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10.06.2013

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL STCW CONVENTION AND STATE NAVIGATIONAL SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

 

OLEKSANDR SHCHYPTSOV

Professor,

D.Sc. (Geography),

Honored Transport Worker of Ukraine

 

 

About the "white list" of the

 INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION

Subjects of international law and participants of international relations, bearers of legal power and obligations are first and foremost states.

The so-called "White List" of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a list of States Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended, which have communicated information on the full and complete implementation of the relevant provisions. The process for determining the "White List" is based on the provisions of article IV and regulation I/7 of the STCW Convention, providing for the need to submit to the IMO Secretary-General specified information on the measures taken by the state for the full implementation of the Convention.

The initial "White List" was published in 2000 under the results of the 73rd session of the Maritime Safety Committee. As of today the "White List", approved by the Circular [1] of the Maritime Safety Committee, contains 123 States, including Ukraine, and two ІMO Associate Members.

It is known that in 2010, the amendments to the STCW Convention, entered into force on 1 January 2012, were adopted. A significant contribution of the Philippines to the organization and the success of the Diplomatic Conference is obvious. In Resolution 3 of the Conference it has been decided to call these amendments "the Manila Amendments". They are aimed at achieving and maintaining high standards of the safety of navigation, safety of life and property at sea and the protection of the environment. This stipulates significant alterations in the system of education, training, competency assessment and certification of seafarers, as well as the medical fitness of crew members for seagoing service. The Manila amendments have also made changes to the requirements for watchkeeping on seagoing ships, but these issues are beyond the subject matter of this article.

It is also important to note that the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, in accordance with the established procedure, has included the following documents in the Unified State Register of Legal Acts of Ukraine:

- The 2010 Manila Amendments to the annex to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as well as the 2010 Manila Amendments to the Seafarers’ Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code with the registration code 60913/2012;

- The Final Act of the Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, with the registration code 60914/2012.

In compliance with article 57 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Manila amendments have gained legal force from the date of their official publication in our country. [2]

It must be particularly emphasized that in April 2013, at a regular meeting of the European Commission (the highest executive body of the European Union), dedicated to the issues of maritime safety of Member States of the European Union, there was discussed the issue of Ukraine's implementation of the requirements of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended. The Member States of the European Union have been notified of the status confirmation of Ukraine as a state that complies fully with the requirements of the STCW Convention.

The official notice of the EU prolongation confirmation of the recognition of Ukraine was given to the Maritime Administration of Ukraine by the Directorate D – Logistics, Maritime and Land Transport and Passenger Rights of the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission in May 2013.

Under the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine № 1371 of 13.09.2002 "On Procedures for Participation of Central Executive Authorities in the Activities of International Organizations, of which Ukraine is a Member" the list of central executive authorities, responsible for compliance with obligations resulting from Ukraine’s membership in ІMO, includes the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the State Inspectorate of Ukraine for Safety of Maritime and Inland Water Transport. The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine may involve in its activities other central bodies of the executive power, not specified in the list, as well as representatives of government bodies, enterprises and organizations of various forms of ownership with their consent.

 

ABOUT THE SYSTEM

"Ignoratis terminis, ignoratur et ars" (Latin) – "Where the terms of an art are unknown, the art itself is unknown also". The maxim of one of the founders of the British law E. Coke (17th century), the essence of which is that if the hypothesis, found in the rule of law, contains ambiguous terms, disposition and sanction rules may not have a clear meaning [3]. The above-mentioned maxim is fully applicable to the concept of "a system".

The concept of the system covers a set of elements that are connected with each other, forming certain integrity and unity. The Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine № 83 of 31.01.2001 "On Improvement of State Supervision over Training and Certification of Seafarers" mentions the phrase "national system of training and certification of seafarers". However, there is no its delineation in the applicable legislative framework of Ukraine, but a definition of the term "State Navigational Safety Management System".

Here is the meaning of some important terms that are used in the Ukrainian legal acts regulating activities in the field of safety of navigation, and some comments.

So, the definition of the "State Navigational Safety Management System" is applied in Provisions on the State Navigational Safety Management System", approved by the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 2009 [4]. This is a range of subjects that implement coordinated measures in the field of navigation to prevent the occurrence and reduce the consequences of casualties that can cause harm to human health and life, the environment and property. The Provisions also state that subjects of the Public Administration System are primarily bodies of executive power.

The Provisions on the Navigational Safety Management System of Maritime and Inland Water Transport [5] give the following definitions:

Safety of Navigation (SN) means the state of safety (protection) of human health and life, the environment and property at sea and on inland waterways; absence of an unacceptable risk of human death or injury, damage to the environment or material loss.

Requirements for Safety of Navigation mean the requirements stipulated by the applicable Ukrainian legislation (including its international agreements), the implementation of which in the field of maritime and inland water transport allows functioning without undue risk to human life and health, the environment and property.

Management principles mean rules governed by the management subjects and that define requirements for the management system, process and procedures.

State supervision means detection and prevention of offences in the field of Safety of Navigation and bringing perpetrators to responsibility.

Control means management function to verify compliance with the requirements for Safety of Navigation in the field of maritime transport to obtain information on the status of compliance with these requirements and timely application of necessary measures.

The main factors that directly or indirectly affect the level of safety of navigation include professional competence of ships' crew members, in particular: the results of training, qualifications and experience, medical fitness, etc. Compliance of the specified factors is confirmed with seafarers’ documents.

Seafarers’ documents are the identity and qualification ones. The identity documents include seafarers' identity documents and qualification documents are:

- Certificates/certificates of competency (for officers);

- Certificates (for ratings);

- Endorsements;

- Certificates of specialized training;

- Documents of higher or vocational education.

Documentary evidence is:

- Certificate of advanced training;

- Certificate of special training;

- Certificate of medical fitness;

- Seafarer's Seagoing Service Record Book or certificate of seagoing service.

To serve in a capacity on board ship, seafarers shall submit:

- Certificate/certificate of competency (for officers);

- Certificate (for ratings);

- Endorsement;

- Certificate of medical fitness.

Pursuant to the Maritime Doctrine of Ukraine, approved by the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine "On Approval of the Maritime Doctrine of Ukraine for the period up to 2035" № 1307 of 7.10.2009, it is indicated that State Navigational Safety System should be an effective instrument for solving problems of national maritime policy providing functioning of its major components: for example, such as the system of training and refresher training of professionals for the maritime industry, as well as government agencies and enterprises engaged in activities to ensure the safety of navigation.

In general, subjects that apply coordinated measures in Ukraine for the implementation of certain provisions of the STCW Convention include:

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Coordination Council for Training and Certification of Seafarers, the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine and State Inspectorate of Ukraine for Safety of Maritime and Inland Water Transport, the State Inspectorate of Education Institutions of Ukraine, the State Agency of Fisheries of Ukraine, the Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in Water Transport of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine, State Qualification Commissions of the Inspectorate for Training and Certification of Seafarers, captains of sea ports of Ukraine, State Examination Commissions of Higher Maritime Education institutions, as well as Higher Maritime and Vocational Education institutions, Training institutions, Healthcare institutions for seafarer’s medical examination and the issue of medical certificates to seafarers, shipping companies.

 

ON THE PRINCIPLES

The STCW Convention is one of the ten instruments that are considered in the Code for the Implementation of ІMO Documents that are binding [6].

The Code provides that in order to effectively perform their duties and obligations, flag States should by adopting national legislation to implement the principles and guidelines to facilitate the implementation and enforcement of the requirements of the conventions and protocols relating to maritime safety and the prevention of pollution of the environment to which they are parties.

Flag States should also periodically assess their performance in respect of the implementation of administrative processes, procedures and resources necessary to perform their duties in compliance with the requirements of the Conventions to which they are Parties.

Measures for the Performance Assessment of Flag States may include, among other things, regular review of:

- Ratio of deaths and accidents involving vessels to determine trends over the specific period of time;

 - The number of confirmed cases of detained ships in relation to the fleet size;

- The number of confirmed cases of incompetence or misconduct of individuals who hold a certificate or endorsement issued under the authority of the flag State.

It is also important to note that on the basis of the analysis of statistics of accidents at sea and investigations, as well as the annual reports of the Maritime Safety Committee [7], the author notes that over the past five years, since 2008 there are no confirmed cases of incompetence or misconduct of Ukrainian citizens, serving on board ships entitled to fly foreign flags and holding a certificate or endorsement issued under the authority of the Government of Ukraine.

Here are the fundamental principles of management and organization of activities of the State Safety Management System with due regard to the provisions of the Manila amendments. In the author's opinion, they include such principles as:

- Clear division of tasks, authority and responsibility at all levels of the Safety Management System;

- Quality provision of safety of navigation;

- Regular State Supervision over the compliance with the requirements of laws and regulations to ensure the safety of navigation, and control over the process of education, training, refresher and updating training of ship’s crew members, professionals of coastal enterprises.

Status monitoring of the Safety of Navigation is based on principles such as effectiveness, completeness and objectivity, continuity and regularity, timeliness and efficiency.

 

ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PRINCIPLES

As already noted, the subjects of the State Navigational Safety Management System are bodies of executive power. The main tasks of subjects of the management system include the organization of:

- Control regarding training, refresher and updating training of ship’s crew members, professionals of coastal enterprises;

- Measures to ensure compliance of state coastal enterprises whose activities are related to the shipping safety, international and national standards for safety of navigation.

Let us consider the implementation of the principle of a clear division of tasks, authority and responsibility at all levels of the Safety Management System.

It is established under procedures [4] that the overall management of the State Navigational Safety Management System is conducted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine with the help of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine that provides:

- The implementation of a unified state policy in the field of navigational safety management through the coordination of central bodies of executive power, bringing the management system to conformity with international, in particular, European standards for safety of navigation;

- The organization of interaction with the central bodies of executive power on:

- Compliance with international agreements of Ukraine regarding training and refresher training of ship’s crew members with the State Agency of Fisheries of Ukraine;

- Legal regulation in the sphere of organization and working conditions, recruitment, employment of seafarers, rest periods and social protection of maritime and inland water transport workers with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine;

- Coordination of the state demand amount for training of seafarers, safety of navigation experts, maritime search and rescue, development of state standards of higher education in the field of safety of navigation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine within its powers [8], on the basis of and pursuant to the Constitution and Laws of Ukraine, Acts and Orders of the President of Ukraine, Acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine issues relevant orders.

The most important objects and subjects of the above-mentioned State Management System also include:

The Coordination Council for Training and Certification of Seafarers, in accordance with the Provisions on the Council [9], provides mutual approval and coordination of activities of the ministries concerned and other bodies of executive power in the field, developing proposals for organization and development of draft regulatory acts aimed at the compliance of Ukraine with the requirements of the STCW Convention, improving training and certification of seafarers, bringing applicable legislation into conformity with the requirements of the STCW Convention and other decisions of the IMO and the European Union; organizes study, synthesis and use of national and international experience; coordinates joint activities of ministries and other central bodies of executive power for interaction with the IMO in the aforementioned filed.

The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, in accordance with the Provisions on the Ministry [10], forms and ensures public policy implementation, conducts regulation, defines perspectives and priorities for the development of education, as well as in the field of State Supervision (Control) over the activities of education institutions regardless of their subordination and type of ownership; develops and establishes standards for specific professions; performs legal and academic support to the functioning of education institutions; responsible for licensing and accreditation of higher education institutions and institutions of post-graduate education.

The Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine, in accordance with the Provisions on the Ministry [11], forms and ensures public policy implementation in the field of healthcare, sets medical fitness of a seafarer to serve on board ship. Moreover, the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine (Article 52) provides that "service on board ship is permitted to persons, who meet the standards of medical fitness. The decision, regarding the medical fitness to serve on board ship, is made by the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine in accordance with the regulations established by this Ministry.

The State Inspectorate of Ukraine for Safety of Maritime and Inland Water Transport, in accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On Transport" and under the Provisions on the "Ukrmorrichinspektsiya" [12], conducts general management and control regarding certification of maritime fleet specialists, as well as controls the conduct of training, refresher and updating training, and certification of ship’s crew members, workers of coastal enterprises of maritime and inland water transport, the work of which is related to the safety of navigation.

The State Inspectorate of Education Institutions of Ukraine, in accordance with the Provisions [13], implements the state policy in the field of education through the State Supervision (Control) over the activities of education institutions, regardless of their subordination and types of ownership, controls the compliance of the law schools with the requirements of the legislation of Ukraine; performs academic guidance, monitors compliance with the standards of higher education, state inspections, analyses performance of education institutions regarding their compliance with the laws and regulations in the field of education, assesses their performance compliance with state standards and requirements.

The State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service of Ukraine, in accordance with the Provisions [14], implements the state policy in the field of sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population.

The Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in Water Transport is a sanitary institution that is under the control of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine. The Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in Water Transport carries out the state sanitary and epidemiological supervision.

Quarantine and sanitary departments and the Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Station units in water transport, basin and port sanitary-epidemiological stations in Ukraine have control over the medical examination of persons serving in different capacities on board ships entitled to fly the of Ukraine as well as foreign flags.

The Inspectorate for Training and Certification of Seafarers, in accordance with the Provisions [15], provides confirmation of seafarers’ qualifications at permanent State Qualification Commissions under the requirements of the STCW Convention and the national requirements for the service in specific capacities or duties on seagoing merchant vessels.

State Qualification Commissions represent sixty independent collegial bodies to determine the level of professional training of seafarers in seven courses. In accordance with the Provisions for the Procedures of the State of Qualification Commissions [16] based on the results of qualification confirmation at the specified Qualification Commissions, a seafarer receives a record attesting his/her compliance with the requirements of the STCW Convention and the national requirements. The record itself does not give an individual the right to serve in particular capacities or perform specific functions. The rest of the documents, necessary to obtain qualification documents (the so-called "certificate of service" namely, certificates, endorsements thereto) include documents on education, documentary evidence of mandatory training, documentary evidence of seagoing service on board ships, a certificate of medical fitness, identity documents.

The captains of seven sea ports, in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine and the Order of the Ministry of Transport of Ukraine of 2002 [17], directly on behalf of the Government of Ukraine issue certificates, qualification certificates and endorsements which attest its holders to serve in a capacity on seagoing vessels.

Eight State Examination Commissions of higher maritime education institutions.

Eight higher education institutions of III and IV accreditation levels, twelve higher education institutions of I and II levels of accreditation, twenty nine vocational institutions. [18]

Thirty-eight training institutions [19], and together with their separate branches – fifty three.

Forty-seven healthcare facilities for the medical examination of seafarers and the issue of medical certificates to seafarers, along with separate branches – fifty-one [20].

Shipping companies – regulation I/14 of the STCW Convention requires the Maritime Administration to impose on the shipping company responsibility for ship’s crew members to hold appropriate certificates, manning in accordance with safe manning requirements, appropriate refresher and advanced training, informing crew members with their duties on board ship, effective coordination of crews in emergency situations, and performing activities that are vital to the safety of navigation and protection of environment from pollution from ships, etc.

For a more complete analysis of the performance effectiveness of the State Navigational Safety Management System, we shall also present theses regarding the implementation of the principle of quality to ensure the safety of navigation.

To issue qualification documents, meeting the requirements of the STCW Convention in force, to seafarers, it is necessary to bring regulatory framework for awarding ranks officers of seagoing vessels, endorse qualifications of seafarers, as well as the issue of certificates and other documents envisaged by the Convention (including new specimen), into compliance with the requirements of the Manila Amendments. Moreover, in order to implement education programmes for seafarers at education and training institutions under the requirements of the regulation І/15 of the STCW Convention, it is necessary to develop and approve the regulatory procedures for the creation, coordination, approval and establishment of the specified programmes compliance with the applicable requirements of the STCW Convention as soon as possible.

In view of the above-mentioned and in accordance with the Order of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine № 132 of 24.02.2012 "Amendments to the Plan of Preparation of Draft Regulations by the Ministry of Infrastructure in 2012", the Ministry needs to ensure the issue of the corresponding Orders on:

- Approval of the Provisions on ranks of officers of seagoing vessels and Procedures for their awarding (posted on the official website of the Ministry of Infrastructure on 15.04.2013);

- Approval of the Procedures for confirmation of qualification and certification of officers of seagoing vessels, yacht personnel not engaged in commercial transportation, and seagoing ship’s crew (posted on the official website of the Ministry of Infrastructure on 21.05.2012);

- Approval of the Procedures on specimen documents for officers and ship’s crew, certifying the rank and proper qualification to serve in a capacity or perform specific duties on board ship, and identifying their holders (posted on the official website of the Ministry of Infrastructure on 21.05.2012);

- Approval of the Procedures for issue of qualification documents to officers, yacht personnel not engaged in commercial transportation, and seagoing ship’s crew (posted on the official website of the Ministry of Infrastructure on 21.05.2012).

The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine also needs to ensure the issue of such regulations aimed at implementing the requirements of the Manila Amendments:

- Draft Law of Ukraine on Amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences relating to the responsibility for service on ships without proper qualification documents;

Orders on:

- Amendments to the Guide for Employees' Professional Qualification Standards of Water Transport;

- Minimum requirements for types of special and specialized training of seafarers under the Convention;

- Minimum requirements for refresher and updating training for those capacities of seafarers for whom the Manila amendments have set other than the previous requirement for competence;

- Amendments to the Regulations for keeping the Common State Register of Seafarers’ Documents;

- Establishment of requirements for shipping companies of Ukraine under the regulation І/14 of the STCW Convention.

The Ministry of Education and Science should provide issue of the following regulations aimed at implementing the requirements of the Manila amendments, in particular:

- On the Approval of standard Training Record Books on ships for cadets (students) of maritime education institutions (under specializations);

- On the development, approval, adoption and introduction into effect of standards of training of professionals with higher education in compliance with education and qualification levels and specializations under which the training of officers of seagoing vessels is performed.

 

The Ministry also needs to organize the development, coordination, approval and implementation of standards of:

- Training and advanced training of ratings forming part of seagoing vessels;

- Advanced training of officers of seagoing vessels.

The Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine should ensure the issue of the Rules to determine medical fitness of persons to serve on board ships, including requirements for mandatory introduction of the Quality Standard System into activities of medical institutions carrying out medical examinations of seafarers aimed at implementing the requirements of the Manila amendments.

The Inspectorate for Training and Certification of Seafarers should develop and implement for its activities:

- Programmes concerning confirmation of seafarers’ qualifications at State Qualification Commissions; should update the lists of questions to assess the competence of seafarers, to define new computer-based testing programmes;

 

- Registration and printing software for seafarers’ new qualification documents within activity of captains of seaports;

- New software for keeping the Common State Register of Seafarers’ Documents of Ukraine in accordance with the requirements of the STCW Convention.

Captains of seaports of Ukraine should implement Procedures for the issue of qualification documents for officers on board ships, yacht personnel not engaged in commercial transportation, and seagoing ship’s crew.

For a more complete analysis of the effectiveness of the State Navigational Safety Management System, it is better to present theses regarding the implementation of the principle of regular government supervision and control over the safety of navigation in accordance with the law, including the implementation process of requirements of the STCW Convention.

The STCW Convention sets uniform minimum standards for education, simulator training and level of competence for seafarers of all States Parties to the Convention.

In Ukraine, training institutions are concerned with simulator training for seafarers, which is part of an evolving national system of training, simulator training and certification of seafarers.

At the moment training institutions are found in all maritime regions of the country that allows a seafarer to undergo the necessary simulator training in their region.

List of training institutions that can conduct training in accordance with the requirements of the Convention is approved by the Maritime Administration on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine [19]. Proposals for inclusion in the list of training institutions are forwarded by the State Inspectorate of Ukraine for Safety of Maritime and Inland Water Transport (hereinafter referred to as "the Ukrmorrichinspektsiya") after conducting the inspection. This is a serious collaboration of the executives and personnel of training institutions with members of Commissions of the Ukrmorrichinspektsiya to identify and assess the state of affairs, analysis, training, and exchange of information on best practices, changes in international and national requirements.

After the analysis of relevant documents of training institutions and familiarization with the functioning of the Quality Standard System, which should include training programmes, qualifications of teaching staff, the availability of simulators and facilities, control over the entire training process, Ukrmorrichinspektsiya draws a conclusion that a training institution is ready to conduct quality training for seafarers in accordance with the requirements of the STCW Convention.

As a result of joint work with training institutions, Ukrmorrichinspektsiya conducts a systematic analysis to determine the perspectives for further development in the field of simulator training for seafarers, outlines the main objectives in implementing the requirements of the STCW Convention and raising the standards of training of seafarers.

Life goes forward. New requirements are developed, new solutions are found, simulator equipment is updated at training institutions, new technologies are introduced and everything is for the improvement of training for a seafarer. The better prepared and trained a maritime professional, the greater the probability of making of the right decision at the proper time and the reduction in the percentage of the risk of an accident.

However, it should be understood that in accordance with the requirements of the Law of Ukraine "On the Principles of State Supervision (Control) in the field of economic activity" and the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine "On Approval of the Procedures of supervision to ensure safety in transport" № 204 of 4.03. 1997 number 204, it is unacceptable to equate such processes as inspections of training institutions with, for example, comprehensive inspections of training institutions that are a form of realization of monitoring functions of the safety of navigation.

Moreover, in accordance with a common standard document [5], comprehensive inspection is a rigorous review of the state of the safety of navigation at the management bodies that is conducted on schedule of inspections by a special commission with the participation of representatives of governments and regulatory bodies. The schedule of comprehensive inspections for a year is approved by the Ukrmorrichinspektsiya in December. The management bodies (enterprises, institutions, organizations) are notified of the planned comprehensive inspection in a written form not later than one month before the event.

State supervision of compliance by enterprises, institutions and organizations regardless of types of ownership (except for the Ministry of Defence, the National Guard, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine) with the requirements for Safety of Navigation is imposed on the Ukrmorrichinspektsiya, its units and captains of seaports.

The State Inspectorate of Education Institutions of Ukraine should improve the efficiency of implementation of the state policy in the field of maritime education through the actual implementation of state supervision (control) over the activities of the relevant academic and vocational-technical institutions, regardless of their subordination and types of ownership, concerning their compliance with the STCW standards.

In view of this, the leadership of the State Inspectorate of Education Institutions of Ukraine is recommended by the author, collaboratively with representatives of the Ukrmorrichinspektsiya and the Inspectorate for Training and Certification of Seafarers to carry out the development and implementation of the approved action plan of the State Supervision (Control) for 2013 on the implementation of the requirements of the STCW Convention in the educational process of higher and vocational education institutions (including the activities of state examination commissions).

The State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine jointly with the Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in Water Transport are recommended by the author to organize the planned State Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision regarding healthcare for seafarers in 2013, including the activities of health institutions performing a medical examination of seafarers and the issue of medical certificates to seafarers. Quarantine and sanitary departments and units of the Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in Water Transport, basin and port sanitary-epidemiological stations in Ukraine should enhance monitoring over the medical examination of persons serving in different capacities on board ships entitled to fly the of Ukraine as well as foreign flags.

Captains of the seaports of Ukraine conduct state supervision over the navigation at the port in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine. Captains of seaports also (Article 88, the revised Code shall enter into force on 14.06.2013, - Article 78) perform the following duties:

- Supervision of compliance with applicable laws and shipping regulations, and international agreements of Ukraine regarding shipping;

- Issue of the documents specified in Article 51 of the Code;

- Verification of certificates;

- Issue of a Seafarer's Identity Document to individuals forming part of the ship's crew.

In order to establish that actual events, held by services of captains of seaports of Ukraine, comply with the standards of the STCW Convention and requirements of the State Navigational Safety Management System, the author recommends captains of seaports to conduct internal inspections in 2013.

Let us consider the measures to improve the system of the verification of the authenticity of seafarers’ documents in Ukraine.

The provisions of the regulation I/2 of the STCW Convention provide as follows.

Paragraph 14. "Each Party undertakes to maintain a register or registers of all certificates and endorsements for masters, officers, and, as applicable, ratings which are issued, have expired or have been revalidated, suspended, cancelled or reported lost or destroyed and of dispensations issued";

 

Paragraph 15. "Each Party undertakes to make available information on the status of such certificates of competency, endorsements and dispensations to other Parties and companies which request verification of the authenticity and validity of certificates produced to them by seafarers seeking recognition of their certificates under regulation I/10 or employment on board ship";

 

Paragraph 16. "As of 1 January 2017, the information on the status of information required to be available in accordance with paragraph 15 of this regulation shall be made available, in the English language, through electronic means".

 

The provisions of the section A-I/2 of the STCW Code provide as follows.

Paragraph 7. "In the maintenance of the electronic register in accordance with paragraph 15 of regulation I/2, provisions shall be made to allow controlled electronic access to such register or registers to allow Parties and companies to confirm:

- the name of the seafarer to whom such certificate, endorsement or other qualification was issued, its relevant number, date of issue, and date of expiry;

- the capacity in which the holder may serve and any limitations attaching thereto; and

- the functions the holder may perform, the levels authorized and any limitations attaching thereto".

 

Control procedures provide that:

Regulation I/4

«Control exercised by a duly authorized control officer under article X shall be limited to the following:

- verification in accordance with article X(1) that all seafarers serving on board who are required to be certificated in accordance with the Convention hold an appropriate certificate or a valid dispensation…;

- verification that the numbers and certificates of the seafarers serving on board are in conformity with the applicable safe manning requirements of the Administration".

 

In turn, Article 51 of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine stipulates that "awarding ranks is endorsed by the issue of certificates after passing examinations successfully at the State Qualification Commission".

The database of the Common State Register of Seafarers’ Documents (see Table 1) contains 218374 registered certificates.

 

Table 1

The number of registered certificates

(as of 26.04.2013)

Rank

 Number

Deep Sea Captain

8594

Deep Sea Navigator

8921

Short Voyages Captain

 722

Navigator (Short Voyages Navigator)

1832

First-Class Engineer Officer

8906

Second-Class Engineer Officer

                                10038

Third-Class Engineer Officer

17970

First-Class Electro-Technical Officer

  2645

Second-Class Electro-Technical Officer

  1665

Third-Class Electro-Technical Officer

 3317

First-Class Refrigerator Engineer Officer

   211

Second-Class Refrigerator Engineer Officer

  270

Third-Class Refrigerator Engineer Officer

  390

Total of Officers

81969

 

Able Seafarer Deck

69571

Able Seafarer Engine

37907

Other Ship’s Crew Members

28927

Total of Ship’s Crew Members

                                136405

 

In order to increase the effectiveness of the safety of navigation the author also promptly recommends making the following principal changes and additions to the existing organization of the Interdepartmental Control System concerning the legitimacy of seafarer's documents in Ukraine.

The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine:

- should, collaboratively with the State Agency of Fisheries of Ukraine, sea trade and fishing ports, provide technical specifications and organization of direct access for workers of the Inspectorate of State Port Supervision of seaports to the Common State Register of Seafarers’ Documents of Ukraine and the Register of Issued Seafarers’ Identity Documents on a real-time basis;

- should accelerate changes to the Code of Administrative Offences of Ukraine concerning safety measures to prevent fraud and other illegal activities regarding the issue of certificates (regulation I/5 of the STCW Convention) and the establishment of the appropriate administrative responsibility.

The Ukrmorrichinspektsiya:

- should establish, equip and provide keeping of the common database of seafarers’ documents that should consist of registers of seafarers’ identity, qualification documents and documentary evidence, including medical fitness certificates of crew members (jointly with the Ministry of Healthcare), and qualifications of crew members of inland water and small vessels;

- should enhance the control and responsibility of the Inspectorate of State Port Supervision of seaports to verify the authenticity of crew members’ documents when inspecting vessels;

- should improve the efficiency of state supervision over the issue of seafarers’ training certificates at training institutions, relevant to their actual completion of training;

- should develop and urgently implement the revised regulations of certification of crew members (including on the Danube River) and performance evaluation of navigators on small vessel; should ensure keeping the state register of aforementioned documents;

- should, collaboratively with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, establish the state mechanism of temporary withdrawal and transfer of dubious documents of seafarers for the official criminological review.

The Inspectorate for Training and Certification of Seafarers should improve the effectiveness of verification of documents submitted by seafarers to the state qualification commissions to confirm proficiency.

On the activity of the economic entities that function under the intermediation for seafarers’ employment abroad

Pursuant to paragraph 22 of Part 1 of Article 1 of the Law of Ukraine "On Employment" (entered into force on 1 January 2013):

Legal entity is an organization that provides intermediation services for employment and registered in accordance with the law and carries out economic activities, regardless of type of ownership, type of activity and management;

Natural entity is an entrepreneur who provides intermediation services for employment in Ukraine and/or abroad in accordance with this Law and other legislative acts.

There are no such terms as "crewing company" or "enterprise", which provide intermediation services for employment of seafarers", in the STCW Convention. Therefore, the STCW Convention does not apply to economic entities that provide intermediation services for employment of seafarers abroad. The main international instrument that establishes the requirements for the recruitment and employment of seafarers is the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, not ratified by Ukraine.

However, activity of three hundred thirty-three entities in Ukraine that provide intermediation services for employment of seafarers abroad [21] are essential components of the process of successful integration of the Ukrainian seafarers in the world labour market. The State ensures the implementation of policy in the field of employment through the licensing under intermediation for employment abroad (paragraph 10 of Part 1 of Article 16 of the Law of Ukraine "On Employment").

At the moment, the existing mechanism for obtaining a license to engage in economic activities in the intermediation for employment abroad at the moment is not functioning properly, and requires the alignment of a number of sub-legal acts in accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On Employment". For example, the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine needs to develop an order in which it is advisable to identify new licensing terms to conduct economic activity concerning intermediation for employment and procedures for compliance monitoring. This order should set competence frameworks of:

- the State Employment Service of Ukraine –  regarding the licensing of intermediation activities for employment abroad and control over compliance of economic entities with the applicable license terms, as well as the establishment of regulatory requirements for the proper level of qualification of workers of economic entities that provide intermediation services for employment of seafarers abroad;

 - the State Inspectorate of Labour of Ukraine, as regulatory and supervisory authority in charge of the inspection of subjects of economic entities that provide these services, including intermediation for employment of seafarers abroad.

The author also recommends to the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine keeping records, registration and storage of crew lists provided by the ship owners and entities that operate under the intermediation for employment of seafarers abroad, and provide real time access to this information, keeping the register of ship roles. It is also advised to ensure the availability of binding requirements, in foreign economic agreements, on liability of crewing company to verify the authenticity of documents submitted by seafarers on leaving for service on ships entitled to fly foreign flags, and to enhance the control of the licensing authority over the activities of these companies in terms of fulfilment of these conditions.

The [22] presents the trend of employment of Ukrainian seafarers abroad. In particular, it is reported that the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and the International Shipping Federation (ISF) conduct research and publish the relevant reports on trends on the global maritime labour market every five years. The last report was published in late 2010 [23]. In addition, the English company Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd, on the basis of their own research, publishes reports on trends on the global maritime market (see Table 2). According to the forecast for 2014, the number of officers shall increase to 607 000 persons [24].

 

Table 2

Number of Ukrainian seafarers on the global labour market on an annual basis

(under the Drewry Publishing data [24])

      Manning

                                             Years

         1995

        2000

        2005

        2010

      Officers

       14000

      14000

      28908

      35400

      Ratings

       24000

      23000

      36119

      40000

 

Table 2 shows that the growth of the Ukrainian maritime officers on the global labour market has begun since 2000 and comprised 153% for 10 years (increased by 2.5 times). It is important to note that the total number of officers in the world from 1995 to 2010 has increased by only 34%. These figures clearly indicate the competitiveness of Ukrainian seafarers and increase of the amount of officers’ training by higher maritime education institutions of Ukraine.

Pursuant to the total number of officers, Ukraine is ranked third after the Philippines and China, and by the total number of seafarers – to fourth, behind India (see Table 3). Thus, every 15th officer of the world merchant fleet is from Ukraine. If one talks about European countries, Ukraine is a leader among them.

 

Table 3

Number of seafarers on the international labour market in 2010

(under Drewry Publishing data [24])

    Crew Supplier Country

        Officers

        Ratings

         Total

         the Philippines

          66000

         80000

       146000

              China

          51800

       104200

       156000

             Ukraine

          35400

         40000

         75400

               India

          31200

         56000

         87200

                 Russia

           22700

         34500

        57200

             World Total

         532400

       758400

    1290800

 

Note:The report’s figures [23] differ from the data presented in another report [24].

 

ON THE PROBLEMS

The main problem is the lack of development of the national regulatory framework.

The provisions of national laws on higher and vocational education hardly consistent with the provisions of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended. As a result, not all requirements of the STCW Convention are strictly complied in the system of higher and vocational education.

A number of key national regulations, for example, Procedures for confirmation of qualification for officers on seagoing vessels, which are not provided for awarding ranks, Procedures for confirmation of qualification of seagoing ship’s crew members, the list of mandatory training for certification, Procedures for calculating the approved seagoing service.

In Ukraine, there is a process of development and implementation of state standards of training for seafarers in higher and vocational education system. However, the training standards themselves in the context as required by the Convention are still under development and approval.

State supervision over the process of implementing provisions of the STCW Convention, which, after ratification, is the Law of Ukraine, to education institutions that conduct training of seafarers, is assigned only to the State Inspectorate of Education Institutions of Ukraine, but is almost non-existent. Given the fact that training institutions (that conduct training of seafarers without a license for the provision of education services) are not supervised by the above-mentioned Inspectorate, they operate almost without monitoring on the part of the education system.

The STCW Convention uses the term "approved training". There is no such term in the national regulatory framework that highlights problems with strict compliance with the requirements of the STCW Convention in Ukraine. Instead of "approval" other mechanisms are used such as listing, their approval by the Orders of authorities and individual institutions that does not coincide with the requirement of the STCW Convention: "approved means approved by the Party", that is the State.

The deficiencies of the regulatory framework, some problems arise from training of seafarers like partial compliance with the requirements of the Convention at training institutions, incomplete control of their activities and the creation of conditions for possible abuse.

It also needs a modern regulation of the procedures for issue of documents to seafarers by captains of seaports. Certificate and passport offices of seaports, using an outdated instruction, almost duplicate the work of State Qualification Commissions regarding collection and verification of documents of seafarers, which leads to a waste of resources, delays the process of the issue of seafarers’ seagoing service documents, creates the conditions for possible improprieties.

In conclusion, it is worth mentioning another important issue. With a view to more effective implementation of the requirements of the STCW Convention in our country (regulation I/8), it is necessary to arrange the State Quality Standard System regarding training, assessment of competence, certification, medical examination of seafarers, revalidation of their documents and approve it by the relevant decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine .

Moreover, cooperation of the State Navigational Safety System and the specified State Quality Standard System will allow many elements that are related to form a unity and integrity, as well as a fundamental basis for improving the quality of training of seafarers that is eventually a key to safe navigation. But this is a topic for the next publication.

A priori, maritime education, training, assessment of competence and certification of seafarers are integral parts of the process to ensure safety of navigation. Naturally, they are the elements of the State Navigational Safety Management System, in which the disposition and sanction of regulations have a clear meaning.

Problems in the field of ​​safety of navigation, including maritime education, training, assessment of competence and certification of seafarers, of course, exist, but they are solved sequentially by highly qualified professionals of the industry.

Joining the International Maritime Organization, our country has committed itself to implement the provisions of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended. Unconditional compliance with the provisions of international conventions in the field of safety of navigation ensures the trust of the international maritime community in Ukraine, ships entitled to fly the Ukrainian flag, as well as in the professionalism of certified Ukrainian seafarers.

May 30, 2013

 

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