from the MCA.  The period of validity for a CEC will match that of the relevant CoC.

However, post Brexit, this directive will no longer cover the UK.

Commenting on this, UK Chamber CEO, Bob Sanguinetti, said that the Minister is committed to guarantee that UK seafarers will still be able to work for EU operators. He added that bilateral discussions between the UK and other maritime nations are progressing in a constructive way, but it is crucial that the EU provides a framework to give long term assurances to British seafarers and UK shipping lines.

We are working with our European partners at ECSA closely to lobby the European Commission to that end

Mr. Sanguinetti said.

For his part, Mark Dickinson of Nautilus International, noted that it is reassuring that the minister is determined to ensure that UK CoC holders will continue to work in the EU fleet. To ensure that, Nautilus International will do whatever it can to make sure that officers know what measures have been taken and the availability of support from the MCA to anyone seeking to renew CoCs now.