IMO’s Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 6) considered matters relating to the list of STCW Parties (“White List”) and its review, as required by the STCW Convention. The Sub-committee found that the white list of top-rated flag states would be decimated if requirements to report information were strictly enforced.
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).
STCW regulation I/7.3.2 requires the Maritime Safety Committee to “review the list of Parties which communicated information that demonstrated that they give full and complete effect to the relevant provisions of the Convention, to retain in this list only the Parties so concerned”.
The Sub-Committee last week 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.
Meanwhile, seafarers with a Certificate of Competency (CoC) from a black-listed nation could be denied a Certificate of Equivalency (CoE) and rejected for work aboard white list-flagged ships.
Seafarer’s training and sea time aboard black listed vessels flagged could be rejected for a CoC from a white list country.
SAMSA expressed concerns last week regarding a possible delisting of South Africa from the List, as it could have major implications for the country’s maritime sector.
Following discussion, the Sub-Committee noted that the responsibility for the communication of information lies with STCW Parties and that time frames for the compliance with the “communication of information” provisions were provided in part A of the STCW Code, as amended.
MSC 101 in June 2019 was invited to note the matter and include an output on “Implementation of the STCW Convention” in the provisional agenda for HTW 7 so that the issue can be further discussed then, possibly in a working group.
The Sub-Committee encouraged Parties to the 1978 STCW Convention, as amended, to properly discharge the obligations emanating from STCW regulation I/8 and sections A-I/7 and A-I/8 of the STCW Code.