Page 7 - 2021 - Q4 - Minerva in Focus
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Masters and officers
        holding EU valid

        certificates of

        EMSA recently issued its Seafarers’ Statis-
        tics in the EU report based on data extract-
        ed from certificates and endorsements reg-
        istered by EU Member States, Iceland, and
        Norway until 31 December 2019. This data
        which was transferred and recorded in the
        STCW Information System (STCW-IS) until 31
        December 2020, represents a snapshot of   cate that, in general terms, the European   notes. Vaccine hesitancy is still reported,
        the European labour market in terms of the   maritime labour market has been able to   and  supply  challenges  persist  in  certain
        number  of  seafarers holding  valid  certifi-  attract new entrants that have replaced   geographies. Seafarer travel still remains
        cates and endorsements in 2019.    those leaving the seafaring career.  challenging  as there are issues  with
        The  data  included  in  the  STCW-IS  shows                         international travel vaccine recognition
        that by the end of 2019, 216,000 masters   Source: EMSA              and approval. This has even led some
        and officers held valid certificates of com-                         seafarers to take repeated vaccinations, at
        Another 120,590 masters and officers held  Lowest number of          an unknown health risk. Finally, access to
        petency (CoCs) issued by EU Member States.
                                                                             booster vaccines is likely to become a new
        with endorsements issued by EU Member  seafarers onboard             challenge in the coming months.
        original CoCs issued by non-EU countries
                                                                             Ship managers reported in December that
        Overall, the end of 2019 saw a third of a  beyond the expiry of      crew changes are still challenged by flight
        States attesting their recognition (EaR).
                                                                             cancellations, strict regional crew-change
        manpower to serve on board EU Member  their contracts since          requirements, and travel bans. The data
        million masters and officers as potential
                                                                             for  this  month’s  indicator was collected
        The five EU Member States that had more  May                         before the rise of the new Omicron vari-
        State flagged vessels.
                                                                             ant, which is likely to lead to new compli-
        masters and officers holding CoCs issued                             cations as governments strengthen travel
        by them in 2019 were the United Kingdom   #crewchanges               restrictions and other corona measures.
        (30,217), Greece (21,850), Poland (20,829),
        Norway (18,793), and Croatia (14,962). In   Significant improvement in seafarer vac-  Source: Global Maritime Forum
        addition, the five EU Member States that   cination rates, eased travel restrictions,
        had more masters and officers holding   and even decreasing regional infection
        EaRs issued were Malta (72,601), Cyprus   rates are showing some light at the end of
        (29,973), Norway (16,074), Portugal (14,714),   the tunnel for the crew-change crisis and
        and the Netherlands (11,630). Finally, the   confirm the trend that the crisis is being
        five  non-EU  countries  which had  more   alleviated.
        masters and officers holding CoCs rec-  The  latest    Neptune  Declaration  Crew
        ognised by EU Member States were the   Change Indicatorshows that the number
        Philippines (46,114), Ukraine (26,057), the   of seafarers onboard vessels beyond the
        Russian Federation (17,380), India (10,544),   expiry of their contract has decreased to
        and Turkey (5,548).                4.7% from 7.1% in November, and the num-
        From the overview for the period 2014-  ber of seafarers onboard vessels for over
        2019, it can be observed that since 2016   11 months has also decreased to 0.7% from
        there has been an increase of more than   1.0%. So far, these are the lowest numbers
        70,000 masters and officers available to   recorded  by  the  NDCCI  since  it  was  first
        serve on board EU Member States flagged   published in May. The Neptune Indicator
        vessels. Nevertheless, the overall figures   also reports another positive trend, an
        remained broadly stable in terms of distri-  8.5 percentage point increase in seafarer
        bution by country issuing the original CoC.   vaccines, from 41% in November to 49.5%
        The figures also remained stable in terms   in December as seafarers increasingly gain
        of distribution of masters and officers by   access to vaccines.
        department, capacity, gender, nationality,   Yet, seafarer vaccinations still pose
        and age. This continued stability may indi-  numerous challenges, as the indicator
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