Maritime and Port Authority of Brunei Darussalam (MPABD) and Ghana Maritime Authority recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Mutual Recognition of Certificates issued under the provisions of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended (STCW Convention) at Bandar Seri Begawan and Accra Ghana respectively, in December 2021.
The agreement aims to improve training for seafarers, certificate recognition at both parties’ ends, and better watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level.
Signing on behalf of MPABD was Acting Chief Executive Captain Abdul Mateen bin Abdurrahman Liew @ Martin, while Ghana Maritime Authority was represented by the Ghana Maritime Authority Director-General Thomas K Alonsi Captain Abdul Mateen said, “The signing of this MoU with Ghana is an important milestone where it is the first International Maritime Organization (IMO) member state from the African region to recognise Brunei Darussalam’s certifications under the provisions of the STCW and vice versa.
“As an IMO member state, Ghana contributes significantly to the IMO not only by hosting an IMO Regional Presence Office in Accra but her prominent maritime experts have presided as Chairs of IMO committees. The signing of this MoU also brings Brunei a step closer to her vision of creating employment for Bruneian seafarers. Qualified Bruneian seafarers can explore employment opportunities with vessels under the flags of countries we have signed MoUs with.”
Brunei Darussalam is a signatory to a number of IMO conventions, many of which are now enshrined in the country’s Shipping Act and regulations made thereunder.
One such Convention is the STCW Convention, in which this convention establishes the minimum standards for the training and certification of seafarers who must meet the qualifications or credentials for operating international seagoing ships in the nautical and marine engineering departments of the ships.
The convention, through a reciprocal provision, allows nationals to work on any vessel that trades internationally, as well as enables countries to recognise the qualifications of seafarers from other countries who may work on their ships.
With the signing of the MoU, Brunei and Ghana will enable seafarers with certifications of competency and proficiency to serve onboard vessels registered under the flag of either parties.
It also intends to put in place measures to ensure that seafarers are educated with knowledge of the maritime legislation and trained in maritime laws and regulations to ensure that they have the competencies for the roles they are permitted to perform.