Coast Guard delays enforcement of STCW changes until July 1

The U.S. Coast Guard has extended the deadline for attaining the required credential to sail aboard vessels subject to the 2010 amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) from Jan. 1 to July 1, 2017.

In November, the International Maritime Organization’s Maritime Safety Committee recommended that port authorities delay full enforcement of the STCW 2010 changes until July 1. The Coast Guard approved the recommendation in recognition of the large number of seafarers who needed to meet certain training requirements and the current processing backlog at the National Maritime Center (NMC).

“If your current (Merchant Mariner Credential) contains the STCW limitation ‘Not valid after 12/31/16,’ you will receive a sticker back from the USCG with no limitations in the STCW section,” stated Luke Harden, chief of the Coast Guard’s Mariner Credentialing Program, in a letter circulated by the service. “If your current MMC does not contain the above noted limitation, however, the USCG will send you a letter stating that your current MMC is in order and the gap-closing certificates you submitted will be included in your file for your next MMC renewal.”

No formal announcement of the decision appeared on either the NMC Home Port or Coast Guard Maritime Commons websites. The official message posted on Home Port still reads, “All mariners serving in positions requiring STCW endorsements must be fully compliant on 1 January 2017.”

To access the notification, visit and search for MCP Bulletin16-1.pdf.

Kimberly A. Carter

By Professional Mariner Staff