STCW: South Africa moves to avert removal from IMO Whitelist

Sobantu Tilayi
Sobantu Tilayi. PHOTO CREDIT: Samsa

South Africa has expressed concerns over moves by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to remove it and several other countries from the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978 Whitelist. 

The CEO of South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Sobantu Tilayi, confirmed that the agency was extremely concerned by IMO’s planned action and will work towards stopping it. 

“Even as we have a serious situation in our hands, and should never have found ourselves in this position, I am confident that we will act with speed and do so correctly to ensure that the intended action by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee is not finalized to South Africa’s disadvantage,” Tilayi said.

The SAMSA boss explained that the planned response action plan involves three broad activities; securing of IMO assistance with compilation of the report required in terms of the convention, hastening of a SAMSA process setting in place a relevant quality management system, and constant engagement with stakeholders.

In February 2019, IMO revealed its plans to remove all countries that are not compliant with requirements of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention 1978 as amended from its Whitelist. The organization also released a list showing that as many as 87 countries would be affected by the move.

The circular stated the intention but provided no set date for implementation of the action, however, Tilayi said the delisting could happen in 2019.

The STCW ’78 Convention stipulates standards of training, certification and watch-keeping for seafarers.

The main purpose of the convention, according to IMO, is to promote safety of life and property at sea and the protection of the marine environment by establishing in common agreement international standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers.

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