2023 Statutory requirements for seafarers working on Maltese Yachts

2023-03-06T12:19:34+01:00March 6th, 2023|Publications|

Employment of Seafarers on Maltese Yachts is safeguarded by the Maltese robust legal framework. This includes the Merchant Shipping Act, the Maritime Labour Convention, and the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers. These laws provide a comprehensive framework for seafarers’ rights, including working conditions, hours of rest, and remuneration.

Malta has a long-standing history as a maritime nation, and its shipping registry is among the largest in the world. Today, Malta is a hub for shipping and maritime services, offering a range of services including ship registration, ship management, crewing, maritime education, and training.

In light of the above, seafarers working on Maltese yachts as a crew are required to have a certain level of qualifications. These qualifications are governed by the Maltese Maritime Authority, in compliance with the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

International convention on standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW)

STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) is an international convention established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1978. It sets minimum standards for the training, certification, and watchkeeping of seafarers, including merchant sailors and fishing vessel personnel.

The purpose of STCW is to ensure that seafarers have the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to perform their duties safely and efficiently, thereby contributing to the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment.

The STCW convention is regularly updated to reflect changes in technology and industry practices, and to date is considered one of the most important international maritime agreements.

The STCW Convention mandates that signatory countries must exchange information in order to verify the authenticity and validity of seafarers’ competence certificates. This helps prevent unqualified or fraudulent seafarers from working on vessels, reducing the potential danger to both the crew and the marine environment.

What qualifications are required for seafarers working on Maltese yachts?

Seafarers must hold a valid certificate of competency, demonstrating their ability to perform their duties safely and efficiently. Certificates of competence are issued only after the successful completion of approved courses of training and, examinations held in approved Training Centres in Malta.

Those seafarers holding foreign certificates of competency issued in terms of the STCW Convention require an endorsement issued by the Maltese Authorities attesting their recognition. Maltese Administration has more than 46 agreements in place between the various maritime administrations to recognize the competencies of seafarers with foreign education.

An Endorsement attesting the recognition of a Certificate of Competence by a foreign Administration may be issued only after having verified that all certificates provided by the seafarer for endorsement are valid and authentic. Once issued, the endorsement of a certificate of competency issued by the Maltese Authorities would endorse the qualifications held by the seafarer (such as Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch, or Engineer Officer).

It is important to note that the exact qualifications required for seafarers in Malta may vary based on the type of vessel and the area in which it operates.

How to obtain an endorsement certificate?

In order to apply for an endorsement certificate, seafarers serving on Maltese yachts shall:

  • Gather the required documents: prepare a complete and accurate set of personal and professional documents, including certificates of competency, medical fitness certificate, and relevant STCW training certificates.

  • Submit the application: submit the completed application, along with the required documents and fees, to the relevant department.

  • Wait for application processing (2-3 months): Wait for the relevant department to process your application and issue the endorsement certificate, if approved.

Obtaining an endorsement certificate of qualification is essential for seafarers working on Maltese yachts. It confirms their qualifications and competence to work on board a vessel.

It is important to note that if an endorsement of a qualification is required, the application must be submitted in advance prior to commencing of an employment on the vessel.

The article is intended to serve as a general guide on the subject matter. For further information and guidance on the subject we recommend seeking professional assistance.

How can we help?

SMM can provide legal assistance and guidance to seafarers planning to work on Maltese yachts. For seafarers who require endorsement certificates, we will ensure that your application is complete and accurate and that you have all the necessary documents to apply for the endorsement certificate. Additionally, we can help resolve any legal issues that may arise during the application process.

As lawyers operating in the maritime sector, we are committed to helping seafarers navigate the legal framework and ensure that their rights are protected at all times.

We are available for both face-to-face or online consultations, get in touch by filling in our contact form or call +356 2123 7167 for immediate assistance.

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