The U.S. Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center has circulated multiple Marine Safety Information Bulletins (MSIB) that are relevant to many SIU members. Updates from those bulletins follow. The original MSIBs are also linked elsewhere on the SIU website.
As laid out in Maritime Safety Information Bulletin number 13-20, “For mariners already holding a Merchant Marine Credential (MMC), if their Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) expires, and their credential remains valid, then no action needs to be taken and the credential remains valid.” This means that, as long as your MMC is not suspended or revoked, the Coast Guard will not pursue any suspension and revocation actions based on expired TWICs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mariners whose MMC expires between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 are extended one year after the initial expiration date of the credential or until Oct. 31, 2021, whichever is earlier. According to the NMC, “Mariners must carry copy of the relevant Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) along with their expired MMC.” (It’s contained in a Dec. 28, 2020 news post on the SIU website, and that post includes a link to the PDF version.)
Until Oct. 31, 2021, for mariners who have met the requirements for initial competency and whose MMC expires between March 01, 2020 and June 30, 2021, if you have 360 days of relevant sea time in the past five years, you do not need to take any revalidation courses. (Relevant sea time means: shipboard experience in fire, emergency, and/or abandon ship drills for demonstrating continued competence in Proficiency in Survival Craft, Proficiency in Survival Craft-Limited, Fast Rescue Boat, Basic Training and/or Advanced Firefighting. Service is determined as described in Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVICs) 4-14, 05-14, 08-14 and 09-14.)
International endorsements affected include Basic Training (VI/1), Fast Rescue Boat (VI/2), Basic Training/Adv. Firefighting (VI/3) and Personal Survival Craft (PSC) (VI/2).
If you qualify for this training waiver and your MMC falls within the above dates, you should renew your MMC immediately. You should be issued a renewed MMC with a five-year expiration date and will NOT be required to attend any revalidation training. All other renewal requirements must be met (i.e., if you hold a Tanker-DL or LG endorsement you must meet the sea time or training requirement to renew that endorsement).
How to Renew
To renew your credentials online, visit: https://www.dco.uscg.mil/nmc/merchant_ mariner_credential/ and follow the instructions listed for renewal.