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COVID -19 and US Mariner Credentials

27 Aug 2020 by Lisa Morley

In response to the overwhelming burden placed on the US mariner by COVID-19 and the myriad of travel and other restrictions currently in place, the USCG has implementing TEMPORARY guidelines, relaxing some of the requirements for revalidation training for mariners with Merchant Mariner Credentials expiring between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.  

For applications for renewal of MMCs expiring from March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, that are received by the Coast Guard before July 1, 2021, the Coast Guard will accept one year (360 days) of relevant service within the past five years as meeting the requirements for continued competence for all of the components of PSC, FRB, PSC-Ltd, BT, and AFF. All 16721 CG-MMC Policy Letter No. 03-20 3 mariners currently holding endorsements as PSC, PSC-Ltd, FRB, BT, and/or AFF will be considered for this waiver. The endorsements combined with the relevant service will be considered as having demonstrated continuing competence for all of the PSC, PSC-Ltd, FRB, BT and/or AFF components required to renew their STCW endorsements. Relevant service will be determined as it is described in NVICs 04-14 (PSC and PSC-Ltd), 05-14 (FRB), 08-14 (BT), and 09-14 (AFF). b. Mariners who do not have at least one year (360 days) of relevant service in the past five years can only renew their STCW endorsements by demonstrating continued competence for PSC, PSC-Ltd, FRB, BT, and/or AFF as specified in 46 CFR 12.613(b)(4) or 46 CFR 12.615(b)(4) and NVIC 04-14 (for PSC and PSC-Ltd); 46 CFR 12.617(b)(4) and NVIC 05- 15 (for FRB); 46 CFR 11.302(e), 12.602(e), and NVIC 08-14 (for BT); and/or 46 CFR 11.303(e) and NVIC 09-14 (for AFF). These mariners will need to complete original or “refresher” training for PSC, PSC-Ltd, FRB, BT, and/or AFF, as appropriate. Shorter and less comprehensive “revalidation” courses are not acceptable.


Provisions have also been made for the extension of mariner credentials and medical certificates that expire between March 1 and September 30, 2020.


Additional information may be found on the National Maritime Center and read here: