Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is proposing to make some changes that will preserve some of the romance of the sea by allowing seafarers to continue to use certificates (tickets) with such names as Master Small Home Trade Ship, Master River Ship, and Second and Third Class Steam Engineer.

Changes are being proposed to the SeaCert certification framework which would allow seafarers with some older tickets to continue using them.

When SeaCert was introduced in 2014, it was intended that older certificates would move to new SeaCert certificates – this would involve a cost and mean the certificates would have to be renewed every five years.

Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch said feedback from the industry showed many seafarers simply wanted to carry on doing what they’re doing.

“We have had a look at this and it’s possible to reduce the regulatory burden - that’s why we’re proposing some changes to the SeaCert framework,” he said.
“We’re suggesting that some older certificates could be ‘ring-fenced’ – meaning that the seafarers holding them could carry on doing what they are doing without the need to replace the certificate. For a lot of seafarers, there is quite rightly a lot of pride in having these tickets,” Mr Manch said.

The older certificates are no longer issued and are a legacy of several previous maritime regulatory regimes.

“We are currently asking all seafarers holding these tickets to register with us so we know who is still active.”

Around 1400 seafarers have already registered, including a number well into their sixth decade in the industry, who are still active and wish to continue using their qualifications while they are in good health.

Consultation is also underway on a range of other adjustments to the SeaCert system including removing the need for seafarers with Able Seaman tickets to move to SeaCert and no longer requiring ratings to renew certificates every five years.

A series of public meetings explaining the changes is being held around the country in May to explain what is proposed

“We are trying to make it as straightforward as possible for seafarers to continue working with the introduction of SeaCert – and for as little cost to them as possible,” Mr Manch said.“Different parts of the industry have expressed a variety of views about possible changes and we now want to get out and hear from seafarers and industry groups around the country.”

Source: Maritime New Zealand

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