Oceans endorsement only issued for domestic?


It all comes down to the assessments. Does the class count for the assessments? Or are they actually done in class and signed by the instructor? If none of those apply them you need to do the assessments on your own whether you take the class or not.



I know a few guys who have taken the above class and all got the 3000 GT Master unrestricted in the past even though it says “operational” level in the course description. It’s similar to wording in the screenshot I posted earlier of the description of the class I’m taking…Did new rules go into effect this year regarding the assessments? Is that why people are having this issue now all of a sudden?


The NMC didn’t previously require limited tonnage applicants for Master complete ANY assessments. That’s one of the changes that was implemented as of 01 January 2017.

Notice that that class description says it only counts as assessments for STCW II/1, which is OICNW.

Therefore, you will be able to upgrade your mate and OICNW and possibly your domestic Master, but not your STCW II/2 with that course. (You cannot sail past the boundary line as Master on a vessel requiring STCW without II/2.)


OK thanks… getting very expensive to stay in this business.


Why? Do the assessments onboard then test at the REC.
Total cost = $190

If you’re taking that class anyway to learn celestial then it counts as your exam and you just need to do the assessments onboard (they’re free).


What you posted says it meets the training requirements for STCW endorsements as OICNW, so you are in a better boat than me it seems.
The way it stands for me as of right now, I’ve only been issued the oceans endorsement for my national license. I will have the near coastal limitation on my stcw master and oicnw until I either get the assessments done for master, or do an approved simulator/course.

The letter I got from my evaluator specifically says 'the course meets the operational level requirements, not management level.'
I countered that with ‘In that case, could I just remove the limitation off my OICNW instead of master?’ I figured that would be good enough until I stumble across an assessor. Their response blatantly disregarded the black and white in the letter and countered my question with ‘Your course does not meet ANY stcw requirements.’ Ironically, most of the assessments I have to do are sailings and from what I can tell don’t require being underway.

My current job requires me to have this endorsement, being we operate far enough offshore that it could be a concern…luckily for me my employer paid for the course and all expenses, plus kept me on the clock. I specifically asked the school I went to multiple times if this was all I needed and they said yes. So the fact that my suspicions were right and although I wasn’t privy to the changes after Dec 31, 2016 I am a little bit irritated by it. I’m curious if the other guys in my class are dealing with this or was I the lucky one getting the evaluator I got.

The school is working on seeing what they need to do for future courses so students can avoid this, however whatever they do won’t be retroactive. Therefore my options are assessments or do the course over again. To them its not a big deal to get the assessments, but once again the rules for whom can be an assessor changed this year as well and thats turning out to be a big hurdle. I have my feelers out though.


I’m pretty sure the NMC extended the enforcement of the new assessor rule one more year.


That, like everything else, must depend on who you talk to, on what day. My evaluator specified the rules changing this year in the letter.


I meant the rule requiring a “qualified assessor” to sign the assessments instead of anyone with an oceans license.


I believe the extended it to June


Just confirmed via live chat ‘Yes. The Coast Guard is aware that as a result of the limited number of approved QAs, there may be a hardship on mariners trying to complete STCW assessments after December 31, 2016. In consideration of this, the Coast Guard will continue to allow STCW assessments to be signed by an assessor who meets the requirements specified in NVIC 02-14 until December 31, 2017. These assessments must be submitted to the Coast Guard as part of a complete application no later than June 30, 2018.’

Thanks Capt Phoenix…there is hope.


Yes that is good news… thanks for all the info. I’m going to the class in Massachusetts at the end of the month… I’ll make sure to get the assessments not covered in class done before the end of the year.


Management level is Chief Mate, Master, “Second Engineer Officer” (First Assistant), and Chief Engineer. Operational Level is officer in charge of a navigational or engineering watch. This applies regardless of tonnage.
See the definition of these terms in 46 CFR 10.107.

There is no celestial navigation training requirement for any management level STCW endorsement. The courses that are approved for that are either a vestige of now cancelled NMC Policy Letter 4-02 which specified training, but the policy letter was found to be unenforceable. There is no training requirement under the current regulations. Or, those courses include one or more of the assessments required for an STCW endorsement as Chief Mate or Master.

[quote=“fishyluke, post:18, topic:44483”]I have 500 Master NC, 1600 Mate NC, Master of TV NC on the national license. STCW endorsements: Master less than 3000GT and OICNW less than 3000GT both valid for towing vessels but restricted to Near Coastal voyages. I’m signed up for a celestial course that says operational level…
So I’m guessing I’ll be in the same boat as Ctony- which will mean that I’ll only be able to sail as OICNW on an International voyage farther than 200 miles from shore. But with the National license you can go past 200 miles as long as it’s a domestic voyage?[/quote]
You have to be within the limits of both your STCW and national endorsements. If your national endorsement (license) is for near coastal, you cannot operate on ANY voyage (domestic or international) beyond 200 miles.

The operational level course would meet the training requirements for removing the near coastal limitation from your OICNW endorsement and meet the exam requirements for increasing the scope of your national endorsements (license) to oceans. You will also need OICNW assessments.

That course won’t remove the near coastal limitation from any STCW endorsements as Master. To remove the limitation from the STCW endorsement, you will need to increase the scope of your national endorsements (license) as Master to oceans, and complete the STCW assessments for oceans. There would not be a course requirement at the management level and the course is approved for the exam for the national endorsements.

See above. You do not need a “management level” course. But you do need assessments, and those may be part of a course.

It appears that if you meet all other requirements (sea service, etc.) and take that operational level course you cited, you will need the applicable STCW assessments for OICNW and Master to remove the near coastal limitation from your STCW endorsements. You can determine which assessments are needed by looking at Enclosure (2) to NVICs 10-14, 11-14, and/or 12-14. It would be those assessments that have a note in the assessment number column that indicates it isn’t required for an endorsement that is limited to near coastal.

Yes, new rules went into effect starting January 1, 2017. This was the cut-off date for STCW grandfathering for the regulations that were published December 24, 2013. Under grandfathering, courses were not required for any STCW endorsement as Master, and assessments were not required for an STCW endorsement as Master Less Than 3,000 GT (1,600 GRT). As I noted above, a course is now required for OICNW, and assessments for STCW endorsements as OICNW, Chief Mate, and Master.

James D. Cavo
U.S. Coast Guard
Mariner Credentialing Program
Policy Division (CG-MMC-2)


It was extended. Assessments can be signed by someone who is not approved as a “Qualified Assessor” until December 31, 2017, and the application for the endorsement has to be submitted by June 30, 2018. See the notice, here.


Thanks for the information! That makes sense.


Yes and no…

I still don’t understand what good it is to have ‘upon oceans’ on the national license and have the near coastal limitation on the stcw. Having upon oceans on the national license isn’t worth a sh-t if the stcw shows a near coastal limitation, as far as I can see.


Ctony said:
“I still don’t understand what good it is to have ‘upon oceans’ on the national license and have the near coastal limitation on the stcw. Having upon oceans on the national license isn’t worth a sh-t if the stcw shows a near coastal limitation, as far as I can see.”

Well you could sail outside of 200 miles on a domestic voyage- say from Miami to Houston on the national license- I think that’s what he means.


This is false. You cannot sail past the boundary line, on a vessel to which STCW applies, without the proper STCW endorsement. That is regardless of whether the voyage is domestic or international.


Ok so he’s right… a domestic license “upon Oceans” is worthless! Why not abolish the US system all together?


Having the national license is a requirement to obtain the STCW endorsement.