Government shutdown leads to lapse in STCW endorsement processing

The following is a news release from the National Maritime Center (NMC):

(MARTINSBURG, W.Va.) — Due to circumstance of exceptional necessity, the United States is currently not able to process merchant mariner credentials (MMC) or related endorsements issued under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended.

Pursuant to STCW Article VIII, dispensations may be granted for continued service for mariners operating on endorsements that expired on or after Dec. 1, 2018, providing a renewal application was submitted to the National Maritime Center (NMC) and the company applied to the Coast Guard for dispensation. Requests should be submitted via e-mail to and should include the ship name, IMO number, mariner name, mariner reference number, capacity per STCW regulations, company name, company point of contact, and valid mariner e-mail.

The Coast Guard will consider dispensation requests in accordance with the provisions of STCW Article VIII. If approved, dispensations will expire May 31, 2019. Once the STCW dispensation letter is issued, mariners shall carry the letter and a copy of this bulletin with the MMC.

Mariners who submitted applications for STCW endorsements prior to Dec. 1, 2018, and are actively working or seeking employment may contact the NMC.

Medical certificates are only valid for three months from the expiration date in accordance with STCW Regulation I/9 and applications are being processed upon receipt.

If you have questions, visit the NMC website, or contact the NMC Customer Service Center by using the NMC online chat system, by e-mailing, or by calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

By Professional Mariner Staff