Answered by the USCG Office of Standards Evaluation and Development.
The International Maritime Organization comprehensively amended the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers, 1978, in 1995. The amendments came into force on February 1, 1997. The Coast Guard amended its regulations implementing the STCW amendments in an interim rule published on June 26, 1997. The current Coast Guard project proposes to amend this interim rule to more fully incorporate the requirements of STCW.
Specific changes to the interim rule involving domestic lower tonnage licenses and OICNW requirements have not yet been determined. Changes under consideration are being developed to:
- continue to give full and complete effect to the STCW Convention,
- incorporate lessons learned from STCW implementation through the interim rule and through Coast Guard guidance documents,
- clarify regulations that have generated confusion.
The revisions to the current rules will ensure that the U.S. continues to comply with the STCW requirements on merchant mariner training and documents their qualifications and watchstanding and other arrangements aboard seagoing merchant ships of the United States. This proposed rulemaking will also streamline regulations for the mariner credential issuance process.