The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has raised concerns with
governments about preparations worldwide for issuing tens of thousands of
seafarers with new certificates for security-related training by 1 January,
as required by the 2010 amendments to the IMO Convention on Standards of
Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 2010).
In a written submission to IMO, ICS has suggested that IMO Member States
might give consideration to the possibility of an extended “grace period”
with respect to Port State Control enforcement of the new certification
required under STCW 2010.
STCW 2010, Regulation VI/6, stipulates mandatory minimum requirements for
security-related instruction for all seafarers, which, where relevant – such
as for Ship Security Officers as defined by the ISPS Code – requires
certificates of proficiency to be issued by administrations to seafarers
from 1 January 2014.
Since the amendments were adopted, ICS has gone to great lengths to advise
shipping companies of the transitional measures for these new requirements,
as set out in Section A-VI/6 of the STCW Code, which are different to those
concerning the transitional measures that apply to other changes introduced
by STCW 2010 and which are being phased in between now and 2017.
ICS is concerned that any certification that STCW requires governments to
issue might not be fully in place by the 1 January deadline and that ships
could potentially encounter difficulties during Port State Control
ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, explained “We understand that the
training and familiarisation required by STCW 2010 has only just recently
been approved by some maritime administrations, whilst others may not yet
even have these arrangements in place. This could present serious
difficulties for companies that need to ensure that the seafarers they
employ are trained and certificated as required by STCW 2010.”
He added “For the most part this is really just a technicality since most
existing seafarers have already undergone necessary levels of training and
instruction as required by the ISPS Code. Given that certification is
entirely a government responsibility we think that a short delay in PSC
enforcement can be justified.”
The ICS submission to IMO, which suggests the possibility of an extended
“grace period” with respect to Port State Control enforcement of the new
security training certification, has been made to the first session of the
new IMO Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW)
which supersedes the STW Sub-Committee within the new IMO Committee
Structure. The HTW Sub-Committee will meet in the week of 17 February.
Advice to shipping companies about the STCW security training requirements
is contained in the ISF Guidelines on the STCW Convention including the 2010
‘Manila Amendments’ published in 2011 – see attached.
The ISPS Code is the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code,
which is mandatory under the SOLAS Convention and was adopted in 2002 in
response to the ‘9/11’ terrorist attacks.