The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued a marine notice extending the deadline for renewing certain seafarer certifications until 30 June 2017.

“The purpose of this Marine Notice is to bring to the attention of ship owners, ship operators, tug operators, ship masters, seafarers, colleges, classification societies, recruiting agents and unions that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has recommended that Authorities take a pragmatic and practical approach with regard to seafarer documentation giving effect to the 2010 Manila amendments to International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) until 30 June 2017,” the AMSA notice said.

Prior to the notice being issued, renewals for STCW certificates of competency were required to be lodged, processed and approved by 31 December 2016. This was of concern for AMMA members in the offshore and maritime industry who were experiencing significant processing delays and were therefore concerned they would not meet the deadline.

A failure to renew qualifications by the deadline would have affected the ability of seafarers to board vessels given that those who failed to receive validation by 31 December 2016 would be unable to work.

AMMA communicated to the regulator our members’ concerns about processing delays and the significant adverse impact this would have on the maritime industry, potentially bringing it to a standstill.

AMMA asked that AMSA consider alternatives such as an extended deadline beyond 31 December 2016.

The now-extended deadline of 30 June 2017 should ensure all AMMA members are able to renew their STCW qualifications as required.

In summary, the AMSA notice means:

  • Certificates of Competency issued on or after 1 July 2012 will remain valid for service until 30 June 2017.
  • Certificates of Proficiency that were valid for service at sea on or before 31 December 2016 will remain valid for service until 30 June 2017.
  • Certificates of Safety Training that were valid for service at sea on or before 31 December 2016 will remain valid for service until 30 June 2017.

For the full AMSA Marine Notice 20/2016, click here.

For further details, please contact AMMA’s principal adviser – workplace policy, Lisa Matthews, on (03) 6270 2256 or at [email protected].