Coast Guard Seeks Mariner Feedback
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.
USCG – National Maritime Center
The Coast Guard promulgated an organizational rulemaking authorizing the Commanding Officer of the National Maritime Center (NMC) to perform certain mariner credentialing functions that are now performed solely by Officers in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI). Plans call for many mariner credentialing functions to eventually be transferred from the OCMIs to the CO, NMC. During the transition process, these authorities will be shared. The amendment is effective September 20. source: HK Law
Demonstration of Competence in Visual Communications
The U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center issued a policy letter entitled Demonstration of Competence in Visual Communications (Flashing Light)
USCG NMC Mariner Applicant E-Mail Service
The U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center located in Martinsburg, W.Va., launched a new service that will automatically send e-mail notifications to mariners informing them of their credential application status as it is being processed. "This new automated service will help maintain confidence among mariners that their application is being actively worked by the Coast Guard,” said Capt. David Stalfort, the commanding officer of the National Maritime Center. Mariners who provide an email address when submitting their merchant mariner credential application will receive an e-mail as their application progresses through the application process. The e-mail is automatically generated when an application and moves to the next stage of the process.
USCG Extends Mariner Credentials due to Government Shutdown
The U.S. Coast Guard announced Thursday that mariners whose credentials expire between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30 will receive an extension due to the current lapse in appropriations. The Coast Guard is currently unable to process all mariner credentials in time to ensure that all mariners receive their renewed credentials before their current documents expire. Under the authority of 46 United States Code 7507, the Coast Guard, will be granting extensions to national endorsements until Dec. 31, 2013.
REC Toledo, REC St. Louis to transition to NMC
The US Coast Guard said that, on February 4, the Regional Examination Centers (RECs) located in Toledo and St. Louis will begin their transition to become field units of the National Maritime Center (NMC). The staffs at the two RECs will continue to assist mariners in ensuring that their applications are complete and ready for submittal. Four other RECs have already completed the transition. By the end of the year, all 17 RECs nationwide will have completed the process. (HK Law)
NMC Shutdown Advice
The U.S. Coast Guard's National Maritime Center provides advice on the imapct to its missions in the wake of the Government Shutdown. This notice serves to notify the maritime industry that Government has officially shutdown. The National Maritime Center (NMC) is authorized to maintain a very small cadre of personnel to support National Security emergent issues. Maintain the Customer Service Call Center. 888-IASKNMC will be open and monitored from 0800 until 2000 Eastern Time Monday through Friday. REC and NMC phones will not be monitored. Maintain the website.
NMC Prepares for Potential Government Shutdown
The U.S. National Maritime Center issued a notice giving precautionary information due to the potential Government shutdown. If the government shutdown occurs, the National Maritime Center (NMC) is authorized to maintain a very small cadre of personnel to support National Security emergent issues. •Push notification via the Website and List Server. •Maintain the Customer Service Call Center. 888-IASKNMC will be open and monitoredfrom 0800 until 2000 Eastern Time Monday through Friday. REC and NMC phones will not be monitored. •Maintain the website. We will attempt to keep the industry up to date on our status via the website. •Regional Exam Centers will be closed. oExam Appointments will be cancelled and must be rescheduled after the shutdown is lifted. Online scheduling will be disabled.
Qualifications for License as Mate on U.S. Towing Vessels
The U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) has issued Policy Letter 07-02 entitled Qualifications for a License as Mate (Pilot) on Towing Vessels. The letter provides guidance regarding persons seeking such license who began service or training before May 21, 2001 and who will complete all requirements before May 21, 2003. Source: HK Law
USCG – Exams for Certain Deck and Engine Licenses
The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued guidance regarding administration of examinations for certain deck and engine licenses. In order to accommodate provisions of the STCW Convention, various licensing examinations were changed effective 1 February 2002. Affected mariners already holding licenses, though, were allowed to utilize the old examination through 31 January 2007. That deadline has now been extended indefinitely. Source: HK Law
USCG – NMC Relocates
Effective October 1, the USCG National Maritime Center (NMC) has relocated from its prior office in Arlington, Virginia to a temporary office in Kearneysville, West Virginia. Plans call for a December move to a permanent location in Martinsburg, West Virginia. [Source: HK Law]
USCG Issues Mariner Licensing and Documentation Performance Report
The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued its Mariner Licensing and Documentation Performance Report for September 2007. The report shows a steady decrease in the number of credentials undergoing processing at any given time. Credentials are now being issued within 10 to 28 days after receipt of a completed application. [Source: HK Law]
Qualification for U.S. Deck and Engineering Ratings
The U.S. Coast Guard's National Maritime Center has issued a Policy Letter entitled Qualifications for Deck and Engineering Ratings. The letter clarifies requirements relating to qualification as an able seaman or as a watchstanding qualified member of the engineering department (QMED) and either an STCW certification as a rating forming part of a navigational watch (RFPNW) or an engineering watch (RFPEW).
Staying Informed of Mariner Licensing Changes
Quick Tips to save time, money, and cut through the red tape. Whether it’s ensuring you’re in compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s major revisions to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, or keeping up with updates to U.S. Coast Guard policy letters, navigating changes in professional mariner training requirements can be daunting. “But it doesn’t have to be,” said Capt. Guy Sorensen, president of the Virginia-based Chesapeake Marine Training Institute (CMTI).
SOCP's Philadelphia Agenda Includes Maritime Security
The Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) invites maritime industry representatives to attend the SOCP's June 11-12, 2002, meeting in Philadelphia, PA. Join SOCP at its public meeting at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Philadelphia. Hear featured luncheon speaker, CAPT William G. Schubert, Maritime Administrator, U.S. Department of Transportation and guest dinner speaker Mr. Ronald McAlear, CEO, Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard. Participants will also hear from Ms. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Deputy Director, ILO, on Maritime Security and the Maritime Workforce; CAPT Ernest Fink, USCG-National Maritime Center on Licensing Program Reengineering and STCW Update; and a panel presentation on maritime security, moderated by James J. Zok, U.S. Maritime Administration.
Meet the Maritime Education Standards Council
The Maritime Education Standards Council (MESC) is a coalition of 35 member schools in the U.S. and Canada that offer U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved maritime training courses to professional and recreational mariners. The coalition was formed with the aim to safeguard education standards and provide students who utilize MESC schools with a high level of training that meets all USCG guidelines. The organization is comprised of privately owned, public and/or nonprofit maritime education providers that offer national and STCW maritime education…
PVA President Testifies Before Congress
In testimony before Congress, PVA President Bill Clark told legislators that the Coast Guard’s centralized system for issuing merchant mariner credentials must be improved. Captain Clark, who is also co-owner and operator of South Ferry, Inc., of Shelter Island, N.Y. testified before the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on the subject of the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center and Mariner Credentials. “PVA is aware of too many instances in which a mariner has been prevented from working because of credentialing processing delays,” said Captain Clark. • Coast Guard credentials are essential for a mariner to be able to obtain a new job or to continue in an existing one. Delays threaten a mariner’s livelihood.
CG Launches Web-Based Credential Verification
The U.S. Coast Guard announced the launch of a new, Web-based tool to provide information on the validity of merchant mariner credentials. The Merchant Mariner Credential Verification tool was created following Operation Big Tow, a marine safety operation focused on ensuring uninspected towing vessels are being operated by properly licensed individuals. The operation identified the need for an open and rapid means of verifying the validity of merchant mariner credentials. The Merchant Mariner Credential Verification tool provides marine employers the means to ensure they are hiring mariners with valid credentials. It also allows Port State Control officers in foreign ports a real-time capability to verify U.S. mariners' credentials.
FMTA to Offer Classes This Fall
Florida has a new facility to develop and train Merchant Mariners. Florida Maritime Training Academy has submitted Basic Safety Training and Able Bodied Seaman courses to USCG National Maritime Center (NMC) for approval and expects to hold classes this coming fall. The training center is located near the Indian River Terminals in the Port of Fort Pierce. With access to the waterfront, the school will be able to conduct relevant, “hands-on” training to help establish and reinforce the skills to safely work aboard all types of vessels.
National Maritime Center Considers Limited License for Docking Pilots
The USCG's National Maritime Center (NMC) is seeking comments from the harbor services industry on a proposed limited first class pilot's license for docking pilots. Docking pilots, working with tugs, provide maneuvering assistance to seagoing vessels during docking and undocking procedures, short harbor moves to and from anchorage, or shifting between berths. The regulations concerning the issuance of first class pilot's licenses contain some requirements that may bar many tug masters from qualifying for the license. The regulations stipulate an individual must serve 18 months on vessels over 1,600 gross tons. In a limited number of ports, the USCG can require the sea service requirements be met with service aboard a self-propelled vessel.
Cummings on Maritime Credentialing
In a prepared statement for Congressman, Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, addressed a hearing on The National Maritime Center and Maritime Credentials. A live webcast of the hearing is available at http://transportation.house.gov. “We convene today to review the operations of the National Maritime Center and the issuance of merchant mariner credentials. “Over the past 18 months, the Coast Guard has consolidated the credentialing functions that were previously provided at 17 Regional Exam Centers into the National Maritime Center – and the Center opened at a new facility in West Virginia. “The Coast Guard has also made significant changes to the actual credential that it issues.
FMTA Now Online With MTAD
Florida Maritime Training Academy has announced that they are now part of the U.S. Coast Guard's National Maritime Center's (NMC) Maritime Training and Assessment Data Program (MTAD) that was rolled out earlier this month. "We actually had the opportunity to help the USCG with testing by signing up late last year and enter data through the Homeport. Our last STCW Basic Safety Training class of 2011 had their course completing information at the NMC before they got home after the last day of class,” said Roberto Valletta, Director of Training at Florida Maritime.
NMC Opens First Office in West Virginia
The Coast Guard National Maritime Center opened its first office in Martinsburg, W.Va., in support of its mariner licensing and documentation program restructuring and centralization project. The office will initially evaluate applications and issue credentials for mariners applying through New Orleans. The transfer of remaining divisions and functions from Arlington, Va. to the Martinsburg area will continue over the next year. When a permanent facility is completed during the summer of 2008, all evaluation and issuing functions will take place in Martinsburg as part of a project to improve customer service to mariners. The mission of the Coast Guard's Regional Examination Centers will also change to focus on providing direct service to mariners…