Ensure Your Coast Guard STCW Medical Certificate Is Valid, on File


December 2014


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Earlier this year, all Seafarers who sail internationally should have received communications in the mail from the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) including a new Coast Guard STCW medical certificate that brings mariners into compliance with the latest international rules.


Any Seafarers who sail internationally but have yet to receive their Coast Guard STCW medical certificate should contact the NMC by phone at 1-888-427- 5662 or by email at IAskNMC@ uscg.mil. A renewal certificate may be obtained by submitting a valid U.S. Coast Guard physical to a Coast Guard regional examination center (REC). There are no fees for a renewal.


Members who have received their Coast Guard STCW medical certificate but have not had it scanned at an SIU hall are urged to do so as soon as possible. It’s important that the certificate is entered into the Seafarers Management Information System (SMIS) database so members don’t run into roadblocks when it’s time to ship out.


Members also are advised that although the certificate includes three expiration dates, the one on the upper left (“STCW Exp Date”) is the relevant date for international voyages. The other two expiration dates are listed as “National Exp Date” and “Pilot Exp Date.” The certificate itself is supposed to be valid for two years, but some of the ones initially issued earlier this year had shorter expiration dates. Therefore, members are urged to check the STCW expiration date on their respective certificates.


Also, entry-level mariners are reminded that they are required to possess the medical certificate when sailing on STCW-compliant vessels.


Questions may be directed to the NMC, SIU halls or the admissions office at the union-affiliated Paul Hall Center in Piney Point, Maryland.



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