Jamaica and Canada have signed a reciprocal recognition agreement to enable seafarers from both countries to work on ships sailing under the Jamaican or Canadian flags.
The agreement was signed recently at the London headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) by director general of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica Rear Admiral (retd) Peter Brady and director general, marine safety and security at Transport Canada, Joanna Manger.
In an interview with Jamaica Information Service (JIS) News, Rear Admiral Brady described the agreement as a milestone for both countries' seafarers as well as their maritime and transport administrations. "Utilising the facility of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention, we are able to allow our professional mariners to legally work on board the ships that are flagged by our two countries. For Jamaica, this is very important, so that our seafarers get the opportunity to work on Canadian ships and be paid decent wages," Rear Admiral Brady noted.
He emphasised the importance of employing seafarers trained and certified according to the STCW.
"This is critical, because internationally, trading ships operate at global standards required by international rules and measures promulgated in treaties or conventions by the IMO," he added.
The agreement also authorises Jamaica to verify the quality of education at Canada's maritime training establishments and vice versa.
For her part, Manger stated that the agreement will enable Canada to provide more job opportunities and help its domestic partners who are looking for qualified seafarers interested in working or living in Canada.
"We are extremely pleased to be able to sign this agreement with Jamaicaâ€¦ and to embark on this partnership," she said.
Rear Admiral Brady noted that this was the first time that Jamaica and Canada had signed such an agreement at the IMO headquarters, adding that it was particularly significant because both countries have had strong relations for several years. Jamaica now has undertakings for the recognition of certification under the STCW Convention with 22 countries.