UCINA warns: everyday five Italian maritime professionals move away because of a penalizing law. National regulations about the professional qualifications need to be revised to help maritime professionals, not according to bureaucracy.
Thousands of maritime professionals find more and more difficulties in having their competency certificates updated and renewed. UCINA presented the issue during the meeting among UCINA, Italian Yacht Master and the Italian Ministry of Transports: the discussion lead to constructive conclusions, but much is yet to be done upon the matter.
In the past, Italy adopted norms of the International STCW Convention regulating the matter in a much more restrictive way than other European Countries, which caused a true escape abroad, especially to the UK.
“It is a serious occupational damage with consequences on the entire economy in our sector, and we cannot stand it” explained Carla Demaria, UCINA’s president. “An Italian captain often means an Italian crew, when choosing the base port of a national maintenance shipyard; adopting uselessly restrictive norms every day we lose four or five captains who decide to go to work abroad.”
UCINA, together with Italian Yacht Master – Association of the Italian Yachting Captains – presented at the Ministry of Transports their comments to the draft of a decree with the aim to adequate the Italian system to the International regulations.
“We cannot repeat the errors of the past once again,” said Demaria. “Even the Chamber of the Deputes, thanks to the action taken on by UCINA, recognised that, in the implementation of the decree (n. 136, 2011, the regulation still in effect and now being revised) and of its implementation decrees, there have been found some inconveniences, due to a longer procedure or to the inflexibility of the Italian regulations, which lead many Italian professionals of this sector to go get their qualifications in other countries of the European Union and, In particular, in the United Kingdom.”
“We asked to take advantage of every possible interpretive margin in favour of the Italian maritime sector – explained Dario Savino, Vice President of Italian Yacht Master – exactly how the English people do. The STCW Convention retains all instruments to intervene.”
The same should be done:
– to adequate the number of months of navigation necessary to renew qualifications to the same number in the UK;
– to recognize the navigation on every typology of vessel over 80 GT (even the private ones) as valid to renovate the mercantile certificates, as long as it is done for the same function mentioned in the previous certificate or for the immediately following function of a lower level, as it already happens in the UK, France, Spain and Greece.
– the recognition of training courses done in the European Union, necessary to have one’s STCW competency certificate renewed.
– the recognition of navigation done on foreign vessels, as it is done in other European Countries;
– the reduction of the training period needed to get “equivalent functions”, limiting it to 24 months, which is however twice long than the minimum required by the STCW Convention;
– the acceptation of all alternative possibilities to the entire navigation period necessary to revalidate certificates, as they are already noted in the STCW Convention, for instance the attendance to alternative training courses..
Another crucial issue is to try and avoid the implementation of the regulation about the relationship among maritime professional qualifications and the yachting ones” explained Piero Formenti, UCINA’s Vice President and President of the European Association of this sector. “In this way it wouldn’t be possible the switch from a yachting career to a maritime mercantile one, thus creating a new barrier to the access to the work market, penalizing the yachting sector and isolating Italy in a position which has no equal in the other European Marinas”.