The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) extends the validity of Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) certificates of seafarers which are expiring from March 13, 2020, to December 31, 2020.
STCW certificates are pre-deployment requirements for seafarers as proof that they are compliant with the minimum standards of competence, age, medical fitness, and approved sea-going service.
MARINA’s Advisory No. 2020-73 issues a one-year extension from the date of expiry. This provision is broader as compared to the previous extension of certificate validity which only covered those expiring on September 1, 2020, to 31 December 2020.
The extension applies to all Filipino seafarers who are either on board or ashore at the time of their certificates’ expiry.
MARINA also directs all concerned licensed manning agencies (LMA) and shipping companies to submit the list of their crewmembers whose validity of STCW Certificates have been extended. The Advisory provides guidelines on the revalidation and expedites the processing of applications.
The agency also announced that all applications for revalidation of certificates for seafarers who were affected by the suspension or unavailability of training and assessments whose Certificates of Proficiency (COP) and Certificates of Competency (COC) have expired or will expire within the period March 13, 2020 to October 31, 2020, will still be processed as revalidation.
Applications covered by this provision will still be given five years validity from the date of issuance as long as they have complied with the complete documentary requirements.
Meanwhile, applications for revalidation of STCW certificates without the required refresher training or practical assessment of competence shall be accepted and processed online.
COPs and COCs which have been revalidated in line with this advisory shall have a validity of one year only from their date of issuance subject to requirements that are listed in the Advisory.
Furthermore, MARINA clarified that applications covered by the Advisory shall be filed for expedited processing through the Liaison Officer of the concerned LMAs/shipping company.
The documentary requirements required for the application that could be expedited, such as a letter from the concerned LMA duly signed by an authorized official and a Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)-approved employment contract, shall be uploaded into the MARINA Integrated Seafarers Management Online (MISMO) system.
MARINA encouraged all seafarers to apply for revalidation of their COCs and COPs once they have completed their online/offline courses at the earliest opportunity for the 5-year validity date to be reckoned from the original expiration date of their previous certificate.
SOURCE: THE MANILA TIMES