The National Maritime Center issued the following news release on July 20.
Reminder of National Extension Expiration
On December 23, 2016, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) exercised our authority under Title 46, United States Code, Section 7507, to grant extensions of national endorsements for any mariner whose Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) expired on or after December 1, 2016. The extension was effective immediately and remains valid until September 30, 2017. Mariners are not authorized to sail on an expired MMC after September 30, 2017. The extension does not apply to STCW endorsements or medical certificates.
Mariners are reminded that this extension deadline is rapidly approaching and are encouraged to apply for renewal as soon as possible. Overall processing time for applications remains approximately 60 days.
Through this bulletin we are notifying those mariners operating on the extension to submit your applications without delay. Failure to do so could lead to our inability to process your applications prior to the extension expiration. Expiration dates of renewed MMCs will be 5 years from the date of expiration of the previous MMC. This means there is no advantage in waiting to submit a renewal application.
Mariners, employers, and owner/operators are also reminded to print a copy of the letter explaining the extension. All mariners sailing on the extension are advised to carry a copy of this letter with their expired credentials and produce it upon the request of USCG personnel or other officials.
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