Comment Periods




1. The purpose of the changes was to reorganize, clarify and update endorsements and requirements. The rulings will become effective on January 24th (medical policy) and March 24th, 2014 (everything else) for those obtaining or updating credentials. Full STCW compliance must be met by 2017. National compliance, for those who do not enter international waters, must be met by 2019. Certain provisions will be grandfathered in the meantime.

2. The USCG is first implementing a separation of U.S. National endorsements from the STCW endorsement, then transitioning to STCW endorsements.

3. STCW-certified mariners will now be required to hold valid Medical Certificates. Those with current STCWs should automatically receive a certificate no later than March 31, 2014. No action is required unless your contact information is out of date or you do not receive one. They are connected to your completed USCG medical exam and there is no additional cost. Contact with questions. If you do not receive a certificate, call 888-I-ASK-NMC (1-888-427-5662) or email Those applying for or updating credentials will most likely fall under the new provisions.

4. It appears that Great Lakes and Inland sea service time will now count towards an oceans endorsement.

5. There are new guidelines for the approval of training certificates and programs to ensure that they maintain a Quality Standard System. All programs must be approved by December 31, 2016. Unapproved programs must be modified by that date if they wish to continue. Requirements for STCW training have also been updated.

6. STCW Officer endorsements have been significantly altered. Among the changes are the lowering of tonnage for Ocean/Near-coastal endorsements to 100 GRT, the consolidation of C/E Oceans and C/E Near-coastal into C/E limited, and the addition of new Security endorsements.

7. Ratings Endorsements have been altered. Among the changes are the consolidation of engineering certifications and updates to the ratings of Able Seafarer-Deck, Able Seafarer-Engine, and various others.

8. There are now updates to STCW regulations for work and rest periods.

9. Basic Safety Training needs to remain up-to-date for credentialed mariners. You can qualify to fulfill most of the requirements while performing daily duties on the job if you have 360 days of sea time in five years. Some requirements, however, will still require a refresher course.

10. Questions specific to the final rule can be submitted to Feedback on the NVICs below can be submitted to

For more information, go to…

Letter to Mariners (12.24.13) – STCW_publication_final_rule_24Dec13 

Slideshow Presentation from the Webinar – STCWFinalRulePRESENTATION-Final

The NMC Site for Links To 26 New NVICs –

Or, follow our NavSeas blog for updates on the latest maritime news!

Comments Due January 24 on the Access Board’s Proposed Guidelines for Passenger Vessels

Last June, the U.S. Access Board released for public comment proposed guidelines for passenger vessels. Developed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the guidelines provide design criteria for large vessels when newly constructed or altered to ensure that they are accessible to people with disabilities. Public comments on these guidelines are due January 24. Those received after this date will be considered to the extent feasible. Comments can be submitted or viewed through the website. For further information, visit the Board’s website.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seeks comments on planned changes to the printing and distribution of nautical charts, including digital charts.  Through 22 January 2014, NOAA is providing free digital chart image files in PDF file format.  Digital charts are also available as NOAA-certified Print-on-Demand charts.  NOAA is providing high-resolution (400 DPI) raster navigational charts of selected areas for public testing and evaluation.  An online seamless viewer of NOAA’s electronic navigation charts is also available.  Comments should be submitted by 3 February.  79 Fed. Reg. 112  

-Provided from Bryant’s Maritime Consulting

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) issued a notice stating that it is extending, until 24 January 2014, the period within which to submit comments on the proposed Passenger Vessel Accessibility Guidelines.  78 Fed. Reg. 49248  (August 13, 2013).

Courtesy Bryants Maritime Consulting

The US Coast Guard proposes to remove references to type codes in its regulations on the carriage and labeling of Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices (PFDs).  PFD type codes are unique to the Coast Guard and their removal will facilitate adoption of industry consensus standards and improve harmonization of PFD requirements with Canada and other nations.  Comments on this proposal should be submitted by 15 October.  78 Fed. Reg. 49412  (August 14, 2013).

Courtesy of Bryant’s Maritime Consulting

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to require electronic reporting for current paper-based National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) reports.  Comments on the proposal should be submitted by 28 October.  78 Fed. Reg. 46005  (July 30, 2013).

Courtesy of Bryant’s Maritime Consulting

The US Coast Guard and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) are analyzing the current and future user needs and requirements of the Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System (NDGPS), which broadcasts signals to improve the accuracy and integrity of the GPS derived positions for various uses. This analysis will be used to support future NDGPS investment decisions beyond fiscal year 2016. Comments on the NDGPS should be submitted by 15 July. 78 Fed. Reg. 22554 (April 16, 2013).


Courtesy of Bryant’s Maritime Consulting

Next Page »