European Boating Industry (EBI) and the TCC-SCV project team (short for Core Curriculum for Skippers of Small Commercial Vessels) have announced the speakers and the programme of the conference “Skippers Working Without Borders” that will take place in Brussels on 16 June 2016.

The event will address key issues affecting the charter sector and serve as a platform to exchange ideas about possible solutions. Topics on discussion at the conference include the lack of recognition of skippers’ professional qualifications, which also impact charter companies, crew agencies, training institutes and national maritime authorities.

Currently, professional qualifications of individual member States within the Small Commercial Vessel (SCV) sector are not mutually accepted between member States.

Skippers who hold for example a commercial UK Yachtmaster qualification can only work on vessels with British flag, the same is the case for skippers with the equivalent Spanish or German qualifications: they can only work on vessels flagged by the country corresponding to their qualification.

National industry associations are also concerned by the current situation. APL from Czech Republic, BVWW from Germany and FIN from France have already joined as TCC-SCV project partners.

Speakers include:

  • Scott Farquharson, General Manager of Sunsail (TUI Marine),
  • István Ujhelyi, European Parliament’s Vice-Chair of the Transport & Tourism Committee and Parliament’s Tourism Intergroup
  • Claudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Member of European Parliament’s Transport & Tourism Committee and Parliament’s Tourism Intergroup
  • David Kerr, Maritime Attaché at the Permanent Representation of Malta to the EU
  • Hubert Gambs, European Commission’s Director for Maritime Affairs & Fisheries
  • Konstantinos Tomaras, Deputy Head of European Commission’s Unit for professional qualifications and skills
  • Lara Hidalgo, Legal Adviser at the Spanish boating industry association ANEN
  • Silja Teege and Mike John, Directors of Sea Teach and TCC-SCV project leaders

“The conference is the crowning event after years of research and analysis work carried out by teams of national experts under the TRECVET and TCC-SCV projects. Seven different national qualifications were studied in order to develop the TRECVET Core Curriculum for Skippers of Small Commercial Vessels that will be presented on 16 June,” EBI secretary general Mirna Cieniewicz explains.

The conference is not intended to be an expert workshop but rather the first step of a highly needed European and national dialogue regarding professional skippers on small commercial vessels and how to unlock the potential of chartering in Europe.


A detailed programme and the speakers’ list is available online. The conference language is English with no interpretation. Participation is free of charge and prior registration is needed. Participants will have the possibility to interact and exchange with speakers during the whole event, making it a lively debate.

To register, please send your name, surname, organisation, function and country to EBI or TCC-SCV.