Manning agencies and seafarers currently onboard, who are holders of STCW certificates that are set to expire on August 1-31, 2020, need not worry.
The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has anticipated this situation due to the inability of manning agencies to execute crew changes in due time; thus, the Flag Administration already extended for six months the validity of those documents.
In its MARINA Advisory No. 2020-56 dated July 24, 2020, the Flag Administration declared:
“All STCW certificates of Filipino seafarers currently serving onboard ships that are expiring on 01 August 2020 to 31 August 2020 shall be deemed extended for a period of six (6) months from the date of expiry without the need to file for an application at the MARINA.”
The Administration made the extension in anticipation of the continued adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on crew changes and in accordance with IMO Circular Letter No. 4204/Add.5/Rev.1 which deals with seafarers’ training and certification during the pandemic.
This covers not only seafarers onboard but also departing seafarers, who are holders of those expiring certificates, set to join immediately their vessels as long as their names are included in the list that manning agencies will submit to MARINA.
The MARINA Advisory No. 2020-56 further said: “All concerned manning/crewing agencies are hereby directed to submit to MARINA the list of their crewmember/s whose validity of STCW certificate/s have been extended pursuant to this Advisory.”
The Advisory provides a specific template for the required submission, an electronic copy of which should be forwarded via email to [email protected].