Uscg & stcw

STCW has been around and was signed onto by the US well before 1995. But what the heck does STCW have to do with passports!?

Engineers licenses are confusing, convoluted, etc.

All dde tickets are less than 500 grt licenses. Only dde unlimited is oceans, 1000/4000 are near coastal.

Chief limited/assistant limited are oceans licenses, and less than 1600 grt/3000 GT. The HP you get is based upon a calculation on the vessels HP in your sea service letters, less than half of your time was on vessels less than 4000 hp, you will get a hp limitation of some sort.

So, regardless of HP, a 10000 ton ship would require an unlimited chief and assistants. There is some logic to it? Kinda maybe?

Now to make it even more confusing, a monster OSV that is over 1600 grt/3000 grt could possibly have a chief with a trade restricted chief’s license with unlimited tonnage and HP, and as of a few years ago a DDE unlimited could have gotten it just by applying.

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I’ve work with a lot of non-American unlicensed & all of them have passports from their country in addition to a seamans book. If any mariner can fly with just a seamans book or MMC only that’s a new one on me. Maybe they can do it within the EU but I’m just guessing?

The same with visas. I’ve sailed with Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Mexicans, Filipinos, Indonesians, Brazilians, Spaniards, Hondurans etc & all of them had visa problems at one time or another somewhere. A STCW '78, '95, '02 or '14 didn’t erase the borders of the world. Some countries like the US, Australia, Brazil etc are notorious for being difficult to fly into for crewchange with a mariners doc or not.

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Russian seamen often have two passports, one ashore being processed for a visa, and one with them. Seaman’s books vary greatly. Some are almost the same as passports in appearance and some look like they came in a cereal box. Sailing under different flags I collected a drawer full of them.

I remember back in the 70s and 80s, a Z card would work just like a passport. I had to put it to the test when I was injured coming down the English Channel and put off in Brixham. After a few days, I flew back to NYC using just my Z card, no problem. I am well aware that cannot be done now.

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That’s cool. I didn’t know that used to be a thing. Some country’s seamens book looks almost like their passports & it would make sense. I just never heard of it.

It is why I didn’t even get around to getting a passport until 1982 or so. . . .

As @cmakin has already said, I recall using my Z-card as my travel document when I got off a ship while foreign to return to the States. I don’t remember when I first got my passport (early 80’s I think) but it didn’t correspond with me first going to sea or getting my license.

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Hi John,My Name is Alexander Sunday I and I want to explain to all sailors in the USA that we are still behind STCW 78 Every maritime states sailors have seafarers’ passports that allow them to enter the countries where change crew without a visa.I send you a pictures from my . I’ll be happy if you call me for more information - I started sealing 78.1 636 875 3739 sea my LinkedIn


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Just beck from Alaska .
By STCW 78/95 limitation for engineers(for tonnage) does not exist limitation is for KW/HP

See my post

Your post does not show where STCW says anything at all about passports. STCW is literally the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping. It has nothing to do with international travel. If I’m mistaken here please cite a reference.

From what I can tell from the picture, the date span from your seamen’s book is mid-80’s to the year 2000 in Baton Rouge. Do you have anything more recent? Sounds like outdated information to me.

Also, I know for a fact US mariners can’t fly into Australia, New Zealand or Brazil unannounced without a visa to do a crewchange. If a country is strict about visas the airline won’t fly you there to show your seamen’s book unless you have a passport & visa.

The Philippines is another country that requires a visa to crew change.

Thank’s for respond
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering from European Union I have a new BUT in2018 I send all sea time advanced FF and all my seafarer passport,Certificate (US licences )for renewal

BUT MY STCW III 1 expired BECAUSE (EU does not recognize USCG medical physical )so I have to finish MPT FLL DDE unlimited to work.I have a picture on new but they not helping. and they are bed quality
In FLL have a doctor ho give you med. for EU BUT hi is SPAM
Just for info.

I work 10 Y. on Ultra Large Crude Carriers, VLCC tankers, Ro-Ro’s, bulk carriers, passenger vessels, general cargo, fishing trawlers, tug and many others ships, which have ranged from 3000 to 120,000 horsepower, including HFO (heavy fuel oil engines) for British-UK 5Y., Greek, Kuwait, French,Algerian, Bulgarian and American companies.

Not if you have a seafarers passport bin there.

Thank’s for respond
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering from European Union I have a new BUT in2018 I send all sea time advanced FF and all my seafarer passport,Certificate (US licences )for renewal

BUT MY STCW III 1 expired BECAUSE (EU does not recognize USCG medical physical )so I have to finish MPT FLL DDE unlimited to work.I have a picture on new but they not helping. and they are bed quality
In FLL have a doctor ho give you med. for EU BUT hi is SPAM
Just for info.

I work 10 Y. on Ultra Large Crude Carriers, VLCC tankers, Ro-Ro’s, bulk carriers, passenger vessels, general cargo, fishing trawlers, tug and many others ships, which have ranged from 3000 to 120,000 horsepower, including HFO (heavy fuel oil engines) for British-UK 5Y., Greek, Kuwait, French,Algerian, Bulgarian and American companies.


I don’t think anyone here is not aware of that. What’s your point?

You seem to be confusing the STCW with the Maritime Labour Convention. he U.S. is not a signatory to the MLC.

He appears to be confusing the national endorsement of Designated Duty Engineer with the STCW endorsement for “Officer in Charge of an Engineering Watch (OICEW) in a manned engineroom or designated duty engineer in a periodically unmanned engineroom on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP propulsion power or more.” The term Designated Duty Engineer is not the same as used in the national endorsement and STCW. The national endorsement is the “management level,” and the STCW endorsement is the “operational level.”

The national endorsement does not have a tonnage limit attached to the endorsement, but there is a limit on the tonnage of the vessels it authorizes service on in 46 CFR 15.915(a).

But yes, I’m not sure what the point of the post is.

To all who responded

My point is that when I arrival in Tokyo- Japan 2018 to replace the Chief Engineer of the USNS ship in Okinawa - American base White beach
I missed the flight to Okinawa because I didn't have a visa. Even the company that sent me there didn't know I needed a visa.
After great controversy and a pretty solid price, I managed to get a visa.
Good luck to all who go to third countries for crew  change.

So that is the point .We are far behind.