Mariner Credentialing

MTVA Sea Time & Regulatory Flyers

The MTVA has published a series of flyers to make figuring out the Coast Guard’s sea time requirements simple and fast, whether you work an equal-time or 2-for-1 schedule. We’re working on other projects, like the recently updated Federal Pilotage & Route Requirements flyer, and are open to suggestion as to how to improve any and all of them. We also are looking for additional subjects that will help mariners and operating companies navigate the regulatory maze we live in. Please feel free to contact us.

USCG National Maritime Center Announcements***Breaking News About Licensing, Training & Other Related Topics***

USCG National Maritime Center Policy Letters

U.S. Licensing, Certification & Manning Regulations

U.S. Licensing, Certification, STCW & Manning Information

U.S. Towing Vessel Licensing, Designated Examiners, Manning, Watches & Work-Hour Limitations

Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential Application, Medical and Drug Test Forms & Guidance

U.S. Towing Officer Assessment Records

Canadian Training, Examination & Certification Regulations

Training, Examination & Certification Regulations of Other Countries


  1. The United States Coast Guard is requesting comments on the proposed final implementation of STCW for U.S.
    mariners. The goal is to have the final implementation in place by July 2010 thus ending the Interim Regulations.
    The proposed implementation includes changes in required sea time to achieve various licenses, clarification of definitions that have been ill-defined or gray for many years, and also specifies training requirements that are expensive, and in some cases irrelevant, to our industry.
    The 90 page NPRM can be accessed here.

    Notable Points From the USCG Proposal:
     200GRT NC Mate (suitable for int’l voyages) will require three years of sea time (1080 days) for an original issue. This is three times longer than the current requirement. (As this relates to STCW, it is unlikely that we can have any effect on it, but it will make finding NC mates in the 200 ton category very difficult for international voyages or voyages which enter foreign waters.)
     Rating Forming Part of a Navigation Watch (RFPNW) still requires service on vessels over 200GRT. (Time that is extremely difficult to obtain in many parts of the industry.)
     The lowest level Master/Mate licenses for Oceans, foreign going routes, will now be 1,600 tons. No new Ocean 500, 200, 100 ton licenses of any kind will be issued. Existing licenses of this tonnage will be renewed. Primary qualifying time for 1,600/3,000 will be 75GRT.
     There will be a route to upgrade from a current 500grt license to the new 1,600 ton license. It is crucial that anyone who qualifies for a 500grt license now gets it now, before these changes become final. Otherwise you will be stuck getting a mate’s license and serving for several more years before qualifying for your master’s license.
     Flashing light will be required for all licenses (not ratings) subject to STCW code (all over 200GRT, all Oceans, all NC int’l.) and for upgrades if not previously completed.
     To obtain 1,600 GRT Mate or Master, applicant must qualify for AB and RFPNW (the requirement is a hurdle for all new applicants for ANY Ocean or NC Int’l Mate or Master license.)
     All licensing pathways above 200GRT operating in waters subject to STCW Code will require sequential advancement from Mate to Master. (This differs from the current scheme.)
     OUPV for near coastal waters will be limited to sailing on domestic voyages out to 100nm.
     Mariners holding a valid STCW endorsement on or before the effective date of the final rule will NOT need to take additional training to retain the STCW endorsement. (USCG is aiming for July 2010) Any future upgrades will only need to meet the requirements for the new credential being sought.
     Mariners currently in the application process should move forward as rapidly as possible to avoid new requirements.
     To clarify the impact of adoption of rules, any new mariner wishing to progress to mate or master of any vessel that transits foreign waters or into Ocean waters (>200nm from shore) will now be required to obtain a 1,600GRT/3,000GT license, REGARDLESS OF THE TONNAGE OF THE VESSEL.
     Engineers holding DDE or limited tonnage licenses will be restricted to domestic voyages. The STCW licensing route for engineers will now require lengthy training programs.
    The deadline for comments is February 16th, 2010. The procedure for submitting your comments is outlined in the Federal Register.
    Now is the time to get your license or upgrade your qualifications. MPT is here to help you every step of the way. Call today to set up a complimentary career counseling session. We know that in a difficult economy it is hard to spend time and money on training, however this may be the best way to get the advantage in the job market, not to mention meeting the licensing requirements currently in effect rather than adding the burden of all of these new requirements into the schedule.
    A limited number of Founders Grants for training will be available to candidates and can be applied for during the career counseling session. USCG Application Paperwork and Sea Service Evaluation can also be made at this time. If you have started your paperwork, bring it with you along with any sea time letters or discharges you may have received up to date.
    Contact the Student Services Department today to set up an appointment: Laura Sutherland, Guidance Counselor 954.525.1014 or write to

    e-Mail to Captain Bill West,
    NMA Board of Directors

    Dear Bill,
    I hope all is well. Good to hear from you.
    Most of the people that are applying for a mate 500 oceans do not yet have ARPA, etc so I will tell you how long and how much it will take to go from AB to Mate 500 ton oceans and then you can take out the individual costs for the courses that you already have. That way the case study is accurate for most candidates.
    The OICNW 500 ton mate program is 26 weeks in length and is $18,995 in course fees, not to mention housing, transportation and meals. This includes:
    1) Radar
    2) ARPA
    3) Advanced Fire
    4) GMDSS
    5) Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
    6) Medical First Aid Care Provider
    7) BRM
    8) Celestial Navigation
    9) Watch keeping Course
    10) Basic Meteorology
    11) Emergency Procedures
    12) Search and Rescue
    13) Basic Ship Construction and Stability
    14) Cargo Handling & Stowage
    15) Magnetic and Gyro Compass
    16) Electronic Navigation
    17) Basic Ship Handling and Steering
    18) Visual Signaling
    19) Watch keeping and BRM Assessments
    This would cover all of the requirements provided a mariner already holds a valid AB with PSC Lifeboatman and STCW BST.
    Please let me know if we can help you with this or any other information.
    Thank you and have a great day!
    s/Amy Beavers

  2. […] Mariner Credentialing […]

  3. […] and Section F. Alcohol Related Convictions (pages 3-6 through 3-8). To download Vol. III click here and scroll down to the U.S. Licensing, Certification, STCW & Manning Information section, then […]

  4. […] may find this website enlightening, Grasshopper function fbs_click() […]

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