Great news for Filipino seafarers! With the new reciprocal arrangements signed between Canada and Philippines has opened the door for Filipino seafarers who are now eligible to work on Canada flag ships.
This opens up new opportunities and possibilities for Filipino seafarers to expand their careers and contribute their valuable skills and expertise to the Canadian maritime industry.
The agreement signed between Canada and Philippines for the recognition of certificates of competency and issuance of endorsements pursuant to regulation I/10 of the STCW Convention.
the Philippines has been included by Canada in a list of countries with reciprocal arrangements for Canadian endorsement applications. This marks a significant milestone, as the Philippines becomes the sixth country, following Australia, France, Norway, Ukraine, Georgia, and the United Kingdom, to establish such an arrangement with Canada.
On March 29, a mutual agreement was signed between the nations, acknowledging the competency certificates of Filipino sailors, specifically the Standard for Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). This significant agreement opens up employment opportunities for Filipino mariners on Canadian-flagged vessels. Notably, it simplifies the process by enabling them to obtain work visas without the necessity of obtaining permanent residency status.
Bruce Burrows, CEO of the Chamber of Marine Commerce, a leading organization representing shipping interests in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, highlighted the significance of this initiative. In response to the notable shortage of personnel in Canada’s maritime industry, Burrows stated that they have actively sought support from Transport Canada to facilitate the immigration of more foreign workers, including officers and crew members. This endeavor aims to address the pressing workforce shortfall and ensure the smooth operation of our vessels.
One may argue that this situation could be viewed as a setback for Indian seafarers.
Indeed, despite Indian seafarers being considered as direct competitors to Filipino seafarers in the industry, this situation poses a setback for Indian seafarers.
It is recommended that the Government engage in discussions with Canada to explore the possibility of establishing reciprocal arrangements. Such arrangements would create additional job opportunities for Indian seafarers, facilitating greater collaboration between the two nations.
Furthermore, even if Canadian citizens are granted Indian endorsement, it does not pose a risk to the Indian shipping industry. The pay structure provided by Indian companies is not attractive enough to entice Canadians to work under such conditions.