The South African Maritime Safety Authority announced that a process for the further standardization and conversion of certificates issued to South African seafarers, including certificates for persons working on fishing and other local vessels, is underway.
SAMSA says the revalidation now due affects precisely South African seafarers holding Certificates of Competency and/or Proficiency issued in accordance with regulations repealed by the Merchant Shipping (Safe Manning, Training and Certification) Regulations, 2013.
In the categories of Marine Motorman, Fisherman, Port Operations and Radio Certificates, there are as many as 31 different seafarer operations certificates due for revalidation.
Among highly significant issues with the announced revalidation is that a majority of the seafarers’ certificates are changes in titles, in accordance with Regulations, SAMSA says. The 31 listed certificates for revalidation all carry news titles.
However, holders of certificates previously covered under Marine Notice 24 of 2016 (Applications for new Manila Compliant Certificates) may continue applying for their certificates as required to keep their certificates valid for service.
Meanwhile, in terms of the requirement now due to for re-validation of certificates in the categories highlighted, SAMSA says seafarers holding the certificates listed shall re-validate at five yearly intervals with applications for re-validation acceptable from six months before expiry.
“During the application for re-validation/conversion, candidates must select the appropriate new title of the certificate as set out in the equivalency table in Regulation 115 and summarized in the Annexure issued,” says SAMSA’s Chief Examiner – Mr Azwimmbavhi Mulaudzi. “To be issued with the new format certificates, seafarers holding certificates listed in the Annexure of the Schedule posted on the SAMSA website, shall apply using appropriate forms found in all SAMSA offices countrywide, and on the website.”
Information, other than course certificates, submitted as prima facieevidence of the candidate being complied with the requirements for the new certificates must be in accordance with Paragraph 4 of GOP-506 – Revalidation of a Certificate of Competency, he added.
“All applications shall be submitted at the nearest SAMSA office, and applications submitted to the Head Office will be assigned to a port office. Candidates applying shall use the latest forms available on the SAMSA website.”
Mr Mulaudzi says SAMSA will continue to accept applications and process, for first issue of the certificates, under the repealed Regulations, until 31 December 2018, except for Certificates of Competency which require candidates to complete their written examinations at SAMSA.
The last application for the Certificate of Competency, which includes the written examination, is scheduled for 15 October 2018, to allow such to be processed, while the last written examination at SAMSA shall be on or before 25 November 2018.
Candidates being assessed successfully during this period shall be issued with the equivalent new format interim certificate, as well as the final certificate.
According to Mr Mulaudzi, applications for re-validation and conversion may be made from 21 August 2017. Otherwise all certificates to which the issued Marine Notice applies, other than Short Range Radio Operators Certificates, shall remain valid for service until 31 December 2018.
“Certificates for Long Range shall remain valid for a period of five years from the date of issue, i.e. not valid beyond 31 July 2022, except that certificates issued on or before 31 December 2013 shall remain valid until 31 December 2018.”