STCW Class Renewals?

So I have a quick question. I am currently on my first license and it does not expire until 2022. My basic safety training cert is over 5 years old now. Do I need to renew it or wait until the year of the renewal of my license? I thought if my STCW on my MMC is in check, then that class would still hold true until it is time to renew?


As I recall, the USCG required renewal (or I presume issuance of a new license) before a certain date (maybe sometime a year or two ago) to get an automatic extension of the BT expiration date until the next renewal. I don’t remember the date.

Whether that is acceptable to all foreign port state control officials, I don’t know, but I doubt it. Maybe we are supposed to carry a copy of the USCG policy letter, but I don’t know.

Whether that is acceptable to all unions, recruiters, and employers, I don’t know that either. In my experience, most employers seem to be completely unaware of the issue.

It seems to be a confusing topic for some. Some say 5 years from the date completed, some say within the year before your renewal date. Because your MMC STCW will also expire then as well.

Who is some? Go to the NMC website and find the checklist for renewals. There will be one check list for National and one for STCW. Drill down to the specific question you have and read their requirements. It might even have a CFR reference off to the side for further clarification if needed. Report your findings back here to the forum…

“Some” are current sailing mariners. It says I need to renew my STCW that I will need 360 days for a revalidation course, which must be within 5 years of the renewal date.

What is “it”?

The way I read it is that you need the revalidation class and one year of seatime within the 5 year period before license renewal. If not then you need the refresher class. My license expires in 2020, just completed the BT renewal. Have to do the advanced firefighting and I will be done for 5 more years

On a side note, nowhere does it say that you have to take these courses on an anniversary. Only need them within a 5 year period before renewal

I expect that like most required classes that they must have been completed within one year of application submission.

Also, the rest of the world has different standards than the USCG; if you ever sail foreign you’ll likely be expected to have course certificates dated within 5 years of the current date.

That’s only for courses that substitute for a Coast Guard exam,or when the specific applicable regulation sets a one year limit. For most others, it’s five years.

I sail foreign, I have a Vanuatu chief license, sailed on foreign flagged vessels for the past eight years. Only thing ever said to me about my docs was that I should recertify my DP maintenance as my certificate was issued in 2006 and that systems have upgraded since then.

So what is it for STCW refresher and revalidation courses?

See Page 2, Para. 5(a)(2).

It’s actually the fifth page (the second “page 2”) but I eventually found it.

So I could take a revalidation course a week after I renew and they’ll accept that 4.99 years later when I renew? If so that’s ridiculous.

It sounds like you’ve gotten lucky. I’ve heard from numerous people that call in foreign ports that say that local port state control checks the recency of their STCW BST and others whose company mandates they have the class within 5 years because PSC checks and may penalize the ship.

Something odd did happen to me while working out of Macae in 2003. We were contracted to Petrobras, because I had a U.S. STCW and not a Brazilian STCW, I had to take the water survival, firefighting and industrial safety at the Petrobras refinery in Macae and water survival at the base, only gringo in the class. Had an interpreter help me.

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