So, does anyone know what the story is about the proposed “Merchant Mariner Credential”? As someone once told me, it used to be, a mariner needed 2 things to work; either his MMD or license and an STCW cert. Now the USCG wants to combine all the MMD’s, licenses and STCW qualifications onto a single document called a ‘Merchant Mariner Credential’. In the future, a mariner will have to show up with his MMC and a TWIC. Is that about right? Is this still forthcoming?
The <strong>Merchant Mariner Credential </strong> will combine everything (license, MMD, STCW letter, etc?) into a passport-style book. Lots of other countries already do this, it’s usually called a “seamans book” in my experience.
You can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_Mariner_Credential
As it is still a “proposal” and considering the cost and confusion surrounding the TWIC, I doubt that it will be implemented any time soon. As the economy worsens and a new administration takes over, I believe we are leaving the whole “Homeland Security Era” behind. Or so I choose to believe. The most interesting paragraph of that wikipedia page is as follows:
"The proposal has been criticized by several groups. One organization states that the consolidation reduces the merchant marine officer license, a certificate of professional achievement and status, into a work permit."
Well maybe they could turn out an MMC with a nice design and satisfy them.
The Wikipedia article states :
"Rather than requiring a mariner to carry up to four documents to satisfy manning requirements, this will reduce the number to two: The TWIC and MMC"
I wish I only had four documents to worry about. What about GMDSS, and the new radar certificate that must accompany a license. And if you work on a TAG or TAGOS vessel you need your Small arms, Ship security, Damage Control, and numerous other certificates.
I wonder if radar will be included as an endorsement in the new MMC. Right back to where we started.
For comparison, I also have a Marshall Islands license. That country doesn’t administer it’s “flag”. Rather, they have contracted it out to International Registries, Inc. Since it is private industry (but not on the US Gov’t nipple) they are able to accomplish the above rather simply. They issue a Seaman’s book containing a couple ID pages, and a page for each “special qualification”, such as Security Officer, GMDSS, Medical PIC, etc. It also acts as a Continuous Discharge Book. They also issue a full size combined License/STCW Certificate, “suitable for framing.” But it’s printed on nice, heavyweight paper, and looks much more professional than the US STCW Certificate. But not as nice as the license. I, too, hope whatever the USCG decides to do that they make it look professional.
This is well past the “proposal” stage. Click here to go to the federal docket where you can read the original Norice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and everything related to it, including all of the comments from mariners. This is happening sooner than you think. Again, the main question is whether or not the CG will show any real consideration for the expressed wishes of the affected public (the mariners) or not. I personally called the CG’s Luke Harden to tell him that if they would just give up on the idea of doing completely away with the traditional paper license (for those that want to keep them) then mariners opposition to this would evaporate. We’ll find out soon enough if anyone in HQ actually listened. If they persist then it will just cause more bad blood in an already-strained relationship.
Nobody I know is in love with their Z-card or STCW letter. This is a no-brainer for the CG: let us keep our licenses and everyone’s happy. This should be so simple…
After four years of putting up with the BS at school I don’t want to be handed a passport with my diploma. They can give me the MMC, but I still want to have at least a license to frame and put on the wall.
I would probably bitch if I could still have one of the old engraved licenses, but CG-2849 isn’t worth the trouble and not that impressive, but that’s what we got. I just assume wipe my ass with it if they give me a little red book. Both will live in my briefcase except during renewal and inspection anyway. So there can be twenty pieces of paper or two pieces of paper, I still have to carry my briefcase all the same.
Anchorman…are you on the Wheeler? if so tell Junn to txt or email me email@example.com (Jeff in PI)
I’ll pass it on in the AM. He’s running as Bosun.