Class News No. 31/2013 detailed the revised STCW Code requirements for security-related training for seafarers and advised that the transitional arrangements for obtaining the required certification would end on 1 January, 2014.
Many seafarers have had difficulty obtaining certification in the prescribed time. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has recognised this and its Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping has agreed that for seafarers who have been unable to obtain the necessary certification of security awareness training or certification of training for personnel with designated security duties*, it will be sufficient to comply with section 13 of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code until 1 July, 2015.
IMO Circular STCW.7 Circ.21 provides more details and specific advice to port state control officers, recognised organisations and recognised security organisations on action to be taken.
Flag administrations have been recommended to advise port state control authorities, recognised organisations and recognised security organisations accordingly and a number of flag administrations have already issued advice to shipowners operating ships flying their flags. However, some flag administrations may not accept the recommendation.
What should I do now?
Shipowners are recommended to inform their manning and training departments, crew managers and seafarer recruitment and placement services of the recommendation to accept compliance with the ISPS Code until 1 July, 2015, and to ensure that seafarers employed on their ships have the required STCW certification in place. Shipowners are also urged to ensure seafarers complete appropriate approved security training as soon as possible in order to prevent potential problems at port state inspections between now and 1 July, 2015.
* in compliance with regulation A-VI/6 of the STCW Convention and section A-VI/6, paragraphs 4 and 6 of the STCW Code.