The US Coast Guard amended regulations to qualify for national officer and rating endorsements in a final rule called Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, and Changes to National Endorsements (78 FR 77796). The rule was published December 24, 2013. The portions applicable to national endorsements became effective March 24, 2014.
The final rule provided grandfathering provisions for mariners who began the service and/or training for their endorsement before March 24, 2014. Under these grandfathering provisions, mariners who commenced service or training for a national endorsement may qualify for the endorsement under the regulation and polices existing before March 24, 2014, as long as they apply for the endorsement before March 24, 2019.
CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-19 provides guidance for evaluating applications for national officer and rating endorsements to Merchant Mariner Credentials (MMC). It also explains how applications submitted near the expiration of the transitional provisions on March 24, 2019, will be processed.
Namely, mariners may qualify for the original issue, raise of grade or increase in scope of a national officer or rating endorsement, under rules and policies in effect before March 24, 2014, if all of the following are met:
- The service or training required for the endorsement began before March 24, 2014;
- The application for the endorsement(s) was submitted to the Coast Guard before March 24, 2019. The Coast Guard will consider that an application was submitted in a timely manner if it is postmarked or emailed before March 24, 2019;
- All professional requirements for the national endorsement, including service, training, and practical demonstrations were completed before March 24, 2019.
A mariner who meet the criteria and has not provided enough evidence of complying with all professional requirements for the national endorsement with their application may be allowed up to 90 days to provide any additional information that may have been omitted from their application.