TO ALL SHIPPING BRANCHES AND REGIONAL COUNCILS.
Our ref: S1/1
19th March 2020
Seafarers’ ENG1 renewal – Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) update
I am writing to update you on the latest guidance to seafarers who may need to update their ENG1 medical certificate during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The MCA has discretionary powers to exempt a seafarer from the statutory ENG1 requirement for up to three months but the circumstances in which this applies to seafarers joining ship in the UK are not clear. We have raised this with the MCA and requested that they amend their guidance to make it clearer for seafarers. Please be assured that your Union is watching this issue closely.
We have also called on the MCA to audit all UK seafarers’ qualifications in this unprecedented period. This will ensure that Ratings and Officers certification, especially ENG1 and basic STCW requirements are up to date.
The prospect of COVID-19 reducing the supply of non-UK Ratings to the UK shipping industry is real and demands Government intervention to maximise the availability of UK seafarers.
In the meantime, seafarers are advised to check the validity of their ENG1 certificate which must be renewed every two years. Any seafarers encountering problems now in accessing a GP or Approved Doctor to renew their ENG1 should contact the MCA by email firstname.lastname@example.org or on the following telephone numbers: 0203 908 5138, 0203 817 2742, 0203 817 2376 or 0203 817 2502
I would be grateful if you would share this with members in your branch or region and I will keep you informed of all further developments.