Reprieve for 87 countries as IMO adopts new approach to STCW White List

Kitack Lim
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, PHOTO CREDIT: IMO

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has decided to adopt a new approach to its listing process for the implementation of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) White List. 

The STCW 1978 sets minimum qualification standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships and large yachts.

The recent move by the IMO could provide some reprieve for the 87 countries it planned to delist from the STCW White List. 

According to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the IMO agreed to re-approach the process following discussions between SAMSA, other Member States of the IMO and the organization during a meeting in London a week ago.

“Discussions on the matter between the parties concerned came to a conclusion that the drawing up of the list of countries for delisting from the STCW Convention White List earlier this year did not follow due process.

“The IMO then agreed to withdraw the list of affected countries and to embark on a process that is fair and transparent over the next year or two. Therefore the list that was drawn up will no longer be presented to the IMO Maritime Safety Committee that is scheduled to sit in June,” CEO of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Sobantu Tilayi said. 

In February 2019, the IMO unveiled its intentions to delist as many as 87 countries from the STCW White List. 

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