In the Directive 2001/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 April 2001 on the minimum level of training of seafarers (LTS-001), the international Regulations of the STCW-convention (Convention on Standards and Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers, 1978) were converted in EU law. The STCW-convention was drafted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) (for more information on the STCW convention see: www.imo.org). It sets out rules on competence levels, certificates, training requirements, quality standards, medical standards, use of simulators, communication on board, etc. with the aim of improving the safety of seafarers and the maritime safety in general.
On 17 November 2003, the Directive of 2001 was supplemented by a new Directive (LTS-002), adding a common system of recognition of certificates issued in third countries. These new arrangements made sure that training and certificates of third country seafarers, who work on EU vessels, comply with the international minimum requirements.
The Directive specifies that, for the recognition of diplomas of seafarers who are or are not citizens of a Member State, the provisions of Directives 89/48/EEC and 92/51/EEC on the recognition of professional education and training are applicable. A procedure is determined to identify seafarers’ professional education, as to compare the followed training and the relevant qualification. If important differences are noticed, seafarers can ask for compensation measures. However, the paradox is that the procedure sets higher demands for seafarers than the STCW convention. Therefore, some seafarers with a qualification from a Member State can end up in a detrimental position in comparison to seafarers with a diploma received outside the European Union. A simplified procedure was necessary for the recognition of diplomas which are delivered according to the same minimum standards as in the Member States.
'Directive 2005/45/EC of Parliament and Council of 7 September 2005 on the mutual recognition of seafarers certificates issued by Member States and amending Directive 2001/25/EC' was approved on 7 September 2005 by Parliament and Council (LTS-003).
Some relevant documents:
LTS-003: Directive 2005/45/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the mutual recognition of seafarers’ certificates issued by the Member States and amending Directive 2001/25/EC (European Parliament and the Council)
LTS-002: Directive 2003/103/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2001/25/EC on the minimum level of training of seafarers (European Parliament and the Council)
LTS-001: Directive 2001/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 April 2001 on the minimum level of training of seafarers (European Parliament and the Council)