Better maritime safety and working conditions

Safety and working conditions at sea will be improved In the near future.  As of 1 May 2014, the education and training requirements for seafarers will be modernised along with the professional requirements for crew members aboard seagoing vessels. The exchange of crew members between the various branches of the industry will become easier, the administrative burden on  the business community will be reduced and legislation will be simplified. 


The improvements arise from the revision of the international Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The amendments are known as the “Manila Amendments” (2010). Minister Schultz van Haegen of Infrastructure and the Environment is pleased.  ‘The Netherlands has worked hard to have the Convention amended. On the one hand because it improves the safety and working conditions of seafarers and this benefits safety at sea, and on the other hand because it is good for these standards to be applied worldwide.’


Dutch maritime legislation will be amended as of 1 May. The revision will result in changes to the education and training requirements for seafarers as a result of new technologies (such as working with electronic charts and navigation software) and the adoption of new requirements. For example, there will be new training courses in the area of security. This is needed due to the increase in piracy and armed attacks at sea. Moreover, several important security training courses will be introduced along with the obligation to take refresher courses every 5 years. The amendments were arrived at after extensive consultation with the following maritime social partners: Nautilus International, the National  Association of Dutch Ship Owners, the Dutch Association of Dredging Contractors, the Dutch Association of Marine Trawler Owners and the  Dutch Association of Merchant Shipping Captains.


In addition to the implementation of the Manila amendments, there will also be a reduction of the administrative burden on the business community. Simplified regulations will be introduced for, among other things, crew plans and the seaman’s registration book, which contains information on work experience and completed education programmes. The legislation will be modernised and made more transparent.