STCW Basic Safety Training (BST) Requirement -- Clarification

September 2010

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In response to concerns and feedback from industry, labor and the seafarer, the U.S. Coast Guard met with representatives of the SIU and its affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education to clarify matters pertaining to compliance with STCW Basic Safety Training (BST) requirements. The timing of the meetings also allowed for opportune discussions of the recently approved 2010 STCW Manila Amendments. At the meeting, and in light of the expected requirements of the Manila Amendments, the Coast Guard provided the following clarification concerning STCW Basic Safety Training (BST) requirements:


  • Since the previous amendments to the STCW Convention fully took effect in February 2002, the Coast Guard has required proof of completing a Coast Guard-approved or accepted BST course as evidence of initial compliance with related STCW requirements.

  • Currently, the Coast Guard also is accepting properly documented shipboard training and assessment as evidence of an individual mariner meeting the requirements for competency in BST, provided the mariner also has accumu
    lated at least one year of sea time within the last five years, corresponding to the mariner’s credential period.

  • The 2010 STCW Manila Amendments mandate successful completion of an approved refresher course for certain elements of BST by deep-sea and near-coastal U.S. mariners.

  • To avoid potential Port State detention issues the Coast Guard will once again list BST compliance on STCW certificates.

  • Whenever mariners cannot document the sea service demonstrating ongoing maintenance of BST, they are required to take a Coast Guard-approved or accepted BST course.

  • Currently, MSC contracts require a BST Refresher Course every five years.

  • The U.S. Coast Guard also commended the SIU and the Paul Hall Center for their continued efforts in upgrading the seafarers’ training in order to provide the most qualified and best trained seaman to meet the ever changing needs of the maritime industry they serve.

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