§ Lord Teviot
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans they have for changes to the certification requirements for officers serving on United Kingdom registered merchant ships.815WA
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Lord Brabazon of Tara)
My honourable friend placed in the Library of the House on Thursday 1st December a copy of a consultation paper issued by the Department of Transport which invites comments on proposals for changes to the certification requirements for officers serving on United Kingdom registered merchant vessels.
The changes would allow holders of certificates of competency issued by any member state of the European Community to serve as junior officers on board United Kingdom vessels. They would bring the United Kingdom's arrangements into line with our obligations under Community law and would provide shipping companies operating on the United Kingdom register with some flexibility in manning their vessels in the face of the current shortage of suitably qualified junior officers. If adopted, the changes would come into effect early next year.
The paper considers the implications of the changes for the safety of UK ships, the employment prospects for British seafarers, and the UK's defence requirements. It also considers the case for extending 816WA recognition beyond the European Community. Comments are invited by 20th January 1989.