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Our main areas of work include:

1. Professional skippers' qualifications
2. Boater's qualifications
3. EU smart borders


1. Professional skippers' qualifications

Logo TCC-SCV final-smallDespite a single internal market and greatly simplified administrative procedures for EU citizens to live and study anywhere in Europe, certain professional qualifications are still not accepted by various Member States and this is why an EU-funded project called TCC-SCV (TRECVET Core Curriculum for Skippers of Small Commercial Vessels) was initiated.

TCC-SCV kicked-off in Palma de Mallorca in November 2014 and finished in August 2016 with its main outputs presented at the "Skippers Working Without Borders" conference on 16 June 2016 in Brussels.

The project has been looking at the problem of restricted working mobility with regard to professional skippers on small vessels within the European Union (who unlike merchant seafarers don’t enjoy worldwide mobility). The initiative has gathered 10 partners from 9 countries, namely Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and UK.

TCC-SCV expanded its comparison software (back then 3 sets of qualifications), developed in 2011 with TRECVET project, to 7 national qualifications now from Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Slovenia, Spain and UK. The comparison software (providing transparency and simplicity when comparing similar qualifications from different countries) will also contain information about the commonalities and differences of all 7 qualifications. This information will be used to inform and assist the maritime administrations in Czech Republic and Romania, where work is in progress to develop the relevant legal framework for the profession. The detailed analysis of both theoretical and practical fundamental elements of each national qualification carried out by the TCC-SCV project will provide the information needed by maritime administrations to understand other national qualifications.

Main project outcomes

Two main outcomes of the TCC-SCV initiative are: the Online Comparison Tool and the Common Core Curriculum. The Online Comparison Tool showed that today 80 to 90% of the 7 analysed qualifications are identical. It means that differences are far less than commonalities and that generally speaking the various qualifications are already very similar. This tool brings the much needed transparency and details about the content of each qualification, making it easy to understand what additional training or competences would be required when working for another Member State’s flag.
The Common Core Curriculum was designed based on the current common base. Based on the identified differences among Member States, the additional knowledge and competences would be proposed as modules. This way, each skipper can personalise his training needs according to the common core and the necessary additional modules requested by individual Member States. Therefore, the additional compensation measures would be limited to the truly different competences required by the destination Member States.

For more about the project, take a look at www.tcc-scv.eu 

Even though the project has officially ended now, the research and work are being carried out to extend the project findings to other EU Member States to get an even better picture at the problem in the entire EU and find the right solutions.


2. Boater’s qualifications

Boat licensing is regulated at the national level with 25 out of 30 European countries requiring some form of boat license to navigate in their waters. However, the requirements for each country vary greatly with regard to the area of navigation, the distance from shore or a shelter, the means of propulsion (sailing or motor boats), the boat’s length and the engine’s power. Today, 18 European countries (15 of which are EU Member States) apply the UNECE Resolution 40 introducing the International Certificate of Competence (ICC). The ICC applies to operators of recreational craft bound for or on the inland and coastal waters of foreign countries and specifically includes bareboat charter vessels. The certificate acts as a form of documentary assurance from one country to another that the holder meets the level of competence laid down in Resolution 40. It is, however, only valid in those countries where Resolution 40 has been adopted and the ICC is recognised and remains the only international evidence of competence that exists for recreational boaters in Europe. Today, the varied national rules and limited uptake of Resolution 40 and the ICC can be confusing for boaters but also professionals. It can also limit boating tourism in Europe.


3. EU smart borders

Following the proposal of a “Smart Border” Package, proposed by the European Commission in 2013, three years later (6 April 2016), it adopted a revised legislative proposal for “Smart Borders”. This revised legislative proposal includes: a Regulation for the establishment of an Entry/Exit System and a proposed amendment to the Schengen Borders Code to integrate the technical changes needed for the Entry/Exit System. The changes aim to address the ever-increasing number of third-country nationals entering the Schengen area, as the existing systems and tools at the national level cannot meet the objectives of the smart borders initiative. This is of interest to the boating industry as the measures proposed may have an effect on the leisure navigation and the possible new obligations for boaters. More about the Commission’s proposals: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/smart-borders/index_en.htm