STCW Training Courses Overseas

Probably mainly a question here for @jdcavo but does the USCG/NMC recognize STCW courses taken from schools overseas? Might be nice to combine a vacation in the U.K. or other part of Europe with training courses if it’d be recognized.

The only ones they recognize are the ones they post on the website and issue a certificate for. Check the USCG website with care for a list of approved courses at approved schools and verify with the school that they have an approval certificate that covers what you need. Any questions, check with the both the school and the Coast Guard before you take the course. You should actually do that regardless of the school location (domestic or otherwise).

Yeah, I knew there was a list, and I haven’t really dug into it at all. But I from what I see there aren’t any foreign schools recognized. So much for STCW bringing world parity.

1 Like

Doesn’t the USCG recognize any foreign education and training? Not even things like Sea Survival, ECDIS, DPO Basic, ETO etc???

1 Like

That’s exactly the kind of courses I was wondering about, but apparently not. I was thinking about the STCW refresher courses, and most of all, the Fast Rescue Boat course.

The USCG only recognizes courses that they have approved. If foreign training schools don’t care enough to get approved by the USCG then their certificates aren’t recognized. For most schools it would likely not be economical to seek USCG approval…

Thanks. That make sense.
There probably aren’t too many American mariners seeking courses outside USA for any foreign school or training center to apply for USCG approval.

Presumably no reciprocal agreement between US and any foreign Maritime authorities to approve each others training certificates either.

Currently, no. I could see a good case for the USCG to enter into something like that with other white list countries though.

I took my own initial DPO courses (induction and advanced) in Canada, but DP training schemes are not ones ‘approved’ by the USCG.

I would say it’s doubtful that any overseas schools have seen a large economic benefit from going through the USCG approval process. But, if they did, the approved courses would be on the list of approved courses at the USCG website.

That was something I intended to mention and forgot.

Reviving this thread since I found this article re: MCA approved training facilities in Thailand:
No idea if it is USCG approved though.

As has been accurately stated here many times: The USCG does NOT approve or accept any foreign STCW courses.

That is very unfortunate for US mariners, but that’s how it is.

1 Like

And of course, if it’s not on the list of approved courses and cannot produce for you a valid course approval certificate…

Well, it’s not approved regardless of the school location.

To hell with the inefficient USCG bureaucracy that is overly under the influence of US schools, I’d like to see a Congressman submit legislation to grant automatic reciprocal acceptance of all MCA approved courses. There is no doubt in my mind that the MCA courses are at least as good, and more likely superior, to the US courses.


Let’s just assume that an American training institution approved by USCG set up a branch in say Canada (or Thailand), using the exact same training method, curriculum and equipment etc. and applied for USCG approval, that would not be possible??

What if the facilities were in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Virgin Islands, Guam, or Marshall Islands?

Not possible outside the US, unless the school is headquartered and it’s records are kept in the US, and the training is conducted onboard a US flag vessel.

Puerto Rico, VI, and and Guam have approved schools. Marshall Island is not a US territory.

The facilities are subject to approval review as well, not just the curriculum, learning aids, and instructors.

It’s a good thing for shipowners that designing, building, and/or repairing ships is not held to the same standard as a sailor sitting in a generally pointless class for no purpose other than to acquire a piece of paper that means (in most cases) absolutely nothing from an operational viewpoint.