January 17, 2019 - Montenegrin seafarers remain in a somewhat unmanaged position, the Board of Management of the Montenegrin Seamen’s Union said. EU representatives warned that returning to the "white list" would not last as long as the elimination of the systemic causes of the maritime problem. The Union emphasized that seafarers make 12 percent of the state budget annually.
"Our basic problem is that this vital resource has long been neglected and left to the interest of lobbyists. The epilogue is that the interests of seafarers and the state are not in focus anymore, but they are all viewed through the prism of the interests of those who have embraced the power of deciding on maritime affairs, bringing the regulations in line with that," the Seamen’s Union
For them, it was not surprising that they were "on the blacklist of countries whose EU seaports are below the satisfactory standard" due to unusual acts by groups and individuals.
“It was a shame concerning the tradition and quality of our seafarers," said the representatives of the Seamen’s Union, who believe that "the current return to the white list" is part of their merit.
"But we must not be fooled - this situation will not last as long as the elimination of systemic causes of the problem, and that country, or the relevant ministry, must have the main word," the Union said.
By a decision of the European Commission on 23 March 2017, Montenegro came back to the "White List" of the maritime countries. While we were on the "Black List" of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), our seafarers could not sail under the flags of the EU countries.
Representatives of the Montenegrin Seamen’s Union have pointed out that the best indicator of the vital importance of maritime affairs for the Montenegrin economy is that six thousand seafarers, as estimated, working on foreign ships and four domestic overseas vessels, funds the state budget in the amount of 12 percent annually.
"To clarify, it is about one percent of the population, or about 2.4 percent of the working population," said the Union and stated that this result was achieved on the international maritime labor market exclusively with the knowledge, effort, and work of domestic seafarers under conditions of exceptional competition and world maritime crises.
"Foreign employers are looking for our seafarers. Is there any better confirmation of our quality and knowledge than this?" asked the representatives of the Seafarers' Union
and stated that since establishment they had regular and good communication with the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs and that they had participated in their call for the last two years making several regulations, to compliance with minimum international requirements.