The European Parliament voted on April 4 regarding the revision of Directive 2008/106/EC on the minimum level of training for seafarers. The revision gives emphasis on the level of transparency that should prevail in processing demands for the recognition of seafarers’ certificates of new third countries. Such a recognition will now stop to be automatic, as the decision to launch this process will have to be taken by the Commission by means of an implementing decision and on grounds of several criteria.
The Government of Hong Kong proposed to make a new regulation under the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) Ordinance to include the latest seafarers’ training requirements as described in the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters of the International Maritime Organization into local legislation. Hong Kong has also proposed to amend the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution) Regulation.
The European Council reached a general approach on a proposal to bring together all reporting formalities associated with a port call, under a European maritime single window. The proposal is expected to increase efficiency of operations by ensuring reporting procedures are the same for all port calls, aiming to boost competitiveness of the maritime sector in the long-run.
Speaking in Manila, the Chairman of ICS, Esben Poulsson, called for a revision of the IMO STCW Convention, which governs global standards for the training and certification of about two million merchant seafarers. A revised STCW regime should enable the industry to adapt more effectively to technological advancements.
Myanmar officials are being trained on how to develop a National Maritime Transport Policy, in Yangon, Myanmar, from 17 to 19 of October. IMO promotes this concept as a good governance practice to guide planning, decision making and legislation in the maritime sector.
Amendments to the STCW Convention and the STCW Code set a new requirement for training and emergency familiarization of crewmembers on passenger ships, effective from 1st of July 2018. All personnel are required to have undergone relevant training before being assigned to shipboard duties.
From 1st of July 2018, amendments related to revised training requirements for Masters and Deck Officers onboard ships operating in Polar Water have come into force. Namely, the STCW has been amended with a new regulation V/4 , according to which, two main trainings are defined: the basic and the advance training.
USCG announced availability of a policy letter titled “Guidelines for Qualifications of Personnel for Issuing STCW Endorsements for Basic and Advanced Polar Code Operations.” This provides guidance for the issuance of Merchant Mariner Credential endorsements in accordance with STCW Convention as amended for Polar Code.
Denmark’s Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs published an Executive Order describing the training and qualification requirements for masters, officers and other personnel who are part of the guard on the bridge for ships operating in polar areas. The Executive Order will enter into force on 1 July 2018.
An active mariner who serves in a relevant position for one year in the previous 5 years using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on ships equipped with radar, or has served as a qualified instructor for a US Coast Guard-approved radar course at least two times within the past 5 years, would not be required to complete a Coast Guard-approved radar refresher or re-certification course to renew his or her radar observer endorsement.
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