In the absence of an agreement with the EU, Brexit will have an immediate impact on UK seafarers and on shipping services from the UK to ports within the EU.
- UK seafarers. The STCW requires crew members to have a Certificate of Competence which must be renewed every five years. The UK allows crew members who have trained outside the UK to work on a UK vessel if they have a certificate of equivalent competency issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Under EU law there are two procedures for recognising seafarers’ qualifications. Under EC Directive 2005/45/EC there is mutual recognition by EU Member States of certificates issued to seafarers by other Member States which must be accompanied by an endorsement by the recognising State. Certificates from non-EU countries may be endorsed under EC Directive 2008/106/EC. After exit day existing UK endorsed certificates would enable UK seafarers to work on vessels flagged with EU Member States but on expiry renewal would be under the procedure set up under Directive 2008/106. EU Member States would be required to write to the Commission if they wish to continue accepting new UK certificates of competence.
- Shipping services. Article 6 of EC Regulation 725/2004 requires shipping companies (including ferries carrying passengers and lorries) prior to entering an EU port to submit security information, such as: particulars of the ship; last 10 port facilities of call; crew and passenger list. Article 7 allows a Member State to exempt companies which operate scheduled services between ports in their territory and that of another Member State. After ‘Exit Day’ no exemptions will be available for vessels operating scheduled services from the UK.