Ukrainian seafarers temporarily to be considered EU nationals
This new measure in support of Ukrainian sailors is added to that extending the temporary employment contracts and temporary residence and work permits (for employed work) of Ukrainian seafarers registered on Spanish vessels.
Ukrainian crew members of national vessels or else of vessels flagged in another EU member state are to be considered crew members from a state in the European Economic Area for the purposes of fulfilling the crew nationality requirements that are laid down by Spanish legislation. This measure was introduced in article 17 of Royal Decree-Law 14/2022 on economic sustainability measures in the field of transport, regarding study grants and support, together with measures relating to saving costs, energy efficiency and reduction of energy dependence on natural gas, published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on August 2, 2022, and entering into force, for these purposes, on the same date.
Adopted by reason of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the measure is temporary rather than permanent because it only applies for the duration of the protection afforded to people affected by the conflict in Ukraine under Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022.
It is a new measure in support of Ukrainian seafarers of the same type as that approved by the earlier Royal Decree-Law 6/2022 (article 22), which provided for voluntary extension of temporary employment contracts and of temporary residence and work permits (for employed work) for Ukrainian seafarers registered on commercial vessels flying the Spanish flag.
In fact, that article 17 of Royal Decree-Law 14/2022 provides that when it is determined that Directive 2001/55/EC ceases to be applicable Ukrainian crew members may continue providing services on national vessels or vessels flying the flag of a another EU member state and be considered nationals of a member state of the EEA until their contracts end and within a maximum time period of six months.