Training Requirements – Compliance with 2010 Manila Amendments to Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping Convention 1978

20 January 2017

Shipowners should be aware that the Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention 1978 was amended by the 2010 Manila Amendments, which contained new training requirements for seafarers. Between 1 July 2013 and 1 January 2017 (as appropriate), all seafarers were required to undertake additional training in compliance with the Manila Amendments and hold the requisite certification. 

However, many seafarers were at sea at the close of the compliance window (1 January 2017) and their certificates may not yet be endorsed correctly. Further there may also be administrative delays to current applications. In the circumstances, a recent IMO Circular (MSC.1/Circ.1560) has requested that Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) take a pragmatic approach to the requirement for seafarers to hold updated certification on board the vessel as per the 2010 Manila Amendments up until the 1st July 2017 (click herefor the IMO Circular). Some Flag States are also issuing similar lettersexpressly endorsing the  IMO Circular (for example Liberia – click here- and Panama – click here). 

Seafarers without the required updated Certification are advised to keep a copy of the IMO Circular with them on board the vessel to assist in trying to avoid action being taken by PSCOs. However, it cannot be guaranteed that PSCOs will not take action.