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UNITED KINGDOM – The Philippines, represented by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) of the United Kingdom, inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the recognition of seafarers' certificates under the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers, 1978, as amended.

The significant provision of the MOU is the inclusion of the Red Ensign Group members, consisting of the Crown Dependencies (Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey) and the UK Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, St. Helena and the Turks and Caicos Islands) all of which operate shipping registers from their jurisdiction. This expansion means more opportunities for Filipino seafarers to be employed onboard ships under those flags and for their certificates to be recognized.

Through the signing of the MOU on 23 May 2024, both nations, including the Red Ensign Group members commit to recognize each other's seafarers' certificates, thereby promoting standardized competence and safety in the maritime industry.

Key provisions of the MOU, which emphasize the importance of adherence to national laws, include conditions for recognition, compliance with the STCW Convention, and mutual cooperation in fortifying technical and administrative capabilities related to certification, training, and watchkeeping. The agreement likewise outlines procedures for recognition including mutual visits and evaluations.

The signing of this MOU signifies a significant step towards closer cooperation between the Philippines and the United Kingdom in the maritime domain. This agreement is intended to benefit the seafaring community and contribute to broader objectives such as maritime security and sustainable development. The officials present during the signing ceremony from the Philippines side included Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary for Maritime Elmer Francisco Sarmiento, MARINA Administrator Sonia B. Malaluan, STCW Office Executive Director Samuel L. Batalla and Office of the Administrator Chief of Staff Director Ramon C. Hernandez.


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