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Jamaica and Kenya sign STCW Certificates MOU

Jamaica and Kenya sign STCW Certificates MOU

(Posted on 22/12/20)

The Maritime Authority of Jamaica has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Kenya to enable reciprocal recognition of STCW certificates for seafarers for their nationals.

On behalf of the Jamaican Government, MAJ Director General, Rear Admiral (ret’d) Peter Brady, signed the MOU during a ceremony conducted online due to pandemic restrictions. Nancy Karigithu, the Principal Secretary in the Kenyan State Department of Shipping and Maritime, signed on behalf of the Republic of Kenya, accompanied by Robert Njue, the newly-appointed Director General of the Kenya Maritime Authority.

The agreement means that Jamaican seafarers will now be able to serve on Kenyan-flagged vessels, and vice-versa. This undertaking is unique in that it establishes a Joint Committee on Shipping and Maritime Affairs. The joint committee’s mandate is not limited to the review of the implementation of the undertaking but extends to conducting joint studies in the field of maritime transport and facilitating discussions of maritime safety, security, education and training.

Describing the event as “symbolic of the relationship between our two countries”, Admiral Brady said: “The Maritime Authority of Jamaica, and by extension the Government of Jamaica, is tremendously proud to participate in this official signing ceremony between the Republic of Kenya and Jamaica. This is a significant occasion for both our countries’ seafarers and indeed our respective maritime parent bodies and Governments as we utilize the facility of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers to allow our professional mariners to legally work on board the ships that are flagged by our two countries.

“We are linked by our past and we are determined to move our economies into the future by building partnerships and leveraging the maritime opportunities that abound in the global sphere,” he said.

Praising the “mutual benefits which will accrue under this arrangement”, Mrs Karigithu said: “We truly appreciate that going forward, the citizens of our two great nations can draw benefits in terms of maritime education and job opportunities in the shipping industry, following the execution of the undertaking on the recognition and endorsement of certificates as prescribed under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended”

Jamaica is a signatory to numerous International Maritime Organization (IMO) Conventions, many of which are now enshrined in its Shipping Act and regulations made thereunder. One such Convention is the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended,( STCW Convention). This Convention establishes the minimum standards for the training and certification of seafarers who must meet the qualifications for operating international seagoing ships in the nautical and marine engineering departments of these ships.

The Convention, through a reciprocal provision, affords the employment of nationals on any vessel which trades internationally and for countries to recognize the qualifications of other nations’ seafarers whom they may employ on their respective ships. Jamaica now has undertakings for the recognition of certification under the Convention with nineteen countries including the United Kingdom. This allows its nationals, who have been awarded Certificates of Competency (COC) by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, to work on the ships of these countries with whom it has a reciprocal arrangement, through the facility of the STCW Convention.

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