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MCA advice on STCW 2010 safety certificates - deadline looms

Many seafaring officers and ratings are concerned that the deadline for introduction of the STCW 2010 regulations on 1 January 2017 will mean that their certification will be out of date for service at sea.  IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) has recommended to port states that, until 1 July 2017, in cases where a seafarer's documentation complied with the requirements in force immediately before 1 January 2017, but is not in accordance with the requirements of the STCW 2010 Manila Amendments, port state control authorities should adopt a “pragmatic and practical” approach during ship inspections.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) cautions that there are no guarantees if seafarers do not have the correct STCW 2010 safety and operational certificates by 1 January 2017. In the revised guide to the 2010 STCW Manila amendments, the MCA advises that seafarers affected by the amendments to STCW must have documentary evidence of either having completed or updated the required safety and operational training course in order to work at sea.  However, noting MSC's recommendations for port state control to take a pragmatic approach to the requirement for seafarers to hold valid STCW 2010 certification, the MCA cautions that it cannot be guaranteed that the UK and other states’ port state control will not take action against the vessel if the correct certificates are not produced on board.

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