As the deadline date for full STCW 95 implementation looms, we would like to remind Members of their obligations. LP Bulletin 206 - 08/01 Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping Convention was issued in August 2000 to alert Members to this deadline and the following reminder appeared in Loss Prevention News - Volume 14, dated November 2001:
STCW 95 CONVENTION
The Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Convention (STCW 95) comes into full effect next year, from February 2002, and requires flag states to accept direct responsibility for seafarers serving on their ships. Officers on ships registered under flags other than those issuing their certificate of competence will have to obtain a separate endorsement from a recognised flag state. It is thought that this will apply to more than 200,000 seafarers worldwide and flag states will be obliged to conclude agreements with countries supplying the labour. In fact the Convention only requires agreement between maritime administrations but some countries seem to be intending to treat these agreements as a diplomatic issue requiring full government approval.
This is likely to result in delays in concluding treaties which will, in turn, hold up the issuance of the flag state endorsements which will be demanded by port state control inspectors around the world. The situation is being monitored by both the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Shipping Federation. In addition to this, under the STCW Convention seafarers are required to take regular refresher courses which include personal survival techniques, first aid, fire prevention and basic fire fighting before they can qualify for new certificates.
Further information can be found on the IMO’s website at: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/contents.asp?doc_id=1363&topic_id=477
It appears that many seafarers still do not have the required certificates for the February 1st 2002 deadline. This is a worldwide problem, some administrations having more difficulties than others.
However, there is a grace period of three months under the Convention, during which time a seafarer will be treated as being in compliance with the regulations as long as an application has been submitted. In order to satisfy Port State authorities, it would be prudent to have the paperwork to be able to show that an application has actually been submitted.
Seafarers who fail to submit applications risk being barred from working on ships. Members face the possibility of having to repatriate crew due to non-compliance and risk fines and/or detention should irregularities be discovered during PSC or other inspections.
Source of information: Loss Prevention Department