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FAQs on the Application of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Manila Amendments and the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) to the Offshore Industry

1. Who is required to possess STCW documentation?

The STCW requires deck and engineer officers, radio operators, and ratings as defined in Regulation I/1 of the STCW Convention, as amended, to possess STCW documentation. This includes officers and seafarers fulfilling capacities indicated on the Minimum Safe Manning Certificate (MSMC). The International Maritime Organization (IMO) recommends that other members of the maritime crew, including the Offshore Installation Manager (OIM), barge supervisor, ballast control operator, and maintenance supervisor receive STCW equivalent training, and retain that documentation in their possession. After 01 January 2017, all maritime crew on active service who must comply with the STCW requirements, as amended by the Manila Amendments, must be in possession of a valid STCW Certificate covering the functions performed on board. (Reference: IMO Assembly Resolution A.1079(28); Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Requirements for Seafarer Certification (MI-118), §4.1.1).

2. Can non-ship (non-STCW certificated) personnel apply for a Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB)?

Yes; however, the RMI Maritime Administrator (the “Administrator”) does not generally issue seafarer documentation to industrial personnel. Those who are required on the MSMC but are not STCW-qualified, such as survival craft/rescue boat crew, must be issued seafarer documentation, including an SIRB and related Special Qualification Certificates (SQCs). If such crew are not qualified for STCW Basic Safety Training and Security Awareness, the SIRB will be limited to mobile offshore units (MOUs). (Reference: MI-118, §4.1.1).

3. Can non-ship (non-STCW certificated) personnel receive a Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats (PSCRB) other than Fast Rescue Boat SQC?

The SQC can be issued upon receipt of evidence the person has received STCW PSCRB training, offshore lifeboatman training, or coxswain training. The SQC will be limited to MOU use only if he/she is not qualified for STCW Basic Safety Training and Security Awareness training.

4. Can non-ship (non-STCW certificated) personnel serve as survival craft crew members with the certification outlined in Question 3 above?

Yes, they will be fully qualified to serve as survival craft crew members. Please note that all officers and able seafarers (including MOU-only use as well) on board MOUs are required to be trained in PSCRB, and are therefore qualified to serve as survival craft crew members.

5. Will electricians who are entitled Electro-Technical Officer (ETO) or Electro-Technical Ratings (ETR) need to comply with STCW?

The Manila Amendments added new ETO and ETR endorsements to STCW, and require officers serving as ETO or Electrical Engineer to hold ETO certifications. ETRs are also required to hold an ETR qualification. Only those personnel who are part of the maritime crew on board an offshore installation and serving as ETO or Electrical Engineer are required to provide documentary evidence that he/she is qualified as an ETO or ETR, if that is the capacity in which they serve. (Reference: MI-118, §2.1.19 and §2.1.20, STCW Regulations III/6 and III/7).

6. Will ETOs and ETRs who are part of the maritime crew be required to possess RMI certification?

RMI ETO and ETR certification is optional. However, if an RMI ETO or ETR is not possessed, please see answer 5, above. (Reference: MI-118, §3.3.7 and §, STCW Regulations III/6 and III/7).

7. Will ETO, ETR, and electrician capacities appear on an MSMC?

No. ETOs and ETRs are not manning requirements and do not prohibit other positions of other electrical roles on board. In addition, MSMCs are for watchstanding personnel responsible for the safe navigation and operation of the vessel. ETO and ETR capacities are not usually engaged in these types of watchstanding duties. (Reference: STCW Regulations III/6 and III/7).

8. Who is required to be qualified for High Voltage (HV) Systems (in excess of 1,000 volts) and if they are not, what will be the Administrator’s course of action?

STCW requires that engineering officers be qualified in HV Systems if they are employed upon vessels with HV installations. If an engineering officer is not qualified as such, there will be a limitation to vessels not equipped with HV Systems on his/her Certificate of Competency (CoC). That limitation will be carried over onto their RMI endorsement. CoCs that have an expiration date after 01 January 2017 and do not have the limitation will provide the evidence that the officer is qualified in HV Systems. (Reference: STCW, Part A, Tables A-III/1, III/2, III/3, and III/6).

9. Who is required to have security awareness training and does the training have to be approved?

Any seafarer who will receive STCW certification of any kind is required to have security awareness training. Any such training must be in compliance with STCW requirements, and there must be evidence that the training has been approved as such by an Administration. (Reference: MI-118, § and §5.22.1; STCW A-VI/ §6.5 and §.9).

10. What is the difference between security familiarization and security awareness training?

Security familiarization is a new requirement for all persons in compliance with the provisions of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, and will usually include measures to take in the event of piracy or an armed robbery threat or attack. The security familiarization is specific to the vessel’s Ship Security Plan (SSP).

Security awareness training is generic in nature, usually done shore side or by computer based training (CBT), and required by STCW for seafarers receiving STCW certifications. (Reference: MI-118, § and §5.22.1; STCW Regulation VI/6, A-VI/6.1~6.3, A-VI/6.6~6.8).

11. Are cooks required to be certificated by the Administrator?

No. The SQC for cooks and other galley personnel is optional. The requirement is that they be properly trained. Note that the SQC of cooks who have been issued RMI documentation as cook or chief cook, will provide documentary evidence the cook has been trained in accordance with the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) training requirements. (Reference: MLC, 2006 §3.2).

12. What training is required for cooks?

The MLC, 2006 requires that all cooks with responsibility for food preparation be trained and qualified for their position on board the ship. Anyone who handles food (such as servers, steward utility personnel, etc.) must be trained or instructed in food, personal hygiene, galley sanitation, and handling and storage of food on board. Cooks involved in food preparation, handling of food, and/or the maintenance of food service areas must have successfully completed an approved training course that covers practical cookery, nutrition, food and personal hygiene, food storage, stock control and environmental protection, and catering health and safety, in compliance with the provisions of Regulation 3.2 of MLC, 2006. (Reference: MLC, 2006 §3.2, MI-118 §5.23, and RMI Marine Notice 7-044-1, §15.3.3 and §15.3.4).

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