If you were fully compliant with STCW there wouldn’t be “hundreds” of various licenses and equal number of threads about how to obtain them with the minimum of effort. The number of grades of STCW approved licenses are limited by comparison. Most countries manage with those.
No more OSV specific, or any other special domestic licences, except for inland waters and yachts. Even then limited to a certain tonnage per STCW.
If the US fleet was made more competitive by allowing some lower ranks to be filled by qualified foreigner at somewhat lower wages (per ITF tariff), there MAY be a possibility that there would be more ships under the flag, thus more jobs for the higher ranks. (The Domestic fleet would still employ only Americans)
There is no law saying that an American cannot get a permit to work in the North Sea, or on ships and rigs under European flag. If more American mariners had unlimited licenses, they would be welcome to apply for jobs anywhere.
I believe some members here have sailed under NIS flag, even as Master?
It is improving with the newly implemented wage compensation and allowing DSVs / CSVs under NIS flag to operate within Norwegian waters.The present market situation is of course not helping the immediate situation. Many are out of work because the boats are laid up.
Being Norwegians, or residents of Norway makes it more livable though.
The easy access to dispensations to allow non-Norwegian and non-EU citizens to serve as Masters on NIS flag ships is the latest grievance, but that would only benefit Americans who apply for such jobs.
Ring knockers generally applies to any academy, the second part only for KP.
They are called “academies” but that doesn’t make them military. They are part of the state university systems of their respective states and I believe they all now have non license majors as well. Maine Maritime Academy has majors in International Business and Logistics, Marine Biology, and Marine Science.
KP grooms for Navy and shore (Wall Street/Beltway bandit) jobs. The State academy graduates are much more blue collar for whatever reason, and the impulse to join the Navy/armed services is much lower. At my academy it was viewed as the least desirable choice upon graduation.
So in other words you do have a Maritime education system that “churn out” mariners per STCW standard, but the problem is that not everybody go that way.
The so called “Hawspipers”, (who may be in majority on this forum(??) and definitely on OSVs and Tugs) are the ones who struggle with getting upgraded?
It is true that STCW II/2 or III/2 licenses may be required to be accepted for work outside US waters, even on the larger and more modern Offshore vessels, if they are over 3000 GT / 3000 kW.
But limited licenses should be sufficient for smaller vessels, within the STCW approved tonnage limitation and trade.
OSV and Domestic ONLY licenses obviously does not carry much weight outside USA, even if the vessel is US flag, I believe?? (Correct me if I’m wrong)
You mean subsidy, right? It’s improving because of a subsidy from the Norwegian Government. Aren’t you opposed to that nonsense? But you never answered the question so I will for you. The employment environment, right now for Norwegian sailors is abysmal.
A great many of us have spent many thousands of dollars on many courses to get a STCW compliant CoC with STCW II/2 3000 GT Oceans.
The MCA will issue a CeC to Americans with Unlimited licenses, but not to Americans with II/2 3000 GT until we take the MCA Exams. Panama, Liberia, Marshal Islands, Vanuatu and many others will issue a CeC for II/2 3000 GT. I do not know what Norway and other European authorities might do.
The next problem regardless of CeCs is getting visas to work in the U.K. or Europe. It seems that everyone else is welcome, except Americans.
There are a few jobs available in Europe at about 66 percent of typical American pay.
That hasn’t stopped the UK MCA from issuing STCW coded license to yachties that are equivalent to what we see in the GoM. They use the same codes for purely yacht limited licenses as they do for fully unlimited tickets. They even have a category of limited license that bestows “unlimited” operating privileges to very limited tonnage and power tickets. The large charter yacht industry opened the same stinking can as the American offshore oil business.
The USCG isn’t the only maritime authority that plays their own games with the licensing system, it is a cash cow for most of them. The only difference here is that the CG makes sure the cow is milked in favor the GoM operators instead of the mariners.
In regards to crewing of the vessels, here is the basics:
The “subsidies” paid to Owners who hire Norwegians on NIS vessels are described here:
There are no requirement for any kind of visa or work permit for somebody on the crew list of a vessel operating in EU or Norwegian waters, only for work on fixed platforms and rigs, nor any special rules or restrictions for Americans.
IOW; If an American is hired to work on a NIS registered ship operating in EU or UK waters, he/she does not need any special permit or visa, or meet any problem with shore leave etc. That is myths that only exists in America. A Seaman’s Book is all that is required as travel document, but most carry a Passport, just in case. For travel within the Schengen area, no passport is needed.
Of course, CoC per STCW, with all necessary additional training relevant for the job, is required to obtain a CeC from the flag state. Which Flag States that accept US CoCs can be found by googling individually, but Norway, UK and most EU nations recognize US creditations, although US does not reciprocate.
What about wages? Well, wages depends on qualifications as well as supply and demand for the category or position the person is hire for. It can be by individual negotiations, or by Collective agreement.
For NOR flag ships, the wages are fixed by Collective agreement between the Seaman’s Unions and the Shipowner;'s association and are the same, regardless of nationality.
I know that to obtain an OIM license to be in charge of a Drilling Rig in the GoM takes less effort and time than to get a licence to operate a pleasurecraft of less than 15 m. LOA in Norway.
It only came about because every major accident involving Drilling Rigs was found to be caused in part by the lack of Maritime knowledge and unclear lines of command. The USCG created the “OIM Column Stabilized” certification to meet the demand for change.
A one week course with a “multiple choice exam” on the 5th day made Masters out of Drillers to meet the demand.
Yes the situation is bad for those who are working in the Offshore Marine sector, but not as bad as for those who are out of work in the GoM.
The main reason is of course that the unemployment benefits for Norwegians and others working on Norwegian vessels,(regardless of nationality) are MUCH better. They can survive comfortable on what they can draw from there.
The other thing is that they have other options, such as within fishery and fish farming, which is booming at the moment.
Another advantage is that when things pick up they can look forward to work worldwide, not just in Norway and that the Norwegian owned fleet is a modern one that is likely to be first to benefit from any upturn anywhere.
Third thing is that most are NOT dismissed. They are on permanent employment and have been deferred only. Once things turn around they go back to work on same terms and under same conditions as before.
There are already signs of improvements, especially for the more sophisticated CSVs and others.