Coast Guard issues guidance on MMCs for sex offenders

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(MARTINSBURG, W.Va.) — The Office of Merchant Mariner Credentialing has published CG-MMC Policy Letter 03- 23 titled “Evaluation of Suitability for Applicants with Convictions for Sexual Assault.”

The Coast Guard will use this policy when evaluating applications for a merchant mariner credential (MMC) subject to safety and suitability determinations under 46 CFR 10.209(e)(1) when the criminal history record information (CHRI) indicates that the applicant has a previous conviction for a sexual offense in accordance with 46 U.S.C. 7511.

Mariners applying for an MMC who have been convicted of specific sexual offenses will be disqualified for and denied the issuance of an MMC. These sexual offenses are described in the policy letter.

Mariners applying for a credential within five years of a conviction for other sexual offenses, such as abusive sexual contact, will be denied the issuance of an MMC.

This policy letter is available on the Coast Guard merchant mariner credentialing policy website. It may also be accessed by selecting “Regulations & Policy” on the National Maritime Center’s website.

Mariners and other interested parties should contact the Mariner Credentialing Program Policy Division at or (202) 372-2357 with any questions or feedback.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller