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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

National Maritime Center News

Insights: Rear Admiral Paul F. Thomas

Rear Admiral Paul Thomas is the Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy overseeing three Coast Guard directorates: Inspections and Compliance, Marine Transportation Systems, and Commercial Regulations and Standards. The programs include waterways management, navigation and boating safety, ports and facilities, merchant mariner credentialing, vessel documentation, marine casualty investigation, commercial vessel inspections, and port state control. A longtime specialist in Marine Safety…

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)

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.

Interview: Rear Admiral Paul Thomas, USCG

Rear Admiral Paul Thomas (Photo: USCG)

Rear Admiral Paul Thomas develops and maintains policy, standards and program alignment for waterways management, navigation safety, boating, commercial vessels, ports and facilities, merchant mariner credentialing, vessel documentation, marine casualty investigation, inspection and port state control activities. He serves as the Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy overseeing three Coast Guard directorates: Inspections and Compliance, Marine Transportation Systems, and Commercial Regulations and Standards.

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

Insights: Capt. Novotny, Commanding Officer, USCG National Maritime Center

Captain Jeffrey P. Novotny is Commanding Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center in Martinsburg, WV. He is responsible for all activities related to professional credentialing, training and assessments of the nation’s 215,000 merchant mariners. He graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. Prior to commanding the NMC, he was the Deputy Commander at the Coast Guard’s Deployable Operations Group. His duties included the oversight and responsibility for all personnel…

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.

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.

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)

MMPAC October 2017 Meeting Set

The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) and its working groups are scheduled to meet October 26-27, 2017, at United States Coast Guard National Maritime Center in Martinsburg, WV.   Although the meetings are open to the public, attendees must pre-register to be admitted. Additional details about the location, point of contact, how to submit comments, and the agenda can be found in the Federal Register in notice document 82 FR 44433, published on September 22, 2017

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

INSIGHTS

Captain Anthony Lloyd, Commanding Officer, U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center.

Captain Anthony Lloyd, Commanding Officer, U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center. Captain Anthony Lloyd is the Commanding Officer of the National Maritime Center (NMC). He assumed that position in September of 2010 after serving three years as the Coast Guard’s Program Manager for marine environmental response. The nationally-focused Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection (OCMI) tasked with implementing the Coast Guard’s Mariner Credentialing Program, the NMC, and the 20 field units under Lloyd’s direct control…

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

National Maritime Center Closed Due to Gov't Shutdown

The National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice stating it is closed due to the government shutdown. The NMC said it is authorized to maintain a small cadre of personnel to support national defense-related credentialing issues. Maintain the Customer Service Center call center: 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) and IASKNMC@uscg.mil will be monitored from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. Regional Examination Center (REC) and other NMC phone/e-mail addresses will not be monitored. Maintain the NMC website, keeping the industry up to date on its status via the website and all list servers. -Examination appointments are cancelled and must be rescheduled after the shutdown is lifted. Online scheduling is disabled.

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.

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.

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 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 – 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]

Staying Informed of Mariner Licensing Changes

Chesapeake Marine Training Institute offers a survival craft course for mariners who wish to obtain an endorsement as Lifeboatman Limited for vessels not equipped with lifeboats.

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).

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