The Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center issued the following news item on May 6:
Due to a continued backlog of credential applications and increased net processing time of both mariner credential applications and medical certificate applications caused by the lapse in appropriations and shutdown of National Maritime Center (NMC) operations, the following updated actions are being taken:
• Merchant mariner credentials (MMC) and medical certificates (national endorsements only) that expire in December 2018, January 2019, February 2019, March 2019, April 2019, May 2019, or June 2019 are extended as valid until July 31, 2019. Mariners who are actively working on expired credentials that meet the expiration criteria must carry the expired credential with a copy of the attached letter.
• This extension does not change the time frame during which a credential may be renewed. A credential may be renewed at any time during its validity and for 1 year after expiration based on the expiration date printed on the credential.
If you have questions, visit the NMC website, or contact the NMC Customer Service Center by using the NMC online chat system, by e-mailing IASKNMC@uscg.mil, or by calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).
/K. R. Martin/
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Dear U.S. Mariner,
Due to the federal government’s partial lapse in appropriations for fiscal year 2019, the Coast Guard is unable to process mariner credentials in a timely manner. To provide relief to impacted mariners and under the authority of 46 United States Code § 7507 and § 7508, the Coast Guard is granting extensions effective immediately to national endorsements and medical certificates until July 31, 2019, for mariners whose credentials expire in December 2018, January 2019, February 2019, March 2019, April 2019, May 2019, or June 2019.
All mariners sailing under the authority of their National Endorsement(s) should print and retain a copy of this letter with their merchant mariner credential (MMC) and medical certificate to produce it upon request by the U.S. Coast Guard, other agencies or officials. The National Maritime Center (NMC) does not intend to issue any separate or new MMCs to correspond to this extension for mariners sailing domestically. This extension does not apply to Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) endorsements.
Applications submitted before or during the partial government shutdown will be processed as soon as possible once the NMC is reopened and is legally authorized to begin operations.
If you have questions, visit the NMC website or contact the NMC Customer Service Center by using the NMC online chat system, by e-mailing IASKNMC@uscg.mil, or by calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).