Seafarer certificates are STCW certificates that include certificates of competency, certificates of proficiency as rating, GMDSS radio operator certificates, certificates of safety training and certificates of proficiency as marine cook.
The exemptions, which are in line with advice from the IMO, enable the holders of all AMSA-issued seafarer certificates, endorsements and certificates of medical fitness to continue performing duties beyond the expiry of those certificates, while enabling owners and masters of ships to permit holders of the above certificates to continue performing duties.
The arrangement that applies to a specific certificate is dependent on the expiry date of that certificate:
- holders of seafarer certificates that expired between 26 March and 31 July 2020 inclusive may continue to perform duties as if the certificate remains in force for a period of 12 months from the expiry date of the certificate; and
- holders of seafarer certificates that expire between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021 inclusive may continue to perform duties as if the certificate remains in force until 31 July 2021.
There is no requirement for a vessel owner, operator or seafarer to make application to AMSA for the above measures to apply.
Those seafarers who meet the eligibility requirements for revalidation of their seafarer certificate and have the ability to make an application, are strongly encouraged to apply to revalidate their certificate before it expires, or as soon as possible after that date.
When the time comes to revalidate an expired seafarer certificate, a new replacement certificate will be issued for a period of five years from the original certificate expiry date.
Along with this arrangement, AMSA also announced further steps to allow holders of National Law certificates of competency and first aid certificates to continue to perform their duties even if their certificate expires between 26 March 2020 and 31 January 2021.