§ Mr. Michael Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has yet decided whether to accept Merchant Navy certificates of competency issued by other European Community member states as valid for service in junior officer posts on United Kingdom registered ships.
§ Mr. Portillo
Following the consultation exercise announced on 1 December 1988, the Government have decided to implement certain changes to the certification requirements for officers serving on United Kingdom registered merchant vessels.
These changes will allow holders of certificates of competency issued by any member state of the European Community—in accordance with the International Maritime Organisation convention on standards of training, certification and watchkeeping—to serve in junior officer posts on board United Kingdom vessels. The 122W Department has written to the certification authorities in other member states for the information needed to give effect to these changes. They will be introduced as soon as this information is available.
We have also decided to extend recognition to certificates of competency issued by the Norwegian authorities subject to satisfactory assurances on reciprocity.