Third-country certificates in inland navigation: Coreper confirms agreement with the European Parliament

EU ambassadors today endorsed a political agreement with the European Parliament on a proposal that fills a gap in legislation and ensures that member states can continue to employ holders of third-country certificates in the inland navigation sector.

Crew members holding certificates from non-EU countries represent a significant workforce, especially on certain waterways within the EU, in a sector which already suffers from a deficit of qualified workers and an ageing workforce.

As one of the most CO2-efficient modes of transport, inland navigation is central to the EU’s efforts to decarbonise transport. We must therefore seize any opportunity to support it. The amendment approved today will allow continued work by non-EU nationals, who are essential in keeping the sector running. I would like to thank the European Parliament for their cooperation in bringing this matter to a quick conclusion.

Pedro Nuno Santos, Portuguese Minister for Infrastructure and Housing, President of the Council

Under the agreement, member states may continue to recognise certificates issued by a non-EU country before 18 January 2024 until 17 January 2032.

Following informal contacts between the Council presidency and the European Parliament, it could be noted that the Council’s general approach, agreed by the Transport Council on 3 June, and the amendments voted by the Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism were identical.

After being revised by legal/linguistic experts, the text will be adopted first by the European Parliament and then by the Council, probably in July.