The recently published rule titled “Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, and Changes to National Endorsements” (78 FR 77796) authorizes the Coast Guard to postdate a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) up to 8 months. This rule becomes effective on March 24, 2014. The implementation plan for postdating MMCs and the impact on the current delayed issuance process are listed below.
• Postdating of an MMC is defined as placing an issue date on the MMC that is in the future.
• Postdating of MMCs will only apply to applications for renewal of a credential where no other credential activity is requested or results from the transaction.
• Except upon receipt of written request documenting the need for immediate issuance, the National Maritime Center (NMC) will automatically postdate credentials with the appropriate future date.
• The issue date of the MMC will be the day following the date of expiration of the current MMC, but no more than 8 months in the future. The expiration date and period of validity of the credential will be 5 years from the date of issuance.
• If the expiration date of the mariner’s current credential is beyond 8 months from the date that the Coast Guard accepts a complete application, the new credential issue date will be 8 months from the date of application acceptance, at which time the current active credential will become invalid.
• Any transactions initiated after a postdated MMC has been approved and mailed will result in endorsement labels being printed and mailed for both the mariner’s active MMC and the postdated MMC. Mariners must ensure that the endorsement labels are properly placed in the appropriate MMC.
• To ensure consistency of service, the Coast Guard will implement postdating of renewal credentials beginning with applications processed on or after March 24, 2014.
• The new credential will not be valid until the issue date listed on the new MMC. Mariners must continue to carry their current credential until that date.
• In accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), mariners are required to return expired or otherwise invalid credentials to the NMC. When the current credential expires, it should be mailed to the NMC.
• It is the responsibility of the mariner to maintain control of the postdated credential. If a credential is lost, mariners must follow the procedures to apply for a duplicate, found in 46 CFR Part 10.231.
• The Coast Guard will no longer accept requests for delayed issuance beginning March 24, 2014.
• Those applications that have been approved for production with delayed issuance on or before March 23, 2014, will be processed using the current delayed issuance procedures.
Mariners and other providers should contact the Customer Service Center at IASKNMC@uscg.mil or 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) with any questions or feedback.
/J. P. Novotny/ Captain, U. S. Coast Guard
For more information, go to http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/