I talked to someone in the Licensing side of the house in DC. Basically, there are changes coming but they are not 100% sure what they are. This was just a shot across the bow to wake us up.
With previous changes in tonnage and some STCW, when you renewed you were “grandfathered” in and sometimes up to a bigger license. This will no longer be happening AND if you do not have all your ducks in a row, for example getting certain sign-offs or new required schooling done for that license that you already hold, you WILL NOT be renewed.
Therefore there are a few of things you need to do as a mariner;
- Keep abreast of any changes to new requirements or changes in requirements.
- Start responding to those solicitations for comments when the USCG is asking for them when changes are being made to laws and regulations. I can tell you
that most of the comments are from big corporations indirectly through their personnel departments and looking to save money, insurance companies looking
for liability shelters, and maritime law firms.
- Start your renewal a year early so if they turn you down because you are missing something, you have time to get it done
- Become your federal representative’s (Congressweasel or Senator) new best friend. I posted all the representatives and senators involved with the USCG and
licensing last year. If I get bored I will try and find it and repost it.
There are some MAJOR changes coming down the pipe especially for hawsepipers, be aware and stay on your Congressweasel to ensure you have a livelihood. Most of this stuff is coming through the IMO and since we (The USofA) are a member, our government has little or no choice in implementing them unless congress gets involved. You know congress, the ones that can not balance a checkbook, spend your money like drunken sailors (I could not resist) and regulate your personal because they are smarter than you and know what is good for you better than you do.
The letter was a heads-up so you do not get blindsided and the NMC has plausible deniability when the changes come and people who do not follow the regulation changes are not aware of them and are ready to burn down the NMC.