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STCW – Letter of Enforcement Guidance.

 

Subject : Enforcement Guidance for International Convention on Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW 1995)

A. NVIC 03-98, Port State Control Guidelines for the Enforcement of the 1995 amendments to the International Convention on Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978.

 

1: Introduction :

On 1 Feb 2002, the transitional provisions in regulation I/15 of STCW 95 will end, implementing the remaining provisions of the 1995 amendments to the STCW Convention. This message contains STCW 95 Enforcement Guidance for US and foreign-flagged vessels.

Marine Safety Operational Commanders should continue to enforce those provisions of STCW 95 that took effect prior to 1 Feb 2002 and begin enforcing the provisions that become effective on 1 Feb 2002.

However recognizing that a considerable number of flag administrations have not yet issued 1995 credentials, Field Commander should not detain vessels or penalize mariners that do not meet the certification and endorsement provisions of STCW 95 that take effect on 1 Feb 2002.

2:

Because a large number of mariners worldwide must update their credentials, many nations have had difficulty issuing the documents needed to confirm that their seafarers comply with the provisions of the 1992 STCW amendments, particularly the endorsement attesting to the recognition of another party’s certificates (as required by regulation I/1o). On 24 Jan 2002, the IMO subcommittee on Standards of Training and Watch keeping (STCW) adopted a circular recognizing that all seafarers on board ships may not yet hold their STCW 95 certificates or flag state endorsements. The circular urged Port State Control (PSC) Authorities to consider this factor when taking action under the control procedures in article X and regulation I/4 of the convention.

The subcommittee agreed “in cases where a seafarer’s documentation complies with the requirements in force immediately before 1 Feb 2002, but is not in accordance with the requirements of STCW 95, PSC officers, until 31 July 2002, are recommended to issue only a warning to companies and to notify the seafarers and administrations concerned accordingly”.

The US will observe the subcommittee’s recommendation and will not, until 1 Aug. 2002, detain vessels solely because they are not in compliance with the certification and endorsement provisions of STCW 95 that take effect on 1 Feb. 2002. Instead, PSC boarding officers shall issue a letter, warning vessel owners and crewmembers that they do not meet STCW 95. Beginning 1 Aug. 2002, vessels not in compliance with STCW 95 should now expect to be detained.

3. PSC ENFORCEMENT GUIDANCE:

A : No additional boarding should be undertaken solely for STCW enforcement. The guidance in reference A remains in effect. section 5.B (Procedures during PSC Exams) and section 5.B.5 (criteria for detaining a vessels) of reference A, should continue to be used to guide enforcement of the STCW 95 provisions in effect prior to 1 Feb. 2002. The control guidance found in regulation I/4 of the STCW convention should be used with the exception that vessels not in compliance with paragraph 2.1 of that regulation should not be detained until 1 Aug 2002. During routine PSC boarding’s, PSC boarding officers should examine all seafarer certificates and endorsements during the PSC examination with a view towards determining their compliance with the 1 Feb 2002 amendments to STCW 95. During the course of the boarding boarding’s, if it becomes apparent the either the vessel or crew do not meet the provisions of the STCW that took effect on 1 Feb. 2002, the boarding officer should issue a letter warning the vessel that they are not in compliance. Vessels should not be detained for failing to meet the certification and endorsement provision of STCW 95 that became effective on 1 Feb 2002. A sample warning letter is available at : http://cgweb.comdt.uscg.mil/g-mo/moc/mochm.htm

B : Between 01 Feb. 2002 and 01 Aug. 2002, vessels whose flag state are not signatory to STCW or are not on the “White List” should be examined i.a.w. existing PSC policies. “White List” nations are those countries whose STCW implementation schemes have been reviewed by an IMO panel of competent persons and have been found to have given full and complete effect to the convention.
A list of nations which are on the white list can be obtained at:
http://www.imo.org/includes/blastdataonly.asp/data_id04045/1018

PDF information on Non-Signatory nations can be found at: http://www.imo.org/newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=70

C : Beginning 01 Aug. 2002, the Coast Guard will increase boarding’s and scrutiny of vessels and crews associated with flag administrations not signatory to the STCW convention or not on the IMO “White List.” Non-Signatory’s flag states will be assigned Priority I boarding status and “Non-White List” countries will be assigned Priority II boarding status. Vessels associated with Non-Signatory and non “White List” flag states will experience increased boarding’s, validation of crew competency, and a review of how administrations have carried out the responsibilities enumerated in STCW. G-MOC will notify flag administrations and the marine industry of our intended enforcement policy.

4 : U.S. FLAG VESSEL ENFORCEMENT GUIDANCE

A : No additional boarding’s should be undertaken solely for STCW enforcement. Reference A should be used for guidance on STCW issues during inspection of U.S.vessels. However, the detention guidance in reference A is not applicable to U.S. vessels.

B : U.S. mariners may serve on U.S. vessels sailing foreign if they hold the required STCW documents or can provide proof that the they have a completed STCW application on file with a Coast Guard regional Exam centre prior to 01 Feb. A copy of the STCW application may be accepted as proof of an application. These mariners should be mad aware that this policy might nor be honoured by Port State Control authorities in other nations. U.S. mariners who submit their STCW 95 applications on or after 01 Feb 2002, are not authorized to sail foreign until they are issued the appropriate STCW 95 endorsement. U:S. mariners on domestic, near coastal voyages with STCW 78 certificates have until 01 Feb. 2003 to obtain STCW 95 certificates, but are encouraged to initiate the application process and required training ASAP. This policy can be obtained at the NMC website : http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/m-policy.htm

C : 46 USC 8103 allows mobile offshore drilling units and offshore supply vessels of less than 1600 tons to use Non-U.S. licensed mariners. The Coast Guard will not issue a regulation I/10 endorsement to mariners who hold STCW certificates, licenses or other documents issued by another country. 46 CFR 15.720 requires the master of the OSV to assure that a Non-U.S. licensed mariner is equivalent in experience, training and other qualifications the U.S. license or document required for that position

D : STCW regulations V/2 and V/3 require specialized training for certain Ro/Ro passenger vessels and Non-Ro/Ro passenger vessels. Guidance for this training is contained in NVICS 6-98 and 4 -99. Due to the Non-availability of approved schools and designated examiners, the Coast Guard will accept a letter from the vessels master certifying that this training has been completed. Field Commanders should work with vessels representative to ensure that this self-certification is completed using the above references as guidance.

5 : Questions pertaining to STCW compliance related to PSC activities should be addressed to Lt. Lindsay Dew at (202) 267-0476, and STCW compliance matters related to US vessels should be directed to LCDR Gerad Achenbach at (202) 267-2735

6 : Field Commanders are encouraged to communicate this policy to their local marine industry representatives.

7 : Internet release is authorized

8 : RADM Paul J. Pluta, Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety and Environmental Protection.

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