On May 30, the Embassy of Latvia in Seoul hosted an official ceremony for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Korea on a mutual recognition of seafarers’ certificates.
For Latvia, the document was signed by Chairman Janis Krastins of the Board of the Maritime Administration of Latvia, and for the Republic of Korea, by Director General Eom Ki-doo for the Shipping and Logistic Bureau at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
This memorandum is applicable to seafarers holding certificates issued by one of the two parties, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the STCW convention and serving on board ships flying the flag of the other party. Certificate of competency, certificate of proficiency, training documentary evidence and medical fitness certificate for seafarers issued by the certificate-issuing side will also be mutually recognized.
The details of the memorandum include the following: 1) training and assessment of seafarers, based on the STCW convention, 2) verification of authenticity or validity of the content’s certificates, and 3) notification of any significant changes within 60 days.
Following the signing ceremony, the Latvian Ambassador Peteris Vaivars gave a reception in honor of the milestone event. In his welcoming remarks the Ambassador noted with pleasure that the memorandum was the first inter-governmental document signed on the premises of the Embassy of Latvia in Seoul, which is one of the most recently opened bilateral embassies of Latvia in the world. The invitees were officials from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic Korea, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, as well as the media.
By signing the memorandum, both parties undertake to recognize seafarers’ certificates issued by the parties and as needed by Latvian seamen to work on the vessels of the Republic of Korea, and vice versa. This will facilitate the current practices and offer broader opportunities for seafarers from both countries to work on Latvian ships and those of the Republic of Korea.