ECSA and ICS warmly welcome EU decision to recognise training and certification of Filipino seafarers

31 Mar 2023

The European Commission decided today to continue to recognise the Philippines' training and certification system. ECSA and ICS welcome this positive development, as Filipino seafarers play a central role in global shipping and in keeping trade moving.

ECSA (European Community Shipowners’ Associations) and ICS (International Chamber of Shipping) warmly welcome the decision of the European Commission to continue to recognise the certificates of Filipino seafarers, confirming the  compliance of the Philippines with the requirements of the STWC Convention. The decision follows the response by authorities of the Philippines to a report by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)  that explored the deficiencies in the country’s standards of training and certification.

Filipino seafarers represent 14% of the global workforce in the sector and are instrumental in keeping  global shipping running. Industry partners remain committed to work with the industry, seafarers’ representatives and the Filipino authorities to build continuity and sustainability in the Filipino system. For this purpose, ECSA and ICS along with other industry partners and the government of the Philippines have started working together in January under the newly established International Advisory Committee on Global Maritime Affairs (IACGMA).

“European shipowners welcome the recognition of the training and the certification system of the Philippines. We congratulate the country for their commitment and their in-depth response to the shortcomings identified by the Commission.” said ECSA Secretary General Sotiris Raptis. “This is a positive development as Filipino seafarers play a central role in European shipping and in keeping European trade moving. By engaging with the authorities of the Philippines together with our industry partners, ECSA strives to facilitate a productive dialogue between the country and the EU on matters of key importance such as seafarers’ qualifications, training, and certification”.

Guy Platten, ICS Secretary General added: “As a major seafaring nation, Filipino seafarers are a vital and valued part of the seafarer workforce. This decision made by the European Commission is a testament to the Philippines’ hard work to make sure seafarer training complies with regulations. The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is delighted to be convening partners to ensure these standards are maintained globally. In January 2023 a new advisory committee was launched to give expert advice on major maritime issues affecting Filipino seafarers - the International Advisory Committee for Global Maritime Standards, which is supported by the Philippines government and in collaboration with ECSA and industry partners. By all of us working together on these issues, we can tackle the challenges ahead for our workforce. Maintaining seafarer training standards globally ensures a brighter future for our seafarers."

Read the European Commission press release here.

ECSA and ICS logo jointAbout ECSA

The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), known as the “voice of the European shipping industry”, which promotes the interests of 20 member associations of the European Union and Norway by striving for a regulatory environment that fosters the international competitiveness of European shipping.

About ICS

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for merchant shipowners and operators, representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet.  

For press and media inquiries, please contact ECSA Director Shipping Policy, Luisa Puccio,