What will be the situation regarding professional qualifications in the merchant navy?
These professional qualifications are issued under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and are therefore internationally recognised.
However, individual countries must recognise certain qualifications (bridge officers/engine room officers/radio officers and tanker proficiency certificates) by issuing endorsements and they need to have signed a bilateral STCW qualification recognition agreement if they do not belong to the EU. At present, Spain does not have such an agreement with the United Kingdom.
Will British- or Gibraltarian-flagged ships be able to continue engaging in regular or non-regular cabotage sailing?
Not at all. Cabotage sailing is reserved for Spanish- and EU-flagged ships. Withdrawal by the United Kingdom from the European Union will mean it is treated in the same way as any other third country in this regard and UK ships will be unable to access this traffic market unless they change their flag to one from the European Union.
Will the crews of ships engaged in island cabotage services be affected?
In the crew of EU-flagged ships engaged in island cabotage, the captain, first officer and 50% of the rest of the crew must be nationals of a Member State of the European Union. Once British crewmembers are not counted as nationals of a Member State of the European, ships will need to adapt their crew composition to meet the requirements of the new situation.