COVID-19 – Mariner Credentials Extension of Merchant Mariner Credential Endorsements, Medical Certificates, and Course Approvals

USCG Navigation Circulars(NVICs) and Policy

 
Document Number:08-20 Change 3
Type of Document:MSIB
Published Date:August 20, 2020
Effective Date:August 20, 2020
Superseded NVICs:MSIB 08-20 Change 2
Current Status:Effective
Summary
This document provides guidance concerning mariner credentials and medical certificates, and the action being taken by the Coast Guard due to the novel coronavirus. The provisions in this MSIB are consistent with the Executive Order on Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery issued on May 19, 2020.

To mitigate the impact to the seafarers and the industry caused by the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19, the Coast Guard is taking the following actions:

Regional Exam Centers (REC) and Monitoring Units (MU):
Plans to augment testing capabilities are in process and future REC / MU openings will be announced via National Maritime Center (NMC) bulletins. Certain RECs and MUs are open including REC Houston, which may be viewed here or in Related Items. Mariners should monitor the NMC website for the latest information and other operational updates.

National Endorsements:
Merchant Mariner Credentials (MMC) and Medical Certificates (National Endorsements only) that expire between March 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020, are extended until March 31, 2020.

STCW Endorsements:
MMCs with STCW endorsements that expire between March 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020, are extended until March 31, 2020.

STCW Medical Certificates:
STCW Medical Certificates that expire between March 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020, are extended until December 31, 2020.

Mariners who are actively working on expired credentials that meet the expiration criteria must carry the expired credential with a copy of this MSIB. Further instruction regarding the length of time a mariner must carry the expired credential may be viewed on the Regulation below.

Additional administrative measures:
The following items that expire between March 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020, are extended until December 31, 2020: Additional Information letters, Qualified Assessor letters, Designated Examiner letters, Approval to Test letters, and mariner training course completion certificates.

Pilot Annual Physical Examinations:
The Coast Guard does not intend to enforce the requirement for pilot annual physical examinations but is not relaxing the actual medical standards. This posture applies until December 31, 2020, irrespective of when the medical certificate expires.

Course and Program Approvals:
Course and program approvals that expire between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, are extended for six months from their current expiration date. The NMC will not issue new course approval letters or certificates. The NMC will update internal records to ensure the acceptance of course completion certificates issued during the extension and that the website reflects appropriate information.

The NMC will continue to work with training providers, the use of alternative testing methods, and alternative assessment methods on a case-by-case basis. More information is available and may be viewed on the Regulation below.

This MSIB serves as the extension for previously approved courses using alternate delivery methods.
    View this regulation in PDF format.

J. Connor Consulting, Inc. Teaming with Industry