17th SEPTEMBER 2021



The CESMA members attending CESMA AGA noted with concern the problems of COVID 19 pandemic (crew change difficulties and different approaches of the countries all over the world), piracy, safety of ro-ro, ropax and cruise ships, continued illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean, mooring accidents involving approved equipment, different practices in simulator training in EU countries, excessive paperwork on board commercial ships, decrease of traditional navigational skills, decreased employment of EU seafarers and continued accidents some with fatal end with Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOC’s) sticks on the following resolutions of primary importance for shipmasters.


New resolution 1: Covid19 pandemic consequences on crew members and shipmasters

The 26th Annual General Assembly noted with concern the serious problems generated by the Covid19 pandemic regards to seafarers and shipmasters in particulars. The situation created new rules in each country and port. Crew changes were delayed due to difficulties to travel of seafarers who, at that time, were not recognized early as key workers, despite calls from UN and IMO General Secretaries. This made quite impossible to relief crew members at normal end of their contract, which lead to exceptional mental and physical fatigue to seafarers, with effects on safety problems/situations at sea and in port, and crew management difficulties for shipmasters and global supply chain.

After more than one year of pandemic, the reliefs become easier, but it still remains too many seafarers waiting for relief, and the consequences, due to fatigue, on safety at sea are still the same.

The vaccination of seafarers, now being underway, does not give as a result more facilities for reliefs neither for vaccinated crew members the possibility of shore leaves.

Even if some European ports already offer possibility to seafarers to be vaccinated whatever be their nationality, the Assembly strongly requires EU Administration to push the EU Countries and EU ship-owners to facilitate the vaccination of seafarers during calls in their ports and the possibility of shore leaves.

The Assembly urges EU Port Authorities to accept all the vaccines recognised by WHO/EU Health Authorities and to treat seafarers vaccinated with them as vaccinated in order to facilitate shore leaves and crew changes in their ports.


Resolution nr. 2: Implementation of sulphur cap and ballast water management.

The 26th Annual General Assembly noted continuation of serious problems the shipmasters and crew face with the implementation of 2020 sulphur cap and prosecution of shipmasters on violations of the existing rules despite the bunkers nowadays are ordered by the ship operators.

When any problems arise with compliance of sulphur contents restrictions or ballast water management rules, the masters are blamed and there are several cases with serious charges against them. The delegates insist on EU institutions to adjust the existing rules to the latest industry and information technology developments but not to blame the shipmasters for the violations coming from the shore parties involved in ship operation and shipmanagement.


Resolution nr. 3: Criminalisation of shipmasters.

The 26th Annual General Assembly again noted that the problem of criminalisation of seafarers and of shipmasters in particular, continues to be a matter of great concern. CESMA urgently requests ship owners and/or operators to always provide legal assistance for masters, serving on their ships, in case of an incident as a consequence of which they are detained by local authorities, until, at least, a final verdict has been pronounced. The Assembly was also reported of an increasing of commercial pressure on shipmasters.


Resolution nr. 4:  Fatigue and safe manning.

The Assembly again discussed the problem of fatigue in the maritime industry. The requirement of a minimum of three certified bridge watch keepers, including the master, on each seagoing vessel of 500 GT and more, is still supported by CESMA. It continues to urge Port State Control officers to intensify verification of work and rest periods during shipboard inspections.


Resolution nr. 5: Shipmaster key role in navigating the ship in VTS control areas.

The Assembly discussed the safety of ships when navigating in VTS surveillance areas and the current trend to restrict the shipmasters’ decisions in favour of more authority by the VTS operators. CESMA urges European institutions and national legislative bodies to respect the shipmaster’s overriding authorities as per ISM Code in saving life at sea, the ship and marine environment.


Resolution nr. 6: MASS (Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship).

The Assembly noted the development of autonomous ships and the consequences on seafarers’ employability. It noted also that the responsibilities in case of incident are not yet clearly defined. CESMA will remain vigilant on the respect of International Maritime Laws.


Captain D. Dimitrov                                                                         Captain H. Ardillon

President                                17th  September 2021                       Secretary General





Those present:

Captain H. Ardillon                                        President, AFCAN, France

Captain D. Dimitrov                                       Deputy President, BSMA, Bulgaria

Captain M. Badell Serra                                 Vice President, ACCMM, Spain

Captain L. Geenevasen                                   Administrator, NVKK, Netherlands

Captain G. Ribaric                                          ZPU, Slovenia

Captain Captain W.Martens                           VDKS, Germany

Captain B. Kavanagh                                      IIMM, Ireland

Captain B. Alam                                             IIMM, Ireland

Captain B. Baert                                             KBZ, Belgium

Captain H. Ammerlaan                                   NVKK, Netherlands

Captain J. Karnincic                                        UKPTM, Croatia

Captain D. Lakos                                            UKPTM, Croatia

Captain G. Lettich                                          CNPC, Italy

Captain M. Carobolante                                  CTPC, Italy

Captain M. Gianelli                                         USCLAC, Italy


The Council is welcomed by the President of CESMA, Captain Hubert Ardillon.




The President, Captain Hubert Ardillon opened the 26th CESMA Council Meeting in the beautiful former palace and now Maritime Museum of Rijeka. He expressed on behalf of CESMA appreciations for the excellent atmosphere for the meeting to capt. Juraj Karnincic and wished the participants fruitful meeting. After more than two years again there is possibility the Council members to meet live and to discuss the issues face to face, even if, as we were disciplined, we were able to meet virtually in September 2020.

Of course the main subject of our discussion would be the pandemic, but we could not forget other important subjects such as criminalization of seafarers, fatigue, autonomous ships, sulphur cap, etc.

At the end of his words, he reminded that two years ago, at Antwerp, CESMA was already without General Secretary Capt. Fredrick van Wijnen, being at hospital at that time and passed away few days later. In 2019, was also the passing away of Capt. Jean Chennevière, one of the four captains at the origin of CESMA and its statutes. In their memory, he proposed the Members to observe one minute of silence.


ITEM 2:  Apologies


Apologies are received from Members not able to come, due to difficulties to travel in connection with pandemic (Spain-AVCCMM, Finland-HSF, Latvia-LKKA, France-Hydros), or being on board ships (Romania-ACNR, Italy-IYM).







Each council member presents himself and mentions the shipmasters’ association and which country he represents. New faces in the council are capt. Badiul Alam from Ireland who is representing IIMM together with capt. Kavanagh, capt. Damir Lakos new representative from Croatia ZHUPK. Capt. Geenevasen presented his successor as NVKK representative and CESMA Administrator capt. Hans Ammerlaan.




The agenda was adopted as proposed.




Captain Dimitrov, CESMA Deputy President and acting Secretary General informed the floor that the minutes of 25th Council Meeting had been distributed and agreed on line shortly after the event and published in CESMA News December 2020. No any remarks had been reported and the minutes had been adopted unanimously.




Captain Ardillon explained the council members the necessity to continue having in the Board of administrator. As there in no person in the Board from Netherlands and the confederation is registered in that country CESMA needs a person to take care of administrative matters as well as to register the changes in the Board administratively and to keep physical contact with the bank CESMA uses. For the time being access to the bank account is available for both the President and the administrator and it ensures continuity of the operations in case of difficulties of one of them. It was agreed the Board to have administrator and for the time being access to the bank to be granted to capt. Hubert Ardillon and capt. Leo Geenevasen who will be succeeded after the meeting by capt. Hans Ammerlaan and the access will be transferred to him. Capt. Geenevasen explained what he has done and capt. Ammerlaan accepted to continue doing the same.




Capt. Ardillon reported that he cleaned the inbox of CESMA e-mail and now it is fully operational with enough space for new messages. The laptop of the organization is still in order and he managed to reinstall the operational system of it in English with no charge. Now it could be used of anyone coming to the position of Secretary General.

Capt. Dimitrov told the council members the procedure of preparing CESMA News. He urged the member organizations to contribute to the newsletter as it is more valuable when consists of information from members instead of compiling different articles from external publications. He asked whether all members receive the newsletter. The council members present confirmed they received it. Capt. Lakos proposed the newsletter to be distributed electronically only. Capt. Ardillon, capt. Gianelli and capt. Baert expressed their opinion that hard copy is still necessary. Capt. Ardillon said that nowadays all of us receive a lot of mails every day and very often we pass through them without noticing the attachments. Having the hard copy especially the members of EU Parliament, EU Commission and EMSA could at least pass through the pages and find the information we communicate.

Capt. Ardillon informed the council members of the desktop computer available in the office of CESMA in Netherlands. It’s completely empty as nobody stays in the office. Capt. Geenevasen said he is going there once a month and now during the pandemic even less often. Capt. Baert and capt. Ammerlaan proposed to keep the desktop in the office as we could not do anything else with it.




The financial papers were presented by capt. Ardillon. There are only Lithuanian and Montenegro shipmasters associations which did not pay their subscriptions but there is communication with them. He mentioned that actual budget for the year 2020 is less than adopted due to pandemic situation and restrictions to travel and meet. The only physical meeting the Board had made in February 2020 and the Board participated in the European Shipping Week in Brussels where the Board members made useful contacts with EU Parliament members, EU Commission officials, EMSA Executive Director and IMO Secretary General. For the time being CESMA has savings transferred to the savings account. All the expenditures had been explained and adopted. Capt. Ardillon proposed to keep the same budget for the year 2021 and 2022 and the Board will monitor the development of pandemic situation and come back to normal travel and meeting in favour of CESMA members when possible. To conclude the financial papers had been adopted as proposed.




Captain Dimitrov, CESMA Deputy President presented the General Secretary’s Report. It explains the activities of CESMA in the year 2020. According to the CESMA Logbook there are mostly on line participations except European Shipping Week already mentioned in the previous agenda item. Capt. Ardillon informed the council members about his interview on French media about difficulties of the seamen in condition of pandemic. Capt. Lakos added to that information actions of ZHUPK and cooperation with Croatian Ministry of Transport to ensure possibility of seafarers to make PCR tests before joining ships and to be vaccinated with single shot vaccine Johnson and Johnson due to time restrictions. Capt. Martens from VDKS informed that in Germany they organized vaccination for their members with priority to be able to join ships easily. There are no remarks on the report and as such it is adopted by the Council.




Capt. Ardillon proposed Election committee to be elected now and the members of it to be capt. Ammerlaan, capt. Karnincic and capt. Kavanagh. In the Board there are proposals from BSMA capt. Dimitar Dimitrov, at present Deputy President to be elected as President and capt. Ardillon to be elected as Secretary General. There is proposal from Italian members capt. Ribaric to be elected as President but he had been re-elected as President of ZPU (Slovenian Shipmasters Association) a month ago and as per the statutes he could not be proposed for President. Finally there is one nomination for President of CESMA – capt. Dimitar Dimitrov. From ten voting members present ten voted and capt. Dimitrov was elected as President. Capt. Ribaric was proposed from capt. Ardillon as Deputy President. There are no other proposals and during voting from ten present council members ten voted in favour. Capt. Ribaric was elected as CESMA Deputy President. Capt. Dimitrov proposed capt. Ardillon for Secretary General. Ten out of ten present council members voted in favour. Capt. Geenevasen informed the council that capt. Ammerlaan will succeed him as NVKK Council member representative and CESMA Administrator. As in the statutes and bylaws no voting is necessary and capt. Hans Ammerlaan was announced as CESMA Administrator. The present Board of CESMA consists of:

President – Capt. Dimitar Dimitrov, Bulgaria, elected 2021;

General Secretary – Capt. Hubert Ardillon, France, elected 2021;

Deputy President – Capt. Giorgio Ribaric, Slovenia, elected 2021;

Vice President – Capt. Mariano Badell, Spain, elected 2020;

Administrator – Capt. Hans Ammerlaan, Netherlands, as per the statutes and bylaws, 2021.





Capt. Ardillon informed that there are no new membership applications. Capt. Dimitrov proposed to continue contacts with Polish shipmasters organizations to persuade them to become members of CESMA. Capt. Martens from VDKS insisted of sticking on EU matters and CESMA has to urge EU institutions on supporting shipping industry to employ EU seafarers via subsidies or other means. Capt. Kavanagh proposed cooperation with EMSA for stricter control of condition of ships sailing in EU waters to ensure safety of navigation.




No any proposals and discussions.




Capt. Gianelli from USCLAC, Italy, proposed next Council meeting and AGA to be held in Genoa, Italy on May 2022. The proposed dates had been discussed and finally it was decided to be 05th and 06th May 2022 subject to further confirmation from the host organization and information to the members in due time till the end of 2021. Genoa, Italy was adopted as the place for the next CESMA Council Meeting and AGA.



Capt. Ardillon repeated the participation of CESMA in European Shipping Week in Brussels in February 2020 together with capt. Ribaric and capt. Dimitrov. The outcome is meeting and discussion about safety of navigation and the role of shipmasters with European Maritime Pilots Association, European Shipowners Association, European Tug Owners Association, European Sea Ports Organization, IMO representatives. Contacts had been exchanged with the presidents and secretaries of above mentioned organizations. Reconfirmed was the cooperation with Nautical Institute and the members of CESMA are advised to participate in NI webinars.




Capt. Mario Carobolante raised the problem with employment of cheap labour seamen and captains on board the ships sailing under the flag of Malta and Cyprus and the trend of some EU shipowners to reflag their ships under those flags and replacement of national seafarers with non-EU seafarers. Capt. Lakos and capt. Ribaric mentioned the same experience with Croatian and Slovenian captains. In connection with the increase of attraction of the young Europeans to the maritime profession capt. Kavanagh told the council members their experience with Erasmus program and exchange of students with other EU nations. Capt. Lettich shared the experience of CNPC in signing Memorandum of understanding with Maritime Universities allowing ship captains to assist in training thus the students to get the latest information from the captains working on board ships.

He also raised discussion about the case of grounding of m/v Ever Given and lessons learnt. The ship masters have to know what happened on board to protect themselves in the future. There is continuous increase of the size of ships but the ports and canals remain the same. The other important issue is stack in minimum standards of training as per STCW.

Capt. Lettich raised also the problem of return of dead bodies of seamen died on board the ships because of pandemic. The bodies could not be disembarked several months and that created problems and disappointment to the families of dead seamen. Capt. Dimitrov confirmed the same problem with Romanian shipmaster in China.

Capt. Ardillon informed the council members that the conference in Bilbao “500 years of Magellan sailing” was postponed to the year 2022 and the abstracts should be sent to organizers till November, 05th 2021. He intends to propose a paper on behalf of CESMA about captains’ roles and duties differences between Magellan and actual times.

Capt. Lakos shared his opinion on the existence now of difference of conditions for seafarers when ships are in ports and restrictions of some shipping companies to their crew to go ashore.



Capt. Dimitrov proposed the resolutions with the amendments made by capt. Ardillon. New resolution nr.6 was proposed about the legal regulation of maritime autonomous surface ships. Capt. Baert mentioned that it is too early to have resolution on that subject as at the moment there are only preliminary researches. Regarding resolution 5 about VTS capt. Lakos pointed out the necessity of unification of the rules for exchange of information in coastal areas so the ship masters to report in the same way. On resolution nr.1 capt Baert proposed text to be added as follows: “Vaccines which are recognised by WHO and EU should be accepted by EU port authorities to facilitate shore leaves and crew changes”. Resolutions were again discussed during the 26th AGA on the 17th September.



Captain D. Dimitrov                                                                         Captain H. Ardillon

President                                16th  September 2021             Secretary General







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