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September 2013


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Reminder and Instructions for Obtaining STCW Security Endorsements


As previously reported, because of requirements stemming from the most recent amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), all mariners serving on vessels engaged on voyages to which the STCW applies must have training in and an endorsement for Security Awareness (SA). If any of their assigned duties on ship will include security of the vessel, they must also hold the Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (VPDSD) endorsement, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center. Sea time may be substituted for training if it meets specified requirements.


For most Seafarers, complying with these new regulations will simply be a matter of securing a letter from their respective employers (companies or vessel masters) indicating that the mariner has performed security functions aboard ship for a period of at least six months during the preceding three years. The letter then is submitted to a Coast Guard regional exam center (REC) so the member may acquire an appropriate sticker indicating the corresponding security endorsement. SIU officials and personnel from the union-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education have been assisting as many Seafarers as possible through this process.


For Seafarers who don’t have the required sea time with security duties, the Paul Hall Center regularly offers courses to meet the new requirements. Other Notes n SIU members who currently have a Vessel Security Officer (VSO) endorsement already comply with the new requirement.


--   If demonstrating completion of an approved course, the certificate of completion should be attached to Coast Guard form 719B as an application for an endorsement. If the mariner is also seeking a renewal of an existing document, form 719K (Medical Evaluation Report) would also have to be filed. Those forms are linked in an SIU web post mentioned at the end of this article.


  --  The three STCW security endorsements are: SA – VI/6 – Security Awareness VPDSD – VI/6 – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties VSO – VI/5 – Vessel Security Officer


 -- According to the policy letter, mariners will not be charged for adding an STCW endorsement if they apply before Jan. 1, 2014 unless they’re seeking a renewal or a raise in grade of their MMCs, nor will the expiration dates change.


 Sample Letter for those with Sea Time Prior to January 1, 2012:


Dear Sir: This letter is to provide documentation that NAME has seagoing service with designated security duties for a period of at least six months during the preceding three years and meets the STCW qualifications for Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties. Sincerely, NAME OF MASTER OR COMPANY OFFICIAL For More Information n Questions may be directed to the NMC at 1-888-IASKNMC (1-888- 427-5662), 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.


 -- Questions may be directed to your port agent.


 -- Questions may be directed to the Paul Hall Center’s admissions office at (301) 994-0010.



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