The freedom of employment of seafarers is connected with the conditions relating to their taking work on foreign-registered ships. This issue has been for some time the object of numerous normalizations of the system of international law connected with the activities of ILO and IMO, and also of the internal systems of individual states. The freedom of employment of seafarers is regulated by European Community law within the framework of the basic community freedoms, that is the free movement of labour. It grants to seafarers who are the citizens of a particular member state the same chances of joining the crews of vessels belonging to any of the fifteen member states. The question remains open, however, of the employment of citizens of countries from outside the EU. In this matter, competence belongs to member states, which independently define the principles under which foreigners can have access to work. In the face of growing competition from states where registration is inexpensive, the EU has undertaken the task of creating a common register of European shipping registers, the so-called EUROS. However, till now this project has not been realized.
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