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Fishing ship captain

1. Defining the activity

The fishing vessel master is a professional who carries out a command mission with his crew and manages fishing campaigns. On board his ship, he is in charge of manoeuvring, processing of fished species, administration and relations with port authorities.

Two degrees. Professional qualifications

a. National requirements

The occupation of fishing vessel captain is reserved for the master's certificate holder, fulfilling all of the following conditions:

  • Be at least 20 years old on the day the patent application is filed
  • Hold a certificate of medical fitness
  • Have acquired a sufficient level of language skills and legal knowledge;
  • Have the necessary professional qualifications
  • having served at sea:- for the fishing skipper's certificate holder: at least 12 months as a bridge watch officer, second master or master, on fishing vessels over 24 metres, or six months as a bridge watch officer at aboard ships armed to trade or to marinae,
    • for the holder of a Marine Senior Technician (BTSM) specialty specialty "fishing and management of the marine environment": at least twelve months as a bridge watch officer on fishing vessels of more than 24 metres, or six months in as a bridge watch officer on armed vessels for trade or pleasure,
    • for the master 3,000, master or first-class master of marine navigation certificate: six months as a bridge watch officer.

Note that

The captain's certificate is valid for a period of five years and must be renewed under the rules of the decree of July 24, 2013 revalidation of maritime vocational training titles.

To go further Article L. 5521-3 and the following of the Transportation Code; Article 10 of the decree of April 18, 2016 on the issuance of the fishing master's licence.

National legislation

Training

To meet the requirement of professional qualifications, the candidate for the captain's certificate must be the holder:

  • one of the following valid patents:- fishing lieutenant's certificate,
    • fishing boss's patent;
  • Diploma of Fishing Captain;
  • Basic Safety Training Certificate (CFBS);
  • Advanced FireFighting Qualification Certificate (CQALI);
  • Certificate of Fitness to Operate Lifeboats and Liferafts (CAEERS);
  • Certificate certifying the validation of Level III medical education (EM III);
  • General Operator Certificate (CGO).

To go further Article 5 and following of the order of April 18, 2016.

Physical fitness

Access to the profession of captain on a fishing vessel is subject to minimum fitness requirements that are assessed during required medical visits:

  • prior to access to the profession of captain;
  • Before the first boarding;
  • before entering maritime training;
  • before the expiry of the certificate of medical fitness, the duration of which varies according to the age of the master.

At the end of the medical visit, the doctor may decide that he is fit and will be given a certificate of fitness.

On the other hand, when the doctor's decision indicates a partial suitability, temporary incapacity or total incapacity, the person concerned may challenge it with the Regional Medical Commission for Navigation Aptitude (CMRA).

To go further : decree of December 3, 2015 health and medical fitness to navigate.

Control of language and legal knowledge

In order to practise as a captain, the person must have knowledge of French and legal matters. To justify them, it will have to provide:

  • a French secondary or higher education diploma or a certificate of less than one year attesting to a B2 master's degree. For more information, please refer to the Common European Framework for Languages  ;
  • any diploma of French higher education sanctioning specific training or teaching relating to the powers and prerogatives of public power conferred on the captain of a French-flagged ship.

If the master does not have any of these documents, he will have to submit to a written test in French and an interview before a national assessment board. The written test and interview will test whether he has the legal knowledge necessary for the job, and assess his ability to communicate in a professional context as well as to write in the French language.

To go further Article L. 5521-3 of the Transportation Code; Article 3 and following of the decree of 2 June 2015 .

b. EU or EEA nationals: for temporary and occasional exercise (Free Service Delivery)

A national of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) state, legally acting as a captain on fishing vessels in one of these states, may use his or her professional title in France, either temporarily or temporarily. Casual.

He will have to request it, before his first performance, by declaration addressed to the interregional director of the competent sea of the administrative region in which he is identified (see infra "4o. a. Make a prior declaration of activity for EU or EEA nationals engaged in temporary and occasional activity (LPS)").

Where neither the activity nor the training leading to this activity is regulated in the State in which it is legally established, the professional will have to justify having carried it out in one or more Member States for at least one year, in the ten years before the performance.

What to know

The exercise of captain in France, on a temporary or casual basis, requires that the national possess all the necessary language skills.

Where there are substantial differences between the training of the national and those required in France, or where the person concerned has not acquired all the skills required to practise in a French-flagged fishing vessel, compensation can be taken (see infra "4o. a. Good to know: compensation measure").

To go further Articles 20 of the year decree of June 24, 2015 and 8 of the decreed from 8 February 2010 .

c. EU or EEA nationals: for a permanent exercise (Free Establishment)

A national of an EU or EEA state may settle in France to practice permanently if:

  • it holds a title issued by a competent authority in another Member State, which regulates access to the profession or its exercise;
  • The title presented has its exact equivalent in France;
  • he has worked full-time or part-time for one year in the last ten years in another Member State which does not regulate training or the practice of the profession.

Once he fulfils one of the three previous conditions, he will have to apply for a certificate of recognition from the competent Interregional Director of the Sea (see infra "4o. b. Obtain a certificate of recognition for EU or EEA nationals for a permanent exercise (LE)).

If, in reviewing the file, the Interregional Director of the Sea finds that there are substantial differences between the professional training and experience of the national and those required to operate on a flagged vessel compensation measures can be taken (see infra "4o. b. Good to know: compensation measure"

To go further Articles 18 and 19 of the decree of 24 June 2015; Articles 4 and 5 of the February 8, 2010 order.

Three degrees. Conditions of honorability, ethical rules, ethics

The person concerned must respect moral conditions and not have been convicted of a correctional or criminal sentence.

To do so, he will have to present an extract from his criminal record of less than three months or a certificate of less than three months, from the EU State or the EEA, certifying these conditions.

To go further Article L. 5521-4 of the Transportation Code.

It's a four-degree one. Qualification recognition process and formalities

a. Make a pre-declaration of activity for EU or EEA nationals engaged in temporary and occasional activity (LPS)

Competent authority

The Interregional Director of the Sea in the administrative region in which the master wishes to carry out the performance or in which the armament port of the fishing vessel is located, is competent to decide on the declaration. He will acknowledge receipt of the application within one month of receipt of the file.

Renewal of pre-declaration

The declaration must be renewed once a year and in the event of a change in the national's situation.

Supporting documents

In order to practise as a master on a fishing vessel, the national sends a file to the competent authority containing the following supporting documents:

  • A written statement signed by the national;
  • A valid piece of identification
  • a certificate from the eu's state or EEA competent authority certifying that the national is legally established in that state and does not incur any prohibition on practising;
  • A certificate justifying the national's professional qualifications;
  • a certificate justifying its activity for at least two years in the last ten years, when neither training nor the practice of the profession is regulated in the Member State;
  • A certificate justifying that the moral conditions are being met;
  • A certificate of physical fitness to navigate
  • a certificate of mastery of language skills.

Time

The service can begin as long as there is no opposition from the Interregional Directorate of the Sea:

  • The expiry of a one-month period from the request for declaration;
  • in the event of a request for further information or verification of professional qualifications, at the end of a two-month period from receipt of the full application.

Note that

In the event of a request for partial access to the profession, the national will have to take the same steps as for the exercise of the activity on a temporary or casual basis on French territory.

Good to know: compensation measure

In order to obtain permission to practise, the person concerned may be required to submit to an aptitude test if it appears that the qualifications and work experience he uses are substantially different from those required for practising the profession in France.

The aptitude test must establish that the relevant knowledge and qualifications are mastered.

Cost

Free.

To go further Articles 7-2 to 10 of the February 8, 2010 order.

b. Obtain a certificate of recognition for EU or EEA nationals for a permanent exercise (LE)

Competent authority

The Interregional Director of the Sea, sitting in the administrative region of the fishing vessel's armament port, is competent to issue the certificate of recognition authorizing the permanent exercise of captain in France.

Procedure

The request for a certificate of recognition is addressed by any means to the competent authority of the administrative region in which it wishes to settle. In the event of a missing document, the competent authority has one month from receipt of the file, to inform the national.

Supporting documents

In order to practice the profession of captain in France on a permanent basis, the person concerned must produce a complete file containing:

  • The form Cerfa No.14750 Duly completed and signed;
  • A valid piece of identification
  • a certificate of professional experience issued by the competent authority of the Member State, when the profession is not regulated in that State;
  • when requested by the competent authority, if necessary, the training programme leading to the issuance of the title;
  • A certificate justifying that the moral conditions are being met;
  • A certificate of physical fitness to navigate
  • a certificate of mastery of language skills.

What to know

If necessary, the pieces must be translated into French by a certified translator.

Outcome of the procedure

The competent authority has one month to decide on the application for certification, as soon as the full file is received.

Any decision, whether it is acceptance, refusal or res compensation, must be justified.

The silence kept at the end of a two-month period will be worth the decision to reject the application for recognition.

If the decision is accepted, the competent authority issues the certificate of recognition, which has a validation period of five years.

Good to know: compensation measures

In order to carry out his activity in France or to enter the profession, the national may be required to submit to the compensation measure of his choice, either an adjustment course or an aptitude test, carried out within six months of the decision to competent authority.

Cost

Free.

To go further Articles 2 to 5-2 of the February 8, 2010 order.

c. Remedies

French assistance centre

The ENIC-NARIC Centre is the French centre for information on academic and professional recognition of diplomas.

Solvit

SOLVIT is a service provided by the National Administration of each EU member state or party to the EEA agreement. Its aim is to find a solution to a dispute between an EU national and the administration of another of these states. SOLVIT intervenes in particular in the recognition of professional qualifications.

Conditions

The person concerned can only use SOLVIT if he establishes:

  • that the public administration of one EU state has not respected its rights under EU law as a citizen or business of another EU state;
  • that it has not already initiated legal action (administrative action is not considered as such).

Procedure

The national must complete a online complaint form .

Once his file has been submitted, SOLVIT contacts him within a week to request, if necessary, additional information and to verify that the problem is within his competence.

Supporting documents

To enter SOLVIT, the national must communicate:

  • Full contact details
  • Detailed description of his problem
  • all the evidence in the file (for example, correspondence and decisions received from the relevant administrative authority).

Time

SOLVIT is committed to finding a solution within ten weeks of the day the case was taken over by the SOLVIT centre in the country in which the problem occurred.

Cost

Free.

Outcome of the procedure

At the end of the 10-week period, SOLVIT presents a solution:

  • If this solution resolves the dispute over the application of European law, the solution is accepted and the case is closed;
  • if there is no solution, the case is closed as unresolved and referred to the European Commission.

More information

SOLVIT in France: General Secretariat for European Affairs, 68 rue de Bellechasse, 75700 Paris ( official website ).