Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has signed into law the Maritime Rules giving effect to SeaCert – a major overhaul of the certification process for New Zealand seafarers.
SeaCert is the new Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) seafarer licensing framework for domestic and international Certificates of Competency and Proficiency.
It also sets out where seafarers can operate in local and international waters and will replace the old Qualifications and Operational Limits (QOL) system.
“SeaCert provides a new, simpler and competency-based domestic certificate framework as well as increased recognition of New Zealand certificates overseas, making it easier for New Zealand seafarers to work in other jurisdictions,” said General Manager Maritime Standards Sharyn Forsyth.
“We’ve worked extensively with a wide range of industry bodies, government agencies and training providers during the development of SeaCert, and together we’ve designed a robust, practical system with seafarers in mind.”
MNZ is also putting together over 50 pieces of guidance covering each and every certificate and endorsement, so no matter what qualification a seafarer holds, there is information designed specifically for it.
No seafarer will lose privileges under SeaCert – in fact some will gain privileges as they transition to the new system. A new set of maps on operational limits has also been designed, which outline where seafarers can operate using their new certificates.
SeaCert comes into force on 1 April 2014.
SeaCert, January 29, 2014; Image: International Transport Forum