Third country national (TCN) crew-members (2014)
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Estonia is currently planning changes to the Aliens’ Act, and the Ministry of the Interior wanted to learn about national regulations in other European countries regarding TCN crew-members.
The current Aliens’ Act does not include special regulations for TCN crew-members. The practice has been that TCN crew-member are required to hold a seafarers’ identity document and, in accordance to the ILO convention, they are given a certificate in the Estonian port which permits them to stay in Estonia for the duration of the ship’s stay.
The questions concerned (i) whether a TCN with a seafarers’ identity document issued by a third country would need a residence permit to work on a vessel carrying the country’s flag; and (ii) whether TCN crew members are subject to other regulations than other TCN, with request for details.
Replies were received from 22 EMN NCPs. The replies from Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary, could not be given a wider circulation.
One country (France) stated that no TCN are allowed as crew on a vessel under its flag. In one country (Bulgaria) there is a requirement that on a vessel under its flag 25 percent of the crew must be Bulgarian citizens and that the captain and chief engineer cannot be a TCN. For ships (predominantly) engaged in foreign trade no residence or work permits are required for crews on vessels flagged to 18 of the responding countries, while for 3 a permit is required also for members of such crews. Some of the countries report that for being allowed on its shore TCN crew members must receive a special certificate valid for the period when the ship is in the harbor and/or subject to a list of crew members being provided on the ship’s arrival and departure.