More than 20,000 Pakistani seafarers are issued SSB, SID and CoC whereas only 11 Pakistan flag ships are registered under the management of PNSC. Thousands are working with foreign shipping lines
KARACHI: The appointment of Captain Qasim Saeed as Chief Nautical Surveyor, Principal Officer, Registrar of Ships and Principal Examiner Master & Mates is illegal and not according to the Pakistani law, said one of the legal expert, who is considered as the legal authority in shipping line.
Principal Officer, Surveyor, Registrar of Ships and Principal Examiner are public servants within the meaning of section 576 of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance, 2001 (MSO, 2001), he said.
After his appointments, all the documents including survey certificates issued by Captain Qasim Saeed and the surveyors working under him on contract basis will be treated as illegal and in many cases the government of Pakistan may face suits for damages and may be blacklisted by International Marine Organization (IMO).
After Manila Amendments, 2010 in the STCW Convention, 1978, new assessment criteria are set out in the standards of competence contained in the tables in the STCW Code, the lawyer said.
According to the sources, the Principal Examiner/Designated Examiner must have documentary evidence to establish experience, training and assessment techniques, qualified in the task for which the assessment is being conducted, hold the level of license, endorsement, or other professional credential required for relevant level of knowledge, skills and abilities to assess.
According to the law the Principal Examiner/Designated Examiner must hold documentary evidence of training or instruction in the form of performance evaluations, he added.
More than 20,000 Pakistani seafarers (officers & crew) are issued Seaman Service Book (SSB), Seafarers Identity Document (SID) and Certificate of Competency whereas only 11 Pakistan flag ships are registered under the management of PNSC. Due to non-availability of employment opportunities to Pakistani apprentices and seafarers, they have to seek employment on board foreign flag ships.
The Pakistani seafarers (officers & crew) has been advised to give proper examination through Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) Karachi, otherwise their certificates would not be accepted on international ports.
“The new assessment criteria are set out for examination and Master/Mates,” Fasih uz Zaman Abbasi advocate, one of the legal experts of Port and Shipping. “Only the designated examiner holding documentary evidence of training in the form of performance evaluation can endorse certificate of competency,” he added.
The Principal Officer of Mercantile Marie Department, Karachi will hold the said examination from 12 March, 2021, 11 June, 2021, 17 September 2021 and 17 December 2021.
According to the Pakistan Legal Awareness Trust (PLAT), having unlawfully endorsed CoC’s will further add to the problem for the reason that shipping companies following the law set forth by IMO and STCW Regulation will not hire Pakistani seafarers and unemployment of Pakistani seafarers will further increase.
It further claimed that all those officers and crew who are currently serving onboard merchant ships will not be promoted to senior ranks as long as the certificates are being issued by an Examiner who does not met with the requirements of standard set forth in amended STCW Regulations, 2010.