EU INTERVENES IN ITALIAN STCW ISSUES SEAFARERS JOBS IN DANGER?

The Italian administration is coming more and more under pressure
from the European Commission and Parliament, including maritime
unions and associations, to sort out an unacceptable muddle concerning
the way it deals with seafarer certification as stipulated by IMO in the
STCW convention.
They describe the slowness of the Italian authorities in
renewing essential certificates as a bureaucratic disorder
which is putting seafarers? jobs in danger. Therefore they
request for an urgent action to be taken by the Italian
transport ministry. The problems have been raised in the
European Parliament by Italian MEP Mrs Laura Ferrara,
highlighting concerns that the gap between international
regulations and stricter standards imposed by Italian
legislation is making it extremely complicated for the
country?s seafarers to update and renew certificates.
European transport commissioner Mrs. Violeta Bulc commented that the European Commission
has initiated an infringement procedure against the state of Italy as a result of ?outstanding
deficiencies in the application of a EU directive covering maritime education and training
programmes, including problems with course designs, review and approval, recognition of
certificates, certification and endorsement for engineer officers at management level and
requirements for certification?.
As a result there is a very real risk that thousands of Italian seafarers could lose their jobs as a
consequence of problems with the issue of internationally approved sea safety certificates. The
Italian ministry of transport?s slowness in organising and approving national courses is creating
serious difficulties. It is unacceptable that many seafarers have already paid 1.000 euro for an update
course or 2.000 euro for a basic certificate and are still waiting for further developments.
The European Commission has also accused Italy of failing to provide full information on what steps
it has taken to implement the EU directive on the Maritime Labour Convention and has warned that
it may refer the case to the European Court of Giustice

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