This will make for interesting reading and discussion

lots and lots of reading…

[B]Coast Guard issues NVICs on STCW endorsements[/B]

By WorkBoat Staff 1/28/2014

The Coast Guard has issued several Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVIC) that provide guidance on the issuance of STCW endorsements under its recently released regulations. The endorsements relate to proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats (NVIC 04-14), fast rescue boats (NVIC 05-14), ratings forming part of a navigational watch (RFPNW, NVIC 06-14), ratings forming part of an engineering watch (RFPEW, NVIC 07-14), and advanced firefighting (NVIC 09-14). The STCW amendments final rule was released on Dec. 24 and will take effect on March 24.

[QUOTE=c.captain;129408]lots and lots of reading…[/QUOTE]

There was a similarly mysterious tidbit from Professional Mariner. They all seem to be talking about the new STCW amendments but not saying much… Does anyone understand what they’re talking about in regards to tankerman-PIC endorsements? Maybe I’m just not reading it right but I don’t get what changes are coming for tankerman-PIC that we all need to be watching out for.

[B][U]STCW final rule has immediate impact on tankermen, training, medical[/U][/B]

Jan 22, 2014 03:43 PM
BY DOM YANCHUNAS

The U.S. Coast Guard has published its final rule on the 2010 Manila amendments to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW). [U][B]The most immediate impact will be felt in tankerman endorsements, medical examinations and basic training refreshers.[/B][/U]

The new rule, published Dec. 24, 2013, covers approximately 1,044 U.S. commercial vessels operating on ocean or near-coastal voyages.

[B][U]The mariners who need to pay the most urgent attention are those who intend to hold a Tankerman Person in Charge endorsement, said Capt. Ernest Fink, chairman of the Department of Professional Education at SUNY Maritime College. The tankerman endorsement is split into three categories: oil, chemicals and liquid gas. A grandfathering clause for mariners to apply based on existing qualifications will last only until the new rule’s March 24 effective date.

“I bet a lot of people are going to miss that. After March, anybody who wants to apply is going to have to meet all the new requirements,” said Fink, who was a delegate to the STCW Convention. “That’s something that all the tankermen had better jump on quickly.”[/U][/B]

The broader licensed community will be impacted most by the new “Medical Certificate,” which requires a physical exam every two years. Existing U.S. rules requires medical exams every five years for most mariners. The Coast Guard will begin issuing two-year certificates in April.

An additional new wide-ranging qualification is the need for seafarers to renew several fundamental training activities, some of which cannot be done aboard vessels. Finding time and resources for the shore-side training will pose a challenge to mariners and schools alike, said Barry Van Vechten, assistant director for academics at Calhoon MEBA Engineering School in Easton, Md.

“The requirement for ‘demonstrating continued professional competence’ in basic safety training, advanced firefighting and proficiency in survival craft (lifeboatman) every five years is going to cause extreme difficulties,” said Van Vechten, also a delegate to the STCW Convention.

“While the Coast Guard will allow you to demonstrate parts of the competencies by having one year of seagoing service in the last five years, the remaining parts must be done ashore,” he said. “While we already have courses approved to meet these requirements, this is going to be a significant burden on our school.”

Approved maritime training programs will be placed under more scrutiny. Each must participate in a quality standards system (QSS). “For all the training providers, this is a big change. By 2017, they have to have a quality standards system like ISO9000 in place for all of the courses they offer,” Fink said. “A lot of the smaller providers, to do this in-house or to pay somebody to come in and do that, it’s a lot of money.”

That provision already is having a deep impact on the industry — even grabbing the attention of training schools that don’t offer a lot of STCW-oriented curriculum. Capt. Skip Anderson, who as director of Flagship Maritime Training serves mainly entry-level mariners, said he will keenly monitor the National Maritime Center’s website when referring students to more advanced programs at other training schools near his Tacoma, Wash., center.

“I need to make sure that the facilities to whom I direct these students is complying with the requirements,” said Anderson. “They have to stay current.”

Fink said the Coast Guard probably underestimated the economic cost of the QSS requirement on the industry. He said academies and operators should be on the lookout for Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVICs) in which the Coast Guard will provide more guidance on what will be expected.

Other provisions of the final STCW rule:

– Remove chief engineer (limited-near-coastal) endorsement.

– Add an endorsement for mate of ocean vessels of less than 200 gross tons.

– Exempt pilot vessels from STCW requirements.

– Amend rules on sea-service credit for cadets on academy training ships.

– Provide for an option to complete an approved course, with career progression path, to meet sea-service requirements for offshore supply vessel endorsements.

– Add training requirements for endorsement for electro-technical officer and electro-technical rating.

So what becomes of Chief Engineer (Limited-Near-Coastal)? Will they lose their Chief license? Will they automatically be upgraded to Oceans? I think my license just got cheapened by guys that couldn’t pass electricity/electronics module on the Chief Ltd test.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;129409]There was a similarly mysterious tidbit from Professional Mariner. They all seem to be talking about the new STCW amendments but not saying much… Does anyone understand what they’re talking about in regards to tankerman-PIC endorsements? Maybe I’m just not reading it right but I don’t get what changes are coming for tankerman-PIC that we all need to be watching out for.[/QUOTE]

The article is not particularly accurate, if not misleadingly alarmist.

First and most notable, the changes don’t take effect for most mariners on March 24, 2014. That’s the effective date of the rule, but the rule provides grandfathering for mariners who began the service or training for an endorsement before March 24, 2014. Those mariners that began service or training before the effective date of the rule may continue to qualify under the old rules for a transition period. For STCW endorsements, that transition period ends December 31, 2016, for national endorsements it ends March 24, 2019. This is explained in NVIC 02-14 on Grandfathering, one of the first batch of NVICs published last week. It’s available on the NMC web site: http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/announcements/colorbox/nvic_colorbox.asp

For Tankerman-Assistant, there is a single endorsement “Basic Oil and Chemical Tanker Operations.” Mariners holding Tankerman-Assistant will qualify for this endorsement. Mariners who began service or training before March 24, 2014 will be grandfathered, those who began after that date will have a new requirement for Tankerman-Assistant - if they are qualifying by getting service on a tanker (not taking a course), there will be an written exam for the endorsement.

On the tankerman issue, the big change is that for STCW, there are separate endorsements for “Advanced Oil Tanker Operations” and “Advanced Chemical Tanker Operations.” Mariners who currently hold Tankerman-PIC Dangerous Liquids endorsements will be grandfathered to both oil and chemical. The rule also provides for Tankerman-PIC (Barge) to qualify for STCW endorsements with a limitation to vessels that are not self-propelled. Previously, if you worked on an ATB and held Tankerman-PIC (Barge), you could not get an STCW endorsement for tank vessels.

The Advanced oil and chemical tanker operations endorsements require service on the specific type of tanker, oil tankers for the Advanced Oil Tanker Operations endorsement, and chemical tankers for the Advanced Chemical Tanker endorsement. To make this as workable as possible and to avoid the burden of documenting when a vessel carried oil, and when it carried chemical, we have added definitions of oill and chemical tankers in 46 CFR 10.107, an oil tanker is tank vessel certified to carry oil cargo, and a chemical tanker is a tank vessel certified to carry chemicals. This means most tank vessels will be considered to be both oul and chemical without regard to what cargo they carried during a mariner’s service.

One change that is in the Grandfathering NVIC, but not explained in the article, involves assessments for STCW endorsements for Master 500/1,600 GRT. Although mariners who began service or training for this endorsement are eligible for the grandfathering described above and may qualify under the old regulations, the old regulations required assessments (46 CFR 11.903). This regulation was not enforced for lack of published policy and assessments. As is described in the grandfathering NVIC (Encl 2, page 3), mariners seeking this endorsement will not be required to show assessments until six months after model assessments are published, but after that date assessments will be required. The assessments will be published in a NVIC in the next few weeks.

The grandfathering NVIC is at: http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/announcements/colorbox/nvic_colorbox.asp

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[QUOTE=txwooley;129424]So what becomes of Chief Engineer (Limited-Near-Coastal)? Will they lose their Chief license? Will they automatically be upgraded to Oceans? I think my license just got cheapened by guys that couldn’t pass electricity/electronics module on the Chief Ltd test.[/QUOTE]

See the Grandfathering NVIC I cited above. If you hold Chief Engineer (Limited-Near Coastal), the next time you renew or do anything else on your MMC, you will be issued the new endorsement for Chief Engineer (Limited) without additional sea service or testing. new endorsemernt will be valid on near coastal and oceans routes.

As usual J.D. Cavo, you have brought clarity where before there was only chaos. We are, once again, in your debt, sir.