In May 2022, meetings of the working group on professional qualifications (CESNI/QP) and the temporary working group on manning requirements (CESNI/QP/Crew) was held in Berlin. The task of CESNI/QP is to draft standards for minimum manning requirements/tables according to the CESNI work programme 2022 – 2024.

After CESNI had adopted the Draft Roadmap for European manning regulations  prepared by CESNI/QP/Crew in October 2021, a full-day online consultation of the sector  took place in December 2021. In this meeting, the participants were informed in detail by representatives of the EU Commission and CESNI/QP and many open questions were discussed in depth.  Entrepreneurs from EBU and ESO were represented in good number and provided important contributions to the discussion.

On the basis of the roadmap and the insights gained in the consultation, intensive work on the draft European manning requirements has been proceeded since January 2022. The timetable is ambitious. It should be possible to present a draft to CESNI already in the first quarter of 2023, and the adoption of the standards is planned for the third quarter of 2023. Between the three meetings of CESNI/QP and CESNI/QP/Crew that will be held until then, work will additional be continued on various issues in a drafting group.

At the meetings in Berlin, the focus was initially on the question of whether and how the levels of automation should already be taken into account in the draft. The CCNR is carrying out extensive work on this subject. After discussion the experts agreed that the level of automation of a vessel may be a decisive factor in the future, but that at the moment the first task is to find manning requirements for the existing fleet and to draft the minimum manning for the different levels of automation at a later stage. The representatives of the IWT Platform proposed to use already existing automation equipment to make the tables more flexible.

Moreover, first results on the scope of the standards were found in Berlin and the Drafting Group was assigned the task of working on further concrete questions. A meeting, which will be held already on 20 June 2022, will deal, among other issues, with possible exemptions for the national area and with a discussion paper submitted by the IWT Platform on whether the minimum crew must be on board if the vessel only needs to move for a short time or over a short distance during loading and unloading, or whether and under what conditions exemptions can be permitted for those and comparable situations.