According to MANA, The report identified a current shortfall of about 16,500 officers.
The global supply of officers is forecast to increase steadily, but this is predicted to be outpaced by increasing demand.
Some officer categories are in especially short supply, including engineer officers at management level and officers needed for specialised ships such as chemical, LNG and LPG carriers.
The report suggests that in the past five years the industry has made good progress with increasing recruitment and training levels and reducing officer wastage by retaining qualified seafarers and increasing the number of years which they serve at sea.
But the report indicates that unless training levels are increased significantly, the growth in demand for seafarers could generate a serious shortage in the total supply of officers. An additional 147,500 officers by 2025 is estimated to service the world merchant fleet.
China is thought to have overtaken the Philippines as the largest single source of seafarers qualified for international trade.
However, BIMCO added that data from international shipping companies suggests that the extent to which Chinese seafarers are available for international service may be more limited, with the Philippines and Russia seen as equally important sources of officers, followed closely by Ukraine and India.