|Thursday, 30 September 2004|
Greenlight for Lankan seafarers to work on Norwegian vessels
Untiring efforts by the Merchant Shipping Division of the Ministry of Ports and Aviation, under the guidance of Mangala Samaraweera, the Minister in charge of the subject, has resulted in the Norwegian Maritime Directorate's agreement to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for recognition of Certificates of Competency issued by the Examination unit of the Merchant Shipping Division, Sri Lanka.
A presentation was made at the annual consultations between the governments of Sri Lanka and Norway in Colombo on September 6 and 7 presided over by Deputy Minister of Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, Olav Kjorvan, had paved the way for this development.
Regulation 1/10 of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping 78/95 (STCW 78/95) enforced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations' agency dealing with maritime concerns, requires an MoU/agreement between two parties to be in place before a certificate holder from one party can be employed on a ship registered under the flag of the second party.
In the absence of such an agreement, Sri Lankan Seafarers holding Sri Lankan Certificates of Competency were not eligible for employment on Norwegian registered ships all these years. However, with the signing of this agreement, which is expected to be concluded before the end of November, Sri Lankan certificate holders along with other categories of Sri Lankan seafarers will be eligible for employment on Norwegian ships.
The Sri Lanka Merchant Shipping Act provides provisions for training and certification of seafarers as well as regulations for examination of all categories.
Examinations are conducted up to the highest grades in the seafaring profession, namely Ships' Captains and Chief Engineers and these certificates are well regarded and accepted by the international shipping community and has approval of the International Maritime Organisation.
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