STCW for Seafarers Final Rule Published

The U.S. Coast Guard announced on Tuesday the publication of the final rule “Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, and Changes to National Endorsements” in the Federal Register.

This final rule will implement the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW Convention), as well as the Seafarer’s Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code (STCW Code), to address the comments received from the public in response to the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking and to incorporate the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention, which came into force January 1, 2012. In addition, this final rule makes other changes not required by the STCW Convention or Code, but necessary to reorganize, clarify and update these regulations.

The major changes in this rule will:

  • Clarify transitional provision for STCW endorsements and for the issuance of medical certificates.
  • Provide additional training topics for STCW endorsements as part of approved formal training.
  • Clarify the application of security requirements.
  • Provide additional means for mariners holding a domestic tankerman endorsement to qualify for STCW tankerman endorsements.
  • Remove the chief engineer (limited-near-coastal) endorsement.
  • Exempt pilot vessels engaged in pilotage duty from STCW requirements.
  • Amend requirements for sea service credit for cadets serving onboard academy training ships if sea service is part of an approved training program.
  • Revise sea service requirements for Offshore Supply Vessel endorsements, provide the option to complete an approved course and provide a career progression path.
  • Clarify the trianing requirements and definition for the position of Qualified Assessor.
  • Add the endorsement for mate of ocean self-propelled vessels of less than 200 GRT.
  • Add formal training requirements for STCW endorsements as electro-technical officer and electro-technical rating.
  • Add provisions for mariners serving on STCW-compliant vessels to also hold an STCW endorsement.

Entire Final Rule

USCG, December 25, 2013

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