U.S. vs. foreign merchant mariner documents

Do people ever get merchant mariner documents from two different countries, for example, the U.S. and an EU country? Would this be an advantage? Are most of the requirements between the U.S. and other 1st world countries the same, to be a master of a vessel, for example? I know if a vessel is U.S. flagged, it has to have a certain percentage of U.S. citizens aboard as crew. Do other countries have similar restrictions?

Mariners bneed to hold documents issued by the country where the ship is registered. In most cases, the country will “endorse” the certificate issued by another country provided the country is on the list of countries found to be in compliance with STCW. For example, a US mariner holding a merchant mariner credential issued by the US working on a ship registered in the Marshall Islands will hold a document from Marshall Islands endorsing the US MMC. The U.S. does not currently endorse certificates from other countries.

[QUOTE=jdcavo;59258]Mariners bneed to hold documents issued by the country where the ship is registered. In most cases, the country will “endorse” the certificate issued by another country provided the country is on the list of countries found to be in compliance with STCW. For example, a US mariner holding a merchant mariner credential issued by the US working on a ship registered in the Marshall Islands will hold a document from Marshall Islands endorsing the US MMC. The U.S. does not currently endorse certificates from other countries.[/QUOTE]

I have always been curious as to why the US doesn’t “endorse” certificates from other countries, especially since the US seems to be last in line among developed nations to follow STCW/IMO guidelines and the US requirements for licenses lags behind those of many other countries. Any thoughts on that?
Tengineer

[QUOTE=tengineer;59259]I have always been curious as to why the US doesn’t “endorse” certificates from other countries …[/QUOTE]

In your own words posted on Feb 11th in a thread about foreign workers: “in other words foreign workers can take jobs previously reserved for US citizens.”

MariaW -

Do you have a segment of the maritime industry that you are most interested in pursuing?
Resumes, job hunting techniques and beginners classes/documents should be tailored to your goal.

[QUOTE=seadog!;59262]MariaW -

Do you have a segment of the maritime industry that you are most interested in pursuing?
Resumes, job hunting techniques and beginners classes/documents should be tailored to your goal.[/QUOTE]

I’m trying to think ahead and cover all my bases. If you told me that the “Duchy of Grand Fenwick” has the strictest requirements for a license and if I start my career in Grand Fenwick, I can work on any vessel in the world, but not vice versa, I’d consider getting my sea time on ships that are flagged to the Duchy, instead of let’s say, Somalia. It’s a question for purposes of educating myself on the rules worldwide, since I think I’m more inclined to travel worldwide. As for resumes and the rest, any suggestions are appreciated. Haven’t found much organized information on the internet thus far. I see nothing wrong with my question, it seems you are telling me I shouldn’t ask it here. If you could clarify that would be great. Do my questions here have to have immediate personal utility?

What license or endorsements do you hold now? What country do you live in? What are your goals and in what segment of the industry do you wish to work?

[QUOTE=Bloodyshitcakes;59277]What license or endorsements do you hold now? What country do you live in? What are your goals and in what segment of the industry do you wish to work?[/QUOTE]

I’m entry level. I just applied for my TWIC and MMC. Since I don’t have much experience, I am not sure in what segment of the industry I want to work. Some interests are research vessels, deep sea vessels, sailing vessels. When I think of a commercial career at sea, I picture traveling overseas and back to deliver things. I’m not as interested in work involving the same port every day, unless it’s for a measurable time in an interesting port. I live in the U.S., but I am also able to live and work in Europe, if it’s easier to get experience that way.

[QUOTE=Steamer;59261]In your own words posted on Feb 11th in a thread about foreign workers: “in other words foreign workers can take jobs previously reserved for US citizens.”[/QUOTE]
Yeah, Steamer I understand… Why doesn’t the US endorse other licenses? Oh, I get it ! Because they don’t need to, they just let foreign mariners work in USA waters or on US flagged ships because there is no one to stop them. But this would imply that the USCG is derelict in their duty or bought and paid for. Heaven forbid such a thought…because otherwise one would think the USA was just like a corrupt third world country. Perish the thought.

“Because they don’t need to …” ???

MariaW-

I may be a bit prejudiced towards this site, but it’s probably the best place on the web to ask your questions.
I doubt that any one member of this forum could answer them, most of the regular contributors are US mariners.

I am very interested in encouraging young people to seek maritime careers.
The diversity of the different segments usually doesn’t lead to a lot of cross-over between them, but there still is some.
If you start as a deckhand on a yacht and work your way up to captain, you would still have to start over as a deckhand before getting in the wheelhouse of a tug.
It’s true for deep sea and fishing boats as well.

I think that the picture of US flagged tramp freighters visiting exotic foreign ports is outdated.
There are links on here to several blogs that speak of 40 ports in 30 days in the deep sea trade, not much to see in such a short time.

Sailing and commercial are almost non-existent, only one or two US vessels I’ve read about.

Yachting may be the route that fits your interests.
Travel to the nicest places in the nicest seasons., but an awful lot of yachts “season” in one place before moving somewhere else.
RYA/MCA licenses are compatible with US licenses, you can easily hold both.
Whatever route you pursue having STCW Basic Safety Training on your resume will make you a more serious job candidate.

I know this is rambling, but I hope it’s encouraging also.
There are many ways to make a living on the water, I think they ALL beat land jobs.

[QUOTE=seadog!;59314]If you start as a deckhand on a yacht and work your way up to captain, you would still have to start over as a deckhand before getting in the wheelhouse of a tug.
It’s true for deep sea and fishing boats as well.

Sailing and commercial are almost non-existent, only one or two US vessels I’ve read about.

Yachting may be the route that fits your interests.

RYA/MCA licenses are compatible with US licenses, you can easily hold both.

[/QUOTE]

If you obtain USCG mariner entry level documentation and work on a yacht, that time is valid for upgrading your certifications and you can step off a yacht and into the wheelhouse of a tug or any other vessel for which service you have qualified and hold certification.

If you work on a foreign flag yacht, that time is valid for upgrading your USCG certifications. If you work on a large foreign flagged commercial yacht you can progress all the way to 1600 ton master. There are no recreational licenses in the USCG system, all USCG licenses are commercial certificates. The same does not hold true for those countries that issue a “yacht limited license” as those are not valid for service on merchant vessels or commercial workboats even though they may be described by an equivalent STCW code and even carry the notation “commercial” on the documents. Be careful how you define compatible.

Try and avoid the urge to take the short cut and obtain a “yacht license” by itself. You can hold both, there is nothing to stop a US citizen from holding a MMC and also an RYA or MCA yacht certificate. Just don’t ever think that they are equivalent or interchangeable. The US (STCW endorsed) certificate is universally accepted for service onboard foreign flag yachts and commercial ships (except for the tiny number of UK registered yachts) but the opposite is not true. A yacht license has no value outside the very very small yachting industry and even at its highest level is a dead end as far as other work is concerned.

If you hold a USCG license and work on foreign flag vessels as a licensed officer you are normally required to obtain a flag state endorsement of your license. It is generally a very simple matter of attaching a check and copies of your USCG documents to the application.

There are a fairly large number of American flagged “tallships” if you are primarily interested in sailing vessels. The time you spend on them is valid for upgrading your certifications but if that is all you work on you may be limited to sailing vessels.

At the entry level, issues related to licensing are a long way off. Obtain the USCG documentation for an entry level rating, take BST and try to find work on whatever you can get. Keep careful records of vessel particulars and sea time letters and upgrade at the earliest possible moment. Don’t get stuck on sailing vessels alone. If you want to work on yachts, give it a try and if you like it, maintain parallel certification.

[QUOTE=Steamer;59318]If you obtain USCG mariner entry level documentation and work on a yacht, that time is valid for upgrading your certifications and you can step off a yacht and into the wheelhouse of a tug or any other vessel for which service you have qualified and hold certification.

If you work on a foreign flag yacht, that time is valid for upgrading your USCG certifications. If you work on a large foreign flagged commercial yacht you can progress all the way to 1600 ton master. There are no recreational licenses in the USCG system, all USCG licenses are commercial certificates. The same does not hold true for those countries that issue a “yacht limited license” as those are not valid for service on merchant vessels or commercial workboats even though they may be described by an equivalent STCW code and even carry the notation “commercial” on the documents. Be careful how you define compatible.

Try and avoid the urge to take the short cut and obtain a “yacht license” by itself. You can hold both, there is nothing to stop a US citizen from holding a MMC and also an RYA or MCA yacht certificate. Just don’t ever think that they are equivalent or interchangeable. The US (STCW endorsed) certificate is universally accepted for service onboard foreign flag yachts and commercial ships (except for the tiny number of UK registered yachts) but the opposite is not true. A yacht license has no value outside the very very small yachting industry and even at its highest level is a dead end as far as other work is concerned.

If you hold a USCG license and work on foreign flag vessels as a licensed officer you are normally required to obtain a flag state endorsement of your license. It is generally a very simple matter of attaching a check and copies of your USCG documents to the application.

There are a fairly large number of American flagged “tallships” if you are primarily interested in sailing vessels. The time you spend on them is valid for upgrading your certifications but if that is all you work on you may be limited to sailing vessels.

At the entry level, issues related to licensing are a long way off. Obtain the USCG documentation for an entry level rating, take BST and try to find work on whatever you can get. Keep careful records of vessel particulars and sea time letters and upgrade at the earliest possible moment. Don’t get stuck on sailing vessels alone. If you want to work on yachts, give it a try and if you like it, maintain parallel certification.[/QUOTE]

Thanks everyone for your comments. Doesn’t the “sail” endorsement on U.S. licenses equal the equivalent to a British “yachtmaster”? I understand that for any license, not ALL of the time is required to be spent on the size vessel you’re getting your license on. I think, for example, if you get a master’s license, the sail endorsement requires half of your sea-time to be on a sailing ship. If you get an AB Sail though, all of the 180 days required for that have to be spent on a sailing ship.

Do all foreign vessels accept U.S. citizens with USCG documents? How does that work? For the sake of example, if someone were to try to work for Hapag-Lloyd (Germany not U.S.) would they accept the american licenses? I discovered that Germany doesn’t even have the equivalent of deckhand (AB or OS) anymore. They did away with it and merged the functions with entry-level “mechanic” back in the 80’s. The officers are where the functions start getting split off into Engineering and Deck. Interesting. I don’t know if other countries have done the same thing.

Germany may not have a domestic equivalent of AB or QMED but they should still be required to have RFPNWs on deck and RFPEWs in the engine room.

[QUOTE=MariaW;59339] Doesn’t the “sail” endorsement on U.S. licenses equal the equivalent to a British “yachtmaster”? [/QUOTE]

No, sail means sail. Yachtmaster is the master of a yacht.

What exactly are you trying to do or what do you think you want to do? Your questions are all over the place and are not focused enough for anyone to provide any reasonable answers. It might save you and others a lot of trouble if you do some research on your own and then come back when you know what you want and what is even reasonable to try. Read the thousands of posts here about entry level people looking for a start.

If you are an American with zero experience or qualifications forget about Hapag or any other foreign line, they don’t hire entry level Americans through the mail. Buying a TWIC and an MMC and a BST course does not make anyone a mariner and until you have a few years of employment, forget about licenses and who accepts what … it doesn’t matter at this point and it seems to add to your confusion.

Pretty much all “tallships” have engines so count towards a regular license. It reads “motor, steam, and auxiliary sail vessels” as opposed to just “motor and steam vessels”.

[QUOTE=Capt. Schmitt;59349]Pretty much all “tallships” have engines so count towards a regular license. It reads “motor, steam, and auxiliary sail vessels” as opposed to just “motor and steam vessels”.[/QUOTE]
That’s right, so it’s like killing two birds with one stone!

[QUOTE=Steamer;59346]No, sail means sail. Yachtmaster is the master of a yacht.

What exactly are you trying to do or what do you think you want to do? Your questions are all over the place and are not focused enough for anyone to provide any reasonable answers. It might save you and others a lot of trouble if you do some research on your own and then come back when you know what you want and what is even reasonable to try. Read the thousands of posts here about entry level people looking for a start.

If you are an American with zero experience or qualifications forget about Hapag or any other foreign line, they don’t hire entry level Americans through the mail. Buying a TWIC and an MMC and a BST course does not make anyone a mariner and until you have a few years of employment, forget about licenses and who accepts what … it doesn’t matter at this point and it seems to add to your confusion.[/QUOTE]
Ah, but I don’t just ask questions that have immediate utility in my life. I am interested in the international maritime requirements just because I’m interested in the differences between countries. Also, I’m a dual citizen of the EU and the U.S. and am wondering if that might confer some advantages.

This thread was very specific and I’m not understanding why people want to give me job advice here. I start different threads for different reasons. Of course they’re all over the place as a group. I appreciate your efforts, but I don’t understand why I can’t ask different types of questions on this board for different kinds of reasons. I wouldn’t ask this question here if the answer was easily found elsewhere. If anyone has a site that explains this stuff, please share!

http://www.mptusa.com/

some info on differences.

All the red duster flag states have web sites for their documents.

I’m hoping Mr. Cavo is looking…

My fiance has a 2nd Officer (Nav) endorsement from the government of Egypt. Due to Egypt’s sinking economy, he had a terrible time securing even the worst contract assignment. Thankfully, he finally found a contract and he is currently working at half-pay. Even so, we are relieved he’s on a ship now. The other men are telling him to get an equivalent endorsement from the US so he can apply for contracts from more companies. We live in Egypt and we aren’t interested in leaving. We are happy to relocate to the USA for schooling, but we would return to Africa.

I’m afraid the other men on the ship don’t know what they are talking about, but it’s worth asking…Does the U.S. endorse certificates from other countries?

I know they haven’t in past years, according to your earlier post. If it’s possible, what process does he need to go through in order to earn US endorsement as a 2nd Officer? Please don’t say “enter the academy as a freshmen!” :slight_smile:

I really appreciate any direction you can give me. Thank you!