Ancillary training essential – even if you delay transition to SeaCert

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 50, June 2016

Seafarers affected by proposed changes to SeaCert rules should delay transition – but keep their ancillary training up-to-date.

Maritime NZ General Manager Maritime Standards, Sharyn Forsyth, says any seafarers holding STCW tickets, or planning to transition to STCW tickets (or apply for new STCW tickets), must have completed ancillary training by December 31, 2016 – if they have not already done so – or they won’t be able to continue using their tickets.

The ancillary courses cover basic and advanced firefighting, and proficiency in survival craft (PISC).

“Our advice is that seafarers with tickets affected by the proposed rule changes should delay transitioning while the rule change process is completed, but they must complete the required ancillary training before the end of the year,” Sharyn says.

“We are aware that not transitioning may mean some tickets pass their official expiry dates, but Maritime NZ will take a reasonable approach in responding to these issues – with the focus on ensuring safety is maintained.”

However, if you are working outside of New Zealand you may be subject to overseas Port State Control inspections.

Maritime NZ is also changing the way it is handling STCW certificates that were issued with terms shorter than five years and given an expiry date of December 31, 2016.

“We are now extending these tickets to their full five-year term – but, again, relevant ancillary training must completed by December 31,” Sharyn says.

Maritime NZ needs to hear from seafarers holding these tickets to confirm the address that the extension notification should be sent to.

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