General instructions on training for life at sea for marine students, deck and machine department

A. Eligible students

  1. Candidates in training at marine institutes of the European Union, insofar as these institutes and this training are recognised by the national authorities and lead to diplomas, licences or certificates the equivalence of which in Belgium is guaranteed by the competent body.
  2. Higher secondary education graduates who provide proof that they are enrolled at a marine institute as mentioned above.
  3. In order to be hired in the framework of training for life at sea, the students referred to above must be registered on the Pool List.

B. Eligible marine training voyages

  1. The students mentioned under A will be hired according to demand and the possibilities offered by the shipowner.
  2. The students mentioned under A will be hired as cadets on board of ships operated by a shipowner falling under Joint Committee no. 316 which appear on the list of ships approved for training for life at sea by the social partners of this Joint Committee.

Marine training voyages as a compulsory or optional part or module of training are not eligible for training for life at sea.

C. Formalities and conditions for registration with the Pool

In order to be registered on the Pool List, cadets must be able to present the following documents:

  1. the application form for registration on the Pool List. This must be completed, signed and submitted to the Seafarers department of the NSSO before the start of the voyage;
  2. a recent copy of the applicant's criminal record (‘model 1’) must be attached to the application;
  3. proof of enrolment at a marine institute as referred to under A above;
  4. a certificate stating that you comply with the medical requirements to embark as a cadet, as laid down in Art. 102 of the Royal Decree of 20.07.1973 on the regulations for marine inspections;
  5. an authorisation from your parents or guardian if you have not reached the age of 18 on the date of the application for registration;
  6. a signed sworn statement that you are not receiving any other benefit or replacement income from another institution, in the framework of a vocational training project or for another reason;
  7. a written statement indicating a payment institution of your choice for the possible payment of the total remuneration for a training voyage; and
  8. a completed agreement between the shipowner and the cadet.

Cadets may sign on at any time throughout the calendar year.

D. Remuneration and insurance

  1. The cadet will receive a remuneration for training for life at sea in the amount of 6 payable days per week (excluding Sundays and bank holidays). The conditions for registration and payment of the allowance will be assessed on the date of receipt of the complete application for registration.
    Payable day shall mean: a day aboard the ship and/or a travel day in the six-day week system. Travel documents must be provided as proof in the case of travel days.
  2. The amount of the allowance shall be the amount applicable during the corresponding period established under category B1 of the Royal Decree of 9 April 1965 on the Pool of seafarers for merchant shipping. The amount of the allowance is 45.32 euros.
  3. In addition to the allowance under category B1, the Fund for the Merchant Shipping Sector pays an additional allowance. The amount of this additional allowance is 7.21 euros. Any change to this amount during the period of training for life at sea will be notified immediately by the Fund for the Merchant Shipping Sector to the Seafarers department of the NSSO.
  4. For possible work performed outside the normal hours, an additional amount may be paid by the shipowner on top of the allowance from the Seafarers department of the NSSO and the additional allowance from the Fund for the Merchant Shipping Sector.
  5. The total remuneration received for a training voyage as determined under sections D3, D4 and D5 (allowance from NSSO + additional allowance from fund for merchant shipping + payment by shipowner), including travel days, must not exceed an average of 73.52 euros per payable day.
  6. The allowance from the NSSO and the additional allowance from the Fund for the Merchant Shipping Sector will be paid through the payment institutions competent for the payment of tideover allowances.
  7. Regardless of the total duration of the training voyage (including possible travel days), and subject to possible exceptional circumstances, the total amount that can be received for a training voyage (including possible travel days) is limited to 50 payable days. The management committee of seafarers of the NSSO will assess the seriousness of the exceptional circumstances and decide about the granting of additional payable days, without exceeding the period of the training voyage.
  8. The total number of payable days throughout the entire duration of training is limited to 150.
  9. The shipowner shall pay for the costs of board and lodging, as well as any travel and/or repatriation costs.
  10. Cadets will be insured on travel days and days on board according to the conditions of the insurance entered into by the shipowner with whom they undertake their training voyage.

E. Rights and obligations of the shipowner

  1. Cadets will embark in a supernumerary capacity.
  2. Cadets can work overtime, but they cannot be obliged to do so.
  3. Shipowners are not allowed to have cadets perform maintenance work which would affect the number of working hours of crew members.
  4. They may only use cadets for training for life at sea on board of ships which are listed on the list of ships approved by Joint Committee no. 316 which have been designated to accept cadets on board during the summer holidays.
  5. The shipowner shall pay for the costs of board and lodging, as well as any travel and/or repatriation costs.
  6. The shipowner is obliged to take out an insurance policy covering all risks to which participants in the training voyage are exposed, for the duration of the training voyage, including travel days.
  7. During the entire training voyage, including travel days, the shipowner shall be liable for the cadet's medical expenses.
  8. The shipowner shall draw up a certificate for each cadet, stating the total remuneration amount (= total of all allowances and additional payments by the shipowner), the dates of signing on and off and possible travel days (providing travel documents as proof). He shall submit this to the Seafarers department of the NSSO within 2 weeks from the date of signing on.
  9. On completion of the training voyage the shipowner must provide the cadet with a certificate of service.
  10. The shipowner must pay a solidarity contribution, as mentioned in Article 3, § 3sexies of the Decree-Law of 7 February 1945 on social security for seafarers in merchant shipping. To this end, the NSSO automatically issues a statement. After receipt of this statement the shipowner has one month to pay the solidarity contribution due. If he fails to pay, the legal sanctions relating to social security contributions as referred to above apply.
  11. At the request of the administration of the Seafarers department of the NSSO, the shipowner must provide all information and documents considered relevant in dealing with the case.

F. Rights and obligations of the cadet

  1. Cadets can work overtime, but they cannot be obliged to do so.
  2. Cadets are not allowed to perform maintenance work which would affect the number of working hours of crew members.
  3. The cadet must provide all information and documents considered relevant in dealing with the case.
  4. The cadet must take the route from and to the ship that is specified by the shipowner or his representative.
  5. The cadet undertakes to submit the certificate of service and any possible travel documents to the Seafarers department of the NSSO immediately after signing off.

G. Formalities to be able to keep the total remuneration for a training voyage

  1. Students who sign on between 15 June and 30 September must be enrolled at a marine institute as determined under A1 during the academic year following the training voyage.
  2. As proof of this, they must submit proof of enrolment to the Seafarers department of the NSSO.
  3. Students who fail to comply with both aforementioned conditions on 30 November 2017 must pay back the total remuneration for the training voyage. They can submit a request for postponement in writing, providing reasons, to the Seafarers department of the NSSO. Within 10 working days from the receipt of this request, the administration of the Seafarers department of the NSSO will communicate its decision to the student in writing.