This website is presented, at no charge, as a source of information for mariners by a consortium of maritime trainers.
What do we hope to accomplish? Well for starters, we want to explain exactly what STCW is, and how it affects mariners. We get questions about STCW regularly.People ask for STCW training . . . not really knowing what it is. . . just that they have to get it to keep their license or Z-card.
We also want to know what specific questions you may have (click here to email a question to us). The maritime is so diverse that new questions arise everyday. Send us your questions and we will answer them and then post the information (without using names, of course) for others to benefit from. Our STCW expertise is supplied by three retired US Coast Guard Commanders, all of whom served in Coast Guard licensing centers.
If you want to see the questions most frequently asked by other mariners, click here, or look at a sample below.
Who does the STCW Code
All professional mariner certifications must be STCW 95 Compliant with the exception of U.S. mariners working exclusively on inland waters or domestic near coastal waters on vessels up to 200 gross tons waters, which are exempt from the STCW requirements.
What about unlicensed
Which courses do I need
to obtain STCW compliance?
Why was the Code
It is widely quoted that nearly 80 % of transport accidents are due to human error. It is the human element on board ship that can either provide the skills that may prevent a disaster, or the frailty or plain lack of competence that can cause one. And, while the capability, complexity and sheer power of technology seems to be accelerating exponentially, the human element remains a basic component with all its strengths and all its weaknesses. That is why the international maritime community has now evolved from an approach, which traditionally seeks technical solutions to safety-related problems and is focusing instead on the role of human factors in maritime safety.
The 1995 STCW Convention is one of several key initiatives that underpin this new philosophy at IMO. It seeks to establish a baseline standard for the training and education of seafarers throughout the world and, by placing an emphasis on quality control and competence-based training, it establishes a structure that can ensure not only that the required standard is met, but that it is seen to be met. (Excerpted from the IMO website).
Why doesn't one size
fit all with STCW?
Why don't all STCW
Certificates look the same, isn't this a standard?
What is the IMO?
What are Port and Flag
The revised Chapter I of STCW includes enhanced procedures concerning the exercise of port State to allow intervention in the case of deficiencies deemed to pose a danger to persons, property or the environment (regulation I/4). This can take place if certificates are not in order or if the ship is involved in a collision or grounding, if there is an illegal discharge of substances (causing pollution) or if the ship is maneuvered in an erratic or unsafe manner, etc.
Flag State Control is the authority an administration has over vessels with their own registration (flag) regardless of where they are operating. Therefore, when the USCG conducts an inspection on a US flagged vessel, they are acting as Flag State Control.
What is the "White
What happens if a
country is not on the "White List"?
Port State Control and Flag State Control both play a role in handling a non-white listed country. For instance, if a vessel is flagged by a non-white list country, when it desires to enter a white list port, it can be denied entry, detained or inspected vigorously.
On the other hand, if a mariner has a Certificate of Competency (license) from a non-white list country, they will most likely be denied a Certificate of Equivalency, they will be rejected as a viable manning solution for white list flagged vessels, and their sea time and training may either be highly scrutinized or not accepted at all towards a Cof C from a white list country.
revised/amended in 1995 & how does it differ
from the 1978 convention?
Others complained that the Convention was never uniformly applied and did not impose any strict obligations on Parties regarding implementation. The 1995 amendments entered into force on 1 February 1997. However, until 1 February 2002, parties were allowed to continue to issue, recognize and endorse certificates, which applied before that date in respect of seafarers who began training or seagoing service before 1 August 1998.
One of the major features of the revision was the division of the technical annex into regulations, divided into Chapters as before, and a new STCW Code, to which many technical regulations have been transferred. Part A of the Code is mandatory while Part B is recommended.
Dividing the regulations up in this way makes administration easier and it also makes the task of revising and updating them more simple: for procedural and legal reasons there is no need to call a full conference to make changes to Codes.
Some of the most important amendments adopted by the Conference concern Chapter I - General Provisions.
They include the following:
Ensuring compliance with the Convention
Parties to the Convention are required to provide detailed information to IMO concerning administrative measures taken to ensure compliance with the Convention. This represented the first time that IMO had been called upon to act in relation to compliance and implementation - generally, implementation is down to the flag States, while port State control also acts to ensure compliance. Under Chapter I, regulation I/7 of the revised Convention, Parties are required to provide detailed information to IMO concerning administrative measures taken to ensure compliance with the Convention, education and training courses, certification procedures and other factors relevant to implementation.
By the August 1st, 1998 deadline for submission of information (established in section A-I/7 of the STCW Code) 82 out of the 133 STCW Parties had communicated information on compliance with the requirements of the revised Convention. The 82 Parties which met the deadline represent well over 90% of the world's ships and seafarers.
The information is reviewed by panels of competent persons, nominated by Parties to the STCW Convention, who report on their findings to the IMO Secretary- General, who, in turn, reports to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) on the Parties which fully comply. The MSC then produces a list of Parties in compliance with the 1995 amendments.
Finally, we are providing links to sources of US Coast Guard (and other flag state authorities) approved STCW training and related services.
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