TO THE MEMBERS
The IMO Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978 was substantially amended in July 1995 and has become known as STCW 95.
These amendments, which came into force on 1st February 1997, aim to increase safety and levels of competence of seafarers by imposing increased obligations and responsibilities on governments and shipping companies. Although many of the new obligations under the Convention may not have to be implemented until after February 1997, it must be assumed that new responsibilities applicable to shipping companies need to be complied with immediately. Enforcement of STCW 95 will be by flag and port state control, and Members will need to ensure now that they can demonstrate that they are in compliance with its provisions. Key requirements include the keeping of records relating to seafarers' experience, training, medical fitness and competence. Others relate to shipboard familiarisation, crew co-ordination, minimum rest periods, basic safety familiarisation and training.
If a shipowner delegates the crewing operations of a ship to a third party such as a crew manager or bareboat charterer, it must be made clear in the contractual arrangements who is responsible for compliance with STCW 95.
The International Shipping Federation has produced a booklet which contains useful checklists and advice on what should be done to expedite compliance and the issues which need to be addressed. A copy of the booklet is enclosed which it is hoped will assist Members in dealing with the requirements of STCW 95.
Loss Prevention Director
Thomas Miller P&I Ltd.
as agents for Thos R Miller & Son (Bermuda)