The U.S. Coast Guard announced that its Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee
has established a mechanism to provide ongoing feedback on the mariner licensing and documentation program and the relocation of the National Maritime Center.
The Coast Guard began restructuring its mariner licensing and documentation program in March 2005 to improve service to mariners. The project will relocate the National Maritime Center to Martinsburg, W. Va., change mission focus for the 17 regional examination centers and implement technological improvements such as electronic imaging of mariner records, electronic administration and grading of exams, and on-line payment of user fees. When the plan is complete the processing of all applications for credentials will be centralized and managed by the reorganized National Maritime Center staff, and the responsibilities of the regional examination centers will be limited to fingerprinting mariners, establishing mariner identities, providing application assistance, administering testing, and providing course oversight.