The 2010 amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 2010) entered into force in 2012 and will terminate in January, 2017, with seafarers now required to complete mandatory updating courses in order to be certified beyond December 31, 2016.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) said: “To prevent potential difficulties during port state control inspections next year, it is important that maritime employers liaise closely with maritime administrations.”
Shipping companies have been urged to ensure that maritime administrations responsible for issuing their seafarers’ STCW certification are competent.
The provisions being phased-in by maritime administrations include new and updated seafarer competences, as well as changes to some seafarer grades and certification requirements.
Peter Hinchliffe ,Secretary General for the ICS, said: “Shipping companies should take early action to ensure seafarers’ certificates are renewed or revalidated as may be required before the end of the transition period, and to plan for their seafarers to attend any necessary courses.
“But as we approach 2017, employers will be reliant on the availability of courses from training providers and their timely approval by maritime administrations.
Mr Hinchcliffe concluded: “This should be a simple matter of logistics but ship owners, administrations, two training providers and all other parties involved should undertake to work together to avoid non-compliance with the new STCW regime or the disruption of the operation of the world fleet due to a lack of certified seafarers.”