Balikpapan 12 December 2016, eMaritim.com
The European union suffered an acute seafarers shortage before year 2000, it was long predicted by the UK for the rest of its neighbour.
Countries such as The Netherlands and Germany who has hundreds of their vessel captained by seafarers from European fellow citizens are among the first one to urge the EU to smoothing the regulation.
By the end of 1999, The European Comission for Transportation gave a green light to its member to employ foreigner outside the Schengen Country to be Senior Officer on board the EU flagged vessels. Every state has to have their own standard of qualification and assesment prior employing those who mainly came from East European, Philippines and India, while the Indonesian officers work on board North European vessels are very rare that date.
The first 4 Indonesian officers to have the EU standard and completed the tests are all Deck Officers named : Willius Siwabessy, Redy Rianto, Zaenal Hasibuan, and Dedy Bernard Manurung where then followed by their country fellow man to stand as high as the EU Citizen at all rights on board the ship.
That situation tells the whole story of the European Shipping business, the growth of vessels are faster than the increase of Seafarers. They are all in rush to open the gate for non EU seafarers as the job wasn't attract the EU citizens.
International Maritime Organization as the ruling body for shipping industry around the globe witnessed the alarming situation right under their nose, where UK as the strongest driving force suffered similar case as the Dutch and the Germans.
IMO quick realizing that having competent seafarers is not only important for upholding maritime safety and safeguarding the marine environment, but it is also essential for supporting the growth and prosperity of the maritime industry. What is next?
With the shortage of senior officers in early 2000, Rotterdam is the first major port screamed to the Netherland Scheepvaart for having short of Sea Pilot, followed by Hamburg in Germany and Antwerpen in Belgium.
As for the nation industry, their shipping inspectorate release the mandatory pilotage area for some masters as far as their experience and knowledge considered sufficient to safely navigate the area. Even Kiel Kanal authority permit vessels sail without pilot to tackle the shortage.
To anticipate and protect European harbor being invaded by foreigners, UK
in 2012 smoothing their regulation for Harbor Master requirement by National Occupational Standards for Harbour Masters (NOS).
Technical qualifications were wiped out as long the Harbor Master is British. Since then there are no technical mandatory qualifications to hold the position of Harbour Master. It is a decision for the port, or more specifically the port's Duty Holders, to satisfy themselves that the Harbour Master is suitably qualified to carry out their responsibilities under the terms of the Port Marine Safety Code
Although mentioned that in common practice, the Harbour Master is normally qualified to a level equivalent to that of a Master of the largest ship to visit the port - in most commercial ports this would be to the level of STCW Master Mariner Class 1 Certificate of Competency; and in smaller harbor can be of a lesser degree of qualification.
The act taken by UK to protect their harbor being captained by foreigner, soon adopted by IMO. The sentence Harbor Master must be at least equivalen of a Master of Largest ship to visit the port slighty replaces by sentence It is a decision by the port (Goverment).
The Indonesian Seacom (HUBLA) having a complete different issue than the European, the existence of Senior Offficer from Navy or Merchant ship are more than sufficient. We are not European where high safety standard is their second nature and Ships were built to the finest quality. Where in Europe the Goverment provide a lucrative packet for Harbor master no matter what is their background, Indonesian Harbor Master are still rarely filled by qualified senior officers as the remuneration offered is below those Master of Largest ship to visit the port. A job to do for Seacom in a way to promote the safety of seafarers and vessels by having the man on the right place.(janno)