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Proposed Rule

Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, and Changes to Domestic Endorsements.

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 45908

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking; notice of public meetings.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to amend the existing regulations that implement the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW Convention), as well as the Seafarer's Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code (STCW Code). The changes proposed in this Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) address the comments received from the public response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), in most cases through revisions based on those comments, and propose to incorporate the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention that will come into force on January 1, 2012. In addition, this SNPRM proposes to make other non-STCW changes necessary to reorganize, clarify, and update these regulations.

DATES:

Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before September 30, 2011 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date. Comments sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on collection of information must reach OMB on or before September 30, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2004-17914 using any one of the following methods:

(1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

(2) Fax: 202-493-2251.

(3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

(4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

Collection of Information Comments: If you have comments on the collection of information discussed in section VIII.D of this NPRM, you must also send comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget. To ensure that your comments to OIRA are received on time, the preferred methods are by e-mail to oira_submission@omb.eop.gov (include the docket number and “Attention: Desk Officer for Coast Guard, DHS” in the subject line of the e-mail) or fax at 202-395-6566. An alternate, though slower, method is by U.S. mail to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, ATTN: Desk Officer, U.S. Coast Guard.

Viewing incorporation by reference material: You may inspect the material proposed for incorporation by reference at room 1210, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, 2100 Second Street SW., Washington, DC 20593-0001 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-372-1401. Copies of the material are available as indicated in the “Incorporation by Reference” section of this preamble.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or e-mail Ms. Zoe Goss, Maritime Personnel Qualifications Division, Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1425, e-mail Zoe.A.Goss@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents for Preamble

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

A. Submitting Comments

B. Viewing Comments and Documents

C. Privacy Act

D. Public Meeting

II. Abbreviations

III. Regulatory History

IV. Basis and Purpose

V. Background

VI. Discussion of Proposed Rule

A. Overview

B. Differences Between This SNPRM and the Coast Guard's Current Regulations

C. Table of Proposed Changes

D. Part 12 Re-Numbering

VII. Discussion of Comments on the NPRM

VIII. Incorporation by Reference

IX. Regulatory Analyses

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

B. Small Entities

C. Assistance for Small Entities

D. Collection of Information

E. Federalism

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

G. Taking of Private Property

H. Civil Justice Reform

I. Protection of Children

J. Indian Tribal Governments

K. Energy Effects

L. Technical Standards

M. Environment

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

A. Submitting Comments

If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-2004-17914), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an e-mail address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission.

To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the “submit a comment” box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the “Document Type” drop down menu select “Proposed Rule” and insert “USCG-2004-17914” in the “Keyword” box. Click “Search” then click on the balloon shape in the “Actions” column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2; by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.

We will consider all comments and material received during the comment Start Printed Page 45909period and may change this proposed rule based on your comments.

B. Additional Request for Comments

In addition to encouraging your comments on all of the proposals within this rulemaking, the Coast Guard seeks specific comment on the issues outlined below:

1. The value of tonnage and route restrictions for engineer endorsements. Current regulations restrict Designated Duty Engineers (DDEs) with 1,000 horsepower (HP) and 4,000 HP limits to inland and near-coastal waters, and all DDEs to 500 gross register tons (GRT) vessels. Also, the limited series of engineer credentials authorize service on vessels less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 gross tonnage (GT), with two classes of chief engineer, one of which authorizes sailing only on near-coastal waters. The Coast Guard seeks comment from the public regarding the possible elimination or retention of these tonnage and route restrictions.

2. Alternative or additional requirements for limiting engineer authority, such as maintaining current horsepower limits, adding equipment restrictions, or any other alternative requirements.

3. Potential changes to the qualification requirements for a Designated Examiner (DE) for Towing Officer's Assessment Record (TOARs) to allow mariners to serve as DEs by virtue of their endorsement without any further approval process.

4. Who, within the mariner population, will take advantage of the alternatives provided to meet the standards of competence, besides formal training, for an STCW endorsement.

5. The extent to which changes to sea service requirements, particularly in § 10.232, will increase the availability of mariners for service on ocean-going ships.

6. Possible changes to fee payment options, as proposed in § 10.219, which would eliminate the ability to pay by cash or check.

C. Viewing Comments and Documents

To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the “read comments” box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the “Keyword” box insert “USCG-2004-17914” and click “Search.” Click the “Open Docket Folder” in the “Actions” column. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility.

D. Privacy Act

Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

E. Public Meeting

We plan to hold public meetings in Miami, New Orleans, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

We will be providing the dates, times, and exact locations of those meetings by later Federal Register notice.

II. Abbreviations

A/B Able Seaman

ARPA Automatic Radar Plotting Aid

ATB Articulated Tug Barge

BCO Ballast Control Operator

BRM Bridge Resource Management

BS Barge Supervisor

BST Basic Safety Training

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

COI Certificate of Inspection

COLREGS International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

CPR Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation

DC Damage Control

DDE Designated Duty Engineer

DE Designated Examiner

DL Dangerous Liquid

DOT Department of Transportation

ECDIS Electronic Chart Display Information System

EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone

ERM Engine Room Resource Management

FCC Federal Communications Commission

F.H. Food Handler

FR Federal Register

GMDSS Global Maritime Distress and Safety System

GRT Gross Register Tons

GT Gross Tonnage

HP Horsepower

IMDG The International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code

IMO International Maritime Organization

IR Interim Rule

IRFA Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act

ISM International Safety Management Code

ISO International Organization for Standardization

ISPS International Ship and Port Facility Security

ITB Integrated Tug Barge

ITC International Tonnage Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969

KUP Knowledge, Understanding, and Proficiency

kW Kilowatts

LG Liquefied Gas

MARAD Maritime Administration

MARPOL 73/78 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978

MERPAC Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee

MMC Merchant Mariner Credential

MMD Merchant Mariner Document

MODU Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit

NAVSAC Navigation Safety Advisory Committee

NDR National Driver Register

NMC U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center

NEPA National Environment Policy Act of 1969

NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

NVIC Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular

OCMI Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection

OICEW Officer in Charge of an Engineering Watch

OICNW Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch

OIM Offshore Installation Manager

OIRA Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

OJT On-the-job training

OMB Office of Management and Budget

OSV Offshore Supply Vessel

OUPV Operator of an Uninspected Passenger Vessel

PIC Person in Charge

PMS Preventive Maintenance System

PSC Proficiency in Survival Craft

QA Qualified Assessor

QMED Qualified Member of the Engineering Department

QSS Quality Standard Systems

REC Regional Examination Center

RFA Regulatory Flexibility Act

RFPEW Ratings Forming Part of an Engineering Watch

RFPNW Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch

SHIP Seafarers' Health Improvement Program

SOLAS The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (1974)

STCW Code Seafarer's Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code

STCW Convention International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended

STCW-F International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel

TOAR Towing Officer's Assessment Record

TRB Training Record Book

TSA Transportation Security Administration

TSAC Towing Safety Advisory Committee

UPV Uninspected Passenger Vessel

UTV Uninspected Towing Vessel

VSO Vessel Security Officer

III. Regulatory History

The Coast Guard first published changes to the regulations governing the credentialing of merchant mariners serving on U.S. flag vessels with an Interim Rule (IR) on June 26, 1997 (62 FR 34505). The 1997 IR ensured that Start Printed Page 45910U.S. merchant mariner credentials would meet IMO standards, thereby reducing the possibility of U.S. ships being detained in a foreign port for non-compliance.

In 2009, The Coast Guard proposed to update the changes made by the 1997 IR through experience gained during the implementation of that rule. To that end, the Coast Guard published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on November 17, 2009 (74 FR 59354). The proposed rule sought to incorporate all effective amendments as of that publication date to the STCW Convention and Code. The Coast Guard determined, as a result of comments from the public and federal advisory committees (specifically the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC)), that more information, including more detailed regulatory text, was required for the affected public, and incorporated those comments as proposals within the NPRM.

Five public meetings were held to receive comments on the NPRM. These meetings were announced in the Federal Register on November 18, 2009 (74 FR 59502). The comments received during these five meetings are discussed in the “Discussion of Comments on the NPRM” section of this preamble.

IV. Basis and Purpose

The Coast Guard has identified two basic concerns with the existing mariner credentialing regulations that it intends to remedy with this supplemental proposal. First, the existing regulations, which combine domestic and international requirements, are confusing to mariners and others in the maritime industry. Second, in June 2010 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) amended the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978. This proposal intends to clarify the Coast Guard's domestic and international mariner license endorsement regulations, and implement provisions related to the amended STCW Convention.

The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended, sets forth minimum training and demonstrations of proficiency requirements for merchant mariners. The IMO adopted amendments to the STCW in 1995. Those amendments entered into force on February 1, 1997. In 2007, the IMO embarked on a comprehensive review of the entire STCW Convention and STCW Code, which sets forth provisions for implementing provisions from the STCW Convention. Five meetings were held at IMO headquarters in London on the comprehensive review, and the Parties developed draft 2010 amendments to the Convention. The Parties adopted these amendments on June 25, 2010, at the STCW Diplomatic Conference in Manila, Philippines. They will enter into force for all ratifying countries on January 1, 2012. Because these amendments were not adopted until after the previous NPRM was published, they were not included in the NPRM's proposals.

The Coast Guard is publishing this Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) to implement amendments to the STCW, including the 2010 amendments, and ensure that the U.S. is meeting its obligations under the Convention. The Coast Guard considered issuing a Final Rule implementing the 1995 amendments before issuing these proposals but determined it would be less confusing to the mariner to combine into one rule the lessons learned from the implementation of the 1995 amendments and the 2010 amendments.

In addition, the Coast Guard is issuing the SNPRM to respond to the comments, feedback, and concerns received from the public as a result of the NPRM. In order to address those comments and concerns, the SNPRM will: simplify domestic licensing requirements and separate them from STCW requirements; provide alternative means for demonstrating competence; clarify oversight requirements for approved courses; amend lifeboatmen requirements; allow for acceptance of sea service on vessels serving the Great Lakes and inland waters to meet STCW requirements; and permit acceptance of maritime academies' documentation in compliance with national accreditation bodies to meet STCW requirements. The SNPRM will also give the public an opportunity to comment on these changes.

V. Background

In 2007, the IMO embarked on a comprehensive review of the entire STCW Convention and STCW Code. The Coast Guard held public meetings prior to each one of the IMO meetings in London for the review to determine what positions U.S. delegations should advocate and to exchange views about amendments to STCW that were under discussion. In addition, the Coast Guard also took advantage of advisory committee meetings, specifically MERPAC, to discuss developments and implementation of the requirements relating to the 2010 amendments. The 2010 amendments resulting from that review were adopted on June 25, 2010.

The Convention is not self-implementing; therefore, the United States, as a signatory to the STCW Convention, must initiate regulatory changes to ensure full implementation of all amendments to the STCW Convention and STCW Code. The United States implements these provisions under the Convention and under the authority of United States domestic laws at United States Code titles 5, 14, 33 and 46, as cited with the proposed rule text under “Authorities.”

Parties to the STCW Convention have port state control authority to detain vessels that do not appear to be in compliance with the Convention. If U.S. regulations are non-compliant with the STCW Convention and STCW Code, there is a risk that U.S. ships will be detained in foreign ports by member nations and that U.S. mariners would not be able to seek employment on foreign flag vessels.

VI. Discussion of Proposed Rule

A. Overview

This proposed rule is a result of ongoing work to ensure that U.S. mariners comply with the standards set forth in the STCW Convention and Code and to clarify and update the regulations of 46 CFR Subchapter B. In responding to the comments, feedback, and concerns received from the public as a result of the 2009 NPRM, and due to the adoption of the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and STCW Code, the Coast Guard recognized a need to make substantial changes to the merchant mariner licensing and documentation credentialing program. Because of these substantial changes, we recognize the necessity of developing a more comprehensive rule, and of providing additional opportunity—through this SNPRM—for the public to comment on these changes.

Most seagoing merchant mariners must comply with the requirements of the STCW Convention and STCW Code. The Coast Guard recognizes that the CFR regulations implementing the STCW Convention and STCW Code requirements have been the subject of different interpretations and that the requirements reflected in the CFR are not currently organized in a manner that is easy to read and understand. This SNPRM seeks to implement all of the provisions in the STCW Convention by taking full advantage of the flexibilities incorporated in the STCW Convention and of the robustness of an existing domestic licensing scheme, without compromising the safety, security and protection of mariners or the marine environment.Start Printed Page 45911

This SNPRM also seeks to revise other sections of 46 CFR Subchapter B in order to clarify, address omissions in, and update these regulations.

B. Differences Between This SNPRM and the Coast Guard's Current Regulations

This list provides a brief summary of the significant changes proposed in this SNPRM. The “Table of Proposed Changes” in part C of this section provides more detailed information and explanation of the key changes in the summarized listing below.

1. Separation of STCW and Domestic Endorsements

The Coast Guard proposes to clearly separate the two licensing schemes for STCW and domestic endorsements. For STCW endorsements, this proposed rule incorporates the sea service, assessment and training requirements directly from the STCW Convention and STCW Code to ensure consistency and clarity. In addition, the Coast Guard has provided entry paths from domestic endorsements to the equivalent STCW endorsement. These proposed changes would make it easier for mariners to read and understand the requirements for each Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) STCW endorsement.

2. Methods for Demonstrating Competence

The Coast Guard proposes to accept various methods for assessment of competence as provided in the Tables of Competence in the STCW Code. This would allow the preservation of the “hawsepipe” program, which permits the use of on-the-job training (OJT) or practical experience, to obtain endorsements, and would foster career paths that were not previously available.

Implementation of an assessment-based process would provide acceptance of the various methods for demonstrating competence, including, but not limited to: (1) On-the-job training and/or in-service experience; (2) formal training (classroom or distance-learning), including laboratory assessment; and (3) simulator training. The complete list of acceptable methods of demonstrating competence can be found in proposed §§ 11.301, 12.601, and 13.601 accordingly.

3. Sea Service Credit for Great Lakes and Inland Mariners

The Coast Guard proposes to add provisions to grant sea service credit towards STCW and domestic endorsements of unlimited tonnage for those mariners who provide proof of service on the Great Lakes or inland waters. A large portion of the skills and assessments that the STCW Code requires for its endorsements overlaps with the skills and techniques these officers are currently using as deck and engineer officers on the Great Lakes or inland waters. Applicants serving on Great Lakes waters will receive day-for-day credit. Applicants serving on inland waters will be credited 1 day of ocean service for every 2 days of inland service for up to 50 percent of the total required service. The reason for the difference in service credit is based on the fact that Great Lakes service most closely resembles the length, breadth, equipment, and operation of ocean service.

4. Medical Examinations and Endorsements

The Coast Guard proposes to add provisions regarding the issuance of medical endorsements for mariners to improve maritime safety and provide consistency with the 2010 STCW amendments. Medical endorsements issued to a mariner serving under the authority of an STCW endorsement would be issued for a maximum period of 2 years unless the mariner is under the age of 18, in which case the maximum period of validity would be 1 year, as stipulated in the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention. Medical endorsements issued to a mariner who is serving as a first-class pilot, or acting as a pilot under § 15.812, would be issued for a maximum period of 1 year consistent with the already implemented requirement for a first-class pilot to complete an annual medical exam. All other mariners would be issued a medical certificate/endorsement valid for a maximum period of 5 years, consistent with the current practice and requirements.

The Coast Guard proposes to revise the physical requirements for mariners applying for domestic and STCW credentials issued by the Coast Guard. These proposed changes include: annual submission of physical examination results by pilots, removal of some specific tests for color vision, revision of vision standards, revision of hearing standards, and clarification regarding demonstration of physical ability. These changes would provide the Coast Guard some flexibility in the acceptance of other tests, as well as serve as acknowledgement that some of the vision tests are no longer available. They would enable mariners and examining physicians to use a range of effective tests to demonstrate physical competence, rather than limit them to specific tests which may have become outdated or unavailable. They also implement the STCW requirement that mariners seeking an STCW endorsement demonstrate physical ability.

In particular, the Coast Guard proposes to revise the vision standards for deck personnel with STCW endorsements by expanding the applicability of the vision standards from one eye to both eyes. This proposal would provide consistency with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention. Requirements for mariners who suffer from vision loss or lost vision in one eye remain the same. At the time of application for an endorsement, mariners must hold a valid medical certificate or endorsement, or they must submit an application for a medical certificate. Unless provided otherwise, mariners sailing onboard vessels to which STCW applies must hold a valid 2-year medical certificate.

5. Ceremonial License

The Coast Guard proposes to add a provision for issuance of a ceremonial license, which reflects his or her existing domestic officer endorsements, and is suitable for framing. The addition of this optional license is being proposed in response to numerous requests from the public.

6. Quality Standards System (QSS)

The Coast Guard proposes to add Quality Standards System (QSS) requirements for Coast Guard-approved courses. A QSS is a set of policies, procedures, processes, and data that help an organization fulfill its objectives. The use of a QSS by training providers helps in the oversight of courses, ensuring that mariners obtain the training that they need. This proposal would provide consistency with the obligation under the STCW Convention for approved training to be part of a QSS. This would also require providers of approved courses and training programs to be compliant with QSS provisions.

To make it easier for training providers to meet the QSS requirements, the Coast Guard proposes to accept documentation from a National Academic accreditation body or from a national or international quality standard system as meeting one or more of the QSS requirements.

The Coast Guard also proposes to clarify that Coast Guard-accepted QSS organizations may accept and monitor training on behalf of the Coast Guard. Coast Guard-accepted QSS organizations will need to have processes for reviewing, accepting, and monitoring training that are equal to the Coast Guard's course approval and oversight processes.Start Printed Page 45912

Additionally, the Coast Guard proposes to introduce a grandfather provision to ensure that approved courses, programs, and training creditable towards an STCW endorsement approved prior to July 1, 2013 must meet the requirements of this section at the next renewal.

7. Post-Dating of MMCs

The Coast Guard proposes to add requirements for an applicant to request post-dating of his or her MMC upon submitting an application. These changes would provide flexibility to the mariner to post-date an MMC for up to 12 months allowing a mariner to start his or her application process early in case a problem arises or he or she has to return to sea. Their application can continue to be processed in their absence. This change will alleviate the situation where a mariner was not getting the benefit of the full 5-year credential.

8. New Towing Endorsements

The Coast Guard proposes to add three new towing endorsements and the associated requirements to obtain them: Apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels (utility), Master of Towing Vessels (Utility), and Master of Towing Vessels (Harbor Assist). These endorsements are being proposed in response to recommendations from the Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) in its review of the towing vessel NVIC 04-01. TSAC recommended the addition of these three endorsements because some mariners were performing these functions without the proper authority, experience, and in some cases, qualifications.

The Coast Guard is establishing a towing vessel (utility) progression, including apprentice mate (steersmen) and a Master of Towing Vessels (Utility) endorsement to cover Towing Vessels performing marine repair, construction, and other utility type services where a full, unlimited Master of Towing Vessels endorsement is inappropriate, and where some persons with Assistance Towing endorsements are currently working beyond the authority of their credentials.

The Master of Towing Vessels (Utility) will authorize service to tow: (1) Barges not used for moving bulk cargo (commodities) for trade; (2) Barges associated with Marine Construction; (3) Dredges; and (4) Pile Drivers.

The Master of Towing Vessels (Harbor Assist) endorsement authorizes service on towing vessels for escorting ships with limited propulsion or navigating capabilities in restricted waters, and for assisting ships to dock and undock in limited local areas. This endorsement may be added to a Master of Towing Vessels (Limited) endorsement after a period of service and the completion of a specified TOAR.

9. Bridge Resource Management (BRM), Leadership and Teamworking Skills, Leadership and Managerial Skills

The Coast Guard proposes to change the name of Procedures for Bridge Team Work to Bridge Resource Management (BRM). BRM and leadership and teamworking skills would be required for the operational-level credential only; and leadership and managerial skills would be required for the management-level credential, as provided in the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention. These requirements would allow for the approval of BRM courses or combined BRM and leadership and managerial skills courses.

10. Engine Room Resource Management (ERM), Leadership and Teamworking Skills, Leadership and Managerial Skills

The Coast Guard proposes to require Engine room resource management (ERM) training for engineers seeking STCW endorsements. Basic ERM will be required for the operational-level credential, and leadership and managerial skills would be required for the management-level credential in accordance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention. These requirements would allow for the approval of ERM courses or combined ERM and leadership and managerial skills courses.

11. Grandfathering and Transitional Provisions

The Coast Guard proposes transitional and grandfathering provisions consistent with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention. The 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention will enter into force on January 1, 2012. However, STCW Regulation I/15 on transitional provisions, allows requirements to come into effect over a 5-year period in order to avoid disruption to the maritime industry. STCW Regulation I/15 also provides that a Party may continue, until January 1, 2017, to issue certificates (MMC) in accordance with the credentialing rules it has in place before the 2010 amendments come into force (January 1, 2012) only with respect to seafarers who begin their sea service or their approved maritime training before July 1, 2013. Candidates who begin their service or their training on or after July 1, 2013, will be subject to the full application of the revised STCW requirements. The Coast Guard has drafted this SNPRM to allow for this phase-in process. These provisions require any seafarer who holds an STCW endorsement prior to January 1, 2012, to provide evidence of meeting the appropriate standard of competence for the applicable STCW endorsement by January 1, 2017.

Domestic requirements provided in this proposed rule will be transitioned during a 5-year period (after the effective date of the final rule) to coincide with the renewal of existing domestic endorsements. Individuals seeking an original credential or raise of grade to an existing credential during this period, and who begin training or service before January 1, 2012, need only meet the requirements in place before that date. Those individuals who start training or service on or after January 1, 2012, must meet all provisions described in the final rule.

12. Tankerman Endorsements

The Coast Guard proposes to add new STCW endorsements for basic and advanced tankerman for oil and chemical, and for basic and advanced tankerman for liquefied gas tanker cargo operations, as required by the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention. The Coast Guard proposes to use the domestic requirements for the tankerman endorsements as the means to qualify for an STCW tankerman endorsement. Candidates for an STCW endorsement will only need to complete the appropriate assessments of competence in accordance with the appropriate table of competence in the STCW Code.

The Coast Guard proposes to include an STCW endorsement equivalent to the tankerman-PIC (barge).

All of these changes are being proposed to ensure compliance with the 2010 amendments.

The Coast Guard proposes to clarify and update the list of subjects that the tanker courses must cover by including tables of topics for each tanker course.

13. Lifeboatman and Proficiency in Survival Craft Endorsements

In response to comments we received objecting to the use of the term “survivalman”, the Coast Guard has withdrawn its proposed use and substitutes, in its place, the term “lifeboatman-limited” for the domestic endorsement. Regarding the STCW endorsement, the Coast Guard is proposing to use the term proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than lifeboats and fast rescue boats—limited (PSC—limited), to ensure consistency with the STCW Convention.Start Printed Page 45913

To ensure consistency and clarity, the Coast Guard is proposing to separate the domestic requirements for lifeboatman endorsements (found in §§ 12.407 and 12.409) from the STCW Code requirements for proficiency in survival craft endorsements (found in §§ 12.613 and 12.615). Persons who meet the requirements for a domestic lifeboatman (lifeboatman or lifeboatman-limited) endorsement will be deemed to meet the requirements for an STCW endorsement for proficiency in survival craft (PSC or PSC-limited).

Mariners holding an STCW endorsement will be required to prove that they have maintained the standard of competence every 5 years, in accordance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention. This may be accomplished through a combination of drills and onboard training and experience, with shore-side assessments. The Coast Guard is proposing to accept proof of sea service, specifically one year in the last 5 years, as proof of meeting the requirements for those components of the competence table that can be performed through drills and/or training on board vessels. For those components that cannot be performed onboard a ship, shore-side assessments must be successfully demonstrated.

14. Basic Safety Training (BST) and Advanced Firefighting

The Coast Guard proposes to amend the BST and advanced firefighting requirements to require that mariners prove they have maintained the standard of competence every 5 years, in accordance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code. This may be accomplished through a combination of drills and onboard training and experience, with shore-side assessments. The Coast Guard is proposing to retain the existing arrangement of acceptance of sea service, specifically one year in the last 5 years, as proof of meeting the requirements only for those components of the competence table that can be performed through drills and/or training on board vessels. For those components that cannot be performed onboard a ship, shore-side assessments must be successfully demonstrated.

15. Recognition of Certificates Issued by Other Parties to the STCW Convention

The Coast Guard proposes to establish requirements and procedures for the recognition and endorsement of officer certificates of competence issued by other Parties signatory to the STCW Convention in accordance with the existing laws of the United States.

46 U.S.C. 8103(b)(3)(A) waives the citizenship requirements (except for master) for offshore supply vessels (OSVs) operating from a foreign port. To ensure compliance with the STCW Convention, in the limited cases of OSVs, the U.S. needs to recognize seafarer competence certificates from other countries that have ratified the STCW Convention and are known to issue STCW certificates.

16. Work Hours and Rest Periods

In accordance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code, the Coast Guard proposes to amend the work and rest hours requirements as follows: (1) Expand the application for hours of work and rest periods for mariners to include all personnel with designated safety, prevention of pollution, and security duties onboard any vessel; (2) change the weekly rest hours requirements from 70 hours to 77 hours; (3) require the recording of hours of rest; and (4) include flexibility from the rest hours requirements in exceptional circumstances.

17. Certification for Vessel Personnel With Security Duties and Security Awareness

The Coast Guard is proposing that, after July 1, 2012, all personnel with designated security duties must hold a valid endorsement as vessel personnel with designated security duties or a certificate of course completion from an appropriate Coast Guard-accepted course meeting the requirements of 33 CFR 104.220. This requirement is consistent with the STCW 2010 amendments to ensure that all personnel hold a certificate of proficiency.

The Coast Guard also is proposing that, after July 1, 2012, all other vessel personnel, including contractors, whether part-time, full-time, temporary, or permanent, must hold a valid endorsement in security awareness, or a certificate of course completion from an appropriate Coast Guard-accepted course meeting the requirements of 33 CFR 104.225. This requirement is consistent with the 2010 STCW amendments to ensure that personnel hold a certificate of proficiency.

The training requirements for vessel personnel with designated security duties and for security awareness in compliance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code will be part of a separate rulemaking.

C. Thirty Months of Training for Officer in Charge of an Engineering Watch (OICEW)/Designated Duty Engineer (DDE) Candidates

The November 17, 2009, NPRM proposed to include a requirement for an OICEW or DDE candidate to complete approved education and training of at least 30 months in accordance with Regulation III/1 of the 1995 amendments to the STCW requirements. The 2010 amendments deleted this requirement from regulation; therefore, this SNPRM does not include this provision.

D. Table of Proposed Changes

The following table provides a more detailed summary of significant changes proposed in this SNPRM. The table includes the changes noted in the brief summary of the significant changes listed in part B above, “Differences between this SNPRM and the Coast Guard's current regulations”.

Current citeCite under proposed ruleSummary of proposed changesExplanation of and reasons for proposed changes
§ 10.107N/ARemoves definition of Competent PersonMoved relevant information into part 13 to ensure consistency, because “competent person” deals with tankerman endorsements.
§ 10.107§ 10.107Revises the definition for Coast Guard-acceptedThe definition is being revised to provide clarification on the instances where something may be approved by the Coast Guard for use in meeting a particular requirement.
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§ 10.107§ 10.107Revises definition of DayReferences authorization by the U.S. Code and the two-watch system, in accordance with part 15. Adds clarification on service on MODUs. This will link the definition to the U.S. Code and provide further clarification within the regulations.
§ 10.107§ 10.107Revises definition of Designated examinerThe definition was revised to ensure that a DE applies to the Towing Officer Assessment Record only, as DE previously applied to all qualification processes.
§ 10.107§ 10.107Revises the definition of Near-coastalAmends to include exceptions for operator of uninspected passenger vessels (OUPVs) in order to formalize a pre-existing exception for OUPVs.
§ 10.109§ 10.109Revises list of endorsementsAdds new endorsements in accordance with parts 11 and 12 to ensure that the lists of endorsements are consistent throughout the regulations.
§ 10.209, 10.231§ 10.209, 10.231Adds required documentation for medical examinationsAdds a medical certificate issued by the Coast Guard.
This serves as documentary proof of passing the medical examination.
§ 10.215Part 10, subpart CTransfer medical requirements to a new subpart. Revises the physical requirements for mariners applying for a Coast Guard-issued credential These changes include: annual submission of physicals by pilots, revision of vision standard, revision of hearing standard, clarification regarding demonstration of physical abilityProvides the Coast Guard some flexibility in the acceptance of other tests. The requirement to demonstrate physical ability provides information required for those mariners serving on vessels to which STCW applies.
§ 10.215§ 10.301Revises medical certificate validity periodAdds issuance of the new medical certificates with the following period of validity:
(1) 2 years for STCW-endorsed mariners, unless the mariner is under the age of 18, in which case the maximum period of validity would be 1 year;
(2) 1 year for a mariner who is serving as a first-class pilot, or acting as a pilot under § 15.812; and
(3) 5 years for all other mariners, consistent with the current practice and requirements.
§ 10.215§ 10.305Vision requirementsThe 2010 amendments have expanded the applicability of vision standards from one eye to both eyes for deck personnel with STCW endorsements.
§ 10.217§ 10.217Removes reference to temporary permits.Temporary permits are no longer issued.
Formalizes long-standing Coast Guard practice.
§ 10.219§ 10.219Amends the manner in which user fees may be paid to credit card or electronic payment onlyThis change would eliminate the ability of a mariner to pay by cash and by attaching a check or money order to their application package.
This would update fee payment practices by permitting electronic payment of fees.
§§ 10.227, 10.231§§ 10.227, 10.231Revises renewal requirements for credentialsRemoves the requirement to submit an old, original credential in an application for renewal.
This would permit mariners to retain their previous credentials.
§ 10.303§ 10.410Removed QSS requirements from § 10.303 and moved them into a new § 10.410Adds QSS information into a new section and adds requirement for training providers to develop a QSS.
This reflects the STCW requirement to use a QSS.
Adds a grandfather provision to ensure that approved courses, programs, and training creditable towards an STCW endorsement approved prior to July 1, 2013 must meet the requirements of this section at the next renewal.
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N/A§ 10.107Adds the definition of Boundary lineAdding the definition will assist applicants in understanding the limits of the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Ceremonial licenseProvides mariners an MMC endorsement suitable for framing.
This is in response to mariner demand for a ceremonial license.
N/A§ 10.107Adds the definition of a Coast Guard-accepted quality standards system (QSS) organizationAdds definition regarding those organizations that may conduct QSS activities in regard to training, consistent with STCW requirements.
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Coastwise VoyageThis is being done to add clarity to the boundaries of these types of voyages.
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Deck departmentTo clarify the functions of this department.
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Designated medical examinerTo clarify who can give medical examinations to mariners, establishing a network of medical examiners who have demonstrated an understanding of mariner fitness.
N/A§ 10.107Adds the definition of Domestic voyageTo clarify that domestic service does not include entering foreign waters.
This will assist those operating small passenger vessels in waters close to or adjacent to foreign waters in determining whether the operator would be required to hold an STCW endorsement.
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Dual-mode integrated tug bargeTo clarify what is included in the operations and configuration of this type of ITB.
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Engine departmentTo clarify the functions of this department.
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Gross register tons (GRT)Provides definition for term used in the proposed rule and establishes an abbreviation for the use of this term throughout this subchapter.
This will help the mariner to readily distinguish between GRT and gross tonnage.
N/A§ 10.107Adds the definition of Gross tonnage (GT)This will provide consistency with the STCW Convention and simplify the regulations by establishing an abbreviation for use throughout this subchapter.
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Integrated tug bargeTo specify and make clear the features and capabilities of this type of tug barge combination.
N/A§ 10.107Adds the definition of Kilowatt (kW)To provide clarity and consistency, as the term is used in conjunction with the implementation of the STCW Convention and STCW Code.
N/A§ 10.107Adds the definition of Management levelTo explain that master, chief mate, chief engineer and first assistant engineer (second engineer officer) are considered management level under the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICEW)To clarify that this endorsement is at the operational level.
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Officer in Charge of an Engineering Watch (OICEW)To clarify that this endorsement is at the operational level.
N/A§ 10.107Adds the definition of Operational levelProvides that officer endorsements other than management level are considered operational level under the STCW Convention.
This will provide consistency with STCW.
N/A§ 10.107Adds the definition of Periodically unattended engine roomProvides clarity in the application of the service requirements for engineers.
N/A§ 10.107Adds the definition of Propulsion powerTo provide consistency with the use of the term “propulsion power” in STCW and to encompass methods of measurement, such as horsepower (HP) and kilowatts (kW).
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Push-mode ITBsTo specify what is included in the configuration of this tug barge unit.
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Qualified AssessorTo clarify the qualifications for this type of evaluator.
N/A§ 10.107Adds the definition of Quality standard system (QSS)To ensure conformity with STCW requirements for use of a QSS and provide clarification of what is intended by this term when used in this subchapter.
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N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Seagoing serviceClarify for the mariner what is included in this type of service, including Great Lakes and inland service.
This is in response to public comments specifically requesting credit for all waters.
N/A§ 10.107Adds the definition of Seagoing vesselTo ensure the definition captures all vessels to which STCW Convention and Code apply.
There is no commercial vessels restriction, as appears in the current 46 CFR 15.1101 definition, because that would have excluded vessels such as yachts and government-owned vessels, which are required to be operated by mariners holding an STCW endorsement.
N/A§ 10.107Adds definition of Lifeboatman-LimitedTo provide for a new endorsement for persons serving in a position similar to Lifeboatman but on a vessel without a lifeboat.
N/A§ 10.107Adds the definition of Training programTo provide clarity regarding what is encompassed within training programs.
N/A§ 10.205(b)(i)Adds grandfathering provision for existing STCW endorsementsClarifies that this proposed rule does not require a mariner to meet newly proposed requirements in order to retain a credential already held.
This will provide mariners with time to meet new requirements, while still being able to serve on those credentials already held.
N/A§ 10.205(i)Adds provision regarding Document of ContinuityTo explain the process of replacing a Document of Continuity with an MMC.
N/A§ 10.209Adds ceremonial licenseAllows mariners to request a ceremonial license when renewing his or her credential.
N/A§ 10.405Adds requirements for qualification as a qualified assessor or designated examinerTo ensure that qualified individuals conduct evaluations of mariners in conformity with the STCW Convention. See Section A-I/6 of the STCW Code.
N/A§ 10.409Adds requirements for approval as a Coast Guard-accepted QSS organizationRequires organizations wishing to accept and monitor training to submit application for approval. Coast Guard-accepted QSS organizations will be audited once every five years.
This is to ensure compliance with STCW and to provide oversight of these organizations.
N/A§ 10.411Adds simulator performance standardsTo provide consistency with existing requirements and Section A-I/12 of the STCW Code.
N/A§ 10.412Adds distance and e-learningAdds a provision that will allow mariners to complete certain approved training via distance or e-learning courses.
This will allow more options for obtaining training.
§§ 11.201, 11.205§ 11.201Re-organizes and consolidates all general requirements applicable to all domestic and STCW officer endorsementsConsolidates all endorsement requirements from the various sections (including §§ 11.201, 11.205) into a general section with sub-titles to allow for easy reference.
§ 11.202§ 15.817Moves section for GMDSS competency Requires that all deck officers serving on vessels equipped with Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) provide an endorsement for GMDSSThis re-organizes the regulations to make them easier to access and follow.
§ 11.202§ 15.816Moves section for ARPA competency Requires that all deck officers serving on vessels equipped with ARPA prove competencyThis re-organizes the regulations to make them easier to access and follow.
§ 11.202, 11.205§ 11.301Re-organizes and consolidates all requirements applicable to all STCW officer endorsementsConsolidates all endorsement requirements from various sections (including §§ 11.202 and 11.205) into a general section with sub-titles to allow for easy reference.
§ 11.202(c)§§ 11.305 to 11.321Moves the requirement for automatic radar plotting aid (ARPA) from the general sectionTo place the requirement in the appropriate operational-level and management-level certificate.
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§ 11.202(d)§§ 11.305 to 11.321Moves the requirement for the training and assessment on Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) from the general sectionIncorporates the GMDSS requirement with the requirement for the appropriate operational-level and management-level certificate to simplify and clarify the GMDSS requirement.
§ 11.202(e)§§ 11.305 to 11.321Changes the name of Procedures for Bridge Team Work to Bridge Resource Management (BRM)The BRM will be required for the operational level credential and leadership and managerial skills will be required for the management level credential.
This will provide consistency with STCW.
§ 11.202(e)§§ 11.305 to 11.321Moves the requirement for Bridge Resource ManagementMoves the BRM requirement to the appropriate operational-level certificate in order to clarify and simplify the requirement.
§ 11.202(b)§ 11.301(b)Moves requirements for Basic Safety Training (BST).Adds requirements for BST, including the requirement to maintain the standard of competence every 5 years through a combination of drills and onboard training and experience with shore-side assessments.
This will ensure mariners maintain knowledge of BST.
§ 11.202(f)§ 11.301(j) and (k)Moves exemptions and relaxations for vessels that are not subject to further obligationMoves exemption and relaxation requirements applicable to vessels that are exempt from the requirements or that are applicable because of their special operating condition as small vessels in domestic voyages.
This was done to simplify the regulations by placing all STCW requirements in one subpart.
§ 11.205(c)N/ALetters of referenceRemoves the requirement to submit letters of reference because of the depth of new background investigation procedures by both the Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration.
§ 11.205(d)§ 11.201(h)Reduces firefighting training requirements for certain endorsementsReduces the training from basic and advanced firefighting to basic firefighting training for vessels of less than 200 GRT in ocean services.
This will reduce the burden on mariners serving on these vessels.
§ 11.205(d)§ 11.201(h)Adds firefighting training requirements for certain endorsementsMandates basic firefighting training for some endorsements on non-ocean services.
This is to ensure that mariners with those endorsements have basic firefighting skills and to improve overall maritime safety.
§§ 11.211(a) and (b), 11.213§ 10.232Creates new section for sea serviceInserts new section to discuss sea service issues applicable to all credentials, including foreign sea service, documentation to show proof of sea service, and sea service as a member of the armed forces.
This is in response to public comments requesting further clarification on sea service requirements.
§ 11.211(d)§ 11.211(c)Expands sea service credit on Articulated Tug Barges (ATBs)The Coast Guard would allow the service on ATBs to qualify for unlimited tonnage officer endorsements.
This will reduce the burden on the mariner seeking to qualify for these endorsements.
§ 11.301§ 10.401Revises the applicability to include training programsClarifies that the STCW Convention covers all training used to pursue certification, whether or not it is part of an approved course or training program. See Regulation I/6 of the STCW Convention and Section A-I/6 of the STCW Code.
§ 11.302§ 10.402Revises the credit that can be provided by course approval to allow for multiple purposesProvides industry more flexibility to complete the requirements as current regulations are too confining.
§ 11.302§ 10.402Revises the requirements for the request for course approvalIncorporates previously issued guidance documents.
This is to assist industry in understanding otherwise vague requirements.
§ 11.302§ 10.402Clarifies the circumstances that could lead to the suspension of course approval for a training courseOrganizes the requirements for suspension of course approvals.
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This is being done in response to public comments regarding course approval suspensions.
§ 11.302§ 10.402Revises the reasons for withdrawal of course approvalClarifies reasons for withdrawal of course approval.
§ 11.303§ 10.403Revises section to require that each student demonstrate practical skills appropriate for the courseEnsures that the training provided meets the requirements of the STCW Convention, i.e., not only ensuring applicant knowledge, understanding and proficiency (KUP), but also requiring a demonstration of skills. See STCW Regulation I/6 of the STCW Convention.
§ 11.303§ 10.403Revises the records and reports required for each approved courseProvides the Coast Guard the ability to be consistent with obligations under the STCW Convention to validate the training received by merchant mariners. See Regulation I/8 of the STCW Convention.
§ 11.303§ 10.403Adds QSS requirements for an approved courseProvides consistency with the obligation under the STCW Convention for approved training to be part of a QSS. See Regulation I/8 of the STCW Convention.
§ 11.304§ 10.404Revises the requirement to substitute all sea service for successful completion of an approved training programProvides service credit for training programs, because they regularly provide more extensive training situations and broader opportunities to demonstrate proficiency.
§ 11.305N/ARemoves specific requirements regarding radar-observer certificates and qualifying coursesRemoves requirements now unnecessary due to other proposed changes throughout this subpart.
§ 11.309§ 10.409Revises section to reduce redundant language from other sections of this subpartProvides clarification with reference to § 10.402 for collecting the necessary information.
§ 11.309§ 10.409Adds QSS requirements for accepted trainingProvides consistency with the STCW Convention for approved training to be part of a QSS. See Regulation I/8 of the STCW Convention.
§ 11.401N/ARemoves the requirement for deck officers to obtain a qualification as able seamanProvides consistency with the STCW Convention that does not require a qualification as able seaman for seagoing deck officers.
§ 11.402§ 11.402Revises tonnage limitations for an unlimited officer endorsement by setting the minimum to 2,000 GRTEstablishes a revised minimum tonnage limitation. It was previously possible to obtain a limitation of less than 2,000 GRT.
This requirement eases the burden on mariners seeking removal of tonnage limitations on their licenses.
§ 11.400 et seq.§ 11.400 et seq.Links domestic to deck STCW endorsementsProvides better organization and clarification by linking the endorsements.
§ 11.463§ 11.463(g)Adds a restriction to a specific type of towing vessel and/or towing operation. Adds the requirement for towing vessel officers serving on seagoing vessels to comply with the STCW ConventionAdds provision for a towing vessel restriction such as harbor-assist or articulated tug barge (ATB) vessels that do not routinely perform all of the tasks in the TOAR.
Clarifies the regulations and policy for officers on towing vessels.
§ 11.463§ 11.463Grandfathering provisionMinimizes the burden on mariners by re-opening grandfathering provision for those who met training and service requirements prior to May 21, 2001.
§ 11.465§ 11.465Adds a time limit for acceptance of TOARsThe TOAR must be completed within 5 years of application for license to be consistent with the continued proficiency requirements for the renewal of a towing endorsement.
§ 11.465§ 11.465Endorsement for master of towing vessels (Harbor assist)New requirements for endorsement applicable to master of towing vessel (limited) with service and TOAR.
This endorsement was established in response to requests from industry and recommendations from the Towing Safety Advisory Committee.
§ 11.465§ 11.465Endorsement for master of towing vessel (utility)New requirements for endorsement including service and TOAR.
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This endorsement was established in response to requests from industry and recommendations from the Towing Safety Advisory Committee.
§ 11.466§ 11.466Endorsement as apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels (utility)New requirements for endorsement including service and examination. This endorsement was established in response to requests from industry and recommendations from the Towing Safety Advisory Committee.
§ 11.467§ 11.467Adds the limitation to the endorsement as operator of uninspected passenger vessels to not more than 100 nautical miles offshoreClarifies that this endorsement is limited to domestic near-coastal waters not more than 100 nautical miles offshore.
This makes clear that this endorsement authorizes only domestic voyages.
§ 11.482§ 11.482Limitations for assistance towing endorsementsClarifies and simplifies the application of the assistance towing endorsement.
§ 11.493§ 11.493Revises language for Master (OSV)Eliminates unnecessary language and ensures consistency with STCW Convention and Code requirements.
§ 11.495§ 11.495Revises language for Chief Mate (OSV)Eliminates unnecessary language and ensures consistency with STCW Convention and Code requirements.
§ 11.500 et seq§ 11.500 et seqLinks domestic to engineer STCW endorsementsSimplifies the regulations by providing link to appropriate section to add engineer STCW endorsement to existing domestic endorsement.
§ 11.553§ 11.553Revises language for Chief Engineer (OSV)Eliminates unnecessary language and ensures consistency with STCW Convention and Code requirements.
§ 11.555§ 11.555Revises language for Assistant Engineer (OSV)Eliminates unnecessary language and ensures consistency with STCW Convention and Code requirements.
§ 11.901§ 11.901Removes the list of endorsements requiring STCW endorsementAmends section because the list of endorsements was redundant and unnecessary in this location.
§ 11.903§ 11.903Revises the list of endorsements requiring examinationRemoves the endorsements that do not require an examination, based on a change in policy and progression consistent with the STCW Convention, i.e., master and second mate.
§ 11.910§ 11.910Revises table 11.910-1Clarifies and simplifies the regulations by reflecting the combined endorsements at the management and operational levels.
§ 11.910§ 11.910Revises table 11.910-2To revise the table of subjects in order to reflect combined examinations at the operational and management levels and the STCW Convention.
§ 11.950§ 11.950Revised table 11.950 by creating table for seagoing vessels and another for Great Lakes and inland watersClarifies and updates the table to reflect the combined endorsements at the management and operational levels and the STCW Convention.
§§ 11.1001 to 11.1005N/ADelete requirements for roll-on/roll-off passenger shipsTo reflect the 2010 STCW amendment changes to include requirements for passenger ships.
This also simplifies the regulations by merging requirements from subparts J and K.
§ 11.1103§ 10.107Definition for passenger shipTransferred definition from § 11.1103 to § 10.107 for consistency purposes.
§ 11.1105§ 11.1105Amend requirements for officers on passenger ships when in international voyagesReflects the 2010 STCW amendment changes to include requirements for passenger ships. This also simplifies the regulations by merging requirements from subparts J and K.
N/A§ 11.301(a)Standard of CompetenceAdds alternative methods of demonstrating competence to provide mariners with multiple options, where allowed by the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 11.301(d)Great Lakes and inland serviceGrants day-for-day equivalency for Great Lakes service and two- for-one for inland service.
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This is in response to public comments requesting equivalency for Great Lakes service.
N/A§ 11.301(i)Grandfathering provisionsThese provisions will ease the transition for mariners with existing endorsements.
Ensure consistency with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code.
N/A§ 11.301(f)Rating service for management-level endorsementsService as rating not acceptable for management-level STCW endorsements.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 11.301(d)Service accrued on vessels with dual tonnagesService will be credited using the international tonnage. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 11.301(c)Requirements for Advanced FirefightingAdds requirements for Advanced Firefighting including the requirement to maintain the standard of competence every 5 years through a combination of drills and onboard training and experience with shore-side assessments.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 11.303List of STCW deck officer endorsementsList of endorsements included in the applicable subsequent sections.
This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier for the mariner to access.
N/A§ 11.323List of STCW engineer officer endorsementsList of endorsements included in the applicable subsequent sections.
This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier for the mariner to access.
N/A§§ 11.303 to 11.321; §§ 11.323 to 11.335Requirements for STCW deck and engineer officer endorsementsIncludes the STCW Convention list of requirements in order to obtain the endorsement.
This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier for the mariner to access.
N/A§§ 11.305 to 11.321; §§ 11.325 to 11.335Sea service requirements for STCW deck and engineer officer endorsementsIncludes STCW Convention language providing various alternatives for sea service. This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier for the mariner to access.
This also provides for acceptance of various modes of sea service.
N/A§§ 11.305 to 11.321; §§ 11.325 to 11.335Standard of competence from the STCW CodeProvides a specific requirement to meet the standard of competence from the appropriate tables in the STCW Code.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§§ 11.305 to 11.325; §§ 11.323 to 11.335Requirement for trainingIncludes STCW Convention mandatory training.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§§ 11.305 to 11.321; §§ 11.325 to 11.335Gap closing measures from the 2010 amendmentsIncludes training necessary to comply with the 2010 amendments. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§§ 11.305 to 11.321; §§ 11.325 to 11.335Exemptions from the standard of competenceProvides for exemptions from the tables of competence based on vessel type.
N/A§§ 11.305 to 11.321; §§ 11.325 to 11.335Insert tables specifying entry paths from domestic endorsements to STCW endorsementsDescribes various entry points to obtain an equivalent STCW endorsement. This provides a method of determining which STCW endorsements are attainable for each domestic endorsement.
N/A§ 11.335Adds a new section providing the requirements for STCW officer endorsement as electro-technical officerThis ensures consistency with the STCW Convention. See regulation III/6 of the STCW Convention and Section A-III/6 of the STCW Code.
N/A§ 11.335Equivalency accepted for personnel serving in a similar capacityAllows for the issuance of the STCW officer endorsement as electro-technical officer to personnel with equivalent credentials and sea service.
This makes it easier for an applicant to obtain this endorsement.
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N/A§ 11.335Equivalency accepted for engineer officersAllows for the issuance of the STCW officer endorsement as electro-technical officer to OICEW, second engineer officer and chief engineer officer.
This makes it easier for an applicant to obtain this endorsement.
N/A§ 11.821High-speed craftEstablishes qualifications for operating high-speed craft.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/ASubpart JNew section on recognition of STCW officer endorsements issued by a foreign governmentEstablishes requirements for the recognition of STCW Certificates issued by foreign governments. Recognition is restricted to non-U.S. licensed officers and mariners with officer endorsements (except masters) found in § 15.720(b). Application for a recognition certificate via the employer.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
§ 12.02-7§ 15.401Moves this requirement to § 15.401Moves section to part 15 as it is a manning requirement.
This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier to understand.
§ 12.02-17§ 12.205(c)Amends provisions for re-testingAmends waiting period after third failed examination. Deletes maximum waiting period of 30 days after initial failure.
This allows applicants to re-test earlier than the current time period.
§ 12.03Subpart D (§ 10.400 series)Consolidates Coast Guard-accepted and approved training into one subpartReduces regulatory redundancy.
§ 12.05-1§ 12.401Adds A/B seaman endorsementsAdds able seaman-fish, and able seaman-sail.
This consolidates policy into the regulations.
§ 12.05-1(a) and (b)§ 15.401Moves this requirement to § 15.401Moves paragraphs to part 15 as it is a manning requirement.
This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier to understand.
§ 12.05-3§ 12.401Revises the general requirements to obtain an endorsement as able seaman (A/B) to include holding or qualified to hold an endorsement as lifeboatmanClarifies the A/B requirement to allow being qualified for lifeboatman, and removes the requirement to pass the lifeboatman exam if the individual already holds the appropriate endorsement.
This eases the burden on mariners seeking to obtain this endorsement.
§ 12.05-3(a)(2), 12.15-5, 12.25-20§ 12.401Moves requirement to § 12.401Consolidates general requirements for certification.
This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier for the mariner to access.
§ 12.05-3(b)§ 12.601(c)Moves requirements for Basic Safety Training (BST)Adds requirements for BST, including the requirement to maintain the standard of competence every 5 years through a combination of drills and onboard training and experience with shore-side assessments.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
§ 12.05-3(c)§ 12.605Adds a new section to provide the requirements for ratings forming part of a navigational watch (RFPNW)Provides requirements for RFPNW, required by the STCW Convention, in one location. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
§ 12.05-7§ 12.403Adds service and training requirements for new rating endorsementsAdds service and training requirements for able seaman-fish, and able seaman-sail.
This consolidates policy into the regulations.
§ 12.05-9§ 12.405Adds requirement in paragraphs (a) and (c) to show that the listed demonstrations have been performed in a Coast Guard-approved courseThis consolidates existing policy into the regulations.
§ 12.10-1§ 15.401Moves this requirement to § 15.401Moves section to part 15 as it is a manning requirement.
This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier to understand.
§ 12.10-3§ 12.609Moves requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement RFPEWMoves requirement to STCW section.
This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier to understand.
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§ 12.10-7§ 15.404Moves this requirement to § 15.404Moves section to part 15 as it is a manning requirement.
This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier to understand.
§ 12.10-9§ 12.617Revises the requirements for certificates of proficiency in fast rescue boats, adding the specific areas of competence the STCW Convention requiresProvides additional information clarifying the STCW Convention requirements to obtain an endorsement for proficiency in fast rescue boats. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
§ 12.13-3§ 12.619Revises the requirements for certificates of proficiency for medical first-aid provider, adding the specific areas of competence the STCW Convention requiresProvides additional information clarifying the STCW Convention requirements to obtain an endorsement for medical first-aid provider. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
§ 12.13-3§ 12.619Revises this basis-of-documentary-evidence section to include those persons who have alternative qualificationsAdds the additional process to meet this requirement through the possession of a professional license or alternative professional qualification.
This opens up additional options for mariners to utilize in obtaining this endorsement.
§ 12.13-3§ 12.621Revises the requirements for certificates of proficiency for person-in-charge of medical care, adding the specific areas of competence the STCW Convention requiresProvides additional information clarifying the STCW Convention requirements to obtain an endorsement for person-in-charge of medical care. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
§ 12.13-3§ 12.621Revises this basis-of-documentary-evidence section to include those persons who have alternative qualificationsAdds the additional process to meet this requirement through the possession of a professional license or alternative professional qualification.
This opens up additional options for mariners to utilize in obtaining this endorsement.
§ 12.15-1§ 15.401Moves this requirement to § 15.401Moves section to part 15 as it is a manning requirement.
This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier to understand.
§ 12.15-3(e)§ 12.501Revises the rating forming part of an engineering watch (RFPEW) requirement for Qualified Member of the Engineering Department (QMED)Removes the specific requirement for the STCW endorsement as RFPEW associated with QMED and moves it to its own section. This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier to understand.
§ 12.15-3(e)§ 12.609Adds a new section to provide the requirements for RFPEWProvides requirements for RFPEW, required by the STCW Convention, in one location.
This re-organizes the regulations to make them easier to understand.
§ 12.15-7§ 12.501Revises the requirement to provide a more general requirement that a QMED endorsement applicant must complete an appropriate training programThere is no need to provide specific information regarding the training programs and courses; this information is included in the course approval letters provided to each training provider.
This makes the regulations easier to follow.
§ 12.15-9§ 12.501Reduces the number of QMED ratings from 9 to 5Deletes deck engineer, combines refrigerating engineer with electrician, and combines pumpman and machinist.
This simplifies the regulations by removing several endorsements that are no longer used and combines several others.
§ 12.15-11§ 12.505QMED rating endorsement listRevises the list of QMED rating endorsements. Deletes deck engineer, combines refrigerating engineer with electrician, and combines pumpman and machinist.
This makes the regulations easier to follow.
§ 12.15-13N/ADeletes deck engine mechanic rating as an MMC endorsementDeletes this rating for new applicants; however, companies that wish to continue to employ mariners in this rating may do so.
This simplifies the regulations by removing several endorsements that are rarely used and combines several others.
§ 12.15-15N/ADeletes engineman rating as an MMC endorsementDeletes this rating for new applicants; however, companies that wish to continue to employ mariners in this rating may do so.
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This simplifies the regulations by removing several endorsements that are rarely used and combines several others.
§ 12.25-1§ 12.701Changes section title from “Credentials required” to “Credentials required for entry-level and miscellaneous ratings”Revises for clarity.
§ 12.25-10§ 12.703Moves general requirementsConsolidates general requirements for entry level ratings.
This makes the regulations easier to follow.
§ 12.25-45§ 15.818Moves section for GMDSS at-sea maintainer Requires that anyone serving as at-sea maintainers on vessels equipped with GMDSS must provide documentary evidence of competencyThis re-organizes the regulations to make them easier to access and follow.
§ 12.25-45§ 12.623Revises section to provide more specific information regarding the qualification requirements for an endorsement as GMDSS at-sea maintainerSpecifies the methods of qualification allowed to obtain the endorsement. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention and makes the regulations easier to follow.
§ 12.30N/ADeletes requirements for ro-ro passenger shipsReflects the 2010 STCW amendment changes to include requirements for passenger ships, including ro-ro passenger ships.
§ 12.35§ 12.905Amends requirements for ratings on passenger ships when in international voyagesReflects the 2010 amendment changes to include requirements for passenger ships. Merges requirements from subparts 12.30 and 12.35.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 12.201Adds section with general requirements for domestic and STCW rating endorsementsConsolidates all requirements applicable to all rating endorsements contained in this part. This makes the regulations easier to follow.
N/A§ 12.203Adds section with documentation of sea service for ratingsProvides information on where to find the requirements for documentation and proof of sea service for ratings.
This makes the regulations easier to follow.
N/A§ 12.409Adds new section with requirements for lifeboatman-limited endorsementThis endorsement is for mariners who serve on vessels without installed lifeboats.
Mariners serving on vessels without lifeboats could not qualify for the lifeboatman endorsement.
N/A§ 12.601Adds section with general requirements applicable to STCW rating endorsementsConsolidates all requirements applicable to STCW endorsements in this subpart. Establishes list of STCW rating endorsements.
This makes the regulations easier to follow.
N/A§ 12.601Adds section with standard of CompetenceAdds alternative methods of demonstrating competence. This provides mariners with multiple options, where allowed by the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 12.601Adds section with grandfathering provisionsAdds provisions for the implementation of the amendments to the requirements, including the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code. This eases the burden on mariners with existing endorsements.
N/A§§ 12.603—12.609Insert tables specifying entry paths from domestic endorsements to STCW endorsementsDescribes various entry points to obtain an equivalent STCW endorsement. This provides a method of determining which STCW endorsements are attainable for each domestic endorsement.
N/A§ 12.603Adds new section with requirements for STCW rating endorsement as able seafarer-deckIncludes the STCW Convention requirements in order to obtain the endorsement. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 12.605Adds new section providing the requirements for RFPNWProvides specific requirements for this STCW endorsement. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 12.607Adds a new section with requirements for STCW endorsement as able seafarer-engineIncludes the STCW Convention requirements in order to obtain the endorsement. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
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N/A§ 12.609Adds new section providing the requirements for RFPEWProvides specific requirements for this STCW endorsement. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 12.611Adds a new section providing the requirements for STCW officer endorsement as electro-technical ratingIncludes the STCW Convention requirements in order to obtain the endorsement. See regulation III/7 of the STCW Convention and Section A-III/7 of the STCW Code.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 12.611Equivalent arrangements for personnel serving in a similar capacityAllows for the issuance of the STCW endorsement as electro-technical rating to personnel with equivalent credentials and sea service.
This provides applicants with multiple paths to obtain this endorsement.
N/A§ 12.613Adds new section with requirements for Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats (PSC) Adds requirements to maintain the standard of competence every 5 years through a combination of drills and onboard training and experience with shore-side assessmentsThis ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 12.615Adds new section to provide a new endorsement for proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than lifeboats and fast rescue boats (PSC-limited)Adds new section because there are individuals assigned to vessels without lifeboats who do not need to meet the full requirements for proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats (PSC), but must still meet the proficiency in the survival craft installed on their vessels.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 12.615Adds new section with requirements for Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than lifeboats and fast rescue boats (PSC) Adds requirements to maintain the standard of competence every 5 years through a combination of drills and onboard training and experience with shore-side assessmentsThis ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 12.617Adds new section with requirements for Proficiency in fast rescue boats Adds requirements to maintain the standard of competence every 5 years through a combination of drills and onboard training and experience with shore-side assessmentsThis ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 12.625Adds new section with requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as vessel personnel with designated security dutiesAdds requirement for certification of personnel with security duties (except VSOs) in accordance with the 2010 amendments. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
N/A§ 12.627Adds new section with requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement in security awarenessAdds requirement for all other personnel working onboard the vessels, in accordance with the 2010 amendments.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
§ 13.120§ 13.120Amends the requirements for transfers for the renewal of tankerman endorsementsClarifies the types of transfers required according to the type of endorsement being renewed.
Also adds requirements for STCW certification valid for tank vessels
§ 13.121§ 13.121Includes tables of topics for each tanker courseClarifies and updates list of subjects that the tanker courses must cover.
This makes the regulations easier to follow.
§ 13.127§ 13.127Service requirements for tankerman-engineerClarifies information that must be included in the service letter for tankerman-engineer.
This makes the regulations easier to follow.
§ 13.201§ 13.201Moves the cargo course and firefighting course requirements of this section to § 13.121Clarifies existing requirements. This makes the regulations easier to follow.
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§ 13.301§ 13.301Moves the cargo course and firefighting course requirements of this section to § 13.121Clarifies existing requirements. This makes the regulations easier to follow.
§ 13.307, § 13.309§ 13.121Moves the firefighting and cargo course requirements of this section to § 13.121Provides firefighting and cargo training course subjects in the appropriate table. This makes the regulations easier to follow.
§ 13.401§ 13.401Amends Tankerman-Assistant requirementsThis ensures that an applicant has the necessary knowledge to obtain this endorsement.
Adds an examination requirement for mariners who qualify for the endorsement on sea service alone
§ 13.407, § 13.409§ 13.121Moves the firefighting and cargo course requirements of this section to § 13.121Provides firefighting and cargo training course subjects in the appropriate table. This makes the regulations easier to follow.
§ 13.501§ 13.501Moves the cargo course and firefighting course requirements of this section to § 13.121Clarifies existing requirements. This makes the regulations easier to follow.
N/A§ 13.601Adds new section with alternative methods of demonstrating competence to provide mariners with multiple options, where allowed by the STCW ConventionThis opens additional paths of demonstrating competence.
N/A§ 13.603Adds new section for STCW endorsement for advanced tankerman Adds new STCW endorsement for advanced oil and chemical tanker cargo operations, in accordance with the 2010 amendments. Includes grandfathering provisionsThis ensures consistency with the STCW Convention. This also ases the transition for mariners with similar endorsement.
N/A§ 13.603Adds new section with requirements to qualify for an endorsement for advanced oil tanker cargo operations and basic chemical tanker cargo operationsUses existing domestic endorsements as “Tankerman PIC” to qualify for STCW endorsements. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention. This also eases the transition for mariners with similar endorsement.
N/A§ 13.605Adds new section with STCW endorsement for advanced liquefied gas tanker cargo operations Adds new STCW endorsement for advanced liquefied gas tanker cargo operations, in accordance with the 2010 amendments. Includes grandfathering provisionsThis ensures consistency with the STCW Convention. This also eases the transition for mariners with similar endorsement.
N/A§ 13.605Adds new section with requirements to qualify for an endorsement for advanced liquefied gas tanker cargo operationsUses existing domestic endorsements as “Tankerman PIC” to qualify for STCW endorsements. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
This also eases the transition for mariners with similar endorsement.
N/A§ 13.607Adds new section with STCW endorsement for basic oil and chemical tanker cargo operations Adds new STCW endorsement for basic oil and chemical tanker cargo operations, in accordance with the 2010 amendments. Includes grandfathering provisionsThis ensures consistency with the STCW Convention. This also eases the transition for mariners with similar endorsement.
N/A§ 13.607Adds new section with requirements to qualify for an endorsement for basic oil tanker cargo operations and basic chemical tanker cargo operationsUses existing domestic endorsements as “Tankerman-assistant” and “Tankerman-engineer” to qualify for STCW endorsements. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention. This also eases the transition for mariners with similar endorsement.
N/A§ 13.609Adds new section for STCW endorsement for basic liquefied gas tanker cargo operationsThis ensures consistency with the STCW Convention. This also eases the transition for mariners with similar endorsement.
Adds new STCW endorsement for basic liquefied gas tanker cargo operations, in accordance with the 2010 amendments.Includes grandfathering provisions
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N/A§ 13.609Adds new section with requirements to qualify for and endorsement basic liquefied gas tanker cargo operationsUses existing domestic endorsements as “Tankerman-assistant” and “Tankerman-engineer” to qualify for STCW endorsements. This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention. This also eases the transition for mariners with similar endorsement.
§ 14.309§ 14.309Expands options for payment of wages upon discharge of a marinerIn order to reflect current practices for electronic fund transfer for payment of wages, the Coast Guard proposes to allow companies to provide, instead of payment, a statement of wages due and when wages will be deposited.
§ 15.103§ 15.105Adds clarification that a safe manning certificate may be issued to uninspected vessels on an international voyageProvides uninspected vessels on international voyages the necessary information they will need to provide Port State Control Officers in foreign ports.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
§ 15.515§ 15.515Clarifies the requirement regarding passenger vesselsProvides clarification to assist in understanding manning requirements because existing language is confusing.
§ 15.605§ 15.605Adds the requirement that individuals serving on uninspected passenger vessels (UPVs) on international voyages must comply with the STCW ConventionUPVs operating on near-coastal domestic voyages are held to be substantially in compliance with the STCW Convention. However, the STCW Convention requires all individuals to be in compliance with the STCW Convention when on international voyages.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
This also makes it clear that operators on UPVs on international voyages must obtain the appropriate STCW endorsement.
§ 15.805§ 15.805Provides for all UPVs on international voyages to be under the control of an individual holding a license or endorsement as masterProvides consistency with the STCW Convention, which requires that all vessels on an international voyage, including UPVs, must be operated by an individual who complies with the STCW Convention.
§ 15.845§ 15.845Adds manning provision for new lifeboatman-limited ratingProvides an alternative for those vessels without lifeboats and sets the provisions to use the lifeboatman-limited endorsement instead of the lifeboatman endorsement.
§ 15.1101§ 15.1101Moves definitions of this section to § 10.107, and this section now provides a list of vessels exempt from having to comply with the STCW Convention. Also provides for certificates for a single international voyage for persons serving on vessels exempted under this sectionThis makes the regulations easier to follow.
§ 15.1103§ 15.1103Adds requirement for medical certificate as a condition of employmentAll mariners must have a medical certificate. The 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention require a 2-year medical certificate for all seafarers holding STCW endorsements.
In addition, provides an extension, not to exceed 90 days, if the certificate expires during a voyageThis ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
§ 15.1111§ 15.1111Revises hours of work and rest periods for marinersThe following changes are included as part of the 2010 amendments: 1) expanded the application for hours of rest periods for mariners; 2) amended the weekly rest hour requirements from 70 hours to 77 hours; 3) recording of hours of rest and 4) included flexibility from the rest hour requirements in exceptional circumstances.
This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
§ 15.1111§ 15.1111Adds requirements for persons to hold an STCW endorsement for personnel with security dutiesThis ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
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Adds requirement for persons with security duties to hold an STCW endorsement for personnel with security duties. This requirement has already been implemented with regards to VSOs
§ 15.1111§ 15.1111Adds requirements for persons to hold an STCW endorsement in security awarenessThis ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
Adds requirement for all other personnel working on board the vessels to hold an STCW endorsement in security awareness, in accordance with the 2010 amendments
N/A§ 15.403Adds new section to establish when credentials for ratings are requiredRequires mariners serving on vessels over 100 GRT to produce the appropriate credential for the position sought.
This ensures consistency with the U.S. Code.
N/A§ 15.404Adds new section to provide the various endorsements required for serviceExplains specific endorsements required and covered under these manning requirements. This makes the regulations easier to follow.

E. Part 12 Re-numbering

Part 12, Requirements for Rating Endorsements, was largely rewritten to incorporate the rating requirements of the STCW Convention. In addition, the numbering of part 12 was changed to reflect the numbering of the remainder of 46 CFR subchapter B.

Below is a quick-reference table showing the subparts and sections of the previous part 12 that were renumbered, revised, and inserted into the new part 12.

Old referenceNPRM referenceNew reference
Subpart 12.01:Subpart A:Subpart A:
§ 12.01-1§ 12.101§ 12.101
§ 12.01-3§ 12.103§ 12.103
§ 12.01-9§ 12.105§ 12.105
Subpart 12.02:Subpart B/Others:Subpart B/Others:
§ 12.02-7§ 15.403§ 15.401
§ 12.02-11§ 12.201§ 12.201
§ 12.02-17§ 12.203§ 12.205(c)
Subpart 12.03:Subpart C:Subpart D:
§ 12.03-1§ 10.300 series§ 10.400 series
Subpart 12.05:Subpart D/Others:Subpart D/F:
§ 12.05-1§ 12.401§ 12.401
§ 12.05-3§ 12.412§ 12.401
§ 12.05-3(c)§ 12.420§ 12.605
§ 12.05-7§ 12.414§ 12.403
§ 12.05-7(a)(5)§ 12.420§ 12.605
§ 12.05-9§ 12.416§ 12.405
§ 12.05-11§ 12.418§ 12.401
Subpart 12.10:—Various—:—Various—:
§ 12.10-1§ 15.403§ 15.401
§ 12.10-3§ 12.610§ 12.407
§ 12.10-5§ 12.610§ 12.407
§ 12.10-7§ 12.414§ 12.404
§ 12.10-9§ 12.620§ 12.617
Subpart 12.13:Subpart F/Others:Subpart F:
§ 12.13-1§ 15.403§ 12.619
§ 12.13-3§ 12.640§ 12.619
Subpart 12.15:Subpart E/Others:—Various—:
§ 12.15-1§ 15.825§ 15.401
§ 12.15-3§ 12.510§ 12.501
§ 12.15-3(c)§ 12.510§ 12.609
§ 12.15-5§ 12.512§ 12.501
§ 12.15-7§ 12.514§ 12.503
§ 12.15-7(c)§ 12.530§ 12.609
§ 12.15-9§ 12.516§ 12.505
§ 12.15-11§ 12.518§ 12.505
§ 12.15-13§ 12.520N/A (rating removed)
§ 12.15-15§ 12.522N/A (rating removed)
Subpart 12.25:Subpart G/F:—Various—:
§ 12.25-1§ 12.702§ 12.701
§ 12.25-10§ 12.704§ 12.703
§ 12.25-20§ 12.706§ 12.201
§ 12.25-25§ 12.710§ 12.705
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§ 12.25-30§ 12.720§ 12.707
§ 12.25-35§ 12.730§ 12.709
§ 12.25-40§ 12.740§ 12.711
§ 12.25-45§ 12.650§ 12.623
Subpart 12.30:Part 15-Subpt J:N/A (combined with Subpart I):
§ 12.30-1§ 15.1103 (d)N/A
§ 12.30-5§ 15.1103 (d)N/A
Subpart 12-35:Part 15-Subpt J:Subpart I:
§ 12.35-1§ 15.1103 (d)§ 12.905
§ 12.35-1§ 15.1103 (d)§ 12.905
Subpart 12.40:Subpart H:Subpart H:
§ 12.40-1§ 12.801§ 12.801
§ 12.40-5§ 12.803§ 12.803
§ 12.40-7§ 12.805§ 12.805
§ 12.40-9§ 12.807§ 12.807
§ 12.40-11§ 12.809§ 12.809
§ 12.40-13§ 12.811§ 12.811
§ 12.40-15§ 12.813§ 12.813

VII. Discussion of Comments on the NPRM

The Coast Guard received more than 1,200 comments in response to the NPRM published on November 17, 2009. These comments consist of letters to the docket, remarks at the public meetings in Miami, New Orleans, Seattle, Washington, DC, and New York, and comments submitted by MERPAC. The following paragraphs contain an analysis of comments received and an explanation of any changes made in the rule as proposed.

Several comments noted grammatical and non-substantive errors in the NPRM. The Coast Guard has incorporated these comments, where appropriate, without further discussion.

Project Title

One commenter states that this rulemaking is incorrectly titled, introduced, and described. The commenter feels the title implies that the only changes are as a result of STCW and that there are many changes that seriously impact domestic vessels. The commenter says this project should be restricted to only STCW implementation or a correctly titled and described rulemaking should be republished.

The Coast Guard agrees that the title of this rulemaking project is no longer an accurate reflection of the changes being proposed, which include changes to domestic licensing. Accordingly, this SNPRM appropriately changes the title to include changes to domestic endorsements in addition to implementation of the 1995 STCW Amendments.

Applicability

Two commenters state that the STCW Convention requirements should be applied to mariners serving on all U.S. vessels on both inland and seagoing waters.

The Coast Guard disagrees. The STCW Convention applies to mariners serving on seagoing ships (except pleasure craft, fishing vessels, and ships entitled to sovereign immunity such as warships). Article II of the Convention defines a seagoing ship as a ship other than one that “navigates exclusively in inland waters or in waters within, or closely adjacent to, sheltered waters or areas where port regulations apply.” The provisions in this SNPRM which would implement amendments to the STCW Convention only apply to commercial vessels operating seaward of the boundary line, as specified in 46 CFR part 7. As stated in Article III of the STCW Convention, the Convention “shall apply to seafarers serving on board seagoing ships entitled to fly the flag of a Party * * *” [1] Article II of the Convention defines “seagoing ship” as a ship other than those navigating exclusively in inland waters or waters within or adjacent to sheltered waters. The Coast Guard does not intend to apply strict international standards upon our domestic mariners in this regard. As such, the Coast Guard would apply the STCW provisions only to vessels operating beyond the boundary line.

Two commenters note that the preamble to the NPRM states “* * *our entire scheme of licensing, testing, inspection and continued oversight for inland water and Great Lakes provides a level of safety equivalent to the STCW convention.” The commenter asks why this thinking should not extend to vessels that sail beyond the boundary or on short, international voyages and therefore why the Coast Guard does not make those vessels exempt from the STCW provisions.

STCW is not applicable to inland waters. The Coast Guard has chosen not to extend STCW requirements to inland waters but recognizes that as a signatory to the Convention, we must ensure our rules are consistent with the requirements for ships on seagoing voyages. In accordance with Article I of the STCW Convention and as signatory to the Convention, the United States is obliged to give the Convention full and complete effect to ensure that, from the point of view of safety of life and property at sea and the protection of the marine environment, seafarers onboard ships are qualified and fit for their duties. Therefore, the Coast Guard is not able to exempt seagoing ships on the grounds that they operate on short international voyages.

Delay Implementation and Extend Public Comment Period

Ninety-two commenters request that the Coast Guard delay implementation of the NPRM because of the significant impact of the regulatory content on merchant mariners. Many of those commenters also request that the Coast Guard withdraw the NPRM and combine its contents with proposed regulations forthcoming as a result of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code, which were completed in June 2010. Many of these commenters also requested that the Coast Guard extend the comment period beyond the 90 days given in the NPRM.

The Coast Guard agrees and has decided to publish this SNPRM, which Start Printed Page 45929describes proposed changes from the NPRM published on November 17, 2009, and includes the new proposed regulations, which address the IMO 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code. To accommodate requests for an additional comment opportunity, the Coast Guard has issued this SNPRM with a 60-day comment period.

Definitions

Two commenters state that in proposed § 10.107, the definition of “Quality Standard System or QSS” provides no guidance as to what training institutions in the field will be required to do.

The QSS requirements are contained in § 10.410. The provisions include: (1) Documentation that includes a quality policy and objectives and a quality manual; (2) internal audits; and (3) an external audit to be conducted by the Coast Guard.

One commenter asks how the Coast Guard determines whether a vessel's operating schedule is “inappropriate” in determining the length of a day, as described in the definition for “day” provided in the proposed § 10.107.

The Coast Guard will review vessel manning requirements and applicable laws and regulations to determine if the vessel is authorized to operate under a two-watch system. The Coast Guard will also review vessel operation schedule to determine if a 12-hour day is practiced.

One commenter writes that the Coast Guard's definition of “coastwise voyage” is unclear. The commenter asks if a vessel with such an endorsement would be permitted to attend a stacked MODU, or a MODU that is moving between locations on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, which is not engaged in Oil and Gas activities and is not considered to be a “port or place in the United States” for the purposes of Customs laws.

Such a vessel would be considered to be on a coastwise voyage if the vessel, prior to attending the MODU, departed from, and returns to, a port in the United States or its possessions.

Twenty-one commenters remark that the definition of “chief mate” describes precisely the role and responsibility of a mate on a vessel that is permitted to work a two-watch system, yet the person serving in that position may not be required to hold an endorsement as chief mate. The commenters feel any requirement for service as chief mate will be impossible to meet on vessels that have no manning requirement for a chief mate. The commenters recommend that the phrase “and who holds a valid officer endorsement as chief mate” be deleted.

The Coast Guard agrees with the proposal and has made this revision. However, if a mariner, serving as a chief mate onboard a vessel that is not required to have a chief mate, wants sea service credit, he or she must provide proper documentation.

One commenter writes that the definition of “horsepower” should be clarified.

The Coast Guard agrees and has revised the definition to read: “Horsepower or HP means, for the purpose of this subchapter, the total maximum continuous shaft horsepower of all of the vessel's main propulsion machinery as determined by the manufacturer. This term is used when describing a vessel's propulsion power and also when placing limitations on an engineer officer license or endorsement. One horsepower equals 0.75 kW.”

Six commenters interpret the definition of “first assistant engineer” as requiring the second in charge of the engine department to hold a first assistant engineer endorsement, thereby creating a de-facto manning requirement that does not fit smaller vessels.

The Coast Guard agrees and has revised the definition to say: “First assistant engineer means the engineer officer next in rank to the chief engineer and upon whom the responsibility for the mechanical propulsion and the operation of maintenance of the mechanical and electrical installation of the vessel will fall in the event of the incapacity of the chief engineer.”

Three commenters state that the term “near-coastal” is defined as waters off the U.S. not more than 200 miles offshore, but the definition of “international voyage” includes the words, “territories of the U.S.” The commenters feel it would be useful to have a better description of what the waters of the U.S. are, and whether they include Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, and the U.S. Virgin Islands for the purposes of defining routes on a credential.

The Coast Guard recognizes that these two definitions, which were included in the NPRM, have caused confusion; therefore, we have decided to retain in the SNPRM only a definition for near coastal voyages. The definition has been clarified to preserve the intent of Regulation I/5 of the STCW Convention, which states that individual governments may establish their own near-coastal provisions. Near-coastal means ocean waters not more than 200 miles offshore from the U.S. and its territories.

Four commenters comment that the definition of “OICEW” includes DDE and defines it as “operational level,” but the wording of § 15.915(a)(2) gives the designated duty engineer (DDE) authority as chief on certain seagoing vessels. Moreover, the commenters remark that the definition of “DDE” says they may serve as the sole engineer, which implies authority as a chief engineer. The commenters assert that the definitions need to be revised to make them consistent with the other provisions of § 15.915. The commenters suggest that we provide a different endorsement wording for DDE credentials that carry chief engineer authority on seagoing vessels, such as “chief engineer on vessels of not more than 500 GRT.”

The Coast Guard concurs with the comments. The STCW officer endorsement provisions in this SNPRM take the commenters' views into consideration and clearly state for which STCW endorsements the DDE is eligible. It also notes that DDE endorsements will be limited to 500 GRT in addition to a particular horsepower limitation.

One commenter states that the definition of “second engineer officer” is an STCW term equivalent to the U.S. endorsement as first assistant and that the Coast Guard should make that clear.

This SNPRM contains definitions for both domestic first assistant engineer endorsement and the STCW second engineer officer endorsement. Although they both belong to different endorsement schemes, it can be readily seen that they are roughly equivalent in their respective systems.

Two commenters recommend amending the definition of “seagoing service” to be aligned with the intent of the STCW Convention and therefore less restrictive than current Coast Guard interpretation. Seagoing service can include all service aboard appropriate vessels, whether beyond the boundary line or not, particularly for those vessels that do not operate exclusively on inland waters or sheltered waters.

The Coast Guard agrees and has adopted the STCW definition of seagoing service.

One commenter says sea service should be defined in § 10.107 in such a way that BST renewals would not require 1 year of seagoing service during the last 5 years.

The Coast Guard disagrees. As mandated by the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code, the Coast Guard will not only require 1 year of seagoing service, but it will also require the applicant to provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence for those parts of BST that cannot be safely or reasonably Start Printed Page 45930completed onboard a vessel during the 12 months of seagoing service.

Four commenters state there is no sound reason to limit qualifying service for STCW endorsements to service exclusively gained beyond the boundary line or to limit qualifying service based upon geographic location.

The Coast Guard agrees, and the proposed definition for “seagoing service” in this SNPRM would accept service on the Great Lakes and inland waters.

One commenter suggests that we amend the definition of “designated duty engineer” (DDE) to recognize the typical manning of towing vessel engine rooms because a great majority of engine rooms on towing vessels are automated, but not to specific Coast Guard or ABS standards for “unattended engine” rooms. The commenter suggests that the Coast Guard either modify the definition of DDE to explicitly allow service on towing vessels or provide guidance on what constitutes a “periodically unattended engine room” that is specific to the operations and characteristics of towing vessels.

The definition of “DDE” would allow the engineer to sail on towing vessels under current regulations for uninspected vessels. The term “periodically unattended” is not meant to be an official term designating Coast Guard or American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) compliance, but a general expression of a machinery space where constant conventional watches are not stood.

Ten commenters disagree with the definition of “domestic voyage” and, when coupled with NVIC 7-00, believe it would exclude U.S. flag workboats from operating outside U.S. waters since most crewmember credentials are for near-coastal or near-coastal domestic voyages.

The definition provided in the NPRM for “domestic voyage” represents a universally accepted method of defining domestic voyages. Regulation I/3 of the STCW Convention provides that each Administration sets its own near coastal limits, and allows for the use of near-coastal endorsements in other Administrations' waters provided those Administrations determine that the near-coastal endorsements are equivalent to their own.

Eight commenters expressed belief that the definition of “international voyage,” when coupled with NVIC 7-00, would exclude workboats from operating outside U.S. waters since most workboat mariner credentials are for near-coastal or near-coastal, domestic routes.

The definition of “international voyage” has been removed. The near-coastal domestic restriction on credentials is intended for use in waters over which the United States has authority. While a near-coastal STCW endorsement does not preclude its use in another Administration's near-coastal waters, that endorsement is limited to the near-coastal waters as determined and accepted by the local administration.

One commenter says the Coast Guard needs to add a definition for “Great Lakes voyage,” and without this definition, this type of voyage may be considered an international voyage and could impose additional crew requirements when making stops in Canada.

The Coast Guard disagrees with the comment. It is unnecessary to define a Great Lakes voyage, as this is already a route established on credentials.

Two commenters suggest removing the definition of “competent person” from § 10.107 and place the term within the applicable sections in Part 13.

The Coast Guard agrees and has made this change.

One commenter states the definition of “tankship” is confusing and incomplete and recommends adding to the end of the proposed definition, “excluding an Offshore Supply Vessel as defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101.”

The Coast Guard disagrees. This is an existing definition. This definition only applies for the credentialing of seafarers and is not applicable to vessels.

Two commenters disagree with the inclusion of “those waters specified in 33 CFR 89.25” in the definition of “Western rivers.”

The Coast Guard has reformatted this definition to include a numbering system to the different sections of the Western rivers. The reference to 33 CFR 89.25, as well as the remainder of the definition remains unchanged from existing text.

One commenter asks the Coast Guard to include a definition for the term “barge.”

The Coast Guard agrees, and has included a definition in § 10.107.

One commenter asks that the definition of “disabled vessel” be modified to add the following: “[t]his includes, but is not limited to, a vessel that needs support or aid from another vessel (or vessels) to achieve completion of a maneuver or a portion of a transit safely, or when vessel safety is at risk such as mechanical difficulty, weather conditions, port/waterway congestion, or vessel maneuvering constraints.”

The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the definition of “disabled vessel” to include the commenter's suggestion.

One commenter asks that the definitions of “on location” and “underway” be revised to consider the advent of MODU's dynamic positioning capability. Specifically, they recommend the following definition for “on location”: “On location means that a mobile offshore drilling unit is bottom bearing, moored with anchors placed in the drilling configuration, or, when utilizing dynamic positioning, is maintaining station at the drilling location.” For “underway,” the commenter recommends the following: “Underway means that a vessel is not at anchor, made fast to the shore, or aground. When referring to a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU), underway means that the MODU is not bottom bearing, moored with anchors placed in the drilling configuration, or in laid-up status. It includes those periods of time during which a MODU is deploying or recovering its mooring system or when it is utilizing its dynamic positioning system.”

The Coast Guard disagrees that we can or should change these definitions. The International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) and the Inland Navigation Rules define “underway” as “not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground.” The COLREGS are incorporated in Chapter 30 of Title 33 of the U.S. Code and implemented via 33 CFR part 81. The Inland Navigation Rules are incorporated in Chapter 34 of Title 33 of the U.S. Code and implemented via 33 CFR part 83. A vessel using dynamic positioning to drill or conduct production operations would be considered “underway” under those rules. Even if we could alter these definitions, doing so would be beyond the scope of this rulemaking project.

Two commenters assert that the definitions for “dual mode ITB,” “ITB,” and “push mode ITB” should reflect current industry practices and include reference to Articulated Tug Barge units (ATBs). The commenter recommends that sea time on ATBs be credited based upon the combined tonnage of the tug and barge unit when connected through articulated means.

The Coast Guard agrees in part and has added a definition for ATB: Articulated Tug Barge or ATB means any tug-barge combination which through the use of an articulated or “hinged” connection system between the tug and barge allows movement in one axis, or plane in the critical area of fore and aft pitch. Definitions for the other configurations remain unchanged from the NPRM. Furthermore the Coast Start Printed Page 45931Guard amended the service requirements to provide credit for service on ATBs.

Implementation of the Training Requirements and Grandfathering Provisions

Forty-four commenters express concern about the time it will take to implement the training requirements in the NPRM.

The Coast Guard recognizes the potential problems associated with the time it will take to implement the training requirements and has included a 5-year transitional period for the implementation of the requirements. This SNPRM provides transitional and grandfathering provisions consistent with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention. The 2010 amendments to STCW come into force on January 1, 2012. However, STCW Regulation I/15 on transitional provisions, allows requirements to come into effect over a 5-year period in order to avoid disruption to the maritime industry. STCW Regulation I/15 also provides that a Party may continue, until January 1, 2017, to issue certificates (in the U.S., this would be the MMC) in accordance with the credentialing rules it has in place before the 2010 amendments come into force (January 1, 2012) only with respect to seafarers who begin their sea service or their approved maritime training before July 1, 2013. Candidates who begin their sea service or their approved maritime training on or after July 1, 2013 will be subject to the full application of the revised STCW requirements. The Coast Guard has drafted this SNPRM to allow for this phase-in process. These provisions require any seafarer who holds an STCW endorsement prior to January 1, 2012, to provide evidence of meeting the appropriate standard of competence for the applicable STCW endorsement by January 1, 2017.

Domestic requirements provided in this proposed rule will be transitioned during a 5-year period (after the effective date of the final rule) to coincide with the renewal of existing domestic endorsements. Individuals seeking an original endorsement or raise of grade during this period, and who begin training or service before January 1, 2012, need only meet the requirements in place before that date. Those individuals who start training or service on or after January 1, 2012, must meet all provisions described in the final rule.

Separation of STCW and Domestic Endorsements

Thirty commenters express the feeling that, in order to remove confusion, the Coast Guard needs to separate the domestic standards from the STCW standards.

The Coast Guard agrees and, in this proposed rulemaking, has clearly separated the two schemes for the STCW and domestic endorsements. For STCW endorsements, this proposed rulemaking incorporates the sea service and training requirements from the STCW Convention and Code to ensure consistency and clarity. In addition, the Coast Guard has provided entry paths from each domestic endorsement to the equivalent STCW endorsement.

Methods for Demonstrating Competence

Sixty-four commenters object to the Coast Guard requiring formalized training as the sole method of proving competency in order to obtain an STCW endorsement.

The Coast Guard agrees. This SNPRM proposes to allow different methods for demonstrating competence as permitted by the STCW and appropriate to each individual competency. This will allow the preservation of a “hawsepipe” program, which allows the use of practical experience to demonstrate competence, and foster career paths that were not provided for in the previous NPRM.

One commenter notes many mariners may not obtain their seagoing experience in an organized progressive sequence, such as that provided by maritime academies. By not allowing sea time from prior service to be credited toward upgrades or endorsements, the Coast Guard prevents “hawsepipe” mariners from using their considerable and valuable experience to progress in their careers.

The Coast Guard recognizes the benefits of a “hawsepipe” process for the creation of licensed mariners. This SNPRM provides multiple methods of demonstrating competence, which should ensure the continued existence of this process.

Creditable Service on Great Lakes and Inland Waters

Ten commenters request that the Coast Guard grant day-for-day credit for applicants providing service on Great Lakes and inland waters. The commenters state that a large portion of the skills and assessments which STCW requires for its endorsements overlaps with the skills and techniques these officers are currently using as deck officers on the Great Lakes and inland waters.

The Coast Guard agrees and in this SNPRM proposes to grant sea service on other than ocean waters for STCW endorsements as follows: Those serving on Great Lakes waters will receive day-for-day credit; and those serving on inland waters will receive 1 day of ocean service credit for every 2 days of service for up to 50 percent of the total service. Given the wide variety of ship operations and career patterns in United States waters, and the movement of personnel from one segment of industry to another, we have found it appropriate to take into account the interchangeability or transferability of skills and experience when candidates apply for a credential. The service from experience obtained in the Great Lakes most closely resembles the knowledge and skill which are required for operating a seagoing ship. Service in inland waters does not always resemble operating a seagoing ship. However, the Coast Guard recognizes that many of the inland navigable waters are of such length and/or breadth that they have the characteristics of ocean or near coastal waters.

Creditable Service for Sailing School Vessels

Ten commenters recommend that the Coast Guard grant one and one-half days sea service credit for every day served on sailing school vessels. The commenter recommends recognizing the special operations of sailing school vessels in the practice and training of seamanship.

As part of an approved program, the Coast Guard may grant additional credit for service on vessels if that program is shown to exceed the experience normally received during the same number of days on a commercial vessel that is not part of a program and merits such credit. The Coast Guard will not grant this credit outside of an approved program.

Seagoing Service

One commenter writes that the endorsement for 200 GRT/500 GT near-coastal mate (for international voyages) will require 3 years of sea time for an original issue, which the commenter notes is three times longer than the current requirement. The commenter feels the Coast Guard needs to establish an appropriate level of training for small vessels that is appropriate for the duty on these vessels. The commenter suggests the current 1-year sea service requirement should be retained.

The Coast Guard agrees with the comment and has amended § 11.321. Seafarers holding a domestic endorsement as mate near coastal of less Start Printed Page 45932than 200 GRT/500 GT may qualify for an STCW endorsement as OICNW of less than 200 GRT/500 GT with 6 months of sea service under the authority of the domestic endorsement. This provision is consistent with Regulation II/3, paragraph 4 of the STCW Convention.

Three commenters note that proposed § 11.430(e) requires applicants for officer endorsements with a tonnage limit over 200 GRT/500 GT to have qualification as an able seaman. In light of the fact that many applicants will have qualifying service on vessels not required by law to carry able seamen, the commenters believe this provision serves as either a barrier to entry or an unnecessary step and recommend dropping it as a prerequisite.

The Coast Guard has removed the requirement to qualify as able seaman from the requirements to obtain this domestic endorsement.

One commenter opposes not allowing service as a rating to count toward a management-level certificate. The commenter feels this unfairly penalizes mariners who have had to sail as a rating rather than as an officer because of current economic conditions.

This SNPRM continues to accept service as a rating towards renewal of a management-level endorsement. However, it would not be appropriate to allow rating or unlicensed service to be creditable towards an upgrade to a management-level endorsement. The STCW requirements for management-level endorsements specify the minimum amount of service to be accrued while serving under the authority of an operational level credential. For example, to qualify for a master and chief mate on vessels of 3,000 GT or more (Regulation II/2), it requires that the candidate meets the OICNW requirements and have 12 months approved seagoing service in that capacity.

Tonnage Limitations and Qualifying Service

Eighty-three commenters suggest the Coast Guard lower the minimum vessel tonnage threshold for qualifying experience for STCW endorsements.

The Coast Guard is adopting the STCW language for seagoing service, which allows us to accept service appropriate to the credential sought, regardless of the tonnage. The domestic officer endorsement requirements will not be changed.

Twenty-two commenters suggest expanding the table of tonnage equivalents to assist in determining qualifying service. The commenters believe this will permit reasonable benefit for mariners serving aboard limited tonnage seagoing vessels who are seeking qualified seagoing service relevant to the issues of certification and qualification for STCW endorsements.

As mentioned above, the Coast Guard is adopting the STCW language for seagoing service, which allows us to accept service appropriate to the credential sought, regardless of the tonnage. In addition, the Coast Guard has removed the tonnage equivalency table because of its potential to generate confusion.

One commenter states that the proposed rulemaking would require changes to the United States Code (U.S.C.), particularly to 46 U.S.C. subtitle II, part J, chapter 143 on “Convention Measurement.” Chapter 143 implements the provisions of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships.

The NPRM and the current SNPRM do not alter the underlying law affecting how tonnage is measured. The Coast Guard has also removed the tonnage equivalency table. It should be noted that the equivalent measurements are now being retained only for STCW endorsements at the 200 GRT/500 GT and 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT levels.

Two commenters raise concerns regarding placement of tonnage limitations on unlimited tonnage licenses when the applicants fail to provide the service required within the regulations.

The Coast Guard notes that this has existed for many years and that the NPRM did not propose to change this provision. Current regulations provide, and we will retain authority, for the Coast Guard to place limitations on domestic officer endorsements when an applicant does not present sufficient evidence of service on vessels over 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT.

Two commenters write that master or mate on vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT upon oceans appears to be the only lower-level option for an ocean-endorsed license for international voyages. The commenters think this severely discriminates against mariners and vessels of the smaller tonnages who wish to sail upon ocean routes to foreign destinations.

The Coast Guard agrees and will retain a credentialing regime that will provide for persons serving on vessels of smaller tonnage on ocean routes.

Military Sea Service

Three commenters remark that, while the military, especially the Navy, is a good source of experienced members with a good work ethic, individuals that cross over from the military should be deemed proficient with some form of testing to keep the standards of the U.S. merchant marine elevated.

The Coast Guard agrees and has added provisions for military members with qualifying sea service to obtain a domestic or STCW endorsement at either the operational or management level after satisfactory completion of the appropriate training and assessments, in accordance with the STCW Code. The provisions for “sea service as a member of the armed forces” were moved to proposed § 10.232.

One commenter asks if a military petty officer who qualified as engineering officer of the watch can qualify for an endorsement as QMED oiler and/or RFPEW. However, see our response above regarding new provisions for military members.

In evaluating a mariner's qualifications, we consider the unique qualifications of the applicant. As such, we are unable to provide a definitive response to this situation based on the information provided.

Foreign Sea Service

Four commenters request that the Coast Guard accept service on foreign flag vessels to establish recency for license or endorsement renewals.

The Coast Guard agrees and has added new § 10.232 to address this topic and to accept this type of sea service for original, renewals, and raise-in-grade of endorsements.

International Voyages

One commenter notes that the NPRM adds additional endorsements for officers on seagoing ships (Medical PIC/Medical first-aid provider). The commenter asks if these endorsements are required only when operating on international voyages or if it will include domestic and Great Lakes voyages if the vessel is considered a seagoing vessel by definition and allowed to proceed beyond the boundary line on its Certificate of Inspection.

The medical first-aid provider endorsement and person in charge of medical care endorsement are STCW endorsements available to both officer and ratings positions. Except as provided in the requirements for OICNW and OICEW, neither of these endorsements is mandatory unless the person has been designated by his or her employer to act in one of those capacities.

Domestic Near-Coastal Voyages

Three commenters state that NPRM § 11.401(a)(10) says that 200 GRT masters/mates on near-coastal routes Start Printed Page 45933must meet Regulation II/3 of the STCW Convention, but that the footnotes (as well as the first sentence) appear to exempt those vessels.

Proposed § 11.301(j) provides that masters, mates, or engineers endorsed for service on seagoing vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT (other than passenger vessels subject to subchapter H of this chapter) are entitled to hold an STCW endorsement corresponding to the service or other limitations of the license or officer endorsements on the MMC. These vessels are not subject to further obligation under the STCW because of their special operating conditions as small vessels engaged in domestic, near-coastal voyages.

Five commenters state that there are a number of exceptions and exemptions that have been issued by local Captains of the Port (COTP) for vessels on short international voyages, allowing voyages to Canadian, Bahamian, British Virgin, and Mexican waters, and assert that the Coast Guard should determine how these exemptions will be affected by these changes.

The Coast Guard recognizes the variances that were issued by the local COTPs to address individual operational needs. These variances have been incorporated into the regulations to the extent possible consistent with the STCW Convention. Therefore, exemptions issued by the OCMI/COTP will no longer be valid. In the future, any additional variances will need to be consistent with the regulations found in subchapter B of 46 CFR.

Four commenters recommend that proposed § 11.463(d) make clear that the authority to make a near-coastal international voyage be included in the endorsements in §§ 11.423 and 11.424, as well as by a 500 GRT master/mate credential issued based on service obtained prior to the effective date.

46 CFR 11.301(j) (of the SNPRM) allows for an STCW and officer endorsement as master or mate of self-propelled seagoing vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT limited to near-coastal waters, including masters and mates of towing vessels, to be valid for service on self-propelled, seagoing vessels engaged on international voyages, and on passenger vessels of 100 GRT/250 GT or more on domestic, near-coastal voyages.

One commenter states the small passenger vessel exemption in the existing text of § 15.105 should not change.

We have kept the exemption for small vessels and have retained the provisions restricting such exemptions to waters over which the U.S. has jurisdiction in 46 CFR 15.105. One commenter requests that the Coast Guard add the St. Lawrence Seaway and the St. Lawrence River to the list of waters exempted in § 11.202(d)(4).

These waters are not seaward of the boundary line. Therefore, STCW is not applicable to them and no exemption is needed.

One commenter states that limiting OUPVs to domestic voyages has a considerable impact with no return on the cost and that a near-coastal OUPV can travel 100 miles out to sea. The commenter notes that this distance is well into the Bahamian waters from the U.S. and that from the Virgin Islands, a mariner can easily reach a number of other countries.

The Coast Guard notes that the STCW Convention does not allow mariners with OUPV endorsements to serve on vessels on international voyages.

Deck Officer Endorsements

Seventy-three commenters disagree with the Coast Guard's stated intention to stop issuing original domestic endorsements for deck officers serving on vessels of not more than 500 GRT/1,200 GT. The commenters state that requiring applicants to comply with the requirements to obtain an endorsement for service on vessels of more than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT was excessive for the smaller vessels.

The Coast Guard agrees and will continue to issue original endorsements for deck officers serving on vessels of not more than 500 GRT. However, mariners need to be aware that STCW requirements for all deck officers serving on vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more are the same; that is, there are no additional tonnage breakpoints. To address the breakpoint differences between the STCW endorsements and the domestic endorsements, the Coast Guard has included entry paths (both operational and management) for deck officers serving on vessels of not more than 500 GRT into the STCW endorsements for officers serving on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3000 GT.

Several of these commenters also express concern that the Coast Guard intends to do away with the endorsement for officers serving on vessels of not more than 200 GRT/500 GT.

The Coast Guard has not proposed the elimination of this endorsement, and it will be retained.

Seventeen commenters object to the proposed provisions of § 11.404, which would allow third mates with 36 months of service on self-propelled seagoing vessels to advance directly to master after completing the training, education, and assessment requirements.

This path was intended for progression under the STCW Convention; that is, when progressing from OICNW to master on seagoing ships. Since the Coast Guard's goal is to harmonize its requirements for mariners serving on seagoing ships with the STCW requirements and not impose stricter requirements on U.S. mariners, this proposed method of advancement will be retained in this SNPRM.

Five commenters note that the proposed § 11.407(a)(1) requires an applicant to hold an STCW endorsement as RFPNW as a component of the qualification standards for a deck officer endorsement. The commenters recommend deleting that provision as the qualification provisions for OICNW in STCW do not mention RFPNW.

The Coast Guard agrees and has removed the requirement that OICNW applicants must hold an endorsement as RFPNW. Mariners who hold an OICNW endorsement wishing to obtain the RFPNW endorsement will have to meet the requirements for RFPNW.

One commenter asks if there is an endorsement for OICNW for service on vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT engaged in ocean service.

All seagoing vessels operating beyond the boundary line are subject to the STCW Convention. Vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT are not subject to any further obligation under the STCW because of their special operating condition as small vessels engaged in domestic trade. Therefore, persons serving on seagoing vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT operating beyond the boundary line will be issued an STCW endorsement corresponding to the service and limitation of the domestic officer endorsement without any further obligation.

One commenter notes that proposed § 11.413 does not have a service requirement for chief mate of ocean and near coastal vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT, implying that a person could qualify for this endorsement by meeting the OICNW requirement and completing management-level training.

The Coast Guard has corrected this oversight by adding a requirement for 12 months of service as mate before advancing to chief mate.

Two commenters recommend removing certain training topics at the management level from the proposed § 11.413(b) list of training topics because the associated competencies were acquired by mariners at the operational level.

The Coast Guard recognizes that certain management competencies may have been acquired by the mariner at the operational level; therefore the Coast Start Printed Page 45934Guard is changing the approach to implementing the STCW competency requirements to ensure assessment of competence is in accordance with the level of proficiency required for each level. All the lists of training topics for all STCW requirements were removed from this SNPRM. Applicants for an STCW endorsement will be required to meet the standards of competence in the STCW Code for the appropriate endorsement. The Coast Guard will accept the various methods included in the STCW Convention for meeting the standards of competence, including training, on-the-job training, in-service experience, etc. All approved training courses and programs meeting the various standards of competence must include topics in accordance with the level of proficiency required for each level.

Two commenters state the requirement in proposed § 11.412 for service as chief mate to acquire a master 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT oceans/near-coastal license should be deleted because towing vessels and many small seagoing vessels do not have a position as chief mate.

The requirements in § 11.412 were removed from this SNPRM, since the Coast Guard revised the approach to implement the STCW Convention requirements by separating the domestic requirements from the STCW requirements. This revised approach provides entry paths from domestic endorsements to STCW endorsements in order to ensure career progression. For example, a mariner with a Master Towing vessel ocean or near coastal endorsement may qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief mate on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more by completing 12 months of sea service; meeting the standard of competence in Section A-II/2; and completing training in search and rescue, ARPA (if required), GMDSS (if required), and management of medical care.

Eight commenters state that §§ 11.423 and 11.424 provide a way for an individual to receive an endorsement for international voyages on vessels under 200 GRT/500 GT, but the proposed process is so lengthy, difficult, and costly to qualify for these endorsements, the provision is of limited value.

The requirements in § 11.423 and 11.424 were removed from this SNPRM since the Coast Guard revised the approach to implement the STCW Convention requirements. The revised approach includes: (1) Accepting seagoing, Great Lakes and inland service to qualify for the endorsement; (2) accepting other methods, besides training, for meeting the standard of competence; and (3) requiring some training that is necessary for the credential.

One commenter remarks there should be an endorsement for OICNW on vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT.

The STCW Convention does not provide for an OICNW endorsement for service on vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT. The STCW OICNW endorsement is divided between vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT and those above. However, the Coast Guard is providing a path for the domestic endorsements as mate, ocean or near coastal, less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT and for mate, ocean or near coastal, not more than 500 GRT.

One commenter notes that § 11.414 appears to offer no provision for an ocean endorsement at the operational level for limited tonnage vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT.

Section 11.319 in this SNPRM proposes a provision for an endorsement at the operational level for mariners serving on seagoing vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT.

Three commenters write that any new credentialing structure must include oceans endorsements for officer endorsements of all tonnages.

The Coast Guard agrees with the comment. This proposed rulemaking has taken this into account and provides for the credentialing for vessels of all tonnages.

One commenter states that STCW regulations require a candidate for OICNW to obtain one year of approved seagoing service as part of an approved training program. Otherwise, mariners pursuing OICNW qualification are required to obtain three years of approved seagoing service in addition to numerous required training courses for certification. The commenter recommends that the Coast Guard re-balance these requirements for OICNW for limited-tonnages. The commenter also recommends that the Coast Guard permit OICNW certification for qualified mariners who obtain 2 years of approved seagoing service in concert with the completion of a combination of in-service training, practical assessment, and approved seagoing service. The commenters believe that this type of hybrid program could achieve the necessary standards of competency and provide the KUP for the OICNW qualification.

The Coast Guard disagrees. STCW allows for two methods of qualifying for OICNW, either completion of an approved program with one year of service, or three years outside of an approved program. A hybrid program as suggested is not authorized in the STCW in relation to approved seagoing service. However, the hybrid program may be used to meet the required standard of competency.

One commenter asks if those with operational deck officer endorsements wishing to renew will be required to take management-level courses.

No. The requirement to complete management-level courses is only applicable for original endorsements at the management-level.

One commenter suggests that mariners with a master 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT near-coastal or ocean endorsement have the opportunity to progress directly to the unlimited tonnage master endorsement after completion of courses, assessments, and testing with 3 years of service, with at least half of the time on vessels of 1,500 GRT or 2,500 GT ITC.

This rulemaking has provided a path from master limited to master unlimited through evidence of completing 6 months of sea service under the authority of the limited endorsement, and any assessments, training, and/or examinations not previously completed.

Engineering Officer Endorsements

Three commenters note that, in Table A-III, Sections 1-4 of the STCW Code, there is language allowing for near-coastal limitations, but not mandating it.

The formerly proposed 10,000 HP near-coastal domestic endorsement has been removed in this SNPRM, and the Coast Guard will retain the current system of domestic engineering endorsements. The Coast Guard has added the option of restrictions if an applicant is not able to complete performance measures for steam evaporators and auxiliary/waste heat boilers since an STCW party may vary the requirements for the near-coastal KUPs for all STCW engineering endorsements.

Five commenters recommend removing geographic limitations from engineering licenses. The commenters believe that §§ 11.510 through 11.514 impose near-coastal limitations on various engineering licenses at the 10,000 HP and 4,000 HP levels.

The Coast Guard is considering this and is seeking further public comment on this issue.

Three commenters point out that STCW language requires that a candidate for OICEW must obtain 30 months of training, which includes onboard training documented in an approved training record book, but perceives that proposed § 11.950(b) does not allow for this onboard training.Start Printed Page 45935

As a result of the 2010 amendments to the STCW, the 30-month requirement has been eliminated to bring the deck and engine requirements in line with each other. Program approval will be based on content and must include not less than 6 months approved seagoing service in the engine department as specified in Regulation III/1 of the STCW Convention.

Three commenters note that proposed § 11.501(j)(1) provides that holders of engineer (limited) and DDE endorsements can “continue to serve under the authority of those credentials until first renewal * * *.” The commenters recommend that, in order to ensure that future readers understand what authority is being continued, the Coast Guard change those words to read as follows: “Continue to serve on those credentials with the authority that was in force under the rules in effect prior to the effective date until the * * *. ”

The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended the text in §§ 11.301 and 11.323, accordingly, in this SNPRM.

One commenter states that the training requirements to obtain a motor engineer license/endorsement should include all equipment that may be found on a vessel.

The Coast Guard disagrees and believes that this would be unnecessary and excessively burdensome. In many cases, mariners sail only on vessels without steam evaporators or waste heat/auxiliary boilers and do not have the opportunity to access this equipment. In this case, a corresponding restriction will be placed on the mariner's credential. Should a mariner wish to remove the restriction(s), he or she would be required to perform the demonstration on a vessel that carries that equipment.

One commenter seeks clarification on the three DDE horsepower levels and the waters on which they authorize service.

DDEs limited to 1,000 HP and 4,000 HP may sail only on inland and near-coastal waters. STCW endorsements are needed at either horsepower level if the endorsement holder wishes to sail near-coastal. DDE unlimited horsepower endorsement holders may sail upon any waters and require STCW endorsements for near-coastal and ocean voyages.

Twelve commenters offer various opinions on the NPRM's proposed 10,000 HP domestic engineer officer endorsement, along with suggestions for revised training and areas of competency demonstration.

The NPRM's proposed provisions for 10,000 HP credentials have been removed from this SNPRM. The main propulsion power level is included in the unlimited horsepower category. Training and sea service requirements are, therefore, the same for the unlimited path, as well as for all five of the STCW engineer officer endorsements. This SNPRM splits the engineer requirements into the § 11.300 series for STCW endorsements and into the § 11.500 series for domestic endorsements.

One commenter states that engineers holding DDE or limited tonnage endorsements would be restricted to domestic voyages.

This SNPRM provides, in parts 11 and 12, information on entry points for domestic mariners to be eligible for an STCW endorsement. Additionally, this SNPRM incorporates the changes proposed in the comprehensive review of the STCW, adopting the 2010 amendments that make the requirements for engineering qualification similar to those for deck officers. This will result in a process which does not require the 30 months of training that had been proposed in the NPRM. As a result, this will impose less burden on these engineers.

One commenter points out that an engineer on a small passenger vessel will be the sole engineer crew member on the vessel and that requiring the mariner to first sail as an RFPEW is an unreasonable burden.

It is impractical to issue an officer endorsement for any HP or tonnage level without the candidate having had some sailing experience at a lesser, non-officer capacity. Unless the small passenger vessel fleet, and other one-engineer-per-boat fleets open entry-level positions to train their future engineer officers, the only source for these officers will be either the maritime academies or those transferring from other fleets.

Four commenters remark that proposed § 15.820 would create unnecessary manning requirements for a chief engineer where none exist today and suggest adding, at the end of paragraph (a), the words “on international voyages.”

The Coast Guard has decided to retain the existing text for § 15.820 with some additional non-substantative changes. The manning requirements remain unchanged.

Two commenters do not support the Coast Guard's proposal to stop issuing STCW endorsements for DDE.

The STCW defines DDE differently than in current regulations. In the U.S., DDE means an engineer on a vessel not more than 500 GRT and is issued in three propulsion power levels: 1,000, 4,000 and any horsepower. STCW defines DDE as the person designated to perform duties in a periodically unmanned engine room. The Coast Guard does not intend to remove the three current DDE endorsements from our domestic structure. However, if a mariner holding a domestic DDE wishes to be qualified to sail on a vessel of unlimited horsepower of not more than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT, he or she must obtain endorsements as assistant engineer-limited and chief engineer-limited.

One commenter states that the proposed language found in §§ 15.820 and 15.825, establishing that only seagoing vessels more than 200 GRT/500 GT are required to carry licensed engineers, must be retained. The commenter believes that such a requirement should not be imposed upon seagoing towing vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT.

The Coast Guard agrees. The proposed §§ 15.820 and 15.825 are essentially unchanged. The manning requirements likewise remain unchanged.

One commenter writes if unlicensed personnel are voluntarily assigned to stand engine room watches on seagoing towing vessels operating beyond the boundary line, § 12.530 will require them to hold RFPEW. The commenter recommends that the same tonnage limit of 200 GRT/500 GT stated in proposed §§ 15.820 and 15.825 be included.

Proposed § 12.609 contains the requirements for the RFPEW endorsement. The manning requirement for which vessels must carry such a credentialed person are found in the current regulations at § 15.1103(c).

One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard consider the DDE endorsement as equivalent to the chief engineer endorsement on towing vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT engaged in international voyages.

DDEs are authorized to sail as chief engineers on international voyages, but only unlimited DDEs are authorized to sail as chief engineers on international voyages (other than near-coastal), provided they hold an STCW endorsement as chief engineer.

Two commenters recommend that the Coast Guard allow credit for QMED service toward a chief engineer officer endorsement. One commenter recommends that § 11.506 be revised to allow sea service time as a QMED to be credited toward an endorsement as chief engineer for seagoing service with an STCW endorsement as chief engineer officer.

The Coast Guard disagrees. Service using a rating endorsement will not be accepted to upgrade to an officer endorsement as chief engineer or second engineer officer.Start Printed Page 45936

One commenter recommends existing DDEs be allowed to advance to chief engineer with appropriate service.

As indicated in Figure 11.505, this SNPRM proposes to retain the current regulations with regard to advancement to Chief Engineer. The current path allows a progression with appropriate service and testing. The DDE can act as Chief Engineer within the limitations on the license/officer endorsement. However, the other `chief engineer' endorsements are for Limited, MODU or unlimited categories. The Coast Guard welcomes comments on this new proposal; please be specific as to where cross-over points should be and what length of service is being recommended.

Two commenters recommend revising crossover points to qualify for officer endorsements for different tonnages, horsepower, and/or propulsion modes. The commenter believes that in order to provide crossover points more appropriate to the level of training and expertise engineers possess and the scope of their work, several paths should include 10,000 HP.

The proposed 10,000 HP credentials have been removed. This SNPRM retains the current engineer officer endorsement structure, as illustrated in Figure 11.505.

One commenter asks how a mariner can get an assessment for maintaining a boiler watch without being employed on a steamship.

It is possible to demonstrate steam competencies as part of an approved course or on a simulator. Not all persons are required to hold steam endorsements because a mariner may sail in any capacity by being limited to motor or gas turbine vessels only.

One commenter remarks that certain existing ratings are able to upgrade with assessment and training, but that the NPRM does not elaborate on what that training and assessment includes.

Required training and assessments are specified for each STCW endorsement in part 11, subpart C and part 12, subpart F of this SNPRM. This SNPRM also includes tables that indicate which domestic endorsements are eligible for certain STCW endorsements.

Four commenters recommend the Coast Guard raise the propulsion power threshold for first assistant engineers without an STCW endorsement because § 11.521 provides that first assistant engineers without an STCW endorsement may serve on seagoing vessels of less than 1,000 HP. One commenter recommends the Coast Guard raise this limit to at least 4,000 HP.

Once a vessel passes the boundary line, STCW regulations apply. These regulations require engineers on vessels of 750 kW/1,000 HP or more to hold STCW endorsements. Therefore, the Coast Guard cannot unilaterally raise this limit to 3,000 kW/4,000 HP. Regulation III/3 does allow for reduced requirements for chief engineers and second engineer officers on ships powered by main propulsion machinery of between 750 kW/1,000 HP and 3,000 kW/4,000 HP.

One commenter points out that Figure 11.505(a) has multiple inconsistencies with the text describing the route and service from chief engineer limited oceans and near-coastal to chief engineer, chief engineer 10,000 HP, and first assistant engineer 10,000 HP.

In this SNPRM, the Coast Guard retains the current regulations for domestic officer endorsements and has revised the figure accordingly.

One commenter asks the Coast Guard to remove management skills from the list of training topics required at the management level in § 11.511.

The Coast Guard cannot. Although the list has been removed from this SNPRM, the Coast Guard has retained the requirement to comply with the STCW standards of competence and is also proposing to retain the domestic scheme. In addition, the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention include a new competence for “leadership and managerial skills” in Section A-III/2 of the STCW Code.

Deck Rating Endorsements

Three commenters point out that § 12.420 requires an RFPNW applicant to show 6 months of service, which can be reduced if the person has completed an approved course. The commenters note that courses are difficult to find and expensive to attend.

The Coast Guard recognizes that courses for RFPNW are difficult to find and are also costly; therefore we have revised the approach to implement the STCW Convention requirements. In the case of an RFPNW, the new approach would allow two paths: (1) a candidate may obtain six months of service (seagoing, Great Lakes and/or inland service) and meet the standard of competence through other methods, besides training (including in-service experience documented by the completion of assessments); or (2) a candidate may complete approved training that includes not less than 2 months of approved service.

Three commenters assert the NPRM is requiring all vessels to carry able seamen in proposed § 15.403(c).

The Coast Guard disagrees. The STCW Convention requires that anyone who is part of a navigational watch must hold an RFPNW endorsement. Section 15.403(c) explains that if a mariner has duties that include standing a navigational watch on a seagoing vessel, he or she must hold the proper endorsement (RFPNW).

One commenter finds that § 15.840 appears to require able seaman ratings on vessels that have never had this requirement imposed before. The commenter feels this requirement conflicts with U.S. manning and licensing standards.

The Coast Guard is not changing manning requirements. Any vessel not required to have able seamen will not be required to have them under this proposal.

One commenter requests that the Coast Guard allow for one RFPNW position to be filled by a specially trained ordinary seaman (OS) restricted to lookout duties. This will allow the OS to acquire sea service toward an RFPNW endorsement. The commenter recommends an OS have a minimum of 180 days of service to become a lookout and minimum of 365 days to become an AB/RFPNW.

All members of the navigational watch (including Specially Trained Ordinary Seamen), must be qualified as RFPNW. In addition, when a vessel's manning document allows for a Specially Trained Ordinary Seamen, it is in lieu of and not in addition to the normal complement of Able Seamen.

The Coast Guard agrees with the commenter's proposal that the OS may qualify for an RFPNW with 180 days of service. This is consistent with the STCW Convention requirements, and an applicant may obtain an able seaman-special endorsement provided within this SNPRM. One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard retain the progression path from entry level to specially trained OS/RFPNW (lookout duties only) to AB/RFPNW without restriction.

This SNPRM includes training requirements for RFPNW and for able seafarer-deck consistent with the STCW Convention provision. Seafarers serving on board vessels that proceed beyond the boundary line that serve as lookouts are required to meet the certification requirements for RFPNW. This SNPRM does not limit the attainment of the endorsement as RFPNW with no restriction to able seafarer-deck, but rather allows any mariner who demonstrates proficiency to obtain that endorsement. Seafarers serving as an able seaman on board vessels that proceed beyond the boundary line are required to meet the certification requirements for able seafarer-deck. It is the Coast Guard's view that these Start Printed Page 45937requirements allow for the progression path from entry level to specially trained OS, and then to AB, provided the mariner meets the applicable requirements for the endorsement.

Eleven commenters note that, although able seaman-Sail is an existing rating, it is not mentioned in the CFR alongside other AB ratings, and they recommend that able seaman-sail be included in the regulations.

The Coast Guard agrees and has inserted able seaman-sail as well as able seaman-fishing industry in proposed § 12.401.

Engine Rating Endorsements

One commenter suggests that endorsements of GMDSS operator and Electronic Technician should be unlicensed endorsements.

The endorsement of GMDSS operator and GMDSS maintainer may be obtained by any officer or rating. The Electronic Technician endorsement proposed in the NPRM has been removed in favor of two new STCW endorsements: electro-technical officer and electro-technical rating.

One commenter points out that there is no mention of an “engineman” as a QMED endorsement.

This SNPRM proposes to eliminate “Engineman,” as a rating endorsement. The rating endorsement of “junior engineer” may be used to cover the qualifications if that position is continued on some vessels.

Ratings Forming Part of an Engineering Watch (RFPEW)

One commenter notes that many vessels less than 200 GRT/500 GT meet the requirements for the service and assessments for RFPEW, but lack a qualified assessor to sign off on the control sheets. The commenter suggests that a mariner who can meet the QMED Fireman/Oiler/Watertender (FOWT) sea service requirements should be deemed to have met the RFPEW requirements.

Sea service requirements for RFPEW (6 months) are the same for FOWT. The STCW requires an assessment of whether the mariner has achieved the specified standard of competence. If there is not a qualified engineer onboard, the only alternative is to attend training or go to another facility at which they can be assessed. The Coast Guard cannot mandate that a company put assessors on board a vessel.

One commenter states the requirement of a licensed engineer aboard vessels of 750 kW/1,000 HP propulsion power or more would put a burden on high performance small vessels. The commenter believes adding a third crew member or training the existing crew members would add an unnecessary burden.

This rulemaking does not change the manning requirements for this type of vessel. Unless an engineer is required by the manning certificate, there is no requirement for an individual holding an engineering endorsement.

Basic Safety Training (BST)

Two commenters want the Coast Guard to require that all engineers on inspected vessels on both domestic and international voyages receive basic safety training as well as adequate vocational training.

The BST requirements of the STCW Convention already apply to a portion of our domestic fleet by virtue that they trade in near-coastal voyages. Personnel working non-STCW vessels (including inland vessels) are required to be familiar with the vessel characteristics, including fire-fighting and lifesaving equipment as indicated in § 15.405. Officers and able seamen on inland vessels also must take firefighting and be qualified as lifeboatmen. We believe the existing requirements applicable to non-STCW vessels provide an equivalent level of safety to the requirements of the STCW Convention.

One commenter asks if crew members on all vessels, including uninspected passenger vessels, operating beyond the boundary line are required to complete BST training.

All applicants seeking an STCW officer endorsement must provide evidence, with their application, of meeting the standard of competence for basic safety training as described. However, operators of uninspected passenger vessels, as defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101(42)(B), are not subject to this requirement because of their special operating conditions as small vessels engaged in domestic, near-coastal voyages.

One commenter notes that small passenger vessels subject to Subchapter T or K of Title 46 of the CFR, vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT (other than passenger vessels subject to Subchapter H), and uninspected passenger vessels on domestic near-coastal voyages are exempt from the BST requirements in § 15.1101(a)(2). He also states that § 15.1105(c) requires all crewmembers on seagoing vessels to complete BST training. The commenter recommends that § 15.1105(c) be amended to exempt those vessels already exempted in § 15.1101(a)(2).

The Coast Guard agrees and has amended § 15.1105(c) by adding “except as noted in § 15.1101(a)(2) of this subpart,” after the word “vessel”.

Lifeboatman Requirements

One commenter writes that mariners would experience difficulty in complying with the requirement in proposed § 12.630(c)(2) to participate in 12 rescue boat, liferaft, or other drills involving lifesaving apparatus, 4 of which include a rescue boat being placed in the water.

The Coast Guard has deleted the requirement to participate in drills from the SNPRM. The lifeboatman requirements are contained in § 12.409 in this SNPRM.

Fifteen commenters object to the use of the term “survivalman” for those mariners serving on vessels without installed lifeboats.

The Coast Guard has withdrawn its proposed use of the term survivalman and substitutes in its place, lifeboatman-limited for the domestic endorsement. Regarding the STCW endorsement, the Coast Guard is proposing to use the term proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than lifeboats and fast rescue boats—limited (PSC—limited), to ensure consistency with the Convention.

Two commenters request that the Coast Guard lower the minimum threshold for qualifying tonnage for lifeboatman to 15 GRT.

The Coast Guard notes that there is presently no minimum qualifying tonnage for this endorsement.

One commenter says §§ 12.610 and 12.630 permit completion of an approved program instead of the drills, and that there are no approved programs for these ratings. The commenter recommends changing “program” to “course” in both instances and allowing completion of a course in proficiency in Survival Craft to also be accepted.

The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the text in § 12.407 to use the term “course” instead of “program”. One commenter says that the Coast Guard did not intend to make the survivalman requirement in § 15.404 apply to every person employed on a vessel and recommends that the Coast Guard remove the words “Every person employed” and add, in its place, the words “Every person assigned duties”.

The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the text in § 15.404.

Flashing Light

Twenty-two commenters state mariners should not be required to pass a flashing light examination required in proposed § 11.401(i), since that method of communication is not used anymore.

The Coast Guard notes that exhibiting flashing light competence is still required for STCW deck officer endorsements on vessels in ocean Start Printed Page 45938service of 200 GRT/500 GT or more. However, the Coast Guard proposes, in this SNPRM, to remove the flashing light examination requirement for all domestic licenses and for all raises in grade of unlimited tonnage licenses.

Seven commenters remark that the requirement in proposed § 11.401(i) that certain officers “must pass a practical signaling examination,” imposes a higher performance standard than required by the STCW Code, which says only that an officer must demonstrate competence by “assessment of evidence from practical instruction.” The commenters recommend that the evidence be in the form of questions on the navigation general module of the required examinations.

The Coast Guard disagrees with the proposed recommendation. The intent of the STCW Code is clear that candidates must demonstrate competency by practical instruction and/or simulation. In this SNPRM, we have changed the requirement to completion of an approved course. It should also be noted that the 2010 amendments to the STCW have lowered the required knowledge, understanding, and proficiency (KUP), and the Coast Guard will allow approved course offerers to modify their courses consistent with the amendments.

Radar Renewals

One commenter states that the requirement to take a radar observer recertification course every 5 years is no longer necessary for deck officers with recent shipboard experience on vessels over 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT as written in Table 11.480. If it is determined that the U.S. will continue to require a 5-year radar recertification, the commenter recommends that training include ARPA to be more in line with today's actual operating conditions.

The Coast Guard disagrees that recertification training for radar observer is no longer valid or necessary. The Coast Guard agrees with the suggestion that the training be revised to include collision avoidance functions but does not believe that it is appropriate to include this recommendation into regulation because not all vessels are equipped with ARPA. The suggestion will be considered when approving courses meeting the radar requirements.

Pilots

One commenter writes that pilot vessels, which sometimes operate beyond the boundary line in the pursuit of their vessel pilotage duties, should be exempted from the requirement in §§ 15.103(e) and 15.1101(a)(1) to carry the appropriate STCW endorsement.

These requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the Coast Guard, in accordance with 46 CFR 6.01.

Vessel Manning

One commenter says it is unreasonable to expect every crewmember to be familiar with all of the vessel familiarization items listed in § 15.405 and suggests adding language to clarify that every crewmember must become familiar with only the relevant characteristics of the vessel as they pertain to the crewmember's position.

The Coast Guard agrees and is proposing to retain the existing text that provides for the familiarization to be appropriate to the crewmember's position.

One commenter asks if the intention of § 15.404 is to increase manning requirements on the small passenger vessel industry.

The provisions in § 15.404 are not intended to increase manning, but to ensure personnel working on board vessels have the appropriate credential to work on board. Furthermore, they provide the relationship between domestic and STCW endorsements.

Two commenters state the proposed revision in § 15.515(b) could affect the number of crewmembers required to be carried aboard. The commenter believes that the Coast Guard needs to recognize that there are numerous reasons why a crew member may be off of the vessel when passengers are on board, and that the Coast Guard needs to clarify how the crew can complete their required tasks, as well as being able to step off the vessel for personal time without violating the COI.

The Coast Guard has amended § 15.515(b) to indicate that the master of the vessel may allow reduced crew for limited or special operating conditions, subject to the approval of the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection in whose zone the vessel is operating or on the vessel's COI.

One commenter urges the Coast Guard to clarify that implementation of the STCW requirements is not meant to establish new manning requirements and to clarify that there is no requirement for vessels under 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT to carry a chief mate.

The Coast Guard agrees that implementation of the STCW requirements is not meant to establish new manning requirements. Therefore, we are maintaining the definition of “chief mate” as it appears in the existing regulations, rather than the definition proposed in the NPRM.

One commenter asserts that certain manning requirements in this revision will supersede the interpretation of NVIC 4-97, which states that foreign Port State Control officers may look for compliance with the STCW standards. The commenter notes that prior to this, it was left up to the Port State Control to enforce standards.

It is the United States' responsibility to ensure that its seafarers have met the international standards to which we are signatory. Whether a Port State Control officer checks a vessel for compliance is up to the individual Port State.

General Provisions

Three commenters ask the Coast Guard to retain the existing regulations in §§ 11.407 and 11.516 that specifically mention that graduation from a marine service academy, a maritime academy, or a 3-year apprentice training program be accepted as qualification for a domestic third mate or third assistant engineer endorsement.

The Coast Guard agrees. As this SNPRM separates the requirements for STCW and domestic officer endorsements, we have retained the current verbiage.

One commenter notes that in the event a mariner's TWIC becomes invalid, his or her credential also becomes invalid.

The Coast Guard disagrees. There are multiple reasons why a TWIC may become invalid and/or revoked, including but not limited to, illegal drug use, medical incapacitation, and felony convictions. A mariner's due process rights, however, preclude automatic invalidation of his or her MMC. By law, a formal hearing is required to proceed against a mariner's credential. In instances where the Coast Guard learns that a mariner's TWIC has been invalidated, proceedings will then commence against the mariner's MMC in due course. These proceedings will take place before an Administrative Law Judge pursuant to 33 CFR part 20. Because a valid TWIC is typically a condition of employment and must be produced to gain unescorted access to secure areas, invalidation of the TWIC will be enough to preclude a mariner from working onboard vessels. Appeals procedures can be found at 33 CFR 20.1001 through 20.1003 and 49 CFR part 825.

Applications

One commenter recommends that screening for disorders that are associated with excessive daytime sleepiness be included as a required element of the medical examination for Start Printed Page 45939mariners, similar to the medical examination of pilots.

The Coast Guard provides guidance for the completion of medical examinations for mariners, which includes medical conditions that may cause daytime sleepiness. Additionally, the new medical examination form (CG-719K) provides a place where the medical examiner may note such diagnosis.

One commenter notes that proposed § 10.217 makes it appear as though the Coast Guard intends for applicants to submit their application packages directly to the NMC without first submitting it to the RECs.

The proposed § 10.217, which allows applicants to submit a package to any REC or any other location designated by the Coast Guard, will remain unchanged. The Coast Guard will establish a policy offering guidance about alternative locations where an applicant can submit his or her application package. The current policy is to send all applications to an REC.

One commenter asks if an STCW endorsement goes into continuity when a mariner replaces his or her domestic endorsement with a Document of Continuity.

Domestic endorsements go into continuity, while STCW endorsements do not. However, by virtue of the STCW endorsement's relationship with the domestic endorsement, the STCW endorsement will be re-instated with the domestic endorsement upon application, subject to all other renewal requirements. The Coast Guard proposes to amend § 10.227(g) to specify that only domestic credentials will be issued for continuity.

One commenter asserts that the minimum age for issuing a rating or STCW endorsement should be 15.

The Coast Guard disagrees. The Department of Labor has determined that the maritime industry is especially hazardous and that individuals under the age of 16 should not be allowed to work in this environment. However, the Coast Guard may recognize training and experience prior to age 16 in certain situations and within approved programs.

Two commenters ask the Coast Guard to explain the provision in § 11.205(b)(2).

The provision in § 11.205(b)(2) was moved to § 10.232. In this provision, the Coast Guard is pointing out that it does not intend to impose greater requirements or restrictions on naturalized citizens than it does on U.S.-born citizens. This is existing text.

One commenter says that § 11.205(f)(2) advises applicants to take an examination as soon as possible, which seems to be unnecessary and may not be advisable. The commenter suggests that applicants should be reminded that applications are only good for a year.

This specific provision in § 11.205(f)(2) was moved to § 11.201(j)(2). The Coast Guard agrees with the comment and has amended the text to clarify that the validity of the application period is 1 year.

Three commenters remark that proposed § 11.205(e)(3) is unclear and seems to require applicants for 200-ton credentials and towing vessel mate/master to complete a higher level of medical training.

The provisions for CPR training in § 11.205(e) were transferred to § 11.201(i). The proposed text in § 11.205(e)(3) of the NPRM was deleted from this SNPRM. The proposed requirements in § 11.201(i) state that all applicants for an original officer endorsement must take at least first-aid and CPR courses, except those specifically exempted in §§ 11.429, 11.456, and 11.467, which include some masters of not more than 100 GRT and OUPVs. All applicants for officer endorsements above 100 GRT on oceans routes must comply with this provision.

Course Approvals

Thirteen commenters disagree with the proposed requirement for training institutions to offer approved training courses every 12 months or lose approval for that course.

The Coast Guard agrees and has removed the proposal in this SNPRM.

Six commenters disagree with the proposed requirement that company owners, as well as students, fill out and submit questionnaires upon employees' completion of approved training.

The Coast Guard agrees and has removed the proposal in this SNPRM.

Five commenters disagree with the proposed requirement that a course approval expires when there is a change in the “management” of the training provider.

The Coast Guard agrees and proposes to retain the current requirement that a course approval expires when there is an ownership change in the training institution.

Thirteen commenters object to the proposed requirement that each training institution submit an annual report for each course. The commenters feel this requirement should be limited to educational and/or training institutions with individually approved courses only, and not to educational and/or training institutions with approved programs containing multiple courses which are already subject to the U.S. Coast Guard's approval process, independent and internal audits under a QSS.

The Coast Guard agrees. This proposed requirement was not intended to apply to individual courses within approved training programs, which typically have several approved courses embedded in them. In this case, one annual report would cover all of the embedded courses within a training program.

One commenter disagrees with proposed § 10.302(b)(5)(i), which requires that instructors at training institutions have either recent experience or training in effective instructional techniques (within the past 5 years).

The Coast Guard disagrees. If an instructor does not teach within 5 years, he or she risks losing proficiency. As such, § 10.302(b)(5)(i) will remain unchanged.

Three commenters disagree with proposed § 10.303(a)(4), which states that schools must “require each student to successfully demonstrate practical skills appropriate to the course material and equal to the endorsement for which the course is required.” The commenters feel that this is the responsibility of the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard disagrees. The course approval will determine and state the authority and scope of the requirements, which will become the responsibility of the training institution. Some courses are required to include practical demonstration of skills as part of the approval.

One commenter writes § 10.303(a)(7)(i) seems out of place. There is a need for clarification on this topic to make it both fair and workable.

The Coast Guard deleted the text for § 10.303(a)(7)(i) from this SNPRM.

One commenter asks what is meant by “Follow-up activities” as written in § 10.302(b)(7)(ii)(E).

The Coast Guard has amended the text to clarify the statement to indicate that the lesson plans should include homework, reading assignments, and any other activity to be performed after the lesson has been presented. This requirement is now found in § 10.402(b)(7)(ii)(E).

One commenter asks why visual aids must be “modern” as written in § 10.303.

The Coast Guard notes that this requirement currently exists. Nonetheless, in this SNPRM the Coast Guard proposes to omit the word “modern.”

Two commenters request clarification for the phrase “deviating from course-Start Printed Page 45940approved curricula” as written in § 10.302(g)(2)(ii).

The Coast Guard believes the proposed rule is sufficiently clear and does not need revision. When a training institution submits a course approval package, part of that package is a course curriculum, which explains how the course will be presented (instructors, printed material, use of simulators, examinations, etc.). Once the course has been approved by the Coast Guard, training institutions may not deviate from, or make any changes to, the curriculum without submitting a request for a change to the course approval.

One commenter recommends the Coast Guard amend the approved curriculum reporting requirement (in § 10.303 of the NPRM) that training institutions provide an annual report to the NMC to include a summary for each of the provider's approved courses as it may likely add hardship to small entity operations.

The Coast Guard agrees and has removed the requirement for training institutions to provide an annual report to the NMC to include a summary for each of the provider's approved courses. The general standards requirements for schools with approved courses and programs are now found in § 10.403 in this SNPRM.

One commenter asks the Coast Guard to consider computer-based distance learning training for theory portions of courses and for courses not requiring an instructor.

The Coast Guard agrees and has added a new § 10.412 regarding distance and e-learning.

Six commenters note that the proposed regulation in § 10.303(a)(5) would require each school with an approved course to maintain physical or electronic records for at least 5 years after the end of each student's enrollment. The commenters request that this provision be kept at the current 1-year requirement.

The Coast Guard disagrees. Since all parties to the STCW Convention may, at any time, request documentary proof of a mariner's qualifications and training, documentary evidence of such training and qualifications must be retained for the life of the mariner's credential (5 years). Therefore, the Coast Guard is retaining this proposed requirement.

One commenter says § 10.303(a)(5) needs to be clarified and asks what part of the student record that must actually be maintained.

The Coast Guard disagrees and the proposed regulations in 46 CFR 10.403(a)(6) clearly state what is required to be maintained in a student record.

One commenter is concerned that the wording of the proposed § 11.401(j) could impact a mariner with current credentials who has been teaching Coast Guard-approved courses at a training institution when seeking renewal or upgrade to that credential.

The Coast Guard partially agrees. The SNPRM includes an existing provision in § 10.232(e) that allows the Coast Guard to accept evidence of employment in a position closely related to the operation, construction, or repair of vessels (either deck or engineer, as appropriate) as meeting the sea service requirements for renewal under § 10.227(e)(1)(iv). This service may be creditable for service for raise of grade of an engineer or deck officer endorsement; however, it may not be used for obtaining an original STCW management-level endorsement.

One commenter suggests that in § 10.227, the phrase “position closely related to the operation * * *” is being inconsistently applied to applicants for renewal who are instructors, examiners, port engineers, and port captains.

The Coast Guard disagrees. We have a long history of accepting such closely related service and have made all efforts to do so in a consistent fashion. If the commenter has specific examples of inconsistency, he or she may send those examples to the Office of Vessel Activities (CG-543) and the Coast Guard will take appropriate action.

Five commenters remark there is a need for greater specificity on the qualification requirements for instructors in Coast Guard-approved courses.

The Coast Guard agrees that this information is beneficial, but also feels this detail is better provided by a Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) or similar guidance document, which we plan on issuing after publication of a Final Rule.

One commenter states instructors with expired credentials or military personnel with the appropriate experience should be allowed to act as instructors of approved training courses or programs.

Acceptance of instructors is conducted on a case-by-case basis and considers the whole of the prospective instructor's experience. Lack of a current merchant mariner credential will not necessarily disqualify a candidate.

Two commenters note that proposed § 12.630(d) offers the alternative for an applicant to complete an approved training program. Because of differing interpretations of this phrase, the commenters believe it would be better to use the words “approved training” as in § 11.407(a)(2).

The Coast Guard disagrees. An “approved training program” is more comprehensive and includes sea service training and assessment, while “approved training” may only include a single course and/or assessment.

One commenter raises concerns with the use of the terms “Coast Guard accepted” and “Coast Guard approved” in regards to training and recommends removing all reference to “approved training.”

The Coast Guard is cognizant that the terms may cause confusion, but disagrees with eliminating “approved training.” In this SNPRM, we have clarified the definitions. In general, “Coast Guard approved” refers to training that is approved by the Coast Guard through the process outlined in regulation. “Coast Guard accepted” refers to training that is approved by and/or provided by other entities and do not go through the Coast Guard approval process. Currently, the only Coast Guard-accepted training is first aid, CPR, fishing vessel safety instructor, and VSO.

Examinations

Two commenters express concern over the Coast Guard substituting a Coast Guard-prepared examination for one used in an approved course, unless the course is approved to substitute for a Coast Guard examination for a merchant mariner credential.

The Coast Guard agrees. It was our intent to limit this provision to courses approved to substitute for a Coast Guard exam, and we have revised the wording of this requirement to make this more apparent.

Three commenters suggest that the standard for approval of a course to substitute for the Coast Guard-administered examination for an officer or rating endorsement be changed to require only that the course's exam be equivalent to that given by the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard disagrees and does not propose to amend this requirement from its present form.

One commenter suggests removing the word “written” from § 10.303(a)(3). The commenter says some training institutions are providing online examinations, which are not written examinations and that there may be a situation where the evaluation is based on a simulator examination.

The Coast Guard agrees with the intent of the comment to provide flexibility for the various means for examination (written or electronic) and has amended the text to reflect this Start Printed Page 45941change. The requirement was moved to § 10.403(a)(4).

One commenter states § 11.430(d), which requires international rule outside the COLREGS line but within the boundary, will be an administrative nightmare and asks how the NMC reviewer would know if the international rules exam was taken by someone who took an inland/Great Lakes course.

The Coast Guard notes that this requirement has existed for many years and is found in the current § 11.430. If the course approval states that it covers Great Lakes and inland waters and that it includes both inland and international rules of the road examination questions, no COLREGS limitation is placed on the credential. If an applicant tests at an REC, the Coast Guard assigns the module that covers both inland and international waters. If the mariner states he or she wants only an inland rules examination, the Coast Guard gives the applicant an inland rules module, and a COLREGS limitation is placed on the MMC.

Quality Standard System (QSS)

Seven commenters express confusion and disagreement with their interpretation that the Coast Guard is removing itself as one of the QSS monitors for Coast Guard-approved courses and training programs. The commenters believe that this will require training institutions to spend large amounts of money for an independent organization to help them develop and monitor a QSS for their organizations.

It was not the intent of the Coast Guard to remove itself from the monitoring of courses. The Coast Guard has amended the text in 46 CFR part 10, subpart D by providing two options. The first option is a Coast Guard-approved course for which the Coast Guard also provides the QSS monitoring. The second option is using a Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization that approves and monitors a course. Under the second option, the Coast Guard monitors the Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization. The Coast Guard will continue to perform oversight of all approved courses and training programs.

Five commenters recommend that the proposed regulations in §§ 10.308 and 10.303 permit the maritime academies to demonstrate compliance with the QSS provisions in Regulation 1/8 of the STCW Convention and those items specifically listed in § 10.303(b)(1)(i)(x) through existing recognized academic accreditation, where accredited degree programs and license/STCW courses which make up an approved program are linked.

The Coast Guard partially agrees with the comment. The STCW Convention requires that the training is monitored by a QSS, however the Convention also allows for the acceptance of a QSS as part of an accreditation body provided it covers the Convention training requirements. The Coast Guard recognizes that academic accreditation bodies address some (not all) of the STCW Convention requirements and have amended the text to allow acceptance of the accreditation documentation for one or more of the QSS required items.

One commenter suggests that the federal and state maritime academies be subject to the same QSS requirements and instructor qualification standards as other schools offering Coast Guard-approved courses.

The Coast Guard agrees in part. The proposed QSS requirements will apply to all organizations with Coast Guard-approved courses or programs, including the maritime academies. However, the Coast Guard notes that specific application of these requirements will vary as the maritime academies are also regulated by the Maritime Administration in 46 CFR part 310.

One commenter requests that the Coast Guard remove the requirement in proposed § 10.303(a)(8) for an annual internal audit of each individual approved course as this requirement is overly burdensome. If this requirement cannot be removed, the commenter believes that training facilities that maintain full ISO 9001 certification by a USCG recognized QSS organization should be exempt from this requirement.

The Coast Guard partially agrees. Section 10.303(a)(8) of the NPRM proposed that a training institution conduct an internal audit midway through the term of the course's approval and submitted to the NMC. Course approvals are typically good for 5 years, so the midway point is at two-and-a-half years. The Coast Guard is using accepted quality practices that require companies to implement internal auditing functions.

If, as part of its ISO certification, a training institution is required to conduct an annual internal audit, that same documentation can be utilized for the required QSS audit. Also, the school is only required to conduct a single internal audit of the QSS regardless of how many individually approved courses the institution offers.

Seven commenters request that the Coast Guard delete the requirement in proposed § 10.303(a)(10) for a QSS.

A QSS is required by the STCW and will remain a requirement for training courses required to obtain an STCW endorsement. Schools that do not offer STCW courses will not be required to have a QSS.

One commenter notes that § 10.303(b)(1)(vii) states that the QSS must define the provider's responsibility for “enabling mariner completion of Coast Guard applications * * *.” The commenter further states that a school's primary purpose is to provide training, rather than to deal with application paperwork. Although training institutions may provide assistance with application preparation, that service is an ancillary feature and, as such, is not an appropriate component to be addressed by a rulemaking. The commenter recommends that this requirement be deleted from the proposed regulations.

The Coast Guard agrees and has deleted that language from § 10.403.

One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard delete § 10.303(b)(1)(vii), which requires that course providers assist students in the preparation of their Coast Guard MMC applications.

The Coast Guard agrees and has deleted that language from § 10.303(b).

Training Record Book (TRB)

Three commenters state the additional Training Record Book (TRB) entries proposed in § 10.304 exceed the current requirements given the one-time use of the TRB for original license application only. The commenters believe requiring dual signatures in the TRB does nothing to enhance safety and is an enormous documentation burden with no added value.

The Coast Guard partially agrees. We agree that the TRBs are made to be used for onboard training and assessment as part of a training program. Therefore, the requirements have been amended to reflect that. The Coast Guard disagrees that the signatures do not add any value. We believe that the signatures are necessary to establish when and to whom the prospective officer has demonstrated that he or she has achieved the standard of competence. This requirement is consistent with Section B-II/1, paragraph 9 of the STCW Convention.

Designated Examiner (DE)/Qualified Assessor (QA)

Six commenters disagree with the proposed definition of designated examiner. The commenters believe that the DE is not qualified to evaluate Start Printed Page 45942whether an applicant has achieved the level of competence required to hold an endorsement on an MMC.

The Coast Guard agrees and has revised its definition for designated examiner to make it specific to towing vessels and removed references for determining competence. We have further added a definition for qualified assessor for those individuals conducting STCW assessments and the assessor's skills and/or training would be focused on conducting assessments instead of training.

Three commenters express concern over the requirement that a designated examiner must have experience and/or training in assessment techniques and feel that this would impose an additional burden on mariners who conduct STCW assessments that will negatively impact mariners' willingness to serve assessors.

The commenters appear to have confused a qualified assessor, who witnesses a demonstration of skill for STCW purposes, with a designated examiner, who assesses the competence of candidates for towing vessel licenses and who is required to be approved by the Coast Guard. The requirement for experience and/or training in assessment techniques was not changed in the NPRM or this SNPRM. The proposed amendments to this definition were limited to the use of the term strictly with regard to the towing vessel TOAR.

One commenter notes a disparity between § 10.305(a)(3), which allows a DE to assess anyone seeking an endorsement lesser than or equal to the endorsement the DE possesses, and Policy Letter 14-02, which requires a RFPNW be assessed by an unlimited second mate or master. The commenter recommends that the standard stated in the NPRM be followed immediately, and into the future.

The Coast Guard disagrees. The provisions for DE training in § 10.305 were transferred to § 10.405. As previously noted, a “designated examiner” differs from a “qualified assessor,” and the proposed § 10.405(a)(3) describes the qualifications of a designated examiner, it does not specify what assessments they can conduct.

Four commenters express concern that the proposed rule would impose an additional burden on mariners who conduct STCW assessments that will negatively impact their willingness to serve as assessors.

A qualified assessor witnesses a demonstration of skill for STCW, while a designated examiner assesses the competence of candidates for towing vessel licenses that is required to be approved by the Coast Guard. Also, as used in the proposed rule at § 10.405(a), “must have * * *” refers to the requirements to qualify for Coast Guard approval as a designated examiner; it does not impose a burden for the designated examiner or qualified assessor to carry documentation of the experience.

Subjects for Deck and Engine Officer Endorsements

One commenter recommends that the format of proposed Table 11.901-2 (Deck), Tables 11.950-1 and 2 (Engineer) and Table 12.516(B) (Ratings) be harmonized and amended to more clearly identify the degree of expertise required at different levels.

The Coast Guard agrees and has harmonized the tables.

Towing

Two commenters question the training schedule to receive an STCW endorsement, saying it is overly burdensome to the marine assistance operators. The commenters suggest that if the industry cannot be exempt, a shortened program designed for their needs is necessary to alleviate this burden.

Assistance towing vessels operating within the jurisdictional waters of the United States will not be required to undergo additional training and assessment beyond what is already required for a domestic endorsement. Those vessels operating beyond the boundary line must meet the STCW requirements.

Three commenters point out that proposed § 10.304(f)(5) states that a TOAR must have a space for an instructor or officer to document that the applicant has received the training needed to perform the task or skills. The commenters believe the TOARs posted by the Coast Guard as part of NVIC 4-01 on towing endorsements do not have space for documenting this training, even though that requirement appears in the current rules. The commenters recommend that the requirement for documentation of training be dropped from this section.

The Coast Guard is taking necessary steps to revise the NVIC to include a space for the designated examiner's signature. However, the Coast Guard still believes there is value in documenting that an individual has determined that an applicant has achieved the level of proficiency required to hold a towing vessel endorsement.

Tankerman

One commenter remarks that the proposed requirement to not allow sea service granted for attendance at a Coast Guard-approved course to meet requirements for sea service recency for renewal of a tankerman endorsement conflicts with renewal requirements in § 13.120.

The Coast Guard disagrees. The regulations concerning renewal of a tankerman endorsement specifically allow completion of a Coast Guard-approved course as an alternative to recent sea service on tank vessels for renewal of a tankerman endorsement.

Three commenters ask that the proposed rule be revised to retain the ability for a mariner holding an endorsement as tankerman-PIC (barge) to qualify for an STCW endorsement.

The Coast Guard agrees and has revised the proposed rule to allow mariners who hold a tankerman-PIC (barge) endorsement to qualify for a corresponding STCW endorsement. The STCW endorsement will be restricted to “non-self propelled vessels.”

Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs)

One commenter notes there needs to be a clearly defined pathway out of the OSV licensing structure to the non-trade restricted licenses.

The Coast Guard agrees and will issue guidance to describe the difference in required competence between OSV credentials and non-trade restricted credentials.

Six commenters note that the NPRM proposes that applicants for OSV officer endorsements on seagoing vessels must complete a Coast Guard approved program of training, assessment, and sea service that meets the requirements of the STCW regulations. The commenters recommend that the final OSV credential rules retain the more flexible language to insure the continuity of an alternate qualifying method for vessels of limited tonnage on domestic voyages.

The Coast Guard has revised the proposed requirements to allow for the use of the various methods for meeting the STCW standard of competence for both STCW and domestic endorsements.

One commenter states application of the STCW to mariners serving on vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT in the OSV industry should be held to the same standard as the deep sea industry.

The Coast Guard agrees, and these regulations ensure that mariners in all near-coastal and ocean industries, including the OSV industry, will comply with the STCW Convention.Start Printed Page 45943

MODUs

One commenter points out that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement no longer approves courses, specifically the blowout prevention and well control training program, and recommends that the rulemaking be revised to reflect this change in the regulations.

The Coast Guard agrees and has made the change.

Two commenters feel that the Coast Guard is issuing credentials for mariners on MODUs, such as chief engineer MODU, assistant engineer MODU, and able-bodied seaman MODU, but that the Coast Guard fails to include them in the appropriate portions of the CFR, instead listing them in an obscure volume of the Marine Safety Manual, which is a guidance publication.

Some of the requirements for MODU endorsements are already contained in the regulations in the previous § 10.540 series for engineer officers and in the previous § 10.470 series for deck officers. They now appear in §§ 11.540-11.544 for engineer officers and in §§ 11.468-11.474 for deck officers. The Coast Guard has proposed in the regulations those endorsements which we have statutory authority to issue.

Small Passenger Vessels

One commenter asks the Coast Guard to exempt small passenger vessels subject to subchapter T or K of Title 46, CFR from having to comply with subpart J.

The Coast Guard partially agrees. The STCW Convention requires that small passenger vessels on seagoing voyages comply with the STCW Convention and Code. The Coast Guard maintains that individuals serving on such vessels on domestic voyages are in substantive compliance with STCW and will not have further obligations under this rule. However, those same individuals, when operating in the waters of another nation, must meet the STCW Convention requirements.

Economic Comments—Training Requirements

Nine commenters express concern about costs for STCW training requirements that are absorbed not by mariners, but their employers and state that companies will have a direct and significant impact from the proposed requirements because, to a large extent, companies pay for the training their employees will obtain under collective bargaining agreements where contributions are made to a pooled training fund.

The NPRM does not directly require companies or maritime employers to pay for the proposed training requirements for affected mariners. However, the Coast Guard acknowledges that some companies employing mariners might be indirectly impacted in the future. The Coast Guard understands there are companies that have made the business decision to help pay for mariner training. In recognition of this possibility, Coast Guard has modified the analysis of impacts on small entities in the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis to include a sensitivity analysis showing the impact of additional training costs on small entities. In addition, under the SNPRM, the Coast Guard would accept various methods for demonstrating competence that would reduce the costs of training requirements proposed in the November 17, 2009 NPRM, a significant cost relief to companies or maritime employers. Please see the discussion under “Methods for demonstrating competence” for additional details.

Twelve commenters suggest that proposed training requirements may create or exacerbate shortages of qualified mariners due to excessively high personal and financial costs imposed on mariners, and present challenges to owners and operators in manning vessels due to higher compensation requirements for a shrinking pool of qualified mariners.

The Coast Guard is cognizant that additional training requirements can have an impact on the mariner pool available to man the vessels. The Coast Guard does not believe that the proposed training requirements in this SNPRM will create or exacerbate shortages of qualified mariners. In response to public comments received after the publication of the November 17, 2009 NPRM, the SNPRM would permit the Coast Guard to accept various methods for demonstrating competence, such as on the job training. These methods would significantly reduce the costs of training requirements proposed in the NPRM. Furthermore, the Coast Guard would allow for the preservation of the “hawsepipe” program and foster career paths that were not previously available. The Coast Guard would also grant sea service towards STCW endorsements and for domestic endorsements of unlimited tonnage when those mariners provide proof of service on the Great Lakes or inland waters. Finally, the Coast Guard proposes to remove the requirement proposed in the November 17, 2009 NPRM for an OICEW or DDE candidate to complete approved education and training of at least 30 months.

Economic Comments—QSS Requirements

Four commenters state that the NPRM requires training schools to use a non-governmental entity QSS organization or employ professional outside consultants. They add that the costs of using a third-party organization or consultants should be included in the regulatory analysis. Further, one commenter says that the magnitude of these costs may break the budgets of many mariners and their employers.

The Coast Guard included a range of costs to develop a QSS program for an entire organization (not for individual courses) of $4,320 to $12,240. This range is sufficiently broad to include the possibility that a training provider hires a professional outside consultant, uses a non-governmental entity QSS organization, or develops its own QSS using its internal human resources at lower costs.

Economic Comments—Small Entities

Six commenters express concern about the cost impact of proposed STCW training requirements on small entities that would not be able to pay for their mariners' training or compensate them with higher wages they may request after obtaining additional training.

The Coast Guard concurs that small entities may be impacted by the training requirements and has revised the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis to assess the impact of training costs on small entities. However, as mentioned in the previous responses, the alternative methods for demonstrating competence proposed by the Coast Guard in this SNPRM would significantly reduce the cost impact of the training requirements.

Response to Comments From MERPAC

Below, the Coast Guard responds to comments received from the MERPAC. Several of MERPAC's comments noted non-substantive, editorial errors in the NPRM. The Coast Guard has incorporated these comments where appropriate, without further discussion.

MERPAC recommends that this rulemaking be merged to include the results of the comprehensive review adopting the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and STCW Code, which was concluded by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in June 2010.

The Coast Guard agrees and has decided to publish this SNPRM, which describes proposed changes from the NPRM published on November 17, 2009, and includes the new proposed regulations which address the IMO 2010 Start Printed Page 45944amendments to the STCW Convention and Code.

MERPAC believes sea service should be accepted based on the applicability to the credential being sought rather than for a geographical area. For example, service on a large vessel on the Great Lakes should be deemed equivalent to service on a large vessel on the open ocean.

The Coast Guard agrees and proposes to grant sea service for STCW endorsements as follows: Great Lakes: day-for-day; and inland waters: 2 days of inland service equals 1 day of ocean service. The reason for the difference in service credit is based on the fact that Great Lakes service most closely resembles the length, breadth, equipment, and operation of ocean service.

MERPAC recommends that the medical certificate described in the 2010 amendments should only apply to those required to hold an STCW endorsement, which are valid for 2 years.

The Coast Guard agrees and has included the medical certificate in § 10.301. It will be valid for a 2-year period for those mariners to which STCW applies and for a 5-year period for all other mariners. The sole exception to this is pilots, and their medical certificates will be valid for a 1-year period per the existing requirement. Mariners will need a valid medical certificate to apply for a credential.

MERPAC recommends that all methods for demonstrating competence listed in column three of the tables in Part A of the STCW Code should be accepted, not just training.

The Coast Guard agrees and proposes to amend the requirements in parts 11, 12, and 13 to accept different methods for demonstrating competence in accordance with the STCW competency tables, as appropriate for each competence. This will allow the preservation of the “hawsepipe” path and retain existing career paths.

MERPAC believes the Coast Guard needs to ensure that those implementing these regulations be involved in the process to make sure the new regulations can be implemented.

The Coast Guard agrees; representatives from the National Maritime Center and the Office of Vessel Activities, both of which will carry responsibility for implementing these proposed regulations, have been closely involved in the development of the implementation process for this rulemaking.

MERPAC recommends that the amended STCW Code be used as the base language for the new regulations and amended as needed to fit U.S. needs.

The Coast Guard partially agrees. The Coast Guard has used STCW language for STCW endorsement requirements but has retained the current language for domestic requirements.

MERPAC recommends that the following changes be made to the definitions section of this rulemaking:

In the definition of “assistance towing”, MERPAC feels the addition of “for hire” is not clarifying as intended and should be deleted.

The Coast Guard agrees, and the definition has been revised.

Regarding the definition of “chief mate”, MERPAC expresses concern regarding the two-watch system. MERPAC feels that the language is too specific to large vessels with multiple mates and that many smaller vessels do not actually carry a chief mate, which causes myriad of problems, including truncated career paths. MERPAC recommends removing the new language.

The Coast Guard agrees, and is retaining the existing definition.

MERPAC suggests that the Coast Guard add “competent” to the list of definitions.

The Coast Guard disagrees and believes that the definition of “competent” alone would be redundant, given that we define “competent person”.

Regarding the definition of “competent person”, MERPAC believes all definitions should be spelled out in the CFR part in which the term is used, not referenced to another section.

The Coast Guard agrees and has removed this definition and included the relevant information in part 13.

Regarding the definition of “day”, MERPAC suggests that the policy of issuing 11/2-day credit for a 12-hour work day should be extended to all mariners.

The Coast Guard disagrees and sees no reason to revise the definition published in the NPRM, as it already allows for this credit, if appropriate.

MERPAC feels the definition of “designated examiner” should state “observed demonstration of proficiency and other assessments required for MMC's”, and that the Coast Guard should strike the words “training or” and retain the words “of assessment”.

The term “designated examiner” (DE) has been revised and now refers only to the person assessing proficiency aboard towing vessels in a TOAR. The Coast Guard has developed a new term and definition, “qualified assessor” (QA), for assessment of practical demonstration of proficiency on other vessels. The Coast Guard disagrees with the removal of the words “training or” because DEs and QAs often first act as teachers before acting as assessors of a candidate's practical demonstrations.

MERPAC feels that the definition of “domestic voyage” does not allow for voyages from one United States port to another that enter Canadian/Mexican waters. MERPAC believes Great Lakes voyages need to be included here as well.

The Coast Guard disagrees with the comment. The definition of “domestic voyage” is consistent with the application of the STCW near-coastal provisions, which requires that vessels operating in another country's waters meet the STCW requirements. Furthermore, the STCW Convention does not apply to vessels operating in the Great Lakes; therefore, mariners operating in these waters can use the U.S. domestic credential specifically created for this area. It is unnecessary to include Great Lakes voyages in the definition, as this is already a route established on credentials.

MERPAC believes the definitions of “dual mode/ATB” and “dual mode/ITB” do not add clarification about which type of vessel is intended, and suggests that the Coast Guard use industry verbiage.

The Coast Guard agrees, but did not revise the definitions. The Coast Guard is seeking comments on this issue, to include specific suggestions of the proper definitions to be included in the definition.

In the definition of “first assistant engineer”, MERPAC suggests deleting second engineer officer. MERPAC feels that the effort to harmonize domestic and international terminology and standards is only causing more confusion.

The Coast Guard agrees and has made only minor changes to the definition currently in the regulations. The proposed definition for “first assistant engineer” is as follows: “First assistant engineer” means the engineer officer next in rank to the chief engineer and upon whom the responsibility for the mechanical propulsion and the operation of maintenance of the mechanical and electrical installations of the vessel will fall in the event of the incapacity of the chief engineer.” This would change “next in seniority,” as used in the existing definition, to “next in rank.” It would also add responsibility for “the operation of maintenance of the mechanical and electrical installations of the vessel.”

MERPAC believes the definitions of “horsepower” and “propulsion power” should state that the manufacturer's Start Printed Page 45945rating of the engine refers to the continuous-rated output.

The Coast Guard agrees and has revised the definition.

MERPAC feels that the Coast Guard has not specified when a credential is “valid” or “invalid”.

The Coast Guard term “invalid credential” is clearly defined in existing text within § 10.107.

MERPAC believes that the term “lifeboatman” should be deleted and that the term “survival craft operator” would be more appropriate. MERPAC believes two levels of “survival craft operator” should be created for all survival craft or limited to those vessels without lifeboats.

The term lifeboatman must be retained because it is mandated in the law at 46 U.S.C. 7316. The Coast Guard is proposing the following domestic endorsements: Lifeboatman; and lifeboatman-limited. The Coast Guard is also proposing two STCW endorsements: Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats (PSC); and Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than lifeboats and fast rescue boats—limited (PSC—limited).

MERPAC feels that since the term “lower level” is only used to assess fees, the Coast Guard should either delete this term or find a more appropriate, less demeaning term.

The terms “upper level” and “lower level” were used in § 10.219. The Coast Guard has replaced the term “upper level” with the term “unlimited” (which means credentials authorizing service on vessels of any gross tons/unlimited tonnage or unlimited propulsion power). The Coast Guard has also replaced the term “lower level” with the term “limited” (which means credentials authorizing service on vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT).

MERPAC believes the term “management level” means “a level of responsibility within STCW” and should state as much.

The Coast Guard agrees and has revised the definition consistent with this recommendation.

Regarding the term “near-coastal”, MERPAC suggests the Coast Guard add the words “and its possessions” after the words “waters off the United States.”

The Coast Guard agrees and has revised the definition.

MERPAC believes the definition of “operational level” should say “vessel” not “ship” to be inclusive of all vessels affected by STCW. MERPAC feels the Coast Guard should be consistent throughout the document, removing other references to “ship”.

The Coast Guard agrees and has removed references to the term “ship”.

Regarding the definition for “orally assisted examination”, MERPAC believes that only Coast Guard personnel at an REC, approved and trained to administer these tests, should provide an oral exam. MERPAC does not believe the language “by Coast Guard examiner” captures the intent and that it needs to assure that this cannot be interpreted to include “Coast Guard-approved examiner”.

The Coast Guard agrees that special training is needed to properly administer an oral examination, but does not think it necessary to make the suggested revision, as the phrase, “Coast Guard,” is not the same as saying “Coast Guard-approved”.

In the definition for “qualified rating”, MERPAC feels that “lifeboatman” should be noted as an endorsement and should be removed from the definition.

The Coast Guard agrees and has revised the definition.

MERPAC feels that the second sentence in the definition of “QSS” should be removed.

The Coast Guard modified the definition as follows: “QSS means a set of policies, procedures, processes and data required to establish and fulfill the organization's objectives.”

MERPAC suggests revising the definition of “rest” by removing the language regarding administrative tasks.

The Coast Guard disagrees. The language regarding administrative tasks clarifies the definition. This is an existing definition that was transferred from part 15.

MERPAC suggests harmonizing the definition of “seagoing service” with the definition in the STCW Convention.

The Coast Guard agrees and has adopted the STCW definition of seagoing service.

MERPAC believes the Coast Guard should add the words “on file at the Coast Guard” into the definition of “senior company official”.

The Coast Guard disagrees and has removed this language as signatures are no longer kept on file at the Coast Guard.

MERPAC suggests breaking the tables of exam topics into STCW versus applicable to all, or somehow designate with an asterisk to eliminate confusion. MERPAC also suggests that the Coast Guard review the contents for true harmonization with the STCW concepts of operational and management levels.

The Coast Guard agrees in part and has conducted a review of examination topics to ensure they are up to date and reflect both domestic and STCW requirements at both operational and management levels.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard delete the word “ratings” in § 10.109(b) that are endorsements. For example, a lifeboatman is not a person and is not a rating; it is an endorsement applied to a credential held by a person.

The term “rating” in § 10.109 is used to identify a type of endorsement. Every position listed in § 10.109(b) can be independently held; therefore they are endorsements.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard separate the domestic endorsements from the STCW endorsements.

The Coast Guard agrees and has clearly separated the two endorsement schemes to ease the reading of the requirements.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard amend § 10.219(d)(3) to say that cash is no longer accepted, but checks, certified checks, and money orders are accepted.

The Coast Guard agrees that cash payments should not be accepted, but disagrees that checks, certified checks, and money orders should be acceptable methods of payment. Eliminating payment by those means reduces costs and administrative burden, including audit requirements and the necessity for specially trained personnel to handle these types of transactions. Additionally, movement to all-electronic records and payment systems is expected to produce significant efficiency improvements and cost reductions.

MERPAC recommends that in § 10.225(b)(2), the Coast Guard should delete the requirement that applicants provide proof that they have applied for a TWIC within the past 30 days. Proof of holding/applying for a TWIC should be sufficient. MERPAC believes it is not the mariner's fault if the TSA takes longer than 30 days to provide mariners with the document.

The Coast Guard disagrees. The language to hold a valid TWIC is necessary for mariners who may apply for a change in their existing credential. These mariners are already TWIC holders.

MERPAC recommends that, in § 10.225(b)(7), the Coast Guard retain the previous language of “Coast Guard-approved form” when an applicant submits an MMC application. MERPAC believes this will allow mariners to submit other forms as appropriate.

The Coast Guard disagrees, and believes that the specific Coast Guard form, which is the only form accepted Start Printed Page 45946by the Coast Guard, should be specified in lieu of the more general verbiage of the current regulation.

MERPAC recommends that, in § 10.227(e)(1)(iv), the Coast Guard add elaborating language to the phrase “position closely related to the operation * * *” for applicants to provide proof of meeting professional requirements for MMC renewals, as the current language is insufficient. MERPAC expresses concern that instructors/examiners as well as port captains/port engineers may not be approved as providing “closely related service”.

The Coast Guard disagrees and feels that the language is adequate as proposed. Individual circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard clarify § 10.227(g) with regard to Documents of Continuity. Specifically, MERPAC wants to know which document/endorsement goes into continuity. MERPAC believes that the license is in continuity but the STCW certificate/endorsement goes away completely and that domestic endorsements go into continuity, while STCW endorsements do not. However, MERPAC points out, by virtue of the STCW endorsement's relationship with the domestic endorsement, the STCW endorsement will be re-instituted with the domestic endorsement upon application, subject to all other renewal requirements.

The Coast Guard proposes to amend § 10.227(g) to specify that only domestic credentials will be issued for continuity. A new § 10.227(g)(3) will discuss STCW endorsements tied to domestic credentials, which go into continuity. Domestic endorsements go into continuity, while STCW endorsements do not. However, by virtue of the STCW endorsement's relationship with the domestic endorsement, the STCW endorsement will be re-instated with the domestic endorsement upon application, subject to all other renewal requirements.

MERPAC recommends that § 10.235(d) should read, in part, as follows: “* * * will be issued a replacement MMC reflecting the remaining endorsements”.

The Coast Guard disagrees. We have not proposed any changes to this paragraph from the existing text, and we believe that the current language is sufficiently clear.

MERPAC recommends that, in § 10.302(d)(2), the Coast Guard remove the requirement that a course must be offered every 12 months or its approval will expire.

The Coast Guard agrees and has removed this requirement in this SNPRM.

MERPAC believes that clarification is needed in § 10.302(d)(5) and that the Coast Guard should create a new section to address change in management and name change of school, notifying NMC of changes.

The Coast Guard agrees in part, and we propose in this SNPRM to retain the current regulation that a course approval expires when there is an ownership change in the training institution.

MERPAC recommends that, the Coast Guard delete the words “and employers” from the requirement in § 10.302(b)(7)(iii) to complete surveys after completion of approved courses.

The Coast Guard agrees and has removed the proposed requirement that mariners' employers be required to complete course evaluation surveys.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard amend § 10.303(a)(3) to read as follows: “Give written examinations to each student appropriate for the course material and should be equivalent in scope and difficulty of an examination prepared by the Coast Guard based upon the knowledge requirements of the position or endorsement for which the student is being trained.”

The Coast Guard agrees in part and has amended the proposed requirement to clarify that the reference to an examination prepared by the Coast Guard is only for courses that are approved to substitute for a Coast Guard examination for an officer or rating endorsement.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard delete the words “including the substitution of an applicable Coast Guard exam” from § 10.303(a)(9)(iv).

The Coast Guard agrees in part. It was our intent to limit this provision to courses approved to substitute for a Coast Guard exam, and we have revised the wording of this requirement to make this more apparent.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard delete § 10.303(b)(1)(vii), which requires that course providers assist students in the preparation of their Coast Guard MMC applications.

The Coast Guard agrees and has deleted that language from § 10.303(b).

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard amend § 10.304(b) as it conflicts with current practice and needs to be corrected. MERPAC believes there are exceptions to the statement that recency requirements may not be achieved by service granted as a result of successful completion of approved training or by training on a simulator. For example, applicants for renewal of their tankerman-PIC endorsements can take a course in lieu of service to satisfy recency requirements.

The Coast Guard agrees that there are some exceptions to the requirement and has amended this section accordingly.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard delete § 10.304(c) which states, “Unless otherwise allowed, training obtained before receiving an endorsement may not be used for subsequent raises of grade, increases in scope, or renewals.”

The Coast Guard disagrees and has retained the proposed language. There are some exceptions to the statement, including establishing continued professional competence by means of training.

MERPAC feels that the requirements put forth in § 10.304(d)(2) and (3) are redundant with the STCW Code and should be deleted. MERPAC believes the Coast Guard should insert language that says the training record book will cover the knowledge, training, and proficiency in accordance with Part A of the STCW Code.

The Coast Guard disagrees. The training record book should be used to document training and assessment which will be performed on board a vessel. It is expected that not all training and assessment will be conducted onboard, therefore there is a need to differentiate between what is conducted on board and what is conducted ashore.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard revise § 10.304, and suggests an entire rewrite of the proposed section.

In this SNPRM, the Coast Guard has utilized some of MERPAC's recommendations in revising § 10.404 of the NPRM.

MERPAC feels that the language in § 11.213 is too restrictive and does not give credit that is needed to allow military officers to utilize quality training and sea service. MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard develop an equivalency table for military personnel to demonstrate equivalent service. The table, MERPAC believes, will need to be sufficiently detailed to establish job tasks and actual underway time for application.

The Coast Guard agrees that the language in the NPRM is too restrictive and has retained the existing text. The provisions for “sea service as a member of the armed forces” were moved to proposed § 10.232. However, the Coast Guard disagrees that there is a need for a table showing equivalencies for military personnel because they are subject to the same STCW requirements set out in 46 CFR parts 11 and 12.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard delete the term “practical” from Start Printed Page 45947§ 11.401(i), which requires that, “An applicant for his or her first deck officer endorsement authorizing service on vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more on ocean or near-coastal waters must pass a practical signaling examination (flashing light).”

In this SNPRM, we are proposing that mariners demonstrate their competence in practical signaling by completing a Coast Guard approved course. This change is consistent with the STCW Code, which specifies practical instruction as the only acceptable method of demonstrating competence.

MERPAC recommends that in § 11.407(a)(1), “seagoing” vessels should be deleted, because the language in this provision does not meet the language of the STCW Code. MERPAC believes it also exceeds the requirement of the STCW Code that requires 6 months of bridge watchkeeping duties. MERPAC also recommends that the Coast Guard delete the requirement of 6 months of service while holding an A/B endorsement or hold the rating of RFPNW.

The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the text accordingly. The Coast Guard separated the domestic and STCW licensing schemes into separate requirements. The STCW requirements are in the § 11.300 series and the domestic officer endorsements are in the § 11.400 series.

MERPAC recommends that OUPV applicants serving in the near vicinity of Puerto Rico, as stated in § 11.467(g) should be required to know standard maritime phrases and communications in English.

The Coast Guard disagrees. OUPVs are not required to meet the requirements of STCW and would not be required to meet the IMO Standard Marine Communication Phrases, which is found in the requirements in the STCW Code and was adopted by the 22d IMO Assembly in November 2001.

MERPAC feels there is an error in Figure 11.505(a) and suggests the Coast Guard add a path from DDE and assistant engineer into ships of 3,000 kW/4,000 HP. MERPAC also suggests adding a path into ships of 7,500 kW/10,000 HP and to invoke Article IX of the STCW Convention to resolve career path problems.

The STCW endorsements have been separated from the domestic endorsements in this SNPRM, and a table of entry paths is provided for each of the five STCW engineering levels. The 7,500 kW/10,000 HP domestic endorsement has been removed. Figure 11.505(a) is revised to reflect these changes.

MERPAC feels § 11.507 is too detailed.

The Coast Guard has removed the subject list from § 11.507 and now references the appropriate section of the STCW Code.

MERPAC believes there should be consistency and a harmonization of standards between deck and engine requirements that does not currently exist.

The Coast Guard has separated STCW and domestic endorsements and has harmonized the language with the STCW Convention. Deck and engine endorsements, while not completely identical, have been harmonized as far as practicable to ensure consistency.

MERPAC feels that § 11.520 needs some reference to non-STCW endorsements.

The STCW endorsements have been separated from the domestic endorsements in this SNPRM.

MERPAC recommends that § 11.551 be clarified in the preamble on the intent of meeting the language of § 11.553(b).

The Coast Guard has revised the sections on OSV endorsements to allow for the use of the various methods for meeting the STCW standard of competence for both STCW and domestic endorsements.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard delete the words, “through practical demonstration of professional skills” from § 11.901(c), which deals with subjects of examinations and practical demonstrations of competence.

The Coast Guard agrees and has made this revision.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard add requirements for all classifications of A/B endorsements listed in the U.S. Code.

The Coast Guard agrees and this SNPRM proposes to amend Part 12 to include all A/B endorsements included in the U.S. Code.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard delete the term “survivalman” from § 12.412(f), which discusses general requirements for able seaman endorsements.

The Coast Guard has withdrawn its proposed use of the term “survivalman” and substitutes, in its place, lifeboatman-limited for the domestic endorsement. Regarding the STCW endorsement, the Coast Guard is proposing to use the term proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than lifeboats and fast rescue boats—limited (PSC—limited), to ensure consistency with the Convention.

MERPAC feels that, in § 12.420, the Coast Guard is imposing difficulties on applicants by requiring service to be only on seagoing vessels.

The Coast Guard agrees and proposes to grant sea service on other than ocean waters for STCW endorsements as follows: Great Lakes: Day-for-Day; and inland waters: 2 days of inland service equals 1 day of ocean service. The reason for the difference in service credit is based on the fact that Great Lakes service most closely resembles the length, breadth, equipment, and operation of ocean service.

MERPAC suggests that, in § 12.420, the term “seagoing service” needs clarification. MERPAC recommends that it should be re-phrased to read “service onboard a ship relevant to the issue of a certificate or other qualification.”

The Coast Guard agrees and has revised the definition in § 10.107.

MERPAC recommends that § 12.420(c)(1)(ii) be deleted. MERPAC notes that this section requires at least one-half of the required experience (to obtain RFPNW certification) be obtained on vessels of at least 200 GRT/500 GT.

The Coast Guard has amended this section and is adopting the STCW language for seagoing service.

MERPAC recommends that the number of abandon ship drills required in § 12.610 be reduced, as 24 is excessive.

The Coast Guard agrees and has removed the requirement from this SNPRM because weekly abandon ship drills are built into the sea service requirements.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard delete § 12.610(c)(2), which requires participation in abandon ship drills that must include the boat being placed in the water and being exercised in all means of propulsion.

The Coast Guard agrees and has removed this requirement from the SNPRM.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard delete § 12.620(c), which requires participation in drills that must include a fast rescue boat being placed in the water and the applicant performing man-overboard recovery drills.

The Coast Guard agrees and has removed the requirement from the SNPRM.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard delete § 12.630(c)(2), which requires participation in rescue boat, liferaft, or other drills involving lifesaving apparatus, and include a rescue boat being placed in the water and the mariner being exercised in rescue boat drills.

The Coast Guard agrees and has removed the requirement from the SNPRM because weekly abandon ship Start Printed Page 45948drills are built into the sea service requirements.

MERPAC believes that § 12.630(d) should read “course/program * * * that includes a prescribed period of sea service and BST”.

The Coast Guard is proposing to separate the domestic requirements for lifeboatman endorsements (found in §§ 12.407 and 12.409) from the STCW requirements for proficiency in survival craft endorsements (found in §§ 12.613 and 12.615). The Coast Guard partially agrees with the inclusion of the word “course” and has amended § 12.409 accordingly to replace the word “program” with “course”. The Coast Guard agrees with the inclusion of the BST element in the requirements for the STCW endorsement and has amended § 12.615 accordingly.

MERPAC recommends that steward department should be added as an additional rating in § 12.704.

The Coast Guard agrees and has amended § 12.704 accordingly.

MERPAC recommends that the text of §§ 15.1103(b), 15.403(c), and 15.404(a), read as follows: “All require a person serving as RFPNW to hold an STCW endorsement attesting to his or her qualifications to perform those functions. Those qualifications require 6 months of service, which can be reduced to a minimum of 60 days if the person has completed an approved course.”

The Coast Guard disagrees. Qualifications for RFPNW are found in § 12.605, and it is not appropriate to put them in part 15, which consists of manning requirements.

MERPAC notes that, adding to the barriers created by the STCW standards are interpretations imposed by the Coast Guard in Policy Letter 14-02 (which would be codified in proposed § 12.420) that require at least one-half the sea time to be on vessels of at least 200 GRT/500 GT. Beyond that, MERPAC believes the assessments for helm commands must now be performed on vessels of at least 100 GRT. These provisions mean that individuals who already have considerable experience on smaller vessels cannot use their service to qualify as RFPNW and apply for positions on larger vessels. Because qualifying service must be on seagoing vessels, mariners from the inland segment of the U.S. merchant marine are denied the opportunity to move offshore without having to go through the convoluted qualification process. STCW states in Chapter I under definitions that “Seagoing service means service on board a ship relevant to the issue of a certificate or other qualification”. Thus, according to MERPAC, it is clear that the Administration can decide what is or is not relevant. MERPAC says its members have seen too many careers thwarted or never started due to the interpretations and language used. Many other countries provide liberal interpretations and thus promote seagoing opportunities and careers. Recognizing the difficulties presented by these provisions and other aspects of the 1995 amendments, the Secretary of Transportation at the time of the implementation of the current regulations declared that the Coast Guard would utilize the flexibility afforded by the Convention to mitigate some of the adverse effects. To that end, the Coast Guard stated that tonnages in the Convention would be applied as gross register tonnage for vessels in U.S. domestic service. MERPAC notes that the “trigger tonnage” of 500 gross tonnage for applicability of Regulation II/4 was to be interpreted as 500 GRT, citing a 1999 letter from the Chief of Marine Personnel, which states:

* * * vessels of not more than 500 gross register tons on near coastal, domestic voyages will not be required to have seamen qualified as ratings forming part of a navigational watch because that STCW rating does not apply to vessels of less than 500 gross tons.

In view of the above, MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard honor the agreement reached in 1999 and make the requirements for RFPNW applicable to vessels over 500 GRT/1,200 GT in domestic service. Vessels in international service will be bound by the STCW standard set at 200 GRT/500 GT.

The Coast Guard recognizes that the regulations and policies implementing the STCW requirements have been the subject of different interpretations, and is therefore issuing this SNPRM to ensure clarity of the regulations. This SNPRM proposes a new approach to implement the STCW Convention requirements. The SNPRM proposes to allow different methods for demonstrating competence as permitted by the STCW and appropriate to each individual competence.

Also, the Coast Guard proposes to grant sea service on other than ocean waters for STCW endorsements as follows: Those serving on Great Lakes waters will receive day-for-day credit. Those serving on inland waters will receive 1 day of ocean service credit for every 2 days of service.

Also, in order to align the regulations with the intent of the STCW Convention, we have adopted the STCW definition of “seagoing service.”

With regard to the recommendation that the Coast Guard make the requirements for RFPNW applicable to vessels over 200 GRT/500 GT in domestic service, the Convention is clear in its application as it is stated in Regulation II/4, paragraph 1—“Every rating forming part of a navigational watch on a seagoing ship of 500 gross tonnage or more* * *”. Therefore, the Coast Guard must apply the requirements for RFPNW endorsements to service on vessels of 200 GRT or more.

MERPAC recommends that § 12.420(c)(ii) be deleted, that the assessment of helm commands be permitted on any vessel of more than 50 GRT, and that service on inland waters be acceptable to qualify for an assessment.

The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the requirements accordingly for an applicant for an endorsement as RFPNW. The RFPNW requirements in this SNPRM are contained in § 12.605.

MERPAC recommends that, in § 15.405, the term “crewmember” be deleted and that the term “credentialed crewmember” be used in its place.

The Coast Guard is retaining the existing text with some minor amendments. The existing text uses the term “credentialed,” and it is being retained in this SNPRM.

MERPAC recommends that, in § 15.530(a), the Coast Guard add language to ensure that the citation stays current by amending the paragraph as follows: “ILO Convention or subsequent convention* * *” MERPAC believes there must be a means of referencing the latest amendments to the Coast Guard's version of such international conventions without going through a laborious rulemaking processes.

By regulation, an incorporation by reference cannot incorporate successors to it. 1 CFR 51.1, which regulates how references are incorporated into regulations, states that incorporations by reference are limited to the edition of a publication that is approved for incorporation. It explicitly states, “Future amendments or revisions of the publication are not included.”

MERPAC recommends that, in § 15.805(a)(5), the Coast Guard replace the phrase “under the command of” with the phrase “command as Master”.

The Coast Guard disagrees. Subparagraph (5) must be read in conjunction with paragraph (a), which states that a master with the appropriate endorsement must be in command.

MERPAC recommends that, in § 15.815, the Coast Guard clarify the term “valid” endorsement for radar. MERPAC also believes that a school should be able to send proof of course completion.Start Printed Page 45949

The Coast Guard is retaining the existing text and adding a new paragraph to clarify the term “readily available”. It is the responsibility of the mariner or his or her company to make the certificate of training available to the Coast Guard. The text does not prevent the mariner or company from obtaining the document from the school.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard delete § 15.1101(c) that states that “A vessel with a valid Safety Management Certificate and a copy of a Document of Compliance issued for that vessel under 46 U.S.C. 3205 is presumed to comply with the STCW Convention.”

The Coast Guard agrees and proposes to remove this section.

MERPAC recommends that, in § 15.1111, the Coast Guard change the title to read “Rest Periods”, and that the Coast Guard should delete the words “Work hours” from the title as work hours are already addressed in § 15.701.

The Coast Guard disagrees, as this section addresses both work and rest periods.

MERPAC asks if, in § 15.1105, it is the master's obligation to check competency.

Section 15.1105 states that “no person may assign any person to perform shipboard duties* * * and no person may perform those duties, unless the person performing them has received training, sufficient familiarization, or instruction.” Ultimately, the master is the person responsible for ensuring that the person performing these duties has received the necessary training, sufficient familiarization, and instruction.

MERPAC recommends that, in § 15.1105(b)(2), the Coast Guard change the phrase “relevant to his or her routine or emergency duties or responsibilities” to “relevant to his or her routine and emergency duties or responsibilities.”

The Coast Guard agrees and has made this change.

MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard amend the title of part 10, subpart C to “Approved courses and programs.”

The Coast Guard partially agrees and has amended the text to read “Training courses and programs.” It would be inappropriate to use “approved” in the title since the Subpart also includes requirements for “Coast Guard-accepted courses.”

MERPAC recommends certain topics for the operational level in the 7,500 kW/10,000 HP category be added.

The 7,500 kW/10,000 HP domestic endorsement has been removed in this SNPRM.

MERPAC recommends that certain changes to the topic list be made for the engineering management level in § 11.511.

The specific list for these endorsements has been removed and now references the appropriate section in the STCW Code.

MERPAC recommends specific qualification standards for the various levels of domestic engineering endorsements of 7,500 kW/10,000 HP.

The 7,500 kW/10,000 HP domestic endorsement has been removed in this SNPRM.

MERPAC recommends three conversion provisions for persons holding chief engineer-limited oceans, chief engineer-limited near-coastal, and DDE unlimited horsepower to the proposed 7,500 kW/10,000 HP endorsements.

The 7,500 kW/10,000 HP domestic endorsement has been removed in this SNPRM.

The Coast Guard received comments in the following areas that address subjects beyond the scope of the revisions proposed in the NPRM. The Coast Guard does not discuss these comments in detail: Increasing user fees for oral examinations; Definition of “invalid credential;” Medical NVIC; Medical examination forms/requirements; Developing minimum standards for qualification; requirements for approved instructors; VSO course requirements; Adding tonnage to endorsements; language on COIs, Safety Management Certificates and SOLAS Passenger Safety Certificates; MMC issues (consolidating the MMC); Marine Safety Manual issues; TWIC issues; specific course content; and manning requirements.

VIII. Incorporation by Reference

Material proposed for incorporation by reference appears in §§ 10.103, 11.102, 12.103, 13.103, and 15.103. You may inspect this material at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters where indicated under ADDRESSES. Copies of the material are available from the sources listed in §§ 10.103, 11.102, 12.103, 13.103, and 15.103.

Before publishing a binding rule, we will submit this material to the Director of the Federal Register for approval of the incorporation by reference.

IX. Regulatory Analyses

We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on 13 of these statutes or executive orders.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

This proposed rule is a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and requires an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. The Office of Management and Budget has reviewed it under that Order.

A combined “Preliminary Regulatory Analysis and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis” report is available in the docket as indicated under the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. A summary of the report follows:

This proposed rule would ensure that U.S. mariners comply with the standards set forth in the STCW Convention and Code. This proposed rule would implement all amendments under the Convention, including the 2010 amendments previously discussed. In addition, the Coast Guard is issuing the SNPRM to respond to the comments, feedback, and concerns received from the public as a result of the NPRM. In order to address those comments and concerns, the SNPRM would simplify domestic licensing requirements and separate them from STCW requirements; provide alternative means for demonstrating competence; clarify oversight requirements for approved courses; amend lifeboatmen requirements; and allow for acceptance of sea service on vessels serving the Great Lakes and inland waters to meet STCW requirements (see “Discussion of Proposed Rule” for additional details).

The changes in this SNPRM that result in additional impacts involve the following categories of provisions:

(1) Medical Examinations and Endorsements—The medical certificate would be reduced from a maximum period of validity of 5 years to 2 years for mariners serving on board STCW vessels in accordance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention.

(2) Leadership and Managerial Skills—The proposed rule would require leadership and managerial skills for the management-level credential in accordance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention.

(3) Engine Room Resource Management (ERM)—The proposed rule would require ERM training for engineers seeking operational-level credential, and leadership and managerial skills for the management-level credential in accordance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention.

(4) Tankerman Endorsements—The proposed rule would add new STCW endorsements for basic and advanced Start Printed Page 45950oil and chemical tanker cargo operations, and for basic and advanced liquefied gas tanker cargo operations, in accordance with the STCW 2010 amendments.

(5) Safety Refresher Training Requirements—The proposed rule would require safety refresher training for all STCW-endorsed mariners holding a credential in Basic Safety Training (BST), Advanced Firefighting, Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats Other than Fast Rescue Boats (PSC), or Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats every 5 years, in accordance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code.

(6) Able Seafarer deck and engine—The proposed rule would require that personnel serving on STCW vessels as able seafarer meet the requirements for certification in order to comply with the STCW 2010 amendments.

Costs

We estimate that this proposed rule would affect approximately 60,000 affected mariners and 316 owners and operators of 1,044 vessels with additional costs. Each of the proposed requirements would affect a different subset of these mariner and owner/operator populations. We used Coast Guard's data on mariners, publicly available information on training costs and mariner wages, and other available industry information to develop the estimates of potential costs to affected mariners and to the owners and operators employing affected mariners for each proposed requirement.

This proposed rule would also affect approximately 141 STCW training providers by requiring them to implement a quality standards system (QSS) and write and maintain a QSS manual; be subject to internal and external audit requirements of each Coast Guard-approved course, and extend the time period for which they must keep a paper or electronic record on each student completing a course.

The costs of the SNPRM are presented in Table 1. We estimate the total present value cost over the 10-year period of analysis to be $230.7 million at a 7 percent discount rate ($274.3 million at a 3 percent discount rate). Over the same 10-year period of analysis, we estimate the annualized costs to be about $32.8 million at a 7 percent discount rate ($32.2 million at a 3 percent discount rate).

Table 1—Summary of Present Value Costs of Proposed Rule

[$Millions]

YearDiscount rate
7%3%
1$18.8$19.5
239.042.1
336.440.8
434.039.7
531.838.5
629.837.4
711.314.7
810.614.3
99.913.8
109.213.4
Total*230.7274.3
Annualized32.832.2
* Totals may not sum due to rounding.

We estimate the mariner training requirements are the primary cost driver throughout the 10-year period of analysis. See Table 2 for a summary of annualized costs by requirement category.

Table 2—Summary of the Annualized Costs of the Proposed Rule

[$Millions]

CategoryAnnualized*
7%3%
Mariner Training**$27.06$26.40
2-Year Medical Examination3.993.99
Sea Service1.041.04
Training Providers0.740.72
Total32.8332.15
** Includes changes for officer, engineer and rating endorsements.

The proposed changes to mariner training make up about 82% of the costs throughout the 10-year period of analysis. Table 3 below presents a summary of the costs by requirement as a percentage of the total annualized costs of the proposed rule.

Table 3—Summary of Costs by Requirement of the Proposed Rule

[As a percentage of annualized cost]

RequirementsAnnualized cost %
Mariner Training82
2-Year Medical Examination13
Sea Service3
Training Providers2
Total100

We believe that the training costs discussed above would likely be high estimates as the SNPRM provides flexibility in choosing alternative methods if these are more cost effective to the mariners, owners and operators (see the “Economic comments—training requirements” section for more detail).

In the absence of additional information, such as the choice of alternative methods by company size and time differences to complete one alternative compared to another, we estimate potential regulatory compliance costs by assuming that mariners and their employers would fulfill these requirements through classroom training. This results in upper-bound monetized costs for these training provisions.

Benefits

This SNPRM would implement all amendments to the STCW and ensure that the U.S. is meeting its obligations under the STCW Convention. The STCW Convention sets the standards of competence for mariners internationally, bringing U.S. mariners in line with training, certification and medical standards developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). In addition to the primary benefit of improving marine safety and a decrease in the risk of shipping accidents, additional benefits of this SNPRM are expected to accrue to the U.S. economy in the form of: (1) Preventing and mitigating accidents on STCW Convention-compliant foreign vessels in U.S. waters; (2) Maintaining U.S. status on the “White List” and avoiding the detention of U.S. vessels in foreign ports due to non-compliance with the STCW Convention; (3) Ensuring U.S. mariners can compete in the global workforce market; and (4) Providing consistent international performance standards based on international consensus and IMO convention, which minimizes variation in standards of training and watchkeeping.

One benefit of the proposed rule is an increase in vessel safety and a resulting decrease in the risk of shipping casualties. According to one study on the Review and Analysis of Accident Databases by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the human element is involved in 80 percent of shipping casualties, with 45 percent of the casualties primarily due to human error, and another 35 percent in which humans failed to adequately respond.[2]

Start Printed Page 45951

The proposed rule seeks to decrease human error and improve responsiveness through a three pronged approach—increased training and service requirements, consistency of training, and enhanced medical evaluation and reporting.

Lack of mariner competence in situational awareness and assessment are primary causes of human error. The enhanced competency and service requirements of the STCW Convention are expected to increase mariners' situational awareness and situational assessment. Mariners are also expected to be able to better respond to potential hazards.

The requirements for training providers to develop and follow a quality standard system help to ensure that the STCW training given to mariners is of consistent quality. Unidentified medical conditions can also impair a mariner's ability to perform tasks and respond, thus contributing to the human element of casualties. The proposed rule would require more frequent medical exams for STCW mariners, thus reducing the potential impacts of medical conditions on human error. In combination, the provisions of the proposed rule are expected to reduce potential for vessels accidents, both those with small and large consequences.

Based on data and information from the Coast Guard's Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) database system, between 2002 and 2009, there were an average of 11 fatalities and 126 injuries (ranging in severity) per year on U.S. flag SOLAS vessels that are the baseline damages that could be prevented or mitigated by this rulemaking. Likewise, pollution from incidents involving U.S. flag SOLAS vessels resulted in an annual average of 285,152 gallons of oil spilled per year that are the baseline damages that could be prevented or otherwise mitigated by this rulemaking. Table 4 summarizes the annual damages associated with fatalities, injuries, and oil spills for U.S. flag SOLAS vessels.

These estimates do not include quantified measures of secondary impacts that result from vessel accidents.

Table 4—Annual Baseline of Fatalities, Industries, Oil Spills, and Property Damage

[2002-2009]

ImpactSOLAS
Fatalities11.
Injuries126.
Oil Spills169.
Amount of Oil Spilled285,152 gallons.
Property Damage$25.7 million.
Congestion and DelaysNot quantified.

The training, sea service and QSS provisions of the proposed rule would most likely reduce the risk of accident-related consequences such as fatalities, injuries, and pollution. Estimating the precise reduction in risk from improved training and sea service requirements is difficult given existing information. We found limited information on how STCW, or other competency-based marine transportation training, quantitatively increases marine safety by reducing the risk of accidents.

We did find research conducted for other industries on the impact of training programs on outcomes and behaviors. This research found a wide range of potential reductions in risk: from a low of no impact to a high of approximately 87 percent. See the “Regulatory Analysis and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis” report available on the docket for more information.

If the annual costs of $28.1 million we estimate for the cost of training and sea service requirements (exclusive of the QSS training provider requirements) are compared against the accident-related baseline damages for SOLAS vessels including fatalities, injuries, property damage and oil spilled, the proposed rule would have to reduce damages by 23.5 percent to reach break even. If fatalities only are included, the proposed rule would need to prevent approximately 4.6 fatalities per year to break even, out of about 11 total fatalities per year on SOLAS vessels. Accident-related fatalities represent approximately 20 percent of the total baseline damages.

The annualized cost of the training and sea service requirements (exclusive of the QSS training provider requirements) is approximately $28.1 million per year at a 7 percent discount rate (See Table 2 for a summary of annualized costs by requirement category). Based on the distribution of potential risk reduction derived from the studies described above applied to the baseline consequences of accident-related damages for U.S.-flagged, SOLAS vessels, we estimate the discounted, annualized benefits of the proposed rule could be about $24.3 million, with a range of $23.7 million to $29.4 million.

The medical examination requirements will also reduce risk— both for fatalities due to medical conditions and for the accident-related fatalities and oil spills. The incapacitation of mariners on vessels due to some medical and/or physical conditions causes public safety risks.

Data from the trucking industry indicates that certain medical conditions can increase the risk of accidents. For example, truck drivers with diabetes have a 19 percent higher risk of causing an accident. Similarly, drivers with cardio-vascular disease have a 43 percent greater risk of causing an accident.[3]

The more frequent medical exams can help ensure that medical conditions that could impair performance and increase the risk of an incident are identified and treated earlier, thus reducing the symptoms and side-effects that could cause decreased performance and increased risk of accidents.

The annual costs of the medical-related requirements are approximately $3.99 million at a 7 percent discount rate. If we compare this cost with the value of the 5 fatalities related to medical conditions, the proposed rule would need to result in a 12.7 percent reduction in risk to break even.

To summarize, we estimate the monetized annualized costs of the proposed rule to be about $32.8 million (at a 7 percent discount rate). However, we believe that this may likely be a high cost estimate as the SNPRM provides flexibility in choosing alternative methods of demonstrating competency if these are more cost effective to the mariners, owners and operators.

We considered four alternatives to this proposed rule:

  • Alternative 1: Maintain the current STCW Convention interim rule
  • Alternative 2: Implement the NPRM Proposed Requirements
  • Alternative 3: Implement the SNPRM STCW-Related Proposed Requirements Only
  • Alternative 4: Implement NPRM with Separate Rulemaking for 2010 STCW Amendments

The first alternative is not feasible as it would not meet all U.S. responsibilities as a party to the Convention. The second alternative would partially meet U.S. Start Printed Page 45952responsibility, but would not implement the 2010 STCW amendments. The third alternative would meet the U.S. responsibilities under the STCW Convention, but would not provide clarifications and modification to domestic endorsements. The fourth alternative might not meet U.S. STCW responsibilities if the time and resources of a separate rulemaking extend beyond the deadline. Furthermore, Alternative 4 may not be efficient, as it would require multiple rulemaking efforts that amend the same requirements.

The “Preliminary Regulatory Analysis and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis” report available on the docket provides additional detail on the alternatives, costs, and benefits of this rulemaking.

At this time, based on available information, we expect that this rulemaking would not be economically significant under Executive Order 12866 (e.g., have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more). The Coast Guard urges interested parties to submit comments that specifically address the economic impacts of this rulemaking. Comments can be made as indicated in the ADDRESSES section.

B. Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered whether this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000.

An initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) discussing the impact of this proposed rule on small entities is included within the preliminary Regulatory Analysis document and is available in the docket where indicated under the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. A summary of the analysis follows:

The proposed rule would directly regulate mariners and training providers. Individuals, such as the mariners regulated by this rule are not small entities under the definition of a small entity in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).

The proposed rule includes audit and quality system requirements for training providers. Based on the Coast Guard data, approximately 84 percent of the STCW training providers that are affected by this proposed rule are small by the (SBA) size standards.

While we do not expect training providers to offer new training programs unless it is beneficial to their business model, we have estimated the impact of the proposed rule to training providers as if they would not pass any of their costs to mariners. Therefore, the revenue impacts to the small training providers discussed below may be overestimates.

We found that this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact (more than 1 percent impact on revenue) on 67 percent of small training providers in the first year. After the first year, we found that the proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on 40 percent of small training providers.

As previously discussed in the “Economic comments—training requirements” section, we received comments about costs for STCW training requirements that are absorbed not by mariners, but their employers. The proposed rule does not directly require companies or maritime employers to pay for the proposed training requirements for affected mariners. However, we acknowledge that some marine employers fund training and might be indirectly impacted. In recognition of this possibility, we have modified the analysis of impacts on small entities in the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis to include a sensitivity analysis showing the impact of additional training costs on employers of mariners.

Based on this sensitivity analysis, we found that about 80 percent of the vessel owners and operators affected by this rule would be small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards. We estimate that the proposed rule would have a more than 1 percent cost impact on annual revenue for 69 to 83 percent of the small vessel owners and operators affected by this rulemaking, depending on the year.

However, under the SNPRM, the Coast Guard would accept various, flexible methods for demonstrating competence that would reduce the costs of training requirements proposed in the November 17, 2009 NPRM, a potential cost relief to maritime employers that fund training.

We are interested in the potential impacts from this proposed rule on small businesses and we request public comment on these potential impacts. If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rulemaking would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment to the Docket Management Facility at the address under ADDRESSES. In your comment, explain why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

C. Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the proposed rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please consult Ms. Zoe Goss, Maritime Personnel Qualifications Division, Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1425. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247).

D. Collection of Information

This proposed rule would call for modifications to collections of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). It would modify two existing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Collection of Information: OMB Control Number 1625-0028, “Course Approvals for Merchant Marine Training Schools”; and, OMB Control Number 1625-0079, “Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1995 and 1997 Amendments to the International Convention”.

As defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(c), “collection of information” comprises reporting, recordkeeping, monitoring, posting, labeling, and other, similar actions. The title and description of the information collections, a description of those who must collect the information, and an estimate of the total annual burden follow. The estimate covers the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing sources of data, Start Printed Page 45953gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection.

This proposed rule would add to recordkeeping requirements of training providers and credentialed merchant mariners.

Title: Course Approval and Records for Merchant Mariner Training Schools.

OMB Control Number: 1625-0028

Title 46 United States Code (U.S.C.) 7315 authorizes a license or document applicant to substitute the completion of an approved course for a portion of the required sea service. Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 10.402 specifies the information that must be submitted for the Coast Guard to evaluate and approve each course. Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 10.403 specifies recordkeeping requirements that a school teaching approved courses must meet for each student taking each course.

Under the proposed rule, training providers that teach STCW Convention courses would: (1) Develop and maintain a QSS, including writing and maintaining a QSS manual; (2) Undergo an internal audit and undergo an external audit every 5 years and keep the audit records for Coast Guard inspection as needed; and (3) Store student course records for an additional 4 years.

Since training providers are currently required to store student records for 1 year and many of them store records for several years more, the burden of the new requirement that would extend recordkeeping from 1 year to 5 years is small.

Summary of the Collection of Information: A licensed mariner is authorized to substitute the completion of an approved course for a portion of the required sea service. Training providers must submit specific information to the Coast Guard to evaluate and approve each course.

The proposed rule would require training providers to write and maintain a QSS manual and arrange two internal audits of STCW Convention courses within 5 years.

Need for Information: The information is necessary to show evidence that training providers meet the quality, minimum standard and recordkeeping requirements of each STCW Convention course as established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Proposed Use of Information: The Coast Guard would use this information to document that the training level of mariners meets international requirements.

Description of the Respondents: The respondents are the mariner training schools that would be required to complete form CG-719B.

Number of Respondents: According to the US Coast Guard national Maritime Center (NMC), there are approximately 285 training schools. However, only 141 training providers teach STCW courses. The number of respondents is 141 STCW training providers in the first year and recurring annually.

Frequency of Response: Respondents are required to write a QSS manual in the first year and modify it as needed. They would also arrange internal audits on their STCW courses every two and a half years.

Burden of Response: Writing a QSS manual would take a training provider approximately 206 hours in the first year (205 hours for reporting and 1 hour for recordkeeping), and modifying it would take 9 hours every year (8 hours for reporting and 1 hour recordkeeping). We estimate that it would take 10 hours for each respondent to complete an internal audit twice every 5 years (9 hours for reporting and 1 hour for recordkeeping.

Estimate of Total Annual Burden: The existing OMB-approved total annual burden, as adjusted in January 2009, is 97,260 hours. This rule would increase the burden for 141 training providers by approximately 225 hours each. The total additional hours requested for this rulemaking is 31,725 [141 × (206 + 9 +10)]. The new annual burden for the first year is 29,046 hours and about 1,833 hours each year after the first year.

Title: Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1995 and 1997 Amendments to the International Convention.

OMB Control Number: 1625-0079

The International Convention for Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) sets qualifications for masters, officers and watchkeeping personnel on seagoing merchant ships. The United States is a signatory to these conventions, which define standards of competence necessary to protect safety of life at sea and the marine environment and address the responsibilities of all State-Parties to ensure seafarers meet defined standards of competence and quality. The information collection requirements are necessary to implement the amendments to this important international convention.

This proposed regulation is making three changes which impact this collection. This proposed regulation would: (1) Change the medical exam requirements for STCW credentialed mariner from once every five years to once every two years; (2) Require documented evidence of security training or awareness for 2 groups of mariners—personnel with security duties (except Vessel Security Officers, VSO) and all other mariners working aboard a vessel; and, (3) Recognize STCW endorsements issued by foreign governments.

For changes in medical examination requirements, mariners would be required to submit to NMC form CG-719K as filled out by a physician. For documented evidence of security training or awareness for personnel, vessel owners/operators would need to provide documentary evidence that personnel with security duties other than VSOs meet requirements set forth in 33 CFR 104.220, provide documentary evidence of meeting the requirements of 33 CFR 104.225 for all other personnel working on a vessel. Additionally the proposed rule allows for the recognition of STCW endorsements issued by foreign governments given proper documentation is submitted by a vessel owner/operator.

Summary of the Collection of Information: The STCW Convention sets qualifications for mariners on seagoing merchant ships. As a signatory party, information must be collected to provide documentary evidence that demonstrates requirements described in this important international treaty are being met.

This proposed regulation, which adopts 2010 amendments to the STCW convention, requires STCW mariners to provide documentation of a medical exam occurring once every two years; establishes the need for documentary evidence certifying security training or awareness for personnel; and, provides the means to recognize STCW endorsements issued by foreign governments.

Need for Information: The collection of information is needed to ensure that mariners have completed training and medical assessment necessary to receive STCW certification or endorsement. Collection of information is also needed to demonstrate to the International Maritime Organization that the United States has in place certain specific regulations that implement the international requirements and related amendments to the STCW convention.

Proposed Use of Information: The information collected will help to ensure compliance with international requirements and to maintain acceptable quality in activities associated with training and assessment of merchant mariners.Start Printed Page 45954

Description of the Respondents: The respondents would be merchant mariners holding STCW endorsements who need to update their medical records with NMC and the vessel owner/operators employing STCW endorsed mariners.

Number of Respondents: According to Coast Guard NMC data, an estimated 60,000 merchant mariners hold STCW endorsements. Of those mariners, approximately 12,000 submit medical examination forms each year. Since the proposed regulation requires medical exams every two years, the number of additional mariners needing to respond each year would be 18,000.

This proposed rule would also require employers of STCW endorsed mariners to submit documentary evidence of security training or awareness. Approximately 316 employers would need to submit this one-time requirement for 23,413 mariners—12,020 mariners who fall under 33 CFR 104.220 and for 11,393 mariners who fall under 33 CFR 104.225.

Additionally, approximately 105 owner/operators and approximately 1,800 mariners holding STCW endorsements issued by foreign governments would need to respond.

Frequency of Response: For medical examination requirements, mariners are required to respond every two years. We would assume half of the mariner population to respond annually. Mariners would need to make a one-time response that includes the proof of meeting the security training or knowledge requirement. Credentials for mariners holding foreign-issue STCW endorsements are valid for 5 years and response would be once every 5 years.

Burden of Response: For medical examinations, filling out form CG-719K takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and submitting that form by the mariner would take approximately 5 minutes. Total response burden would be approximately 25 minutes.

For personnel with security training, we estimate it would take employers 15 minutes per mariner to provide documentary evidence of security training or awareness.

For mariners with STCW endorsements issued by foreign governments, filling out form CG-719B takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Estimate of Total Annual Burden: For medical examinations, existing OMB-approved total annual burden, as adjusted in July 2009, is 22,440 hours. This rule would increase the annual burden by 7,950 hours (7,500 hrs. for medical exams + 450 hrs. for foreign-issued STCW endorsements). Additionally, this proposed rule would impose a one-time burden of 5,853 hours on owner/operators to provide documentary evidence of training.

This proposed rule would increase the annual burden on 18,000 respondents submitting medical examination forms by approximately 25 minutes each. The total additional hours requested for this rulemaking is 7,500 [18,000 × (25/60)]. For the approximately 1,800 mariners holding STCW endorsements issued by foreign governments, this proposed rule would increase the annual burden by 105 respondents by approximately 15 minutes each. The total additional hours requested for this rulemaking is 450 [1,800 × (15/60)]. For other personnel with security training or awareness, this one-time requirement would impose a burden on 316 respondents by 15 minutes each, or approximately 5,853 hours [23,413 mariners × (15/60)].

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), we will submit a copy of this proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review of the collection of information.

We ask for public comment on the proposed collections of information to help us determine how useful the information is; whether it can help us perform our functions better; whether it is readily available elsewhere; how accurate our estimate of the burden of each collection is; how valid our methods for determining burden are; how we can improve the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information; and how we can minimize the burden of collection.

If you submit comments on the collection of information, submit them to both OMB and to the Docket Management Facility where indicated under ADDRESSES, by the date under DATES.

You need not respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number from OMB. Before the Coast Guard could enforce the collection of information requirements in this proposed rule, OMB would need to approve the Coast Guard's request to collect this information.

E. Federalism

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on them.

It is well settled that States may not regulate in categories reserved for regulation by the Coast Guard. It is also well settled that all of the categories covered in 46 U.S.C. 3306, 3703, 7101, and 8101 (design, construction, alteration, repair, maintenance, operation, equipping, personnel qualification, and manning of vessels), as well as the reporting of casualties and any other category in which Congress intended the Coast Guard to be the sole source of a vessel's obligations, are within the field foreclosed from regulation by the States. (See the decision of the Supreme Court in the consolidated cases of United States v. Locke and Intertanko v. Locke, 529 U.S. 89, 120 S.Ct. 1135 (March 6, 2000).)

This proposed rule would not extend Federal jurisdiction into those areas of pilotage that are reserved to the States in 46 U.S.C. 8501. Section 8501 provides for State regulation of pilots in the bays, rivers, harbors, and ports of the U.S. unless the law specifies otherwise. This proposed rule would change the requirements for the credentialing of mariners and would impact manning. In United States v. Locke, the Supreme Court references the STCW Convention as evidence that such areas are exclusively Federal, stating: “That training is a field reserved to the Federal Government is further confirmed by the circumstance that the STCW Convention addresses crew `training' and `qualification' requirements, and that the United States has enacted crew training regulations.” United States v. Locke and Intertanko v. Locke, 529 U.S. 89, 120 S.Ct. 1135 (March 6, 2000). Because the States may not regulate within these categories, preemption under Executive Order 13132 is not an issue.

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

G. Taking of Private Property

This proposed rule would not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.Start Printed Page 45955

H. Civil Justice Reform

This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

I. Protection of Children

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

J. Indian Tribal Governments

This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

K. Energy Effects

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order. Though it is a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

L. Technical Standards

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.

This proposed rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

M. Environment

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” section of this preamble. This rule involves regulations that are procedural and the training of maritime personnel. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects

End List of Subjects

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 46 CFR parts 1, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 as follows:

TITLE 46 CFR—SHIPPING

Start Part

PART 1—ORGANIZATION, GENERAL COURSE AND METHODS GOVERNING MARINE SAFETY FUNCTIONS

1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552; 14 U.S.C. 633; 46 U.S.C. 7701; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 93; Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1; § 1.01-35 also issued under the authority of 44 U.S.C. 3507.

End Authority
[Amended]

2. In § 1.03-40, after the words “make a formal appeal of that decision or action”, remove the text “, via the NMC,”.

End Part Start Part

PART 10—MERCHANT MARINER CREDENTIAL

3. Revise the authority citation for part 10 to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 14 U.S.C. 633; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 46 U.S.C. 2101, 2103, 2110; 46 U.S.C. chapter 71; 46 U.S.C. chapter 73; 46 U.S.C. chapter 75; 46 U.S.C. 2104; 46 U.S.C. 7701, 8903, 8904, and 70105; Executive Order 10173; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

End Authority

4. Amend § 10.101 as follows:

a. Revise the heading to read as set down below;

b. In paragraph (b), remove the word “their” and add, in its place, the words “his or her”; and

c. In paragraph (d), remove the words “holder of” and add, in their place, the words “applicant for”.

Purpose.
* * * * *
[Amended]

5. Amend § 10.103 as follows:

a. In paragraph (b)(1), after the words “incorporation by reference approved for” remove the section numbers “§§ 10.107, 10.109, and 10.231” and add, in their place, the section numbers “§§ 10.107, 10.109, 10.201, and 10.410”; and

b. In paragraph (b)(2), after the words “incorporation by reference approved for” remove the section numbers “§§ 10.107, 10.109, 10.227, and 10.231” and add, in their place, the section numbers “§§ 10.107, 10.109, 10.201, 10.404, 10.411, and 10.412”.Start Printed Page 45956

6. Revise § 10.107 to read as follows:

Definitions in subchapter B.

(a) With respect to part 16 of this subchapter only, if the definitions in paragraph (b) of this section differ from those set forth in § 16.105, the definition set forth in § 16.105 applies.

(b) As used in this subchapter, the following terms apply only to merchant marine personnel credentialing and the manning of vessels subject to the manning provisions in the navigation and shipping laws of the United States:

Apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels means a mariner qualified to perform watchkeeping on the bridge, while in training onboard a towing vessel under the direct supervision and in the continuous presence of a master or mate (pilot) of towing vessels.

Apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels (utility) means a mariner qualified to perform watchkeeping on the bridge, while in training onboard a towing vessel under the direct supervision and in the continuous presence of a master or mate (pilot) of towing vessels or a master of towing vessels (utility).

Approved means approved by the Coast Guard.

Approved training means training that is approved by the Coast Guard or meets the requirements of § 10.408 of this part.

Articulated tug barge or ATB means any tug-barge combination which through the use of an articulated or “hinged” connection system between the tug and barge allows movement in one axis, or plane in the critical area of fore and aft pitch.

Assistance towing means towing a disabled vessel for consideration.

Assistant engineer, for domestic endorsements, means a qualified officer in the engine department other than the chief engineer.

Authorized official includes, but is not limited to, a Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer.

Ballast control operator or BCO means an officer restricted to service on mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) whose duties involve the operation of the complex ballast system found on many MODUs. When assigned to a MODU, a ballast control operator is equivalent to a mate on a conventional vessel.

Barge means a non-self-propelled vessel as defined in 46 U.S.C. 102.

Barge supervisor or BS means an officer restricted to service on MODUs whose duties involve support to the offshore installation manager (OIM) in marine-related matters including, but not limited to, maintaining watertight integrity, inspecting and maintaining mooring and towing components, and maintaining emergency and other marine-related equipment. A barge supervisor, when assigned to a MODU, is equivalent to a mate on a conventional vessel.

Boatswain means the leading seaman and immediate supervisor of deck crew who supervises the maintenance of deck gear.

Boundary lines are specified in 46 CFR part 7.

Cargo engineer means a person holding an officer endorsement on a dangerous-liquid tankship or a liquefied-gas tankship whose primary responsibility is maintaining the cargo system and cargo-handling equipment.

Ceremonial license means a document that reflects a mariner's existing domestic officer endorsement and is suitable for framing, but is not valid for use as a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC).

Chief engineer means the senior engineer responsible for the mechanical propulsion and the operation and maintenance of the mechanical and electrical installations of the vessel.

Chief mate means the deck officer next in rank to the master and upon whom the command of the vessel will fall in the event of incapacity of the master.

Coast Guard-accepted means:

(1) That the Coast Guard has officially acknowledged in writing that the material or process at issue meets the applicable requirements;

(2) That the Coast Guard has issued an official policy statement listing or describing the material or process as meeting the applicable requirements; or

(3) That an entity acting on behalf of the Coast Guard under a Memorandum of Agreement has determined that the material or process meets the applicable requirements.

Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization means an entity that has been approved by the Coast Guard to accept and monitor training on behalf of the Coast Guard.

Coastwise seagoing vessel means a vessel that is authorized by its Certificate of Inspection to proceed beyond the Boundary Line established in part 7 of this chapter.

Coastwise voyage is a domestic voyage and means a voyage in which a vessel proceeds:

(1) From one port or place in the United States to another port or place in the United States;

(2) From a port or place in a United States possession to another port or place in the same possession, and passes outside the line dividing inland waters from the high seas; or

(3) From a port or place in the United States or its possessions and passes outside the line dividing inland waters from the high seas and navigates on the high seas, and then returns to the same port or place.

Conviction means that the applicant for a merchant mariner credential has been found guilty, by judgment or plea by a court of record of the United States, the District of Columbia, any State, territory, or possession of the United States, a foreign country, or any military court, of a criminal felony or misdemeanor or of an offense described in section 205 of the National Driver Register Act of 1982, as amended (49 U.S.C. 30304). If an applicant pleads guilty or no contest, is granted deferred adjudication, or is required by the court to attend classes, make contributions of time or money, receive treatment, submit to any manner of probation or supervision, or forgo appeal of a trial court's conviction, then the Coast Guard will consider the applicant to have received a conviction. A later expungement of the conviction will not negate a conviction unless the Coast Guard is satisfied that the expungement is based upon a showing that the court's earlier conviction was in error.

Credential means any or all of the following:

(1) Merchant mariner's document.

(2) License.

(3) STCW endorsement.

(4) Certificate of registry.

(5) Merchant Mariner Credential.

Criminal record review means the process or action taken by the Coast Guard to determine whether an applicant for, or holder of, a credential is a safe and suitable person to be issued such a credential or to be employed on a vessel under the authority of such a credential.

Dangerous drug means a narcotic drug, a controlled substance, or a controlled-substance analogue (as defined in section 102 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act of 1970 (21 U.S.C. 802)).

Dangerous liquid or DL means a liquid listed in 46 CFR 153.40 of this chapter that is not a liquefied gas as defined in this part. Liquid cargoes in bulk listed in 46 CFR part 153, Table 2, of this chapter are not dangerous-liquid cargoes when carried by non-oceangoing barges.

Day means, for the purpose of complying with the service requirements of this subchapter, 8 hours of watchstanding or day-working not to include overtime. On vessels authorized by 46 U.S.C. 8104 and 46 CFR 15.705, to operate a two-watch system, a 12-hour working day may be creditable as Start Printed Page 459571 1/2 days of service. On vessels of less than 100 GRT, a day is considered as 8 hours unless the Coast Guard determines that the vessel's operating schedule makes this criteria inappropriate; in no case will this period be less than 4 hours. When computing service on MODUs for any endorsement, a day of MODU service must be a minimum of 4 hours, and no additional credit is received for periods served over 8 hours.

Deck crew (excluding individuals serving under their officer endorsement) means, as used in 46 U.S.C. 8702, only the following members of the deck department: able seamen, boatswains, and ordinary seamen.

Deck department means the department aboard a ship responsible for navigation, cargo, command, and control functions.

Designated areas means those areas within pilotage waters for which first-class pilot's endorsements are issued under part 11, subpart G, of this chapter, by the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI). The areas for which first-class pilot's endorsements are issued within a particular Marine Inspection Zone and the specific requirements to obtain them may be obtained from the OCMI concerned.

Designated duty engineer or DDE means a qualified engineer, who may be the sole engineer on vessels with a periodically unmanned engine room.

Designated examiner or DE means a person who has been trained or instructed in techniques of training or assessment on towing vessels and is otherwise qualified to evaluate whether an applicant has achieved the level of proficiency required to hold a towing vessel endorsement on a merchant mariner credential (MMC). This person may be approved by the Coast Guard or by a Coast Guard-approved or -accepted program of training.

Designated medical examiner means a licensed physician, licensed physician's assistant, or licensed nurse practitioner who has been trained and approved to conduct medical and physical examinations of merchant mariners on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard and may be delegated limited authority to grant waivers and approve physical/medical suitability for service.

Directly supervised (only when referring to issues related to tankermen) means being in the direct line of sight of the person-in-charge or maintaining direct, two-way communications by a convenient, reliable means, such as a predetermined working frequency over a handheld radio.

Disabled vessel means a vessel that needs assistance, whether docked, moored, anchored, aground, adrift, or underway, but does not mean a barge or any other vessel not regularly operated under its own power. This includes, but is not limited to, a vessel that needs support or aid from another vessel (or vessels) to achieve completion of a maneuver or a portion of a transit safely, or when vessel safety is at risk such as mechanical difficulty, weather conditions, port/waterway congestion, or vessel maneuvering constraints.

Document of Continuity means a document issued by the Coast Guard to seafarers who are unwilling or otherwise unable to meet the requirements of § 10.227 for the sole purpose of maintaining an individual's eligibility for renewal of an endorsement.

Domestic officer endorsement means an annotation on a merchant mariner credential that allows a mariner to serve in the capacities listed in § 10.109(a) of this part. The officer endorsement serves as the license and/or certificate of registry pursuant to 46 U.S.C. subtitle II part E.

Domestic rating endorsement means an annotation on a merchant mariner credential that allows a mariner to serve in those capacities set out in § 10.109(b) and (c) of this part. The rating endorsement serves as the merchant mariner's document pursuant to 46 U.S.C. subtitle II part E.

Domestic voyage means a voyage from one United States port to another United States port, without entering waters under the jurisdiction of another country. This includes a voyage to nowhere that returns to the originating port.

Drug test means a chemical test of an individual's urine for evidence of dangerous drug use.

Dual-mode integrated tug barge means an Integrated Tug Barge (ITB) involving an articulated (flexible) coupling system where the towing unit rolls and heaves (articulates) about a horizontal pivot point. Dual mode units resemble a conventional tug and are capable of towing in other configurations (astern or alongside).

Employment assigned to means the total period of time a person is assigned to work on MODUs, including time spent ashore as part of normal crew rotation.

Endorsement is a statement of a mariner's qualifications, which may include the categories of officer, staff officer, ratings, and/or STCW appearing on a merchant mariner credential.

Engine department means the department aboard a ship responsible for the main propulsion and auxiliary systems, and other mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and refrigeration systems, including deck machinery and cargo-handling equipment.

Entry-level mariner means a mariner holding no rating other than ordinary seaman, wiper, steward's department, or steward's department food handler (F.H.).

Evaluation means processing an application, from the point of receipt to approval or denial of the application, including review of all documents and records submitted with an application as well as those obtained from public records and databases.

Fails a chemical test for dangerous drugs means that the result of a chemical test conducted under 49 CFR part 40 was reported as “positive” by a Medical Review Officer because the chemical test indicated the presence of a dangerous drug at a level equal to or exceeding the levels established in 49 CFR part 40.

First assistant engineer means the engineer officer next in rank to the chief engineer and upon whom the responsibility for the mechanical propulsion and the operation of maintenance of the mechanical and electrical installations of the vessel will fall in the event of the incapacity of the chief engineer.

Great Lakes for the purpose of calculating service requirements for an endorsement, means the Great Lakes and their connecting and tributary waters, including the Calumet River as far as the Thomas J. O'Brien Lock and Controlling Works (between miles 326 and 327), the Chicago River as far as the east side of the Ashland Avenue Bridge (between miles 321 and 322), and the Saint Lawrence River as far east as the lower exit of Saint Lambert Lock. For purposes of requiring merchant mariner credentials with rating endorsements, the connecting and tributary waters are not part of the Great Lakes.

Gross register tons or GRT means the gross ton measurement of the vessel under 46 U.S.C. chapter 145, Regulatory Measurement.

Gross tonnage or GT means the gross tonnage measurement of the vessel under 46 U.S.C. chapter 143, Convention Measurement.

Harbor assist means the use of a towing vessel during maneuvers to dock, undock, moor, or unmoor a vessel, or to escort a vessel with limited maneuverability. This term refers to towing vessels assisting ships rather than to assistance towing vessels assisting yachts and recreational boats.

Horsepower or HP means, for the purpose of this subchapter, the total maximum continuous shaft horsepower of the entire vessel's main propulsion Start Printed Page 45958machinery as determined by the manufacturer. This term is used when describing a vessel's propulsion power and also when placing limitations on an engineer officer license or endorsement. One horsepower equals 0.75 kW.

IMO means the International Maritime Organization.

Increase in scope means additional authority added to an existing credential.

Inland waters means the navigable waters of the United States shoreward of the Boundary Lines as described in part 7 of this chapter, excluding the Great Lakes, and, for towing vessels, excluding the Western Rivers. For establishing credit for sea service, the waters of the Inside Passage between Puget Sound and Cape Spencer, Alaska, are inland waters.

Integrated Tug Barge or ITB means any tug-barge combination which, through the use of special design features or a specially designed connection system, has increased seakeeping capabilities relative to a tug and barge in the conventional pushing mode. An ITB can be divided into either a dual-mode ITB or a push-mode ITB. The definitions for those categories can be found elsewhere in this section.

Invalid credential means a Merchant Mariner Credential, merchant mariner's document, merchant mariner's license, STCW endorsement, or Certificate of Registry that has been suspended or revoked, or has expired.

Kilowatt or kW means 11/3 horsepower. This term is used when describing a vessel's propulsion power and also when placing limitations on an engineer officer license or endorsement.

Large passenger vessel, for the purposes of subpart H of part 12, means a vessel of more than 70,000 gross tons, as measured under 46 U.S.C. 14302 and documented under the laws of the United States, with capacity for at least 2,000 passengers and a coastwise endorsement under 46 U.S.C. chapter 121.

Lifeboatman means a mariner who is qualified to take charge of, lower, and operate survival craft and related survival equipment on a vessel.

Lifeboatman-Limited means a mariner who is qualified to take charge of, lower, and operate liferafts, rescue boats, and other survival equipment on vessels where lifeboats are not installed.

Limited means an annotation on a merchant mariner credential which limits the operational authority of a particular endorsement to a limited tonnage, portions of a route, means of propulsion, or equipment (such as liferafts).

Liquefied gas or LG means a cargo that has a vapor pressure of 172 kPa (25 psia) or more at 37.8°C (100°F).

Liquid cargo in bulk means a liquid or liquefied gas listed in § 153.40 of this chapter and carried as a liquid cargo or liquid-cargo residue in integral, fixed, or portable tanks, except a liquid cargo carried in a portable tank actually loaded and discharged from a vessel with the contents intact.

Management level means the level of responsibility associated with serving as master, chief mate, chief engineer officer or second engineer officer onboard vessels to which STCW applies.

Marine chemist means a person certificated by the National Fire Protection Association.

Master means the officer having command of a vessel.

Mate means a qualified officer in the deck department other than the master.

Merchant Mariner Credential or MMC means a credential issued by the Coast Guard under 46 CFR part 10. It combines the individual merchant mariner's document, license, and certificate of registry enumerated in 46 U.S.C. subtitle II part E as well as the STCW endorsement into a single credential that serves as the mariner's qualification document, certificate of identification, and certificate of service.

MMC application means the application for the MMC, as well as the application for any endorsement on an MMC.

Mobile offshore drilling unit or MODU means a vessel capable of engaging in drilling operations for the exploration for or exploitation of subsea resources. MODU designs include the following:

(1) Bottom bearing units, which include:

(i) Self-elevating (or jack-up) units with moveable, bottom bearing legs capable of raising the hull above the surface of the sea; and

(ii) Submersible units of ship-shape, barge-type, or novel hull design, other than a self-elevating unit, intended for operating while bottom bearing.

(2) Surface units with a ship-shape or barge-type displacement hull of single or multiple hull construction intended for operating in a floating condition, including semi-submersibles and drill ships.

Month means 30 days, for the purpose of complying with the service requirements of this subchapter.

National Driver Register or NDR means the nationwide repository of information on drivers maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under 49 U.S.C. chapter 303.

NDR-listed convictions means a conviction of any of the following motor vehicle-related offenses or comparable offenses:

(1) Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of, or impaired by, alcohol or a controlled substance; or

(2) A traffic violation arising in connection with a fatal traffic accident, reckless driving, or racing on the highways.

Near-coastal means ocean waters not more than 200 miles offshore from the U.S. and its possessions, except for MMCs endorsed as Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel for which near-coastal is limited to waters not more than 100 miles offshore from the U.S. and its possessions.

Non-resident alien, for the purposes of subchapter H of part 12, means an individual who is not a citizen or alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, but who is employable in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), including an alien crewman described in section 101(a)(15)(D)(i) of that Act who meets the requirements of 46 U.S.C. 8103(k)(3)(A).

Oceans means the waters seaward of the Boundary Lines as described in 46 CFR part 7. For the purposes of establishing sea service credit, the waters of the Inside Passage between Puget Sound and Cape Spencer, Alaska, and the inland waters of another country are not considered oceans.

Officer endorsement means an annotation on a merchant mariner credential that allows a mariner to serve in the capacities listed in § 10.109 of this part.

Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection or OCMI means, for the purposes of this subchapter, the commanding officer of the National Maritime Center, or any person designated as such by the Commandant, in accordance with 46 CFR 1.01-15(b).

Officer in charge of an engineering watch in a manned engine room or designated duty engineer in a periodically unmanned engine room or OICEW means an engineering officer qualified at the operational level.

Officer in charge of a navigational watch or OICNW means a deck officer qualified at the operational level.

Offshore installation manager or OIM means an officer restricted to service on MODUs. An assigned offshore installation manager is equivalent to a master on a conventional vessel and is the person designated by the owner or operator to be in complete and ultimate command of the unit.Start Printed Page 45959

On location means that a mobile offshore drilling unit is bottom bearing or moored with anchors placed in the drilling configuration.

Operate, operating, or operation (as applied to the manning requirements of vessels carrying passengers) refers to a vessel any time passengers are embarked whether the vessel is underway, at anchor, made fast to shore, or aground.

Operational level means the level of responsibility associated with serving as officer in charge of a navigational or engineering watch or as designated duty engineer for periodically unmanned machinery spaces or as Global Maritime Distress and Safety System radio operator onboard ships to which STCW applies.

Operator means an individual qualified to operate certain uninspected vessels.

Orally assisted examination means an examination as described in 46 CFR, part 11, subpart I of this subchapter administered verbally and documented by a Coast Guard examiner.

Overriding operational condition means circumstances in which essential shipboard work cannot be delayed due to safety or environmental reasons, or could not have reasonably been anticipated at the commencement of the voyage.

Participation, when used with regard to the service on transfers required for tankerman by §§ 13.120, 13.203, or 13.303 of this subchapter, means either actual participation in the transfers or close observation of how the transfers are conducted and supervised.

Passes a chemical test for dangerous drugs means that the result of a chemical test conducted according to 49 CFR part 40 is reported as “negative” by a Medical Review Officer according to that part.

Periodically unattended engine room means a space containing main propulsion and associated machinery and all sources of main electrical supply which is not at all times manned under all operating conditions, including maneuvering.

PIC means a person in charge.

Pilot of towing vessels means a qualified officer of a towing vessel operated only on inland routes.

Pilotage waters means the navigable waters of the United States, including all inland waters and offshore waters to a distance of 3 nautical miles from the baseline from which the Territorial Sea is measured.

Practical demonstration means the performance of an activity under the direct observation of a designated examiner or qualified assessor for the purpose of establishing that the performer is sufficiently proficient in a practical skill to meet a specified standard of competence or other objective criterion.

Propulsion power means the total maximum continuous-rated output power of the main propulsion machinery of a vessel determined by the manufacturer, in either kilowatts or horsepower, which appears on the ship's Certificate of Registry or other official document and excludes thrusters and other auxiliary machinery.

Public vessel means a vessel that:

(1) Is owned, or demise chartered, and operated by the United States Government or a government of a foreign country; and

(2) Is not engaged in commercial service.

Push-mode ITBs means those ITBs that involve a rigid coupling system and, when not coupled to the barge, are incapable of conducting towing in any other configuration (such as astern or alongside) because, by themselves, they have very limited seakeeping capability. The propelling unit moves as one with the barge unit.

Qualified Assessor or QA means a person who is qualified to evaluate whether an applicant has demonstrated the level of proficiency required to hold a required endorsement on an MMC. This person may be approved by the Coast Guard or by a Coast Guard-approved or -accepted program of training.

Qualified instructor means a person who has been trained or instructed in instructional techniques and is otherwise qualified to provide required training to candidates for an MMC endorsement. A faculty member employed at a State maritime academy or the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy operated under 46 CFR part 310 and instructing in a navigation or engineering course is qualified to serve as a qualified instructor in his or her area of specialization without individual evaluation by the Coast Guard.

Qualified rating means various categories of able seaman, qualified member of the engine department, or tankerman endorsements issued on merchant mariner credentials.

Quality Standard System or QSS means a set of policies, procedures, processes, and data required to establish and fulfill the organization's objectives.

Raise of grade means an increase in the level of authority and responsibility associated with an officer or rating endorsement.

Rating endorsement is an annotation on a merchant mariner credential that allows a mariner to serve in those capacities set out in § 10.109 of this part.

Regional examination center or REC means a field office of the National Maritime Center that receives and screens credential applications, conducts approved course oversight, and administers Coast Guard examinations as required by this subchapter.

Rest means a period of time during which the person concerned is off duty, is not performing work (which includes administrative tasks such as chart correction or preparation of port-entry documents), and is allowed to sleep without interruption.

Restricted means when a restriction is placed on an MMC, which restricts the authority of an endorsement to specific cargoes, equipment, vessel or vessels, employers, activities, particular geographic or local areas, formal camps, yacht clubs, educational institutions, or marinas.

Restricted tankerman endorsement means a valid tankerman endorsement on an MMC restricting its holder as the Coast Guard deems appropriate. For instance, the endorsement may restrict the holder to one or a combination of the following: a specific cargo or cargoes; a specific vessel or vessels; a specific facility or facilities; a specific employer or employers; a specific activity or activities (such as loading or unloading in a cargo transfer); or a particular area of water.

Rivers means a river, canal, or other similar body of water designated as such by the Coast Guard.

Safe and suitable person means a person whose prior record, including but not limited to criminal record and/or NDR record, provides no information indicating that his or her character and habits of life would support the belief that permitting such a person to serve under the MMC and/or endorsement sought would clearly be a threat to the safety of life or property detrimental to good discipline, or adverse to the interests of the United States. See 46 CFR 10.211 and 10.213 for the regulations associated with this definition.

Seagoing service means service onboard a ship/vessel relevant to the issue of a credential or other qualification.

Seagoing vessel means a self-propelled vessel that operates beyond the boundary line specified in 46 CFR part 7.

Second engineer officer means an engineer officer next in rank to the chief engineer officer and upon whom the responsibility for the mechanical Start Printed Page 45960propulsion and the operation and maintenance of the mechanical and electrical installations of the ship will fall in the event of the incapacity of the chief engineer officer.

Self-propelled has the same meaning as the terms “propelled by machinery” and “mechanically propelled.” This term includes vessels fitted with sails or mechanical propulsion.

Self-propelled tank vessel means a tank vessel propelled by machinery other than a tankship.

Senior company official means the president, vice president, vice president for personnel, personnel director, or similarly titled or responsible individual, or a lower-level employee designated in writing by one of these individuals for the purpose of certifying employment.

Service (as used when computing the required service for endorsements) means the time period, in days, a person is assigned to work. On MODUs, this excludes time spent ashore as part of crew rotation.

Ship means a self-propelled vessel using any mode of propulsion, including sail and auxiliary sail.

Simulated transfer means a transfer practiced in a course meeting the requirements of § 13.121 of this subchapter that uses simulation supplying part of the service on transfers required for tankerman by §§ 13.203 or 13.303 of this subchapter.

Staff officer means a person who holds an MMC with an officer endorsement listed in § 10.109(a)(40) through (a)(47) of this part.

Standard of competence means the level of proficiency to be achieved for the proper performance of duties onboard vessels according to national and international criteria.

Steward's department means the department that includes entertainment personnel and all service personnel, including wait staff, housekeeping staff, and galley workers, as defined in the vessel security plan approved by the Secretary under 46 U.S.C. 70103(c). These personnel may also be referred to as members of the hotel department on a large passenger vessel.

STCW means the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (incorporated by reference, see § 10.103 of this subpart).

STCW Code means the Seafarer's Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code (incorporated by reference, see § 10.103 of this subpart).

STCW endorsement means an annotation on an MMC that allows a mariner to serve in those capacities under § 10.109(d) of this subpart. The STCW endorsement serves as evidence that a mariner has met the requirements of the STCW Convention.

Support level means the level of responsibility associated with serving as able seafarer deck or engine, rating forming part of the navigational or engineering watch or as electro-technical rating.

Tank barge means a non-self-propelled tank vessel.

Tank vessel means a vessel that is constructed or adapted to carry, or that carries, oil or hazardous material in bulk as cargo or cargo residue, and that:

(1) Is a vessel of the United States;

(2) Operates on the navigable waters of the United States; or

(3) Transfers oil or hazardous material in a port or place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Tankerman assistant means a person holding a valid “Tankerman-Assistant” endorsement on his or her MMC.

Tankerman engineer means a person holding a valid “Tankerman-Engineer” endorsement on his or her MMC.

Tankerman PIC means a person holding a valid “Tankerman-PIC” endorsement on his or her MMC.

Tankerman PIC (Barge) means a person holding a valid “Tankerman-PIC (Barge)” endorsement on his or her MMC.

Tankship means any self-propelled tank vessel constructed or adapted primarily to carry oil or hazardous material in bulk as cargo or as cargo residue.

Training program means a combination of training, practical assessment, and service which provides an individual with all or part of the necessary knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required for a specific qualification.

Transfer means any movement of fuel, dangerous liquid, or liquefied gas as cargo in bulk or as cargo residue to or from a vessel by means of pumping, gravitation, or displacement.

Transportation Worker Identification Credential or TWIC means an identification credential issued by the Transportation Security Administration under 49 CFR part 1572.

Underway means that a vessel is not at anchor, made fast to the shore, or aground. When referring to a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU), underway means that the MODU is not in an on-location or laid-up status and includes that period of time when the MODU is deploying or recovering its mooring system.

Undocumented vessel means a vessel not required to have a certificate of documentation issued under the laws of the United States.

Utility towing means:

(1) Towing a barge with equipment performing marine construction, repair, and other types of marine utility services; or

(2) Assisting yachts and recreational boats with limited maneuverability to dock, undock, moor, or unmoor.

Vessel personnel with security duties means a person, excluding the designated security officer (e.g., Company Security Officer (CSO) and Vessel Security Officer (VSO)), holding a license or MMC officer endorsement, and/or an STCW endorsement; and persons in charge for the loading and unloading of cargo, passengers, and vessel stores.

Vessel Security Officer or VSO means a person onboard the vessel accountable to the Master, designated by the Company as responsible for security of the vessel, including implementation and maintenance of the Vessel's Security Plan, and for liaison with the Facility Security Officer and the vessel's Company Security Officer.

Western rivers means:

(1) The Mississippi River;

(2) The Mississippi River's tributaries, South Pass, and Southwest Pass, to the navigational demarcation lines dividing the high seas from harbors, rivers, and other inland waters of the United States;

(3) The Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route;

(4) That part of the Atchafalaya River above its junction with the Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route, including the Old River and the Red River; and

(5) Those waters specified in 33 CFR 89.25.

Year means 360 days for the purpose of complying with the service requirements of this subchapter.

7. Revise § 10.109 to read as follows:

Classification of endorsements.

(a) Domestic officer endorsements. The following domestic officer endorsements are established in part 11 of this subchapter. The endorsements indicate that an individual holding a valid MMC with this endorsement is qualified to serve in that capacity and the endorsement has been issued under the requirements contained in part 11 of this subchapter:

(1) Master;

(2) Chief mate;

(3) Second mate;

(4) Third mate;

(5) Mate;

(6) Master of towing vessels;

(7) Master of towing vessels, limited;

(8) Master of towing vessels, utility;

(9) Mate (pilot) of towing vessels;

(10) Apprentice mate (Steersman);

(11) Apprentice mate (Steersman), limited;Start Printed Page 45961

(12) Apprentice mate (Steersman), utility;

(13) Master of towing vessels (Harbor Assist);

(14) Assistance towing;

(15) Offshore installation manager (OIM);

(16) Barge supervisor (BS);

(17) Ballast control operator (BCO);

(18) Operator of uninspected passenger vessels (OUPV);

(19) Master of uninspected fishing industry vessels;

(20) Mate of uninspected fishing industry vessels;

(21) Master of offshore supply vessels;

(22) Chief mate of offshore supply vessels;

(23) Mate of offshore supply vessels;

(24) Chief engineer;

(25) Chief engineer (limited-ocean);

(26) Chief engineer (limited-near-coastal);

(27) First assistant engineer;

(28) Second assistant engineer;

(29) Third assistant engineer;

(30) Assistant engineer (limited);

(31) Designated duty engineer (DDE);

(32) Chief engineer offshore supply vessel;

(33) Engineer offshore supply vessels;

(34) Chief engineer MODU;

(35) Assistant engineer MODU;

(36) Chief engineer uninspected fishing industry vessels;

(37) Assistant engineer uninspected fishing industry vessels;

(38) Radio officer;

(39) First-class pilot;

(40) Chief purser;

(41) Purser;

(42) Senior assistant purser;

(43) Junior assistant purser;

(44) Medical doctor;

(45) Professional nurse;

(46) Marine physician assistant;

(47) Hospital corpsman; and

(48) Radar observer.

(b) Domestic rating endorsements. The following domestic rating endorsements are established in part 12 of this subchapter. The endorsements indicate that an individual holding a valid MMC with this endorsement is qualified to serve in that capacity and the endorsement has been issued under the requirements contained in part 12 of this subchapter:

(1) Able seaman:

(i) Any waters, unlimited;

(ii) Limited;

(iii) Special;

(iv) Special (OSV);

(v) Sail; and

(vi) Fishing industry.

(2) Ordinary seaman;

(3) Qualified member of the engine department (QMED), including the following specialty endorsements:

(i) Oiler;

(ii) Watertender/Fireman;

(iii) Junior engineer;

(iv) Pumpman/Machinist; and

(v) Electrician/Refrigerating engineer.

(4) Lifeboatman;

(5) Lifeboatman-Limited;

(6) Wiper;

(7) Steward's department;

(8) Steward's department (F.H.);

(9) Cadet (deck or engineer);

(10) Student observer;

(11) Apprentice engineer; and

(12) Apprentice mate.

(c) The following ratings are established in part 13 of this subchapter. The endorsements indicate that an individual holding a valid MMC with this endorsement is qualified to serve in that capacity and the endorsement has been issued under the requirements contained in part 13 of this subchapter:

(1) Tankerman-PIC;

(2) Tankerman-PIC (Barge);

(3) Tankerman-PIC restricted;

(4) Tankerman-PIC (Barge) restricted;

(5) Tankerman assistant; and

(6) Tankerman engineer.

(d) STCW endorsements. The following STCW endorsements are issued according to the STCW Convention, the STCW Code, and parts 11, 12, and 13 of this subchapter. The endorsements indicate that an individual holding a valid MMC with this endorsement is qualified to serve in that capacity and the endorsement has been issued under the requirements contained in parts 11, 12, or 13 of this subchapter as well as the STCW Convention and STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 10.103 of this subpart):

(1) Master;

(2) Chief mate;

(3) Officer in charge of a navigational watch (OICNW);

(4) Chief engineer officer;

(5) Second engineer officer;

(6) Officer in charge of an engineering watch in a manned engineroom or designated duty engineer in a periodically unmanned engineroom (OICEW);

(7) Electro-technical officer (ETO);

(8) Rating forming part of a navigational watch (RFPNW);

(9) Able seafarer-deck;

(10) Rating forming part of a watch in a manned engineroom or designated to perform duties in a periodically unmanned engineroom (RFPEW);

(11) Able seafarer-engine;

(12) Electro-technical rating;

(13) Basic safety training (BST);

(14) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats (PSC);

(15) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats—limited (PSC—limited);

(16) Proficiency in fast rescue boats;

(17) Person in charge of medical care;

(18) Medical first-aid provider;

(19) GMDSS at-sea maintainer;

(20) GMDSS operator;

(21) Advanced oil tanker cargo operation;

(22) Advanced chemical tanker cargo operation;

(23) Advanced liquefied gas tanker cargo operation;

(24) Basic oil and chemical tanker cargo operation;

(25) Basic liquefied gas tanker cargo operation;

(26) Vessel Security Officer;

(27) Vessel personnel with designated security duties; and

(28) Security awareness.

[Amended]

8. Amend § 10.201 as follows:

a. In paragraph (a), remove the words “incorporated by reference in § 10.103” and add, in their place, the words “(incorporated by reference, see § 10.103 of this part)”; and

b. In paragraph (c), remove the words “National Maritime Center or at any Regional Examination Center during usual business hours, or through the mail” and add, in their place, the words “Coast Guard”.

[Amended]

9. In § 10.203(c) and (d), after the words “when requested by an authorized official”, remove the words “as identified in 33 CFR 101.515(d)”.

10. Amend § 10.205 as follows:

a. Revise paragraph (a) to read as set down below;

b. In paragraph (b), after the words “All endorsements”, add the words “, unless otherwise noted,”;

c. In paragraph (c), remove the word “one” and add, in its place, the number “1” and remove the text “§ 10.227(f) and add, in its place, the text “§ 10.227(h)”;

d. In paragraph (d), after the words “in accordance with § 10.227”, add the words “of this part”;

e. Remove paragraph (f), and redesignate paragraphs (g) and (h) as paragraphs (f) and (g), respectively; and

f. Add new paragraph (h) to read as follows:

Validity of a merchant mariner credential.

(a) An MMC is valid for a term of 5 years from the date of issuance. Upon the written request of the applicant, the Coast Guard may post-date the issuance of an MMC up to 12 months from the date that the Coast Guard accepts a complete application as defined in this part.

* * * * *
Start Printed Page 45962

(h) When a Document of Continuity is replaced with an MMC re-issued in accordance with § 10.227 of this part, the Document of Continuity that has been replaced becomes invalid. In the event that not all endorsements on a Document of Continuity are activated, a new Document of Continuity will be issued for the remaining endorsements.

[Amended]

11. In § 10.207, after the words “a unique serial number”, add the words “, called the mariner reference number,”.

12. Revise § 10.209 to read as follows:

General application procedures.

(a) The applicant for an MMC, whether for an original, renewal, duplicate, raise of grade, or a new endorsement on a previously issued MMC, must establish that he or she satisfies all the requirements for the MMC and endorsements sought before the Coast Guard will issue the MMC. This section contains the general requirements for all applicants. Additional requirements for duplicates, renewals, new endorsements, and raises of grade appear later in this part.

(b) The Coast Guard may refuse to process an incomplete MMC application. The requirements for a complete application for an original MMC are contained in § 10.225 of this part, the requirements for a renewal MMC application are contained in § 10.227 of this part, the requirements for a duplicate MMC application are contained in § 10.229 of this part, and the requirements for an application for a new endorsement or raise of grade are contained in § 10.231 of this part.

(c) Applications are valid for 12 months from the date that the Coast Guard approves the application.

(d) The portions of the application that may be submitted in person, by mail, fax, or other electronic means may include:

(1) The application, consent for National Driver Register (NDR) check, and notarized oath on Coast Guard-furnished forms, and the evaluation fee required by § 10.219 of this part;

(2) The applicant's continuous discharge book, certificate of identification, MMD, MMC, license, STCW endorsement, Certificate of Registry (COR), or, if it has not expired, a photocopy of the credential, including the back and all attachments;

(3) Proof, documented on CG-719K or CG-719K/E, as appropriate, provided by the Coast Guard, that the applicant passed the applicable vision, hearing, medical or physical exam as required by subpart C of this part, or an unexpired medical certificate/endorsement issued by the Coast Guard;

(4) If the applicant desires a credential with a radar-observer endorsement in accordance with § 11.480 of this subchapter, either the radar-observer certificate or a certified copy;

(5) Evidence of, or acceptable substitute for, sea service, if required;

(6) For an endorsement as a medical doctor or professional nurse as required in § 11.807 of this subchapter, evidence that the applicant holds a currently valid, appropriate license as physician, surgeon, or registered nurse, issued under the authority of a state or territory of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia. Any MMC issued will retain any limitation associated with the medical license;

(7) Any certificates or other supplementary materials required to show that the mariner meets the mandatory requirements for the specific endorsement sought, as established in parts 11, 12, or 13 of this subchapter; and

(8) An open-book exercise, in accordance with § 10.227(e)(1) of this part.

(e) The following requirements must be satisfied before an original or renewal MMC, or new endorsement or a raise of grade added to a previously issued MMC, will be issued. These materials will be added to the individual's record by the Coast Guard:

(1) Determination of safety and suitability. No MMC will be issued as an original or reissued with a new expiration date, and no new officer endorsement will be issued if the applicant fails the criminal record review as set forth in § 10.211 of this part;

(2) NDR review. No MMC will be issued as an original or reissued with a new expiration date, and no new officer endorsement will be issued if the applicant fails the NDR review as set forth in § 10.213 of this part; and

(3) Information supplied by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). No MMC or endorsement will be issued until the Coast Guard receives the following information from the applicant's TWIC application: the applicant's fingerprints, FBI number and criminal record (if applicable), photograph, proof of citizenship, or Nationality with proof of legal resident status (if applicable). If the information is not available from TSA, the mariner may be required to visit a Regional Exam Center to provide this information.

(f) Upon determining that the applicant satisfactorily meets all requirements for an MMC or an endorsement thereon, the Coast Guard will issue the properly endorsed MMC to the applicant. The Coast Guard will not issue an MMC until it has received proof that the mariner holds a valid TWIC.

(g) When a new MMC is issued, the mariner must return the previously issued MMC, license, MMD, COR, or STCW endorsement to the Coast Guard, unless the new MMC is being issued to replace a lost or stolen credential.

(h) No MMC will be issued if the applicant fails a chemical test for dangerous drugs as required in §§ 10.225(b)(5), 10.227(d)(5), and 10.231(c)(6).

(i) Ceremonial licenses. A mariner may obtain a ceremonial license when applying for his or her credential or Document of Continuity.

13. Amend § 10.211 as follows:

a. In paragraph (a), after the words “written disclosure of all”, add the word “prior”;

b. In paragraph (b), after the words “a duplicate MMC under § 10.229”, add the words “of this part”;

c. In paragraph (c), remove the words “Beginning April 15, 2009, the” and add, in their place, the word “The”; and after the words “This information”, remove the words “, or the fingerprints taken by the Coast Guard at an REC,”;

d. In paragraph (d), remove the word “disapproved” and add, in its place, the word “denied”;

e. In paragraph (e), remove the word “disapproved” and add, in its place, the word “denied”; and remove the word “disapproval” and add, in its place, the word “denial”;

f. In paragraph (g), after the words “The Coast Guard will use table 10.211(g)”, add the words “of this section”;

g. Revise table 10.211(g) to read as set down below;

h. In paragraphs (h) and (i), after the words “table 10.211(g)” wherever they appear, add the words “of this section”;

i. In paragraph (j), after the words “If a person with a criminal conviction submits”, remove the word “their” and add, in its place, the words “his or her”; and remove the word “disapprove” in the last sentence, and add, in its place, the word “deny”; and

j. In paragraph (k), after the words “If a person with a criminal conviction submits”, remove the word “their” and add, in its place, the words “his or her”, and after the words “in table 10.211(g)” wherever they appear, add the words “of this section”.

Criminal Record Review.
* * * * *
Start Printed Page 45963

Table 10.211(g)—Guidelines for Evaluating Applicants for MMCs Who Have Criminal Convictions

Crime 1Assessment periods
MinimumMaximum
Assessment Periods for Officer and Rating Endorsement
Crimes Against Persons:
Homicide (intentional)7 years20 years.
Homicide (unintentional)5 years10 years.
Assault (aggravated)5 years10 years.
Assault (simple)1 year5 years.
Sexual Assault (rape, child molestation)5 years10 years.
Robbery5 years10 years.
Other crimes against persons.2
Vehicular Crimes:
Conviction involving fatality1 year5 years.
Reckless Driving1 year2 years.
Racing on the Highways1 year2 years.
Other vehicular crimes 2
Crimes Against Public Safety:
Destruction of Property5 years10 years.
Other crimes against public safety 2
Dangerous Drug Offenses: 3 4 5
Trafficking (sale, distribution, transfer)5 years10 years.
Dangerous drugs (Use or possession)1 year10 years.
Other dangerous drug convictions.6
Criminal Violations of Environmental Laws:
Criminal violations of environmental laws involving improper handling of pollutants or hazardous materials1 year10 years.
Assessment Periods for Officer Endorsements Only
Crimes Against Property:
Burglary3 years10 years.
Larceny (embezzlement)3 years5 years.
Other crimes against property.2
1 Conviction of attempts, solicitations, aiding and abetting, accessory after the fact, and conspiracies to commit the criminal conduct listed in this table carry the same minimum and maximum assessment periods provided in the table.
2 Other crimes will be reviewed by the Coast Guard to determine the minimum and maximum assessment periods depending on the nature of the crime.
3 Applicable to original applications only. Any applicant who has ever been the user of, or addicted to the use of, a dangerous drug must meet the requirements of paragraph (f) of this section. Note: Applicants for reissue of an MMC with a new expiration date including a renewal or additional endorsement(s), who have been convicted of a dangerous drug offense while holding a license, MMC, MMD, STCW endorsement or COR, may have their application withheld until appropriate action has been completed by the Coast Guard under the regulations which appear in 46 CFR part 5 governing the administrative actions against merchant mariner credentials.
4 The Coast Guard may consider dangerous drug convictions more than 10 years old only if there has been another dangerous drug conviction within the past 10 years.
5 Applicants must demonstrate rehabilitation under paragraph (l) of this section, including applicants with dangerous drug use convictions more than 10 years old.
6 Other dangerous drug convictions will be reviewed by the Coast Guard on a case by case basis to determine the appropriate assessment period depending on the nature of the offense.
* * * * *

14. Revise § 10.213 to read as follows:

National Driver Register.

(a) No MMC will be issued as an original or reissued with a new expiration date, and no new officer endorsement will be issued, unless the applicant consents to a check of the NDR for offenses described in section 205(a)(3)(A) or (B) of the NDR Act (i.e., operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of, or impaired by, alcohol or a controlled substance; and any traffic violations arising in connection with a fatal traffic accident, reckless driving, or racing on the highways).

(b) The Coast Guard will not consider NDR-listed civil convictions that are more than 3 years old from the date of request unless that information relates to a current suspension or revocation of the applicant's license to operate a motor vehicle. The Coast Guard may determine minimum and maximum assessment periods for NDR-listed criminal convictions using table 10.213(c) of this section. An applicant conducting simultaneous MMC transactions is subject to only one NDR check.

(c) The guidelines in table 10.213(c) will be used by the Coast Guard in evaluating applicants who have drug or alcohol related NDR-listed convictions. Non-drug or alcohol related NDR-listed convictions will be evaluated by the Coast Guard under table 10.211(g) of § 10.211 of this part as applicable. The Coast Guard may consider non-drug or alcohol related NDR-listed convictions that are more than 3 years old from the date of the request when the information relates to a current suspension or revocation of the applicant's license to operate a motor vehicle.Start Printed Page 45964

Table 10.213(c)—Guidelines for Evaluating Applicants for MMCs Who Have NDR Motor Vehicle Convictions Involving Dangerous Drugs or Alcohol 1

Number of convictionsDate of convictionAssessment period
1Less than 1 year1 year from date of conviction.
1More than 1, less than 3 yearsApplication will be processed, unless suspension, or revocation 2 is still in effect. Applicant will be advised that additional conviction(s) may jeopardize merchant mariner credentials.
1More than 3 years oldApplication will be processed.
2 or moreAny less than 3 years old1 year since last conviction and at least 3 years from 2nd most recent conviction, unless suspension or revocation is still in effect.
2 or moreAll more than 3 years oldApplication will be processed unless suspension or revocation is still in effect.
1 Any applicant who has ever been the user of, or addicted to the use of, a dangerous drug must meet the requirements of paragraph (f) of this section.
2 Suspension or revocation, when referred to in table 10.213, means a State suspension or revocation of a motor vehicle operator's license.

(d) Any application may be denied if information from the NDR check leads the Coast Guard to determine that the applicant cannot be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of the endorsement for which the application is made. If an application is denied, the Coast Guard will notify the applicant in writing of the reason(s) for denial and advise the applicant that the appeal procedures in subpart 1.03 of part 1 of this chapter apply. No examination will be given pending decision on appeal.

(e) Before denying an application because of information received from the NDR, the Coast Guard will make the information available to the applicant for review and written comment. The applicant may submit records from the applicable State concerning driving record and convictions to the Coast Guard Regional Examination Center (REC) processing the application. The REC will hold an application with NDR-listed convictions pending the completion of the evaluation and delivery by the individual of the underlying State records.

(f) If an applicant has one or more alcohol or dangerous drug-related criminal or NDR-listed convictions, if the applicant has ever been the user of, or addicted to the use of, a dangerous drug, or if the applicant applies before the minimum assessment period for his or her conviction has elapsed, the Coast Guard may consider the following factors, as applicable, in assessing the applicant's suitability to hold an MMC. This list is intended as a guide for the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard may consider other factors which it judges appropriate to a particular applicant, such as:

(1) Proof of completion of an accredited alcohol or drug abuse rehabilitation program;

(2) Active membership in a rehabilitation or counseling group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous;

(3) Character references from persons who can attest to the applicant's sobriety, reliability, and suitability for employment in the merchant marine, including parole or probation officers;

(4) Steady employment; and

(5) Successful completion of all conditions of parole or probation.

[Amended]

15. In § 10.214, remove the words “Until April 15, 2009, the” and add, in their place, the word “The”.

[Removed]

16. Remove § 10.215

17. Revise § 10.217 to read as follows:

Merchant mariner credential application and examination locations.

(a) Applicants for an MMC may apply to any of the Regional Examination Centers (RECs) or any other location designated by the Coast Guard. Applicants may contact the National Maritime Center at 100 Forbes Drive, Martinsburg, WV 25404, by telephone 1-888-427-5662 or 304-433-3400, or by e-mail at IASKNMC@uscg.mil. A list of locations approved for application submittal is available through the Coast Guard Web site at http://www.uscg.mil/​nmc.

(b) Exam Locations. (1) Coast Guard units abroad may conduct exams for ratings at locations other than the RECs, but are not prepared to conduct practical examinations.

(2) The Coast Guard may designate additional exam facilities/locations to provide services to applicants for MMCs.

18. Revise § 10.219 to read as follows:

Fees.

(a) Use table 10.219(a) of this section to calculate the mandatory fees for MMCs and associated endorsements.

Table 10.219(a)—Fees

If you apply forAnd you need
Evaluation then the fee is . . .Examination then the fee is . . .Issuance then the fee is . . .
MMC with officer endorsement:
Original:
Unlimited 1$100$110$45
Limited 2$100$95$45
Renewal$50$45$45
Raise of grade$100$45$45
Modification or removal of limitation or scope$50$45$45
Radio officer endorsement:
Original$50$45$45
Renewal$50n/a$45
Staff officer endorsements:
Original$90n/a$45
Start Printed Page 45965
Renewal$50n/a$45
MMC with rating endorsement:
Original endorsement for ratings other than qualified ratings$95n/a$45
Original endorsement for qualified rating$95$140$45
Upgrade or raise of Grade$95$140$45
Renewal endorsement for ratings other than qualified ratings$50n/a$45
Renewal endorsement for qualified rating$50$45$45
Modification or removal of limitation or scope$50$45$45
STCW endorsement:
OriginalNo feeNo feeNo fee
RenewalNo feeNo feeNo fee
Reissue, replacement, and duplicaten/an/a$45 3
1 Unlimited means credentials authorizing service on vessels of any gross tons/unlimited tonnage or unlimited propulsion power.
2 Limited means credentials authorizing service on vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT.
3 Duplicate for MMC lost as result of marine casualty—No Fee.

(b) Fee payment procedures. Applicants may pay:

(1) All fees required by this section at the time the application is submitted; or

(2) A fee for each phase at the following times:

(i) An evaluation fee when the application is submitted.

(ii) An examination fee before the first examination section is taken.

(iii) An issuance fee before receipt of the MMC.

(c) If the examination is administered at a place other than a Regional Examination Center (REC), the examination fee must be paid to the REC at least one week before the scheduled examination date.

(d) Fee payments must be for the exact amount and made by credit card or by electronic payment in a manner specified by the Coast Guard. For information regarding current forms of electronic payment, go to http://www.uscg.mil/​stcw/​ldcr-userfees.htm.

(e) Unless otherwise specified in this part, when two or more endorsements are processed on the same application, the fees will be as follows:

(1) Evaluation fees. If an applicant simultaneously applies for a rating endorsement and a deck or engineer officer's endorsement, only the evaluation fee for the officer's endorsement will be charged. If an applicant simultaneously applies for a staff officer or radio officer endorsement along with the deck or engineer officer endorsement, only the evaluation fee for the deck or engineer officer's endorsement will be charged. No evaluation fee is charged for an STCW endorsement.

(2) Examination fees. One examination fee will be charged for each exam or series of exams for an original, raise of grade, or renewal of an endorsement on an MMC taken within 1 year from the date of the application approval. An examination fee will also be charged to process an open-book exercise used to renew an MMC. If an officer endorsement examination under part 11 of this chapter also fulfills the examination requirements in part 12 of this chapter for rating endorsements, only the fee for the officer endorsement examination is charged.

(3) Issuance fees. Only one issuance fee will be charged for each MMC issued, regardless of the number of endorsements placed on the credential. There is no fee for a Document of Continuity.

(f) The Coast Guard may assess additional charges to anyone to recover collection and enforcement costs associated with delinquent payments or failure to pay a fee. The Coast Guard will not provide credentialing services to a mariner who owes money for credentialing services previously provided.

(g) Anyone who fails to pay a fee or charge established under this section is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $6,500 for each violation.

(h) No-fee MMC for certain applicants. For the purpose of this section, a no-fee MMC applicant is a person who is a volunteer, or a part-time or full-time employee of an organization that is:

(1) Charitable in nature;

(2) Not for profit; and

(3) Youth-oriented.

(i) Determination of eligibility. (1) An organization may submit a written request to U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center, 100 Forbes Drive, Martinsburg, WV 25404, in order to be considered an eligible organization under the criteria set forth in paragraph (h)(1) of this section. With the written request, the organization must provide evidence of its status as a youth-oriented, not-for-profit, charitable organization.

(2) The following organizations are accepted by the Coast Guard as meeting the requirements of paragraph (h)(1) of this section and need not submit evidence of their status: Boy Scouts of America, Sea Explorer Association, Girl Scouts of the United States of America, and Young Men's Christian Association of the United States of America.

(j) A letter from an organization determined eligible under paragraph (h)(2) of this section must also accompany the person's MMC application to the Coast Guard. The letter must state that the purpose of the person's application is solely to further the conduct of the organization's maritime activities. The applicant will then be eligible under this section to obtain a no-fee MMC if other requirements for the MMC are met.

(k) An MMC issued to a person under this section will be endorsed restricting its use to vessels owned or operated by the sponsoring organization.

(l) The holder of a no-fee MMC issued under this section may have the restriction removed by paying the appropriate evaluation, examination, and issuance fees that would have otherwise applied.

19. Amend § 10.221 as follows:

a. In paragraph (a)(1), remove the word “part” and add, in its place, the word “subchapter”;

b. In paragraph (a)(2), remove the section number “§ 12.40-11” and add, in its place, the section number “§ 12.809”; and

c. Revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:

Start Printed Page 45966
Citizenship.
* * * * *

(b) Proof of citizenship or alien status must be submitted to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with the applicant's TWIC application in accordance with 49 CFR 1572.17(a)(11). If appropriate proof of citizenship or alien status is not submitted to TSA when applying for a TWIC, applicants may be required to appear at an REC to provide proof of citizenship.

* * * * *

20. Amend § 10.223 as follows:

a. In paragraph (c)(2), remove the words “Beginning April 15, 2009, proof” and add, in their place, the word “Proof”;

b. In paragraphs (c)(3)(i), (c)(3)(ii), and (c)(3)(iii), remove the word “chapter” and add, in its place, the word “subchapter”; and

c. Revise paragraph (c)(3)(iv) to read as set down below.

Modification or removal of limitations or scope.
* * * * *

(c) * * *

(3) * * *

(iv) The mandatory requirements for STCW endorsements are contained in parts 11, 12, and 13 of this subchapter.

* * * * *

21. Revise § 10.225 to read as follows:

Requirements for original merchant mariner credentials.

(a) An applicant must apply as an original if the MMC sought is:

(1) The first credential issued to the applicant;

(2) The first credential issued to applicants after their previous credential has expired and they do not hold a Document of Continuity under § 10.227(g) of this part or an equivalent unexpired continuity endorsement on their license or MMD; or

(3) The first credential issued to applicants after their previous credential was revoked pursuant to § 10.235 of this part.

(b) A complete application for an original MMC must contain the following:

(1) A completed, signed application;

(2) Proof that the mariner either holds a valid TWIC or has applied for a TWIC;

(3) All supplementary materials required to show that the mariner meets the mandatory requirements for all endorsements sought as follows:

(i) The mandatory requirements for officer endorsements are contained in part 11 of this subchapter;

(ii) The mandatory requirements for rating endorsements are contained in part 12 of this subchapter;

(iii) The mandatory requirements for tanker rating endorsements are contained in part 13 of this subchapter; and/or

(iv) The mandatory requirements for STCW endorsements are contained in parts 11, 12, and 13 of this subchapter.

(4) The appropriate fee as set forth in § 10.219 of this part;

(5) Evidence of having passed a chemical test for dangerous drugs or of qualifying for an exemption from testing in § 16.220 of this subchapter;

(6) Where sea service is required, documentary evidence in accordance with § 10.232 of this part;

(7) Proof, documented on CG-719-K or CG-719-K/E, as appropriate, that the applicant passed all applicable vision, hearing, medical, and/or physical exams as required by subpart C of this part or a valid medical certificate/endorsement issued by the Coast Guard;

(8) Consent to a Coast Guard check of the NDR for offenses described in section 205(a)(3)(A) or (B) of the National Driver Register Act of 1982, as amended; and

(9) The oath as required in paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Oath. Every person who receives an original MMC must first take an oath, before an official authorized to give such an oath, that he or she will faithfully and honestly, according to his or her best skill and judgment, without concealment or reservation, perform all the duties required by law and obey all lawful orders of superior officers. An oath may be administered by any Coast Guard-designated individual or any person legally permitted to administer oaths in the jurisdiction where the person taking the oath resides. An oath administered at a location other than the Coast Guard must be verified in writing by the administering official and submitted to the same Regional Examination Center (REC) where the applicant applied for his or her MMC. This oath remains binding for any subsequently issued MMC and endorsements added to the MMC, unless specifically renounced in writing.

22. Revise § 10.227 to read as follows:

Requirements for renewal.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, an applicant for renewal of a credential must establish possession of all of the necessary qualifications before the MMC will be renewed.

(b) A credential may be renewed at any time during its validity and for 1 year after expiration.

(c) No credential will be renewed if it has been suspended without probation or revoked as a result of action under part 5 of this chapter or if facts that would render a renewal improper have come to the attention of the Coast Guard.

(d) Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, a complete application for renewal must contain the following:

(1) A completed, signed application;

(2) Proof that the mariner holds a valid TWIC;

(3) The appropriate fee as set forth in § 10.219 of this part;

(4) Any uncanceled MMD, MMC, license, STCW endorsement, Certificate of Registry (COR), or Document of Continuity held by the applicant. If one or more of these credentials are still valid at the time of application, a photocopy—front, back, and all attachments—will satisfy this requirement;

(5) Evidence of having passed a chemical test for dangerous drugs or of qualifying for an exemption from testing in § 16.220 of this subchapter;

(6) Proof, documented on CG-719K or CG-719K/E, as appropriate, that the applicant passed all applicable vision, hearing, medical, and/or physical exams as required by subpart C of this part or a valid medical certificate/endorsement issued by the Coast Guard; and

(7) Consent to a Coast Guard check of the NDR for offenses described in section 205(a)(3)(A) or (B) of the National Driver Register Act of 1982, as amended.

(e) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(8) of this section and 46 CFR 13.120, the applicant must meet the following professional requirements for renewal:

(1) The applicant must either—

(i) Present evidence of at least 1 year of sea service during the past 5 years;

(ii) Pass a comprehensive, open-book exercise covering the general subject matter contained in appropriate sections of subpart I of this part;

(iii) Complete an approved refresher training course; or

(iv) Present evidence of employment in a position closely related to the operation, construction, or repair of vessels (either deck or engineer as appropriate) for at least 3 years during the past 5 years. An applicant for a deck license or officer endorsement with this type of employment must also demonstrate knowledge on an applicable Rules of the Road open-book exercise.

(2) The qualification requirements for renewal of radar observer endorsement are in § 11.480 of this subchapter.

(3) Additional qualification requirements for renewal of an officer endorsement as first-class pilot are contained in § 11.713 of this subchapter.Start Printed Page 45967

(4) An applicant for renewal of a radio officer's endorsement must, in addition to meeting the requirements of this section, present a copy of a currently valid license as first- or second-class radiotelegraph operator issued by the Federal Communications Commission.

(5) An applicant for renewal of an endorsement as medical doctor or professional nurse must, in addition to meeting the requirements of this section, present evidence that he or she holds a currently valid, appropriate license as physician, surgeon, or registered nurse issued under the authority of a State or territory of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia. Any such renewal will retain the limitations placed upon the medical license by the issuing body. There are no professional requirements for renewal of an endorsement as marine physician assistant or hospital corpsman.

(6) An applicant for renewal of an endorsement as master or mate (pilot) of towing vessels, in addition to the other requirements in this paragraph, must also submit satisfactory evidence of:

(i) Having completed a practical demonstration of maneuvering and handling a towing vessel to the satisfaction of a designated examiner; or

(ii) Ongoing participation in training and drills during the validity of the license or MMC being renewed.

(7) An applicant seeking to renew a tankerman endorsement must meet the additional requirements listed in § 13.120 of this subchapter.

(8) There are no professional requirements for renewal for the following endorsements:

(i) Staff officers (all types);

(ii) Ordinary seaman;

(iii) Wiper;

(iv) Steward's department;

(v) Steward's department (F.H.);

(vi) Cadet;

(vii) Student observer;

(viii) Apprentice engineer;

(ix) Apprentice mate (issued under part 12 of this subchapter);

(x) Person in charge of medical care;

(xi) Medical first-aid provider;

(xii) GMDSS at-sea maintainer; and

(xiii) GMDSS operator.

(f) Except as otherwise provided, each candidate for a renewal of an STCW endorsement must meet the applicable requirements of part 11, subpart C, and/or part 12, subpart F.

(g) Document of Continuity. (1) Applicants for renewal of domestic endorsements, who are unwilling or otherwise unable to meet the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section, including but not limited to the medical and physical standards of subpart C of this part, suitability standards of § 10.211 of this part, drug tests, professional requirements, and TWIC, may apply for a Document of Continuity issued by the Coast Guard. Documents of Continuity do not expire and are issued solely to maintain an individual's eligibility for renewal. A Document of Continuity does not entitle an individual to serve as a merchant mariner. A holder of a Document of Continuity may obtain a properly endorsed, valid MMC at any time by satisfying the requirements for renewal as provided in paragraph (d) of this section. When a valid MMC is issued to replace a previously held Document of Continuity, the previously issued Document of Continuity becomes void.

(2) Applications for a Document of Continuity must include:

(i) The endorsements to be placed into continuity; and

(ii) An application, including a signed statement from the applicant, attesting to an awareness of the limited purpose of the Document of Continuity, his or her inability to serve, and the requirements to obtain an MMC.

(3) If not all MMC endorsements are to be converted into a Document of Continuity, a new MMC will be issued with the active endorsements. Once the new MMC and/or Document of Continuity is issued the previous MMC is no longer valid and must be returned to the Coast Guard.

(4) STCW endorsements may not be placed in continuity. If an individual continues to maintain a valid MMC while placing specific domestic endorsements into continuity, those STCW endorsements associated with the domestic endorsements that were placed in continuity are no longer valid. A holder of a Document of Continuity may obtain a properly endorsed, valid MMC, including STCW endorsements, at any time by satisfying the requirements for renewal as provided in paragraph (d) of this section.

(5) No credential expired beyond the 12-month administrative grace period in paragraph (h) of this section can be converted into a Document of Continuity.

(h) Administrative grace period. Except as provided herein, a credential may not be renewed more than 12 months after it has expired. For a credential to be re-issued by the Coast Guard more than 12 months after its expiration, an applicant must comply with the requirements of paragraph (i) of this section. When an applicant's credential expires during a time of service with the Armed Forces and there is no reasonable opportunity for renewal, including by mail, this period may be extended. The period of military service following the date of expiration which precluded renewal may be added to the 12-month grace period. The 12-month grace period and any extensions do not affect the expiration date of the credential. A license, MMD, COR, STCW endorsement, MMC, and any endorsements thereon, are not valid for use after the expiration date.

(i) Re-issuance of expired credentials. (1) If an applicant applies for re-issuance of an endorsement as deck officer, engineer officer, or qualified rating more than 12 months after its expiration, instead of the requirements of paragraph (e) of this section, the applicant must demonstrate continued professional knowledge by completing a course approved for this purpose, or by passing the complete examination for original issue of the endorsement. The examination may be oral-assisted if the expired credential was awarded based on the results of an oral exam. The fees set forth in § 10.219 of this part apply to these examinations. In the case of an expired radio officer's endorsement, the endorsement may be issued upon presentation of a valid first- or second-class radiotelegraph operator license issued by the Federal Communications Commission.

(2) An endorsement for chief purser, purser, senior assistant purser, junior assistant purser, hospital corpsman, marine physician assistant, medical doctor, or professional nurse that has been expired for more than 12 months must be renewed in the same way as a current endorsement of that type. There are no additional requirements for re-issuing endorsements for chief purser, purser, senior assistant purser, junior assistant purser, hospital corpsman, marine physician assistant, medical doctor, or professional nurse that have been expired for more than 12 months.

(3) Applicants applying for re-issuance of an endorsement as master or mate (pilot) of towing vessels more than 12 months after expiration of the previous endorsement must complete the practical demonstration of maneuvering and handling a towing vessel required under (e)(6)(i) of this section.

(4) Applicants applying for re-issuance of an endorsement as any tankerman rating more than 12 months after expiration of the previous endorsement must meet the requirements in § 13.117 of this subchapter.

23. Amend § 10.229 as follows:

a. Revise the section heading to read as set down below;Start Printed Page 45968

b. Revise paragraph (a) to read as set down below;

c. In paragraph (b), in the first sentence, after the words “The duplicate”, add the word “credential” and remove the second sentence;

d. In paragraph (c), after the words “a duplicate”, add the word “credential”; and

e. In paragraph (d), after the words “the appropriate fees set out in § 10.219”, add the words “of this part”.

Replacement of lost merchant mariner credentials.

(a) A mariner may be issued a duplicate credential upon request, and without examination, after submitting an application with an affidavit describing the circumstances of the loss. The Coast Guard will only issue the duplicate credential, MMC and/or medical certificate/endorsement, after confirming the validity of the mariner's credential and the validity of the mariner's TWIC.

* * * * *

24. Revise § 10.231 to read as follows:

Requirements for raises of grade or new endorsements.

(a) This section applies to applicants who already hold a valid credential and want to make the following transactions:

(1) Add a new endorsement; or

(2) Raise of grade of an existing endorsement.

(b) New endorsements or raises of grade of existing endorsements on an MMC under this section will not change the expiration date of the MMC unless the applicant renews all endorsements that appear on the MMC under § 10.227 of this part.

(c) A complete application for a new endorsement or raise of grade must contain the following:

(1) A completed, signed application;

(2) Proof that the mariner holds or has applied for a valid TWIC;

(3) All supplementary materials required to show that the mariner meets the mandatory requirements for the new endorsements sought as follows:

(i) The mandatory requirements for officer endorsements are contained in part 11 of this subchapter and paragraph (d) of this section;

(ii) The mandatory requirements for rating endorsements are contained in part 12 of this subchapter;

(iii) The mandatory requirements for tankerman rating endorsements are contained in part 13 of this subchapter; and/or

(iv) The mandatory requirements for STCW endorsements are contained in parts 11, 12, and 13 of this subchapter.

(4) The appropriate fee as set forth in § 10.219 of this part;

(5) Any uncanceled MMD, MMC, license, STCW endorsement, or COR held by the applicant. If one or more of these credentials are still valid at the time of application, a photocopy—front, back, and all attachments—will satisfy this requirement;

(6) Applicants for the following endorsements must produce evidence of having passed a chemical test for dangerous drugs or of qualifying for an exemption from testing in § 16.220 of this subchapter:

(i) Any officer endorsement; and

(ii) The first endorsement as able seaman, lifeboatman, lifeboatman-limited, qualified member of the engine department, or tankerman.

(7) Where sea service is required, documentary evidence in accordance with § 10.232 of this part;

(8) Proof, documented on CG-719-K or CG-719-K/E, as appropriate, that the applicant passed all applicable vision, hearing, medical, and/or physical exams as required by subpart C of this part or a valid medical certificate/endorsement issued by the Coast Guard; and

(9) Consent to a Coast Guard check for offenses described in section 205(a)(3)(A) or (B) of the National Driver Register Act of 1982, as amended.

(d) Additional requirements for an applicant seeking a raise of grade of an officer endorsement:

(1) Sea service acquired before the issuance of an officer endorsement is generally not accepted as any part of the service required for a raise of grade of that endorsement. However, service acquired before issuance of an officer endorsement will be accepted for certain crossovers, endorsements, or increases in scope of an MMC, as appropriate. In the limited tonnage categories for deck officers, total accumulated service is a necessary criterion for most raises of grade; therefore service acquired before the issuance of such officer endorsements will be accepted.

(2) An applicant remains eligible for a raise of grade while on probation as a result of action under part 5 of this chapter. A raise of grade issued to a person on probation will be subject to the same probationary conditions imposed against his or her other credentials. The offense for which he or she was placed on probation will be considered on the merits of the case in determining fitness to hold the endorsement applied for. No applicant will be examined for a raise of grade during any period when a suspension without probation or a revocation imposed under part 5 of this chapter is effective against his or her credential or while an appeal from these actions is pending.

(3) Professional examination. (i) When the Coast Guard finds an applicant's experience and training for raise of grade is satisfactory, and the applicant is eligible in all other respects, the Coast Guard will authorize a professional examination.

(ii) Oral-assisted examinations may be administered in accordance with § 11.201(j) of this subchapter.

(iii) The general instructions for administration of examinations and the lists of subjects for all endorsements are found in part 11, subpart I; part 12, subpart E; and part 13, subpart A of this subchapter.

25. Add § 10.232 to read as follows:

Sea service.

(a) Documenting sea service. (1) Sea service may be documented in various forms such as certificates of discharge, pilotage service and billing forms, and service letters or other official documents from marine companies signed by the owner, operator, master, or chief engineer of the vessel. The Coast Guard must be satisfied as to the authenticity and acceptability of all evidence of experience or training presented.

(2) The documentary evidence produced by the applicant must contain the following information:

(i) Vessel name(s) and official numbers listed on the registration, certificate, or document issued;

(ii) Gross tonnage of the vessel;

(iii) Propulsion power and mode of propulsion of the vessel;

(iv) The amount and nature (e.g., chief mate, assistant engineer, etc.) of the applicant's experience;

(v) Applicable dates of service for each vessel, and the ports or terminals, if applicable; and

(vi) The routes upon which the experience was acquired.

(3) An MMC endorsement, in certain cases, may be considered as satisfactory evidence of any qualifying experience for obtaining other endorsements.

(4) For service on vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT, owners of vessels may attest to their own service and provide proof of ownership. Those who do not own a vessel must obtain letters or other evidence from licensed personnel or the owners of the vessels listed.

(5) If the required sea service is associated with watchkeeping functions and the performance of duties, as required in §§ 11.323, 11.328, 11.333, and 11.470, 11.474, and 11.482 of this subchapter, the service must be documented as having been carried out under the direct supervision of the appropriate person.Start Printed Page 45969

(b) Service toward an oceans, near-coastal, or STCW endorsement will be credited as follows:

(1) Service on the Great Lakes will be credited on a day-for-day basis.

(2) Service on inland waters, other than Great Lakes, that are navigable waters of the United States, may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service.

(c) Sea service as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States and civilian service on vessels owned by the United States as required experience. (1) Sea service as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States will be accepted as required experience for an original, raise of grade, renewal, or increase in scope of all endorsements. In most cases, military sea service will have been performed upon ocean waters; however, inland service, as may be the case on smaller vessels, will be credited in the same manner as conventional evaluations. The applicant must submit an official transcript of sea service or history of assignments as verification of the service claimed when the application is submitted. A DD-214 is not acceptable evidence of sea service. The applicant must also provide the Coast Guard with other necessary information as to tonnage, routes, propulsion power, percentage of time underway, and assigned duties upon the vessels which he or she served. Such service will be evaluated by the Coast Guard for a determination of its equivalence to sea service acquired on merchant vessels and the appropriate grade, class, and limit of endorsement for which the applicant is eligible. Normally, 60 percent of the total time onboard is considered equivalent underway service; however, the periods of operation of each vessel may be evaluated separately. In order to be eligible for a master's or chief engineer's unlimited endorsement, the applicant must have acquired military service in the capacity of commanding officer or engineer officer, respectively.

(2) Applicants for management-level, operational-level, or support-level STCW endorsements must demonstrate competence in accordance with part 11, subpart C; part 12, subpart F; and part 13, subpart F of this subchapter.

(3) Service in deck ratings on military vessels such as seaman apprentice, seaman, boatswain's mate, quartermaster, or Radarman/Operations Specialist are considered deck service for the purposes of this part. Service in other ratings may be considered if the applicant establishes that his or her duties required a watchstanding presence on or about the bridge of a vessel. Service in engineer ratings on military vessels such as fireman apprentice, fireman, engineman, machinists, mate, machinery technician, or boiler tender are considered engineer service for the purposes of this part. There are also other ratings such as electrician, hull technician, or damage controlman, which may be credited when the applicant establishes that his or her duties required watchstanding duties in an operating engine room.

(4) In addition to service on vessels that get underway regularly, members of the Armed Forces may obtain creditable service for assignment to vessels that get underway infrequently, such as tenders and repair vessels. Normally, a 25-percent factor is applied to these time periods. This experience can be equated with general shipboard familiarity, training, ship's business, and other related duties.

(5) Sea service obtained on submarines is creditable, as if it were surface vessel service, for deck and engineer officer and qualified ratings endorsements under the provision of paragraph (a) of this section. For application for deck officer and qualified ratings endorsements, submarine service may be creditable if at least 25 percent of all service submitted for the endorsement was obtained on surface vessels (e.g., if 4 years' total service were submitted for an original officer endorsement, at least 1 year must have been obtained on surface craft in order for the submarine service to be eligible for evaluation).

(6) Service gained in a civilian capacity as commanding officer, master, mate, engineer, or pilot, etc., of any vessel owned and operated by the United States, in any service in which a license or officer endorsement as master, mate, engineer, or pilot was not required at the time of such service, will be evaluated by the Coast Guard for a determination of equivalence.

(d) Sea service on vessels that do not get underway. This requirement applies to service obtained on vessels mandated by the Certificate of Inspection (COI) which are in operation but do not get underway or occasionally get underway for short voyages. Service while the vessel is not underway must be credited as follows:

(1) Engineering department. Service may be credited day-for-day for up to 50 percent of the service credit for renewal, raise in grade, and original issue for each day the engineering plant is operational.

(2) Deck department. Service may be credited as follows:

(i) Original issue and raise in grade. Service is creditable on a 3-for-1 basis (12 months of experience equals 4 months of creditable service) for up to 6 months of service credit.

(ii) Renewal. Service in any capacity in the deck department is creditable as closely related service under § 10.227(e)(1)(iv). When submitted in combination with underway service, service is creditable on a 3-for-1 basis (12 months of experience equals 4 months of creditable service) for up to 6 months of service credit.

(e) Foreign sea service. (1) Experience and service acquired on foreign vessels is creditable for establishing eligibility for an original or renewal of an officer, rating, or STCW endorsement, subject to evaluation by the Coast Guard to determine that it is a fair and reasonable equivalent to service acquired on merchant vessels of the United States with respect to grade, tonnage, horsepower, waters, and operating conditions. This experience and service is also creditable to meet recency requirements.

(2) Experience and service acquired on foreign vessels while holding a valid U.S. endorsement is creditable for establishing eligibility for a raise of grade of an officer, rating, or STCW endorsement, subject to evaluation as specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. This experience and service is also creditable to meet recency requirements.

(3) An applicant who has obtained qualifying experience on foreign vessels must submit satisfactory documentary evidence of such service (including any necessary official translation to the English language) in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section.

(f) Closely related service. The Coast Guard may accept evidence of employment in a position closely related to the operation, construction, or repair of vessels (either deck or engineer as appropriate) as meeting the sea service requirements for renewal under § 10.227(e)(1)(iv). Service as port engineer, port captain, shipyard superintendent experience, instructor service, or similar related service may be creditable for service for raise of grade of an engineer or deck officer endorsement; however, it may not be used for obtaining an original management-level endorsement. The service is creditable as follows:

(1) Port engineer, port captain or shipyard superintendent experience is creditable on a 3-for-1 basis for a raise of grade. (12 months of experience equals 4 months of creditable service.)

(2) Service as a bona fide instructor in Coast Guard-approved courses or a training program is creditable on a 2-for-1 basis for a raise of grade. (12 months Start Printed Page 45970of experience equals 6 months of creditable service.)

(g) Day. (1) Except as noted otherwise, for the purpose of calculating service in this subchapter, a day is equal to 8 hours of watchstanding or day-working not to include overtime.

(2) On vessels authorized by 46 U.S.C. 8104 and 46 CFR 15.705, to operate a two-watch system, a 12-hour working day may be creditable as 11/2 days of service.

(3) On vessels of less than 100 GRT, a day is considered as 8 hours unless the Coast Guard determines that the vessel's operating schedule makes this criterion inappropriate; in no case will this period be less than 4 hours.

(4) When computing service on MODUs for any endorsement, a day of MODU service must be a minimum of 4 hours, and no additional credit is received for periods served over 8 hours.

26. Amend § 10.235 as follows:

a. In paragraph (d), after the words “of those endorsements are suspended or revoked,”, remove the words “the mariner” and add, in their place, the words “he or she”, and after the words “will be issued”, add the words “, without payment of a fee,”;

b. In paragraph (e), after the words “has been suspended”, add the words “without probation”;

c. Redesignate paragraphs (f) through (h) as paragraphs (g) through (i);

d. Add new paragraph (f) to read as set down below;

e. In new paragraph (g), remove the text “§ 10.227(d)(8)(vi)(A)” and add, in its place, the words “§ 10.227(e)(6)(i) of this subpart”;

f. In new paragraph (h), remove the words “Beginning April 15, 2009, if” and add, in their place, the word “If”; and

g. In new paragraph (i), remove the words “Beginning April 15, 2009, a” and add, in their place, the letter “A”.

Suspension or revocation of merchant mariner credentials.
* * * * *

(f) When applying for an original endorsement on an MMC, pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, an individual's existing service and training may be considered by the Coast Guard when determining the grade of the endorsement to be issued.

* * * * *

27. Revise § 10.239 to read as follows:

Quick reference table for MMC requirements.

Table 10.239 of this section provides a guide to the requirements for officer endorsements. Provisions in the reference section are controlling.

Table 10.239—Quick Reference Table for MMC Requirements

[For tankerman endorsements, see table 13.129]

Endorsement categoryMinimum ageCitizenshipMedical and physical examExperienceRecommendations and character checkFirefightingProfessional examDemonstration of professional abilityRecency of serviceFirst aid and CPR
Master, mates§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1)§ 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)46 CFR Part 11—Subpart DN/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsements§ 11.201(h)§ 11.201(j); § 11.903; § 11.910 Note: § 11.903(b)N/Aoriginal § 11.201(c)(2) renewal § 10.227(e)§§ 11.201(i) Note: exceptions
OUPV§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptions here and in § 11.201(l)§ 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)§ 11.467(c); (d); (e); (f); (g)N/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsementsN/A§ 11.201(j); § 11.903; § 11.910N/Aoriginal § 11.201(c)(2) renewal § 10.227(e)§§ 11.201(i): Note exceptions
STCW Deck Officer endorsements§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)46 CFR Part 11—Subpart CN/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsements§ 11.301(c) Renewal: § 11.301(c)(2); (3)N/AMaster § 11.305; .311; .315; .317 Chief Mate § 11.307; .313; OICNW § 11.309; .319; .321original § 11.201(c)(2) renewal § 10.227(e)§ 11.201(i)
Officer on a passenger ship when on an international voyageN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A§ 11.1105(a)(1); (2)§ 11.1105(c)N/A
Engineers (original)§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)46 CFR Part 11—Subpart EN/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsements§ 11.201(h)§ 11.201(j); § 11.903; § 11.950 Note: § 11.903(b)N/Aoriginal § 11.201(c)(2) renewal § 10.227(e)§ 11.201(i)
STCW Engineering Officer endorsements§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)46 CFR Part 11—Subpart CN/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsements§ 11.301(c) Renewal: § 11.301(c)(2); (3)N/AChief § 11.325; § 11.331; 2nd engineer officer; § 11.327; § 11.333 OICEW/DDE § 11.329original § 11.201(c)(2) renewal § 10.227(e)§ 11.201(i)
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Domestic Designated Duty Engineer (DDE)§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)§ 11.524(b)N/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsements§ 11.201(h)(1)(iv)§ 11.903N/Aoriginal § 11.201(c)(2) renewal § 10.227(e)§ 11.201(i)
Electro-technical officer§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)§ 11.335(a)(1) note exception in § 11.335(b) & § 11.335(c)N/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsements§ 11.335(a)(3)(ii)N/A§ 11.335(a)(2), (3) note exception § in 11.335(b) & (c)§ 11.335(a)(3)(i)
Pilot§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a); § 11.709§ 11.703; § 11.705N/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsementsN/A§ 11.707; § 11.903; § 11.910§ 11.705§ 11.705(e), § 11.713§ 11.201(i)
Towing vessels§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)46 CFR Part 11—Subpart DN/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsements§ 11.201(h)(1)(ii) § 11.201(h)(2)(ii) Note: exceptions§ 11.201(j); § 11.903; § 11.910§ 11.464; § 11.465original § 11.201(c)(2) renewal § 10.227(e)§ 11.201(i)
Offshore Supply Vessels§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)Master § 11.493 Chief Mate § 11.495 Mate § 11.497 C/E § 11.553 Asst Engineer § 11.555N/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsements§ 11.201(h)§ 11.201(j); Master § 11.493 Chief Mate § 11.495 Mate § 11.497 C/E § 11.553; § 11.903 Asst. Eng § 11.555; § 11.903Master § 11.493 Chief Mate § 11.495 Mate § 11.497 C/E § 11.553 Asst Engineer § 11.555original § 11.201(c)(2) renewal § 10.227(e)§ 11.201(i)
MODU licenses§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)OIM: § 11.470 B.S.: § 11.472 BCO: § 11.474 ChEng: § 11.542 Asst. Eng: § 11.544N/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsements§ 11.201(h): note exceptions§ 11.201(j); § 11.903; § 11.920N/Aoriginal § 11.201 (c)(2) renewal § 10.227(e)§ 11.201(i)
Uninspected fishing industry vessels§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)Deck: § 11.462(c); (d); Engine: § 11.530(c); (d); (e)N/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsements§ 11.201(h) Note: exceptions§ 11.201(j); § 11.903; § 11.910N/Aoriginal § 11.201(c)(2) renewal § 10.227(e)§ 11.201(i)
Radio officer§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)N/AN/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsementsN/AN/A§ 11.603N/A§ 11.201(i)
GMDSS OperatorN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A§ 11.604N/AN/A
Officer raises of grade§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)§ 10.231(c); Part 11, subparts D and EN/AN/A§ 10.231(d); § 11.903; § 11.910; § 11.920; § 11.950Part 11, subparts D and E3 months in past 3 years, § 11.201(c)(2)N/A
Officer renewals§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)§ 10.227(d) and (e) Note: exceptionsN/AN/AN/ATowing officers, § 10.227(d) and (e)1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternativeN/A
Staff officer§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)§ 11.807N/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsementsN/AN/A§ 11.807N/A§ 11.201(i)
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Staff officer renewals§ 11.201(e) Note: exceptionsU.S., § 10.221(a)(1) § 11.201(d)§ 10.302(a)N/AN/A.N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Able seaman§ 12.401(c)(1)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2)§ 10.302(a), § 12.401(c)(2)§ 12.403N/A.N/A§ 12.401(c)(5)§ 12.401(c)(6) § 12.405Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternativeN/A
Able-seafarer deck§ 12.603(a)(1)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2)§ 10.302(a)§ 12.603(a)(3)N/AN/AN/A§ 12.603(a)(2) § 12.603(a)(4) § 12.603(a)(5)Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternative§ 12.601(c)
Ratings for forming a navigational watch§ 12.605(a)(1)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2)§ 10.302(a)§ 12.605(a)(2)N/A.N/AN/A§ 12.605(a)(3)Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternative§ 12.601(c)
Qualified members of engine department§ 12.501(c)(1)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2)§ 10.302(a)§ 12.503N/A.N/A§ 12.505N/ARenewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternativeN/A
Able-seafarer engine§ 12.607(a)(1)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2)§ 10.302(a)§ 12.607(a)(3)N/A.N/AN/A§ 12.607(a)(2); (4) § 12.607(b); (c)Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternative§ 12.601(c)
Ratings for forming an engineering watch§ 12.609(a)(1)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2)§ 10.302(a)§ 12.609(a)(2)N/A.N/AN/A§ 12.609(a)(3)Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternative§ 12.601(c)
Electro-technical rating§ 12.611(a)(1)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2)§ 10.302(a)§ 12.611(a)(2)N/AN/AN/A§ 12.611(a)(3); § 12.611(b); (c)Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternative§ 12.601(c)
Entry level ratingsN/AU.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2) § 12.803; § 12.809N/A; note exception in § 12.811(a)(2) Note: Food Handler (F.H.) requirements in Table § 10.302(a)(xiii) § 10.302(a) (xiv)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
LifeboatmanN/AU.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2)§ 10.302(a)§ 12.407(b)(1)N/AN/A§ 12.407(b)(2); (4)§ 12.407(b)(2); (3)Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternativeN/A
Lifeboat- man— LimitedN/AU.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2)§ 10.302(a)§ 12.409(b)(1)N/A.N/A§ 12.409(b)(2); (4)§ 12.409(b)(2); (3)Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternativeN/A
Proficiency in fast rescue boats§ 12.617(a)(1)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A§ 12.617(a)(2); (3); (4)Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternative Renewal § 12.617(b)(2)§ 12.601(c)
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Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats§ 12.613(a)(1)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2)N/A§ 12.613(a)(2)N/AN/AN/A§ 12.613(a)(3)Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternative Renewal: § 12.613(b)(2)§ 12.601(c)
Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than lifeboats and fast rescue boats-limited§ 12.615(a)(1)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2)N/A§ 12.615(a)(2)N/AN/AN/A§ 12.615(a)(3)Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (e) Note: alternative Renewal: § 12.615(b)(2)§ 12.601(c)
Assistance Towing endorsementN/AN/AN/A§ 11.482N/AN/A§ 11.482§ 11.482original § 11.201(c)(2)N/A
Radar Observer endorsementN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A§ 11.480(d); (h)N/AN/A
Vessel Security Officer§ 11.811(a)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(1) § 10.221(a)(2)§§ 10.302(a)§ 11.811(a)N/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsementsN/AN/A§ 11.811(a)original § 11.201(c)(2) renewal § 10.227(e)§ 11.201(i)
High Speed CraftN/AU.S. § 10.221(a)(1)N/A§ 11.821(a)(1) § 11.821(b)N/A.: Note exceptions in § 11.201(g) for original domestic or STCW endorsementsN/AN/A§ 11.821(a)(2)Renewal: § 11.821(d)N/A
GMDSS at sea maintainer§ 12.623(a)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A§ 12.623(b)N/AN/A
Medical first-aid providerN/AN/AN/A§ 12.619(b)N/AN/AN/A§ 12.619(a)(1); (2)N/A§ 12.619(a)(1)
Person in charge of medical careN/AN/AN/A§ 12.621(b)N/AN/AN/A§ 12.621(a)(1); (2)N/A§ 12.621(a)(1)
Vessel personnel with designated security duties§ 12.625(a)(1)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2) § 12.803§ 12.625(a)(2)§ 12.625(a)(1)N/AN/AN/A§ 12.625(a)(1)Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternativeN/A
Security awareness§ 12.627(a)(1)U.S. or alien admitted for permanent residence, § 10.221(a)(2) § 12.803§ 12.627(a)(2)§ 12.627(a)(1)N/AN/AN/A§ 12.627(a)(1)Renewal only, 1 year in past 5, § 10.227(e) and (f) Note: alternativeN/A
Ratings serving on passenger ships on international voyagesN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A§ 12.905(a); (b)Renewal § 12.905(d)N/A

28. Add subpart C, consisting of §§ 10.301 through 10.306, to read as follows:

Subpart C—Medical Certification

10.301
General requirements.
10.302
Medical and physical requirements.
10.303
Medical waivers.
10.304
General medical exam.
10.305
Vision requirements.
10.306
Hearing requirements.
General requirements.

(a) The Coast Guard will issue a medical certificate/endorsement to a mariner meeting the medical and physical standards for merchant mariners. The medical certificate/endorsement will be issued for various periods of time based upon the endorsements the mariner holds. If the Coast Guard, after reviewing all relevant supporting medical documents and consultation with an examining medical professional as provided in § 10.302(b), Start Printed Page 45974determines that an applicant's condition may directly impact safety, and therefore does not meet the required medical and/or physical standard, the Coast Guard may place an operational limitation on the medical certificate/endorsement, issue a medical waiver, or deny a medical certificate.

(b) Except as otherwise noted, medical certificates/endorsements will be issued for the following periods of time:

(1) Medical certificates/endorsements issued to a mariner serving under the authority of an STCW endorsement will be issued for a maximum period of 2 years unless the mariner is under the age of 18, in which case the maximum period of validity will be 1 year.

(2) Medical certificates/endorsements issued to a mariner who is serving as a first-class pilot, or acting as a pilot under § 15.812 of this subchapter, will be issued for a maximum period of 1 year.

(3) Medical certificates/endorsements issued to all other mariners will be issued for a maximum period of 5 years.

(4) Applicants seeking additional MMC endorsements holding a current medical endorsement/certificate do not need to submit a new medical physical exam if their existing medical endorsement/certification meets all of the requirements of this section for the endorsement sought.

(c) Individuals holding no endorsement other than a staff officer endorsement need not meet the medical and physical requirements of this section.

Medical and physical requirements.

(a) To qualify for an MMC, a mariner must provide evidence of meeting the medical and physical standards in this section on a CG-719-K or CG-719-K/E, as appropriate. The Coast Guard retains final authority for determining whether a mariner is medically and physically qualified. Columns 2 through 5 of Table 10.302(a) of this section provide the specific exam, test, or demonstrations required to obtain the corresponding credential listed in column 1. Further clarifications of the requirements contained in the table are found throughout this subpart.

Table 10.302(a)—Medical and Physical Requirements for Mariner Endorsements

CredentialVision testHearing testGeneral medical examDemonstration of physical ability
12345
(i) Deck officer, including pilot§ 10.305(a)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(ii) Engineering officer§ 10.305(b)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(iii) Radio officer§ 10.305(b)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(iv) Offshore installation manager, barge supervisor, or ballast control operator§ 10.305(b)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(v) Able seaman§ 10.305(a)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(vi) QMED§ 10.305(b)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(vii) Able seafarer deck§ 10.305(a)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(viii) RFPNW§ 10.305(a)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(ix) Able seafarer engine§ 10.305(a)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(x) RFPEW§ 10.305(b)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(xi) Electro-technical rating§ 10.305(b)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(xii) Tankerman§ 10.305(b)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(xiii) Lifeboatman and Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats (PSC)§ 10.305(b)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(xiv) Lifeboatman-Limited and Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats-limited (PSC-limited)§ 10.305(b)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(xv) Fast Rescue Boat§ 10.305(b)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)
(xvi)Food handler serving on vessels to which STCW does not apply§ 10.304(b)
(xvii) Food handler serving on vessels to which STCW applies§ 10.304(b)§ 10.304(d)
(xviii) Ratings, including entry level, serving on vessels to which STCW applies, other than those listed above§ 10.304(d)
(xix) Ratings, including entry level, serving on vessels to which STCW does not apply, other than those listed above
(xx) Vessel security officer§ 10.305(a)§ 10.306§ 10.304(a)§ 10.304(d)

(b) Any required test, exam, or demonstration must have been performed, witnessed, or reviewed by a licensed medical doctor, licensed physician assistant, licensed nurse practitioner, or a designated medical examiner. Medical examinations for Great Lakes Pilots must be conducted by a licensed medical doctor in accordance with the physical exam requirements in 46 CFR 402.210.

Medical waivers.

(a) The Coast Guard may grant a waiver if, after review of all relevant supporting medical documents and consultation with the examining physician, as needed, an applicant does not possess the vision, hearing, or general physical condition necessary; and extenuating circumstances warrant special consideration. An applicant may submit to the Coast Guard additional correspondence, records, and reports in support of a waiver. In this regard, recommendations from agencies of the Federal Government operating government vessels, as well as owners and operators of private vessels, made on behalf of their employees, will be given full consideration.

(b) In general, medical waivers are approved for medical conditions and medications when objective medical evidence indicates that the condition is sufficiently controlled and the effects of medication pose no significant risk to maritime and public safety. The Coast Guard retains final authority for the issuance of medical waivers.

(c) Medical waivers may be granted for specific conditions to which the applicant must adhere, such as more frequent medical monitoring of the medical conditions, submission of medical exams and/or tests at varying intervals to track the ongoing status of the medical condition, or operational limitations in the manner the applicant may serve under the MMC. Medical waivers will not be reflected in the Start Printed Page 45975medical certificate/endorsement. The waiver information will be issued separately and must be readily available upon request.

(d) The Coast Guard may place an operational limitation based on medical and physical conditions. Any operational limitations will be reflected in the medical certificate/endorsement.

General medical exam.

(a) The general medical exam must be documented and of such scope to ensure that there are no conditions that pose significant risk of sudden incapacitation or debilitating complication. This exam must also document any condition requiring medication that impairs cognitive ability, judgment, or reaction time. Examples of physical impairment or medical conditions that could lead to disqualification include, but are not limited to, poorly controlled diabetes, symptomatic coronary artery disease, placement of cardiac defibrillators, symptomatic psychiatric disorders, and convulsive disorders.

(b) Food handlers are not required to submit to a general medical exam, but must obtain a statement from a licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner attesting that they are free of communicable diseases.

(c) The Coast Guard will provide guidance on the conduct of general medical exams. Examiners should be familiar with the content and recommended medical evaluation data compiled in the medical guidelines.

(d) Demonstration of physical ability. (1) A demonstration of physical ability is required only if the medical practitioner conducting the general medical exam is concerned that:

(i) The medical practitioner conducting the general medical exam is concerned that an applicant's physical ability may impact maritime safety; or

(ii) Table 10.302(a) of § 10.302 of this subpart shows that the mariner must pass a demonstration of physical ability. Guidance on demonstration of physical ability is contained in the relevant Coast Guard guidance for the conduct of general medical exams.

(2) For an applicant to satisfactorily pass a demonstration of physical ability, the examiner must be satisfied that the applicant:

(i) Has no disturbance in the sense of balance;

(ii) Is able, without assistance, to climb up and down vertical ladders and inclined stairs;

(iii) Would be able, without assistance, to step over a door sill or coaming;

(iv) Is able to move through a restricted opening of 24-by-24 inches (61-by-61 centimeters);

(v) Would be able to grasp, lift, and manipulate various common shipboard tools; move hands and arms to open and close valve wheels in vertical and horizontal directions; and rotate wrists to turn handles;

(vi) Does not have any impairment or disease that could prevent normal movement and physical activities;

(vii) Is able to stand and walk for extended periods of time;

(viii) Does not have any impairment or disease that could prevent response to a visual or audible alarm; and

(ix) Is capable of normal conversation.

(e) Reports of medical and physical exams, demonstrations, and tests. These reports must be submitted within 12 months from the date signed by the licensed medical professional. When submitted with a complete application package, these reports remain valid for 12 months from the date the Coast Guard accepts a complete application.

Vision requirements.

(a) Deck standard. (1) A mariner must have correctable vision to at least 20/40 in one eye and uncorrected vision of at least 20/200 in the same eye. The color sense must be determined to be satisfactory when tested by any of the following methods or an alternative test acceptable to the Coast Guard, without the use of color-sensing lenses:

(i) Pseudoisochromatic Plates (Dvorine, 2nd Edition; AOC; revised edition or AOC-HRR; Ishihara 14-, 24-, or 38-plate editions).

(ii) Farnsworth Lantern.

(iii) Titmus Vision Tester/OPTEC 2000.

(iv) Optec 900.

(v) Richmond Test, 2nd and 4th edition.

(2) After January 1, 2017, applicants for an STCW endorsement must have correctable vision to at least 20/40 in both eyes and uncorrected vision of at least 20/200 in both eyes. A mariner who meets these requirements and who suffers loss of vision in one eye after being issued an MMC is subject to the requirements of paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of this section, as applicable. A mariner holding an MMC prior to January 1, 2017, must continue to meet the requirements of paragraph (a) (1) of this section.

(b) Engineering, radio officer, tankerman, and MODU standard. A mariner must have correctable vision to at least 20/50 in one eye and uncorrected vision of at least 20/200 in the same eye and need only the ability to distinguish the colors red, green, blue, and yellow. The color sense must be determined to be satisfactory when tested by any color-vision test listed in paragraph (a) of this section, with the exception of the Farnsworth Lantern, or an alternative test acceptable to the Coast Guard, without the use of color-sensing lenses.

(c) Vision waiver. Any applicant whose uncorrected vision does not meet the 20/200 standard and is correctable to listed standards above may be granted a medical waiver in accordance with § 10.303 of this subpart. If a vision waiver is granted, a limitation will be placed on his or her MMC indicating the mariner may not serve under the authority of the endorsement unless corrective lenses are worn and spare lenses are carried onboard a vessel. Waivers are not normally granted to an applicant whose corrected vision in the better eye is not at least 20/40 for deck officers or 20/50 for engineer officers.

(d) Vision operational limitation. If corrective lenses are required in order to meet the vision standards above, a mariner may not serve under the authority of the endorsement unless corrective lenses are worn and spare lenses are carried onboard a vessel. This operational limitation will be placed on his or her MMC.

(e) Loss of vision. A mariner having lost vision in one eye must wait 6 months from the date of the vision loss before submitting any application, and must provide a statement of demonstrated ability on his or her medical examination.

Hearing requirements.

(a) If the medical practitioner conducting the general medical exam has concerns that an applicant's ability to hear may impact maritime safety, the examining medical practitioner must refer the applicant to an audiologist or other hearing specialist to conduct an audiometer test and a speech discrimination test, as appropriate.

(b) The audiometer test must include testing at the following thresholds: 500 Hz; 1,000 Hz; 2,000 Hz; and 3,000 Hz. The frequency responses for each ear must be averaged to determine the measure of an applicant's hearing ability. Applicants must demonstrate an unaided threshold of 30 decibels or less in at least one ear.

(c) The functional speech discrimination test must be carried out at a level of 55 decibels. For issuance of an original MMC or endorsement the applicant must demonstrate functional speech discrimination of at least 90 percent. For renewal or raise of grade, the applicant must demonstrate Start Printed Page 45976functional speech discrimination of at least 80 percent.

(d) Hearing waivers. An applicant who is unable to meet the hearing standards of the audiometer test, but who can pass the functional speech discrimination test or who requires hearing aids to meet the hearing standards, may be eligible for a medical waiver in accordance with § 10.303 of this part.

(e) Hearing operational limitation. If hearing aids are required in order to meet the hearing standards above, a mariner may not serve under the authority of the endorsement unless hearing aids are worn in the operational mode, and spare batteries are carried onboard a vessel. This operational limitation will be placed on his or her MMC.

29. Add subpart D, consisting of §§ 10.401 through 10.412, to read as follows:

Subpart D—Training Courses and Programs

10.401
Applicability.
10.402
Course approval.
10.403
General standards.
10.404
Substitution of training for required service, use of training-record books (TRBs), and use of towing officer assessment records (TOARs).
10.405
Qualification as qualified assessor (QA) and designated examiner (DE) for towing officer assessment records (TOARs).
10.406
Approved courses.
10.407
Coast Guard-approved training program requirements for STCW endorsements.
10.408
Coast Guard-accepted training other than approved courses and programs.
10.409
Coast Guard-accepted Quality Standard System (QSS) organizations.
10.410
Quality Standard System (QSS) requirements.
10.411
Simulator performance standards.
10.412
Distance and e-learning.
Applicability.

This subpart prescribes the general requirements applicable to offerors of all approved courses and training programs which may be accepted instead of service experience or examination required by the Coast Guard, or which satisfy course completion requirements.

Course approval.

(a) Categories. Courses may be approved to fulfill the following requirements:

(1) Instead of service experience;

(2) Instead of examinations required by the Coast Guard;

(3) Professional competency requirements; and

(4) Regulatory requirements.

(b) Request for approval. Organizations desiring course approval by the Coast Guard must submit a written request and a complete curriculum package to the National Maritime Center, either by mail or electronically. The curriculum package must include:

(1) A cover letter. The cover letter must contain:

(i) The name of the course;

(ii) The locations where it will be held;

(iii) A general description and overview of the course;

(iv) The category of acceptance being sought as listed in paragraph (a) of this section; and

(v) Individual major components of the course.

(2) A goal statement(s). The goal statement should describe:

(i) The specific performance behaviors to be measured;

(ii) The conditions under which the performance behaviors will be exhibited; and

(iii) The level of performance behaviors that is to be achieved.

(3) Performance objectives. Performance objectives are statements which identify the specific knowledge, skill, or ability the student should gain and display as a result of the training or instructional activity. A performance objective is made up of three elements: expected student performance, condition, and criterion.

(4) Assessment instruments. Assessment instruments are any tools used to determine whether the student has achieved the desired level of knowledge, understanding, or proficiency.

(5) Instructor information. Each instructor must:

(i) Have either experience, training, or evidence of instruction in effective instructional techniques within the past 5 years;

(ii) Be qualified in the task for which the training is being conducted and have relevant experience; and

(iii) Hold a license, endorsement, or other professional credential that provides proof of having attained a level of qualification equal or superior to the relevant level of knowledge, skills, and abilities described in the performance objective. A Document of Continuity may be used to meet this requirement.

(6) Site information. Site information must include a description of the facility or facilities at which the training will be held. Authority to teach at an alternative site requires approval by the National Maritime Center.

(7) A teaching syllabus. A detailed teaching syllabus providing the following information:

(i) Instructional strategy. Aspects of instructional strategies should include:

(A) The order of presentation;

(B) The level of interaction, including the student-to-teacher ratio;

(C) Feedback;

(D) Remediation;

(E) Testing strategies; and

(F) Media used to present information.

(ii) Instructional materials, including lesson plans containing:

(A) Pre-instructional activities;

(B) Content presentation;

(C) Student participation;

(D) Assessment processes; and

(E) Other instructional activities, such as homework and reading assignments.

(iii) Course surveys on the relevance and effectiveness of the training completed by students.

(iv) Course schedule, including the duration and order of lessons, and an indication as to whether each lesson is:

(A) A classroom lecture;

(B) A practical demonstration;

(C) A simulator exercise;

(D) An examination; or

(E) Another method of instructional reinforcement.

(8) Course completion certificate. A sample course completion certificate.

(c) Approval notification. The Coast Guard will notify each applicant for course approval when an approval is granted or denied. If the Coast Guard denies a request for approval, the Coast Guard will inform the applicant of the reasons for the denial and describe the corrections required for granting an approval.

(d) Validity of course approval. Unless surrendered, suspended, or withdrawn, an approval for a course is valid for up to a maximum of 5 years after issuance, unless:

(1) The school ceases operation;

(2) The school gives notice that it will no longer offer the course;

(3) The owner or operator fails to submit any required report; or

(4) Any change occurs in the ownership of the school to which the approval was issued.

(e) Changes to the course approval. (1) Any changes to the course approval or the content of the course will be handled as a request for renewal of an approval (as specified in paragraph (f) of this section), or as a request for an original approval (as specified in paragraph (b) of this section), depending on the nature and scope of the change.

(2) The Coast Guard may not accept course completion certificates if the course does not follow the conditions of the course approval.

(f) Renewal of course approval. If the owner or operator of a training school Start Printed Page 45977desires to have a course's approval renewed, the owner or operator must submit a request to the NMC accompanied by the information from paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(5), (b)(6), and (b)(7) of this section. If satisfied that the content and quality of instruction remain satisfactory, the Coast Guard will approve the request. The renewed approval is valid as detailed in paragraph (d) of this section.

(g) Suspension of approval. (1) The Coast Guard may suspend the approval, require the holder to surrender the certificate of approval, and may direct the holder to cease claiming the course is Coast Guard-approved, if it determines that a specific course does not comply with the:

(i) Applicable provisions of 46 CFR parts 11, 12, or 13;

(ii) Requirements specified in the course's approval; or

(iii) Course's curriculum package as submitted for approval.

(2) The Coast Guard will notify the approval holder in writing of the intent to suspend course approval and the reasons for suspension. If the approval holder fails to correct the conditions leading to suspension, the course will be suspended. The Coast Guard will notify the approval holder that the specific course fails to meet applicable requirements and explain how the deficiencies can be corrected;

(3) The Coast Guard may grant the approval holder up to 90 days to correct the deficiencies; and

(4) Course completion certificates will not be accepted if dated during a period of suspension or expiration.

(h) Withdrawal of approval. The Coast Guard may withdraw approval for any course:

(1) When the approval holder fails to correct the deficiencies of a suspended course within 90 days; or

(2) Upon determining that the approval holder has demonstrated a pattern or history of:

(i) Failing to comply with the applicable regulations or the course approval requirements;

(ii) Deviating from approved course curricula;

(iii) Presenting courses in a manner that does not achieve the learning objectives; or

(iv) Falsifying any document required and integral to the conduct of the course, including, but not limited to, attendance records, written test grades, course completion grades, or assessment of practical demonstrations.

(i) Appeals of suspension or withdrawal of approval. Anyone directly affected by a decision to suspend or withdraw an approval may appeal the decision to the Commandant as provided in § 1.03-40 of this chapter.

General standards.

(a) Each school with an approved course must:

(1) Have a well-maintained facility that accommodates the students in a safe and comfortable environment conducive to learning;

(2) Have visual aids for realism, including simulators where appropriate, sufficient for the number of students to be accommodated, and support the objectives of the course;

(3) Administer training entirely in the English language unless specifically approved to be presented in another language;

(4) Administer written examinations to each student appropriate for the course material and the knowledge requirements of the position or endorsement for which the student is being trained. For a course approved to substitute for a Coast Guard-administered examination, the courses must be of such a degree of difficulty that a student who successfully completes them would most likely pass, on the first attempt, an examination prepared by the Coast Guard;

(5) Require each student to successfully demonstrate practical skills appropriate for the course material and equal to the level of endorsement for which the course is approved;

(6) Effective July 1, 2013, keep physical or electronic copies of the following records for at least 5 years after the end of each student's completion or disenrollment from a course or program:

(i) A copy of each student's examination answers;

(ii) A copy of each examination or, in the case of a practical test, a report of such test;

(iii) A record of each student's classroom attendance;

(iv) A copy of each student's course completion certificate or program completion certificate, as appropriate;

(v) A summary of changes or modification to the last course submittal;

(vi) A list of all locations at which the training course was presented and the number of times it was presented at each location;

(vii) The name(s) of the instructor(s) who taught the course;

(viii) The number of students who began the training;

(ix) The number of students who successfully completed the training;

(x) The number of students who were required to retest;

(xi) The number of students who were required to retake the entire course; and

(xii) The number of students who were required to retake a portion of the course.

(7) Not change its approved curriculum without approval from the NMC as specified in § 10.402(e) of this subpart;

(8) Conduct an internal audit midway through the term of the course's approval and maintain the results of the audit for a period of not less than 5 years. The audit will evaluate whether:

(i) Records are being maintained according to these regulations;

(ii) The course is being presented in accordance with the approval letter; and

(iii) Surveys from students indicate that the course is meeting their needs; and

(9) At any time, allow the Coast Guard to:

(i) Inspect its facilities, equipment, and records, including scholastic records;

(ii) Conduct interviews and surveys of students to aid in course evaluation and improvement;

(iii) Assign personnel to observe or participate in the course of instruction; and

(iv) Supervise or administer the required examinations or practical demonstrations, including the substitution of an applicable Coast Guard examination in a course approved to substitute for a Coast Guard-administered examination.

Substitution of training for required service, use of training-record books (TRBs), and use of towing officer assessment records (TOARs).

(a) Substitution of training for required service. (1) Satisfactory completion of an approved training course may be substituted for a portion of the required service on deck or in the engine department for deck or engineer endorsements. Satisfactory completion of an approved training program which includes sea service may be substituted for a portion of or all of the required service on deck or in the engine department, except as limited by law for ratings. The list of all currently approved courses and programs, including the equivalent service and applicable endorsements, is maintained by the NMC.

(2) Unless otherwise allowed, recency requirements may not be achieved by service granted as a result of successful completion of approved training or by training on a simulator; however, underway service obtained as a portion of an approved course or program may be used for this purpose.

(3) Unless otherwise allowed, training obtained before receiving an Start Printed Page 45978endorsement may not be used for subsequent raises of grade, increases in scope, or renewals.

(b) Use of training-record books (TRBs). (1) Approved training programs for STCW endorsements for OICNW and OICEW must maintain a TRB for each student where training and/or assessments of competence are conducted onboard the ship. The TRB must contain at least the following information:

(i) The name of the applicant;

(ii) The tasks to be performed or the skills to be demonstrated, with reference to the standards of competence set forth in the tables of the appropriate sections in part A of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 10.103 of this part);

(iii) The method for demonstrating competence to be used in determining that the tasks or skills have been performed properly, with reference to the standards of competence set forth in the tables of competence in the appropriate sections in part A of the STCW Code;

(iv) A place for a qualified instructor to indicate by his or her initials that the applicant has received training in the proper performance of the task or skill;

(v) A place for a qualified assessor (QA) to indicate by his or her initials that the applicant has successfully completed a practical demonstration and has proved competent in the task or skill under the criteria, when assessment of competence is to be documented in the record books;

(vi) The printed name of each qualified instructor, including any MMC endorsements held, and the instructor's signature; and

(vii) The printed name of each qualified assessor, when any assessment of competence is recorded, including any MMC endorsement, license, or document held by the assessor, and the assessor's signature confirming that his or her initials certify that he or she has witnessed the practical demonstration of a particular task or skill by the applicant.

(2) The TRB referred to in paragraph (b) of this section may be maintained electronically, provided the electronic record meets Coast Guard-accepted standards for accuracy, integrity, and availability.

(3) The Coast Guard may accept other forms of documentation as meeting the requirements to maintain the training-record book.

(c) Use of towing officer assessment records (TOARs). (1) Each applicant for an endorsement as master or mate (pilot) of towing vessels, and each master or mate of self-propelled vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more, seeking an endorsement for towing vessels, must complete a TOAR approved by the Coast Guard that contains at least the following:

(i) Identification of the applicant, including his or her full name, and reference number;

(ii) Objectives of the training and assessment;

(iii) Tasks to perform or skills to demonstrate;

(iv) Criteria to use in determining that the tasks or skills have been performed properly;

(v) A means for a designated examiner (DE) to attest that the applicant has successfully completed a practical demonstration and has proved proficient in the task or skill under the criteria; and

(vi) Identification of each DE by his or her full name and reference number, job title, ship name and official number, and serial number of the MMC, license, or document held, and printed name and signature confirming that his or her initials certify that he or she has witnessed the practical demonstration of a particular task or skill by the applicant.

Qualification as qualified assessor (QA) and designated examiner (DE).

(a) To become a QA, an applicant must have documentary evidence to establish:

(1) Experience, training, or instruction in assessment techniques;

(2) Qualifications in the task for which the assessment is being conducted; and

(3) Possession of the level of endorsement, or other professional credential, which provides proof that he or she has attained a level of qualification equal or superior to the relevant level of knowledge, skills, and abilities described in the training objectives.

(b) To become a DE for towing officer assessment records (TOARs), an applicant must have documentary evidence to establish:

(1) Experience, training, or instruction in assessment techniques on towing vessels;

(2) Qualifications on towing vessels in the task for which the assessment is being conducted; and

(3) Possession of the level of endorsement on towing vessels, or other professional credential, which provides proof that he or she has attained a level of qualification equal or superior to the relevant level of knowledge, skills, and abilities described in the training objectives.

(c) Documentary evidence may be in the form of performance evaluations, which include an evaluation of effectiveness in on-the-job organization and delivery of training, and/or a certificate of successful completion from a “train-the-trainer” course. A “train-the-trainer” course must be based on the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) model course 6.09 (Training Course for Instructors), or on another Coast Guard-accepted syllabus.

Approved courses.

The NMC maintains the list of training organizations and the approvals given to the training they offer. This information is available online at www.uscg.mil/​nmc.

Coast Guard-approved training program requirements for STCW endorsements.

Training programs approved to qualify a mariner to hold an STCW endorsement must meet the same standards as those found in §§ 10.402 and 10.403 of this subpart.

Coast Guard-accepted training other than approved courses and programs.

(a) When the training and assessment of competence required by this part are not subject to Coast Guard approval under §§ 10.402 and 10.407 of this subpart, but are used to qualify a mariner to hold an endorsement, the offeror of the course or program must ensure that such training and assessment meets the same standards as those found in §§ 10.402 and 10.403 of this subpart.

(b) The Coast Guard will accept courses approved and monitored by a Coast Guard-accepted Quality Standard System (QSS) organization. The Coast Guard maintains a list of training organizations conducting accepted training and that are independently monitored by a Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization. The Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization must comply with the following requirements:

(1) Submit a certificate of acceptance of training to the Coast Guard;

(2) Submit an updated certificate of acceptance to the Coast Guard if the terms of acceptance have been changed; and

(3) Sign each certificate to the training organization owner or operator, or its authorized representative(s), stating that the training fully complies with the requirements of this section, and identifying the Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization being used for independent monitoring.

(c) The training must be audited periodically in accordance with the requirements of § 10.409(e)(7) of this Start Printed Page 45979subpart. If the Coast Guard determines, on the basis of observations or conclusions either of its own or by the Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization, that the particular training does not satisfy one or more of the conditions described in paragraph (a) of this section:

(1) The Coast Guard or Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization will so notify the offeror of the training by letter, enclosing a report of the observations and conclusions;

(2) The offeror may, within a period of time specified in the notice, either appeal the observations or conclusions to the Commandant (CG-543) or bring the training into compliance; and

(3) If the appeal is denied—or if the deficiency is not corrected in the allotted time, or within any additional time period judged by the Coast Guard to be appropriate, considering progress toward compliance—the Coast Guard will remove the training from the list maintained under paragraph (b) of this section until it can verify full compliance. The Coast Guard may deny applications for endorsements based, in whole or in part, on training not on the list, until additional training or assessment is documented.

Coast Guard-accepted Quality Standard System (QSS) organizations.

(a) Organizations wishing to serve as a Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization, to accept and monitor training on behalf of the Coast Guard, should apply to the National Maritime Center. An organization submitting an application may not act as a Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization until it has received its letter of acceptance.

(b) Validity of acceptance. Organizations meeting the requirements in paragraph (e) of this section will be issued a letter of acceptance valid for a maximum period of 5 years from the date of issuance.

(c) An organization wishing to become a Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization must have processes for reviewing, accepting, and monitoring training that are equal to the Coast Guard's course approval and oversight processes in §§ 10.402 through 10.410 of this subpart.

(d) Each person conducting evaluation and monitoring of the training must be knowledgeable about the subjects being evaluated or monitored and about the national and international requirements that apply to the training, and must not be involved in the training and assessment of students.

(e) The documentation submitted to the Coast Guard must contain the information listed below. An organization approved as a recognized classification society in accordance with 46 CFR part 8, subpart B, need not present evidence of compliance with paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(8) of this section.

(1) Identification of the organization: Name of the organization, address, contact information, and organizational structure (including the QSS department).

(2) Scope of approval: Training and assessment the organization wishes to accept and monitor.

(3) Background of the organization: Historical information outlining the organization's experience reviewing and accepting training and/or assessment activities.

(4) Staffing and support infrastructure, including:

(i) Names and qualifications of the individuals who will be involved in the review, acceptance, and monitoring of training and assessment;

(ii) Description of the training given to individuals who will be conducting review, acceptance, and monitoring activities; and

(iii) Technical and support resources within the organization that support the review, acceptance, and monitoring activities.

(5) Submission guidelines: Information for client organizations to submit courses for review and acceptance, including criteria for course design, instructor/assessor qualifications, syllabi, equipment, and facilities.

(6) Review and acceptance procedures. (i) Descriptions of the methods of evaluation of the physical, administrative, and infrastructure support aspects of client organizations;

(ii) Descriptions of the methods of evaluation of the instructors, designated examiners of a client organization and the maintenance of their records;

(iii) Descriptions of format for accepting training material;

(iv) Descriptions of the methods by which the course acceptance process responds to the client organization modifications to the training curriculum, changes to instructors or examiners, changes to the infrastructure support; and

(v) Descriptions of the renewal procedures.

(7) Audit procedures: Description of the methods for auditing accepted courses. Client organizations must be audited once in a 5-year period.

(8) Quality commitment: Provide evidence of having a quality management system that includes the following elements:

(i) A documented statement of a quality policy and quality objectives;

(ii) A quality manual;

(iii) Documented procedures and records; and

(iv) Documents, including records, determined by the organization to be necessary to ensure the effective planning, operation, and control of its processes.

(f) Coast Guard-accepted QSS organizations must notify the NMC of the training they have accepted within 14 days of the acceptance date. The notification must include the name and address of the institution, the course title and the requirement the course meets, and a one-paragraph description of the course's content.

(g) Audits. (1) A Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization must conduct internal audits at least once in 5 years with a minimum of 2 years between reviews. Results of the internal audits must be available upon request to the Coast Guard within 60 days of completion.

(2) Each Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization may be audited by the Coast Guard at least once every 5 years. The results of the audit will be available to the Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization within 60 days of completion of the audit.

(3) Results of Coast Guard-accepted QSS organizations' audits to client organizations must be available upon request to the Coast Guard within 60 days of completion.

(h) Disenrollment. (1) A Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization must give each client organization it serves a 180-day notice of its intention to cease to function as a Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization.

(2) If the Coast Guard determines that a Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization is not meeting its obligations to review, accept, and monitor training and assessment, the NMC will notify the organization in writing and will enclose information about the events that led to this determination. The organization will then have a specified period of time to correct the deficiencies or appeal the conclusions to the Commandant (CG-54). If the organization appeals, and the appeal is denied, or the deficiencies are not corrected within the allotted time, the NMC will withdraw the acceptance of the Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization. The NMC will notify all client organizations affected by this decision so that they may make arrangements to transfer to another Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization or seek NMC approval for their training.Start Printed Page 45980

(i) A Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization may not approve courses provided by client organizations.

Quality Standard System (QSS) requirements.

(a) Providers of Coast Guard-approved courses, programs, training, and Coast Guard-accepted training creditable towards an STCW endorsement must establish and maintain a Quality Standard System (QSS), in accordance with Regulation I/8 of the STCW Convention (incorporated by reference, see § 10.103 of this part).

(b) The QSS must be monitored by the Coast Guard or monitored through a third party that is designated as a Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization.

(c) The Coast Guard-monitored QSS must:

(1) Have a documented quality policy and quality objectives that align with the commitment by the training institution to achieve its missions and goals;

(2) Maintain a manual that documents the objectives, authorities, and responsibilities that are essential controls for the implementation of the QSS, including:

(i) The core procedures required to meet the missions and goals of the institution;

(ii) The documents necessary for effective design, planning, operation, and control for the delivery of courses meeting the regulatory requirements;

(iii) The filing and archiving of records so they are retrievable and legible;

(iv) Action taken to stop recurrence of system, process, and product nonconformity; and

(v) Auditing, reviewing, and improving the performance of the training management system; and

(3) Arrange for a Coast Guard audit to be conducted twice in a 5-year period.

(d) Documentation from a National Academic Accreditation body may be accepted by the Coast Guard as meeting one or more of the requirements listed in paragraph (c) of this section. The documentation must be readily available for inspection upon request.

(e) The Coast Guard will accept documentation from a training institution certified under a national or international Quality Management System Standard as meeting one or more of the requirements listed in paragraph (c) of this section. The documentation must be readily available for inspection upon request.

(f) Coast Guard-approved courses, programs, and training creditable towards an STCW endorsement approved prior to July 1, 2013 must meet the requirements of this section at the next renewal.

Simulator performance standards.

Simulators used in assessment of competence must meet the appropriate performance standards set out in Section A-I/12 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 10.103 of this part). However, a simulator installed or brought into use before February 1, 2002, need not meet those standards if it fulfills the objectives of the assessment of competence or demonstration of proficiency.

Distance and e-learning.

The Coast Guard may allow the training of mariners by means of methods of distance learning and e-learning in accordance with the standards of training and assessment set forth in section A-I/6 (Training and assessment) of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 10.103 of this part).

30. Revise part 11 to read as follows:

End Part Start Part

PART 11—REQUIREMENTS FOR OFFICER ENDORSEMENTS

Subpart A—General
11.101
Purpose of regulations.
11.102
Incorporation by reference.
11.107
Paperwork approval.
Subpart B—General Requirements for Officer Endorsements
11.201
General requirements for domestic and STCW officer endorsements.
11.211
Creditable service and equivalents for domestic and STCW officer endorsements.
11.217
Examination procedures and denial of officer endorsements.
Subpart C—STCW Officer Endorsements
11.301
Requirements for STCW officer endorsements.
11.303
STCW deck officer endorsements.
11.305
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more (management level).
11.307
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief mate on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more (management level).
11.309
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more (operational level).
11.311
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT (management level).
11.313
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief mate of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT (management level).
11.315
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT (management level).
11.317
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT limited to near-coastal waters (management level).
11.319
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT (operational level).
11.321
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT limited to near-coastal waters (operational level).
11.323
STCW engineer officer endorsements.
11.325
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power or more (management level).
11.327
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as second engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 3,000kW/4,000HP propulsion power or more (management level).
11.329
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as Officer in Charge of an Engineering Watch (OICEW) in a manned engineroom or designated duty engineer in a periodically unmanned engineroom on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP propulsion power or more (operational level).
11.331
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of between 750 kW/1,000 HP and 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power (management level).
11.333
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as second engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of between 750kW/1,000HP and 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power (management level).
11.335
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as an electro-technical officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP or more (operational level).
Subpart D—Professional Requirements for Domestic Deck Officer Endorsements
11.401
Ocean and near-coastal domestic officer endorsements.
11.402
Tonnage requirements for domestic ocean or near-coastal endorsements for vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more.
11.403
Structure of domestic deck officer endorsements.
11.404
Service requirements for domestic master of ocean or near-coastal self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
11.405
Service requirements for domestic chief mate of ocean or near-coastal self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.Start Printed Page 45981
11.406
Service requirements for domestic second mate of ocean or near-coastal self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
11.407
Service requirements for domestic third mate of ocean or near-coastal self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
11.410
Requirements for domestic deck officer endorsements for vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT.
11.412
Service requirements for domestic master of ocean or near-coastal self-propelled vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT.
11.414
Service requirements for domestic mate of ocean self-propelled vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT.
11.416
Service requirements for domestic mate of near-coastal self-propelled vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT.
11.418
Service requirements for domestic master of ocean or near-coastal self-propelled vessels of less than 500 GRT.
11.420
Service requirements for domestic mate of ocean self-propelled vessels of less than 500 GRT.
11.421
Service requirements for domestic mate of near-coastal self-propelled vessels of less than 500 GRT.
11.422
Tonnage limitations and qualifying requirements for domestic endorsements as master or mate of vessels of less than 200 GRT.
11.424
Requirements for domestic master of ocean self-propelled vessels of less than 200 GRT.
11.426
Requirements for domestic master of self-propelled seagoing vessels of less than 200 GRT limited to domestic voyages upon near-coastal waters.
11.427
Requirements for domestic mate of self-propelled seagoing vessels of less than 200 GRT limited to domestic voyages upon near-coastal waters.
11.428
Requirements for domestic master of self-propelled, seagoing vessels of less than 100 GRT limited to domestic voyages upon near-coastal waters.
11.429
Requirements for a domestic limited master of self-propelled, seagoing vessels of less than 100 GRT limited to domestic voyages upon near-coastal waters.
11.430
Endorsements for the Great Lakes and inland waters.
11.431
Tonnage requirements for Great Lakes and inland domestic endorsements for vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more.
11.433
Requirements for domestic master of Great Lakes and inland self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
11.435
Requirements for domestic master of inland self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
11.437
Requirements for domestic mate of Great Lakes and inland self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
11.442
Requirements for domestic master of Great Lakes and inland self-propelled vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT.
11.444
Requirements for domestic mate of Great lakes and inland self-propelled vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT.
11.446
Requirements for domestic master of Great Lakes and inland self-propelled vessels of less than 500 GRT.
11.448
Requirements for domestic mate of Great Lakes and inland self-propelled vessels of less than 500 GRT.
11.450
Tonnage limitations and qualifying requirements for domestic endorsements as master or mate of Great Lakes and inland vessels of less than 200 GRT.
11.452
Requirements for domestic master of Great Lakes and inland self-propelled vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT.
11.454
Requirements for domestic mate of Great Lakes and inland self-propelled vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT.
11.455
Requirements for domestic master of Great Lakes and inland self-propelled vessels of less than 100 GRT.
11.456
Requirements for domestic limited master of Great Lakes and inland self-propelled vessels of less than 100 GRT.
11.457
Requirements for domestic master of inland self-propelled vessels of less than 100 GRT.
11.459
Requirements for domestic master or mate of rivers.
11.462
Endorsements for domestic master or mate of uninspected fishing industry vessels.
11.463
General requirements for domestic endorsements as master, mate (pilot), and apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels.
11.464
Requirements for domestic endorsements as master of towing vessels.
11.465
Requirements for domestic endorsements as mate (pilot) of towing vessels.
11.466
Requirements for domestic endorsements as apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels.
11.467
Requirements for a domestic endorsement as operator of uninspected passenger vessels of less than 100 GRT.
11.468
Domestic officer endorsements for mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs).
11.470
Domestic officer endorsements as offshore installation manager.
11.472
Domestic officer endorsements as barge supervisor.
11.474
Domestic officer endorsements as ballast control operator.
11.480
Radar observer.
11.482
Assistance towing.
11.491
Domestic officer endorsements for service on offshore supply vessels.
11.493
Master (OSV).
11.495
Chief Mate (OSV).
11.497
Mate (OSV).
Subpart E—Professional Requirements for Domestic Engineer Officer Endorsements
11.501
Grades and types of domestic engineer endorsements issued.
11.502
General requirements for domestic engineer endorsements.
11.503
Propulsion power limitations for domestic endorsements.
11.504
Application of deck service for domestic limited engineer endorsements.
11.505
Domestic engineer officer endorsements.
11.510
Service requirements for domestic endorsement as chief engineer of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled vessels.
11.512
Service requirements for domestic endorsement as first assistant engineer of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled vessels.
11.514
Service requirements for domestic endorsement as second assistant engineer of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled vessels.
11.516
Service requirements for domestic endorsement as third assistant engineer of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled vessels.
11.518
Service requirements for domestic endorsement as chief engineer (limited oceans) of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled vessels.
11.520
Service requirements for domestic endorsement as chief engineer (limited near-coastal) of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled vessels.
11.522
Service requirements for domestic endorsement as assistant engineer (limited oceans) of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled vessels.
11.524
Service requirements for domestic endorsement as designated duty engineer of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled vessels.
11.530
Endorsements for domestic engineers of uninspected fishing industry vessels.
11.540
Endorsements for domestic engineers of mobile offshore drilling units (MODU).
11.542
Endorsement as domestic chief engineer (MODU).
11.544
Endorsement as domestic assistant engineer (MODU).
11.551
Endorsements for service on offshore supply vessels.
11.553
Chief engineer (OSV).
11.555
Assistant engineer (OSV).
Subpart F—Credentialing of Radio Officers
11.601
Applicability.
11.603
Requirements for radio officers' endorsements.
11.604
Requirements for an STCW endorsement for Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) radio operators.
Subpart G—Professional Requirements for Pilots
11.701
Scope of pilot endorsements.
11.703
Service requirements.
11.705
Route familiarization requirements.
11.707
Examination requirements.
11.709
Annual physical examination requirements.
11.711
Tonnage requirements.
11.713
Requirements for maintaining current knowledge of waters to be navigated.
Subpart H—Registration of Staff Officers and Miscellaneous Endorsements
11.801
Applicability.
11.805
General requirements.
11.807
Experience requirements for registry.
11.811
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as vessel security officer.
11.821
High-speed craft type rating.
Subpart I—Subjects of Examinations
11.901
General provisions. Start Printed Page 45982
11.903
Officer endorsements requiring examinations.
11.910
Subjects for deck officer endorsements.
11.920
Subjects for MODU endorsements.
11.950
Examination subjects for engineer officer endorsements.
Subpart J—Recognition of Other Parties' STCW certificates
11.1001
Purpose of rules.
11.1003
General requirements.
11.1005
Employer application requirements.
11.1007
Basis for denial.
11.1009
Restrictions.
Subpart K—Officers on a Passenger Ship When on an International Voyage
11.1101
Purpose of rules.
11.1103
Definitions.
11.1105
General requirements for officer endorsements.
Start Authority

Authority: 14 U.S.C. 633; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 46 U.S.C. 2101, 2103, and 2110; 46 U.S.C. chapter 71; 46 U.S.C. 7502, 7505, 7701, 8906, and 70105; Executive Order 10173; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. Section 11.107 is also issued under the authority of 44 U.S.C. 3507.

End Authority

Subpart A—General

Purpose of regulations.

(a) The purpose of this part is to provide:

(1) A means of determining the qualifications an applicant must possess to be eligible for an officer endorsement as a staff officer, deck officer, engineer officer, pilot, or radio officer on merchant vessels, or for an endorsement to operate uninspected passenger vessels; and

(2) A means of determining that an applicant is competent to serve as a master, chief mate, officer in charge of a navigational watch, chief engineer officer, second engineer officer (first assistant engineer), officer in charge of an engineering watch, designated duty engineer, or Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) radio operator, in accordance with the provisions of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (the STCW Convention or STCW), and other laws, and to receive the appropriate endorsement as required by STCW.

(b) With few exceptions, these regulations do not specify or restrict officer endorsements to particular types of service such as tankships, freight vessels, or passenger vessels. However, each officer credentialed under this part must become familiar with the relevant characteristics of a vessel prior to assuming their duties as required in the provisions of § 15.405 of this subchapter.

(c) The regulations in subpart C of this part that prescribed the requirements applicable to approved training courses, training for a particular officer endorsement, and training and assessment associated with meeting the standards of competence established by the STCW Convention have been moved to 46 CFR, part 10, subpart C.

Incorporation by reference.

(a) Certain material is incorporated by reference into this part with the approval of the Director of the Federal Register under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. To enforce any edition other than that specified in this section, the Coast Guard must publish a notice of change in the Federal Register and the material must be available to the public. All approved material is available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030 or go to http://www.archives.gov/​federal_​register/​code_​of_​federal_​regulations/​ibr_​locations.html. Also, it is available for inspection at the Coast Guard, Office of Operating and Environmental Standards (CG-5221), 2100 2nd St., SW., Stop 7126, Washington, DC 20593-7126, 202-372-1405 and is available from the sources indicated in this section.

(b) International Maritime Organization (IMO), 4 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SR, England.

(1) The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (the STCW Convention or the STCW), incorporation by reference approved for §§ 11.201, 11.426, 11.427, 11.428, 11.429, 11.1101, 11.1105, and 11.1117.

(2) The Seafarers' Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code, as amended (the STCW Code), incorporation by reference approved for §§ 11.201, 11.301, 11.305, 11.309, 11.311, 11.313, 11.315, 11.317, 11.319, 11.321, 11.325, 11.327, 11.329, 11.333, 11.335, 11.901, and 11.1105.

(3) The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS), incorporation by reference approved for § 11.601.

Paperwork approval.

(a) This section lists the control numbers assigned by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-511) for the reporting and recordkeeping requirements in this part.

(b) The following control numbers have been assigned to the sections indicated:

(1) OMB 1625-0040-46 CFR 11.201, 11.202, 11.205, 11.470, 11.472, 11.474, 11.542, and 11.544.

(2) OMB 1625-028-46 CFR 11.480.

Subpart B—General Requirements for Officer Endorsements

General requirements for domestic and STCW officer endorsements.

(a) General. In addition to the requirements of part 10 of this subchapter, the applicant for an officer endorsement, whether original, renewal, duplicate, or raise of grade, must establish to the satisfaction of the Coast Guard that he or she possesses all the qualifications necessary (including but not limited to age, experience, character, physical health, citizenship, approved training, passage of a professional examination, a test for dangerous drugs), before the Coast Guard will issue him or her a merchant mariner credential (MMC).

(b) English language requirements. Except as provided in § 11.467(h) of this part, an applicant for an officer endorsement must demonstrate an ability to speak and understand English as found in the navigation rules, aids to navigation publications, emergency equipment instructions, machinery instructions, and radiotelephone communications instructions.

(c) Experience and Service. (1) Applicants for officer endorsements should refer to § 10.232 of this subchapter for information regarding requirements for documentation and proof of sea service.

(2) An applicant for an officer endorsement must have at least 3 months of required service on vessels of appropriate tonnage or horsepower within the 3 years immediately preceding the date of application.

(3) No original officer or STCW endorsement may be issued to any naturalized citizen based on less experience in any grade or capacity than would have been required of a citizen of the United States by birth.

(4) Experience and service acquired on foreign vessels is creditable for establishing eligibility for an officer or STCW endorsement, subject to evaluation by the Coast Guard to determine that it is a fair and reasonable equivalent to service acquired on merchant vessels of the United States, with respect to grade, tonnage, horsepower, waters, and operating conditions. An applicant who has obtained qualifying experience on foreign vessels must submit satisfactory Start Printed Page 45983documentary evidence of such service (including any necessary translation into English) in accordance with § 10.232 of this subchapter.

(5) No applicant for an original officer endorsement who is a naturalized citizen and who has obtained experience on foreign vessels will be given an original officer endorsement in a grade higher than that upon which he or she has actually served while acting under the authority of a foreign credential.

(6) Experience acquired while the applicant was less than 16 years of age is generally not creditable. Compelling circumstances and unique experiences acquired before the applicant reaches 16 years of age will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

(d) Citizenship. No officer endorsement may be issued to any person who is not a citizen of the United States with the exception of operators of uninspected passenger vessels that are not documented under the laws of the United States.

(e) Age. Except as specified in this paragraph, no officer endorsement may be issued to a person who has not attained the age of 21 years. The required evidence of age may be established using any of the items submitted to establish citizenship set out in 49 CFR 1572.17:

(1) An endorsement may be granted to an applicant who has reached the age of 19 years as:

(i) Master of near-coastal, Great Lakes and inland, or river vessels of 25-200 GRT/500 GT;

(ii) Third mate;

(iii) Third assistant engineer;

(iv) Mate of vessels of between 200 GRT/500 GT and 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT;

(v) Ballast control operator (BCO);

(vi) Assistant engineer (MODU);

(vii) Assistant engineer of fishing industry vessels;

(viii) Mate (pilot) of towing vessels;

(ix) Radio officer;

(x) Assistant engineer (limited); or

(xi) Designated duty engineer of vessels of less than 4,000 HP/3,000 kW.

(2) An endorsement may be granted to an applicant who has reached the age of 18 years as:

(i) Limited master of near-coastal vessels of less than 100 GRT;

(ii) Limited master of Great Lakes and inland vessels of less than 100 GRT;

(iii) Mate of Great Lakes and inland vessels of 25-200 GRT/500 GT;

(iv) Mate of near-coastal vessels of 25-200 GRT/500 GT;

(v) Operator of uninspected passenger vessels (OUPV);

(vi) Designated duty engineer of vessels of less than 1,000 HP/750 kW; or

(vii) Apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels.

(f) Physical examination. (1) Persons serving or intending to serve in the merchant marine service are encouraged to take the earliest opportunity to ascertain, through examination, whether their visual acuity, color vision, hearing, and general physical condition, are such as to qualify them for service in that profession. Any physical impairment or medical condition that would render an applicant incompetent to perform the ordinary duties required of an officer is cause for denial of an officer endorsement.

(2) Applications for an original officer endorsement, raises of grade, and extensions of route, must be current and up to date with respect to service and the physical examination, as appropriate. Physical examinations and applications are valid for 12 months from the date the application is approved.

(g) Character check. (1) An individual may apply for an original officer endorsement, or officer or STCW endorsement of a different type, while on probation as a result of administrative action under part 5 of this chapter. The offense for which the applicant was placed on probation will be considered in determining his or her fitness to hold the endorsement applied for. An officer or STCW endorsement issued to an applicant on probation will be subject to the same probationary conditions as were imposed against the applicant's other credential. An applicant may not take an examination for an officer or STCW endorsement during any period of time when a suspension without probation or a revocation is effective against the applicant's currently held license, MMD, or MMC, or while an appeal from these actions is pending.

(2) If an original license, certificate of registry, or officer endorsement has been issued, when information about the applicant's habits of life and character is brought to the attention of the Coast Guard, if such information warrants the belief that the applicant cannot be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of the license, certificate of registry, or officer endorsement issued, or if such information indicates that the application for the license, certificate of registry, or officer endorsement was false or incomplete, the Coast Guard may notify the holder in writing that the license, certificate of registry, or officer endorsement is considered null and void, direct the holder to return the credential to the Coast Guard, and advise the holder that, upon return of the credential, the appeal procedures of § 10.237 of this subchapter apply.

(h) Firefighting certificate. Applicants for an original officer endorsement in the following categories must present a certificate of completion from a firefighting course of instruction that has been approved by the Coast Guard. The course must have been completed within 5 years before the date of application for the officer endorsement requested.

(1) Mariners who completed a firefighting course within the previous 5 years must provide evidence of maintaining the standard of competence in accordance with the firefighting requirements for the credential sought.

(2) The following categories must meet the requirements for basic and advanced firefighting in Regulations VI/1 and VI/3 of the STCW Convention and Tables A-VI/1-2 and A-VI/3 of the STCW Code (both incorporated by reference, see § 11.102 of this part):

(i) Domestic officer endorsements as master or mate on seagoing vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more;

(ii) All domestic officer endorsements for master or mate (pilot) of towing vessels, except apprentice mate (steersman) of the vessels, on oceans;

(iii) All domestic officer endorsements for MODUs;

(iv) All domestic officer endorsements for engineers;

(v) All domestic officer endorsements for OSVs; and

(vi) All STCW officer endorsements.

(3) The following categories must meet the requirements for basic firefighting in Regulation VI/1 of the STCW Convention and Table A-VI/1-2 of the STCW Code (both incorporated by reference, see § 11.102 of this part):

(i) Officer endorsement as master on vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT in ocean service; and

(ii) All officer endorsements for master or mate (pilot) of towing vessels, except utility towing and apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels, in all services except oceans.

(i) First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course certificates. All applicants for an original officer endorsement, except as provided in §§ 11.429, 11.456, and 11.467 of this part, must present to the Coast Guard:

(1) Evidence of continued competency in STCW basic safety training or a certificate indicating completion of a first-aid course not more than 1 year from the date of application from:

(i) The American National Red Cross Standard First Aid course or American National Red Cross Community First Aid & Safety course; or

(ii) A Coast Guard-approved first-aid course; andStart Printed Page 45984

(2) A currently valid certificate of completion of a CPR course from either:

(i) The American National Red Cross;

(ii) The American Heart Association; or

(iii) A Coast Guard-approved CPR course.

(j) Professional Examination. (1) When the Coast Guard finds the applicant's experience and training to be satisfactory, and the applicant is eligible in all other respects, the Coast Guard will authorize examination in accordance with the following requirements:

(i) Except for an endorsement required by the STCW Convention, any applicant for a deck or engineer officer endorsement limited to vessels less than 200 GRT/500 GT, or an officer endorsement limited to uninspected fishing industry vessels, may request an orally assisted examination instead of any written or other textual examination. If there are textual questions that the applicant has difficulty reading and understanding, the Coast Guard will offer the orally assisted examination. Each officer endorsement based on an orally assisted examination is limited to the specific route and type of vessel upon which the applicant obtained the majority of service.

(ii) The general instructions for administration of examinations and the lists of subjects for all officer endorsements appear in subpart I of this part. The Coast Guard will place in the applicant's file a record indicating the subjects covered.

(iii) An applicant enrolled in a comprehensively approved program of training, service, and assessment may be authorized for an examination not more than 3 months prior to completion of the program provided that all applicable sea service requirements are completed prior to the examination.

(iv) The examination, whether administered orally or by other means, must be conducted only in the English language.

(2) When the application has been approved for examination, the applicant should take the required examination as soon as practicable; however, approved examinations are valid for 1 year.

(3) An examination is not required for a staff officer or radio officer endorsement.

(k) Radar observer. Applicants for an endorsement as radar observer must present a certificate of completion from a radar observer course as required by § 11.480 of this part.

(l) Restrictions. The Coast Guard may modify the service and examination requirements in this part to satisfy the unique qualification requirements of an applicant or distinct group of mariners. The Coast Guard may also lower the age requirement for OUPV applicants. The authority granted by an officer endorsement will be restricted to reflect any modifications made under the authority of this paragraph. These restrictions may not be removed without the approval of the Coast Guard.

Creditable service and equivalents for domestic and STCW officer endorsements.

(a) Applicants for officer endorsements should refer to § 10.232 of this subchapter for information regarding requirements for documentation and proof of sea service.

(b) Service toward an oceans, near-coastal, or STCW endorsement will be credited as follows:

(1) Service on the Great Lakes will be credited on a day-for-day basis.

(2) Service on inland waters, other than Great Lakes, that are navigable waters of the United States, may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service.

(c) Service on mobile offshore drilling units. (1) MODU service is creditable for raise of grade of officer endorsement. Evidence of 1 year of service on MODUs as mate or equivalent while holding an officer endorsement or license as third mate, or as engineering officer of the watch or equivalent while holding an officer endorsement or license as third assistant engineer, is acceptable for a raise of grade to second mate or second assistant engineer, respectively. However, any subsequent raises of grade of unlimited, non-restricted officer licenses or endorsements must include a minimum of 6 months of service on conventional vessels.

(2) Service on dynamically positioned MODUs, maintaining station by means of dynamic positioning, may be credited as service on conventional vessels for any raise in grade; however, time more than 8 hours each day will not be credited.

(3) A day of MODU service must be a minimum of 4 hours, and no additional credit will be granted for service periods of more than 8 hours.

(4) Creditable MODU service excludes time spent ashore due to crew rotation.

(d) Service on ATBs and ITBs. Service on Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) or Dual Mode Integrated Tug Barge (ITB) units is creditable for an original deck officer endorsement or raise of grade of any deck officer endorsement. Service on an ATB or Dual Mode ITB with an aggregate tonnage of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more is creditable on a two-for-one basis (2 days experience equals 1 day of creditable service) for up to 50 percent of the total service on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more required for an unlimited officer endorsement. The remaining required service on vessels of more than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT must be obtained on conventional vessels or Push Mode ITBs.

(e) Individuals obtaining sea service as part of an approved training curriculum pursuant to either § 11.407(a)(2) or § 11.516(a)(3) must do so in the capacity of cadet (deck) or cadet (engine), as appropriate, notwithstanding any other rating endorsements the individual may hold or any other capacity in which the individual may have served.

(f) Other experience. Other experience in a marine-related area, other than at sea, or sea service performed on unique vessels, will be evaluated by the Coast Guard for a determination of equivalence to traditional service.

Examination procedures and denial of officer endorsements.

(a) The examination fee set out in Table 10.219(a) in § 10.219 of this subchapter must be paid before the applicant may take the first examination section. If an applicant fails three or more sections of the examination, a complete re-examination must be taken. On the subsequent exam, if the applicant again fails three or more sections, at least 3 months must lapse before another complete examination is attempted, and a new examination fee is required. If an applicant fails one or two sections of an examination, the applicant may be retested twice on these sections during the next 3 months. If the applicant does not successfully complete these sections within the 3-month period, a complete re-examination must be taken after a lapse of at least 3 months from the date of the last retest, and a new examination fee is required. The 3-month retest period may be extended by the Coast Guard if the applicant presents evidence documenting sea time that prevented the taking of a retest during the 3-month period. The retest period may not be extended beyond 7 months from the initial examination. All examinations and retests must be completed within 1 year of approval for examination.

(b) If the Coast Guard refuses to grant an applicant the endorsement applied for due to the applicant's failure to pass a required examination, the Coast Guard will provide the applicant with a written statement setting forth the portions of the examination that must be retaken and the date by which the examination must be completed.

Start Printed Page 45985

Subpart C—STCW Officer Endorsements

Requirements for STCW officer endorsements.

(a) Standard of competence. (1) The Coast Guard will accept one or more methods to demonstrate meeting the standard of competence in this subpart. The Coast Guard will accept the following as evidence for each one of the methods required in Column 3—Methods for demonstrating competence—of the Tables of Competence in the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 11.102 of this part):

(i) In-service experience: documentation of successful completion of assessments, approved or accepted by the Coast Guard, and signed by a designated examiner (DE) or seafarer with a higher credential—deck or engineering—as appropriate, than the assessment related to the credential sought by the applicant.

(ii) Training ship experience: documentation of successful completion of an approved training program involving formal training and assessment onboard a training ship.

(iii) Simulator training: documentation of successful completion of training and assessment from a Coast Guard-approved course involving maritime simulation.

(iv) Laboratory equipment training: documentation of successful completion of training and assessments from an approved training course or facility.

(v) Practical training or instruction:

(A) Documentation of successful completion of assessment as part of a structured/formal training or instruction provided by an organization or company as part of an accepted safety or quality management system; or

(B) Documentation of successful completion of an approved training course from a school or facility.

(vi) Specialist training: documentation of successful completion of assessment as part of a company training or specialized training provided by a maritime or equipment specialist.

(vii) Workshop skills training: documentation of successful completion of assessments or completion certificate from an approved training program, school or facility.

(viii) Training program: documentation of successful completion of an approved training program.

(ix) Training on a manned scale ship model: documentation of successful completion of assessment as part of a structured/formal training or instruction provided by an approved training school or facility.

(x) Practical demonstration and practical demonstration of competence: documentation of successful completion of assessments approved or accepted by the Coast Guard.

(xi) Practical test and practical experience: documentation of successful completion of assessments approved or accepted by the Coast Guard.

(xii) Examination: successful completion of a Coast Guard examination.

(xiii) Instruction or course: documentation of successful completion of a course of instruction offered by an approved training school or facility.

(2) Knowledge components may be documented by:

(i) Successful completion of the Coast Guard examination for the associated officer endorsement;

(ii) Successful completion of an approved course; or

(iii) Successful completion of an approved program.

(3) The Coast Guard will publish assessment guidelines that should be used to document assessments that demonstrate meeting the standard of competence, as required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section. Organizations may develop alternative assessment documentation for demonstrations of competence; however, it must be approved by the Coast Guard prior to its use and submittal with an application.

(b) Basic Safety Training. (1) Applicants seeking an STCW officer endorsement must provide evidence, with their application, of meeting the standard of competence for basic safety training as described below:

(i) Personal survival techniques as set out in Table A-VI/1-1 of the STCW Code.

(ii) Fire prevention and firefighting as set out in Table A-VI/1-2 of the STCW Code.

(iii) Elementary first aid as set out in Table A-VI/1-3 of the STCW Code.

(iv) Personal safety and social responsibilities as set out in Table A-VI/1-4 of the STCW Code.

(2) Every 5 years seafarers qualified in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section must provide evidence of maintaining the standard of competence for Basic Safety Training.

(3) The Coast Guard will accept onboard training and experience, through evidence of 1 year of sea service within the last 5 years, as meeting the requirements for Basic Safety Training of paragraph (e)(2) of this section for the following areas:

(i) Personal survival techniques as set out in Table A-VI/1-1 of the STCW Code:

(A) Don a lifejacket;

(B) Board a survival craft from the ship, while wearing a lifejacket;

(C) Take initial actions on boarding a lifeboat to enhance chance of survival;

(D) Stream a lifeboat drogue or sea-anchor;

(E) Operate survival craft equipment; and

(F) Operate location devices, including radio equipment.

(ii) Fire prevention and firefighting as set out in Table A-VI/1-2 of the STCW Code:

(A) Use self-contained breathing apparatus; and

(B) Effect a rescue in a smoke-filled space, using an approved smoke-generating device aboard, while wearing a breathing apparatus.

(iii) Elementary first aid as set out in Table A-VI/1-3 of the STCW Code.

(iv) Personal safety and social responsibilities as set out in Table A-VI/1-4 of the STCW Code.

(4) The Coast Guard will only accept evidence of approved assessments conducted ashore as meeting the requirements for Basic Safety Training of paragraph (e)(2) of this section for the following areas:

(i) Personal survival techniques as set out in Table A-VI/1-1 of the STCW Code:

(A) Don and use an immersion suit;

(B) Safely jump from a height into the water;

(C) Right an inverted liferaft while wearing a lifejacket;

(D) Swim while wearing a lifejacket; and

(E) Keep afloat without a lifejacket.

(ii) Fire prevention and firefighting as set out in Table A-VI/1-2 of the STCW Code:

(A) Use various types of portable fire extinguishers;

(B) Extinguish smaller fires, e.g., electrical fires, oil fires, and propane fires;

(C) Extinguish extensive fires with water, using jet and spray nozzles;

(D) Extinguish fires with foam, powder, or any other suitable chemical agent;

(E) Fight fire in smoke-filled enclosed spaces wearing self-contained breathing apparatus;

(F) Extinguish fire with water fog or any other suitable firefighting agent in an accommodation room or simulated engineroom with fire and heavy smoke; and

(G) Extinguish oil fire with fog applicator and spray nozzles, dry chemical powder, or foam applicators.

(5) Applicants who cannot meet the requirement for 1 year of sea service within the last 5 years, as described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, will be Start Printed Page 45986required to meet the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(c) Advanced Firefighting. (1) Applicants seeking an STCW officer endorsement must provide evidence, with their application, of meeting the standard of competence as set out in Table A-VI/3 of the STCW Code. Applicants for an original STCW officer endorsement, who met the requirements of § 11.201(h)(1) of this subpart will be deemed to have met the requirement of this paragraph.

(2) Every 5 years seafarers qualified in accordance with paragraph (1) of this section must provide evidence of maintaining the standard of competence as set out in Table A-VI/3 of the STCW Code.

(3) The Coast Guard will accept onboard training and experience, through evidence of 1 year of sea service within the last 5 years, as meeting the requirements of paragraph (c)(2) of this section for the following areas as set out in Table A-VI/3 of the STCW Code:

(i) Control firefighting operations aboard ships;

(A) Firefighting procedures at sea and in port, with particular emphasis on organization, tactics and command;

(B) Communication and coordination during firefighting operations;

(C) Ventilation control, including smoke extraction;

(D) Control of fuel and electrical systems;

(E) Fire-fighting process hazards (dry distillation, chemical reactions, boiler uptake);

(F) Fire precautions and hazards associated with the storage and handling of materials;

(G) Management and control of injured persons; and

(H) Procedures for coordination with shore-based fire fighters; and

(ii) Inspect and service fire-detection and extinguishing systems and equipment;

(A) Requirements for statutory and classification.

(4) The Coast Guard will only accept evidence of assessments conducted ashore as meeting the requirements of paragraph (c)(2) of this section for the following areas as set out in Table A-VI/3 of the STCW Code.

(i) Control fire-fighting operations aboard ships:

(A) Use of water for fire-extinguishing, the effect on ship stability, precautions, and corrective procedures; and

(B) Firefighting involving dangerous goods;

(ii) Organize and train fire parties;

(iii) Inspect and service fire-detection and extinguishing systems and equipment;

(A) Fire-detection. Fire-detection systems; fixed fire-extinguishing systems; portable and mobile fire-extinguishing equipment, including appliances, pumps and rescue; salvage; life-support; personal protective and communication equipment; and

(iv) Investigate and compile reports on incidents involving fire.

(d) Service. (1) Service as a rating will not be accepted to upgrade from the operational-level to management-level STCW endorsements.

(2) Service on the Great Lakes will be credited on a day-for-day basis.

(3) Service on inland waters other than Great Lakes, which are navigable waters of the United States, will be credited 1 day of ocean service for every 2 days of inland service for up to 50 percent of the total required service.

(4) Service accrued onboard vessels with dual tonnages (both domestic and international) will be credited using the international tonnage for the credential sought.

(5) Applicants who cannot meet the requirement for 1 year of sea service within the last 5 years as described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, will be required to meet the requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(e) Operational-level endorsement. Applicants holding domestic officer endorsements, who seek to add an STCW endorsement at the operational level, must provide evidence of meeting the STCW requirements found in this subpart, including:

(1) Meeting the service requirements for the operational-level STCW endorsement;

(2) Satisfactory completion of the STCW operational-level standards of competence; and

(3) Satisfactory completion of the STCW operational-level training as required in this part.

(f) Management-level endorsement. Applicants holding domestic officer endorsements as master, chief mate, chief engineer, or first assistant engineer, who seek to add an STCW endorsement at the management level, must provide evidence of meeting the STCW requirements found in this subpart, including:

(1) Meeting the service requirements for the management-level STCW endorsement;

(2) Satisfactory completion of the STCW operational- and management-level standards of competence; and

(3) Satisfactory completion of the STCW operational- and management-level training as required in this part.

(g) Training and assessment for Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA), Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), or Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). Training and assessment in the use of ARPA, ECDIS, or GMDSS is not required for those who serve exclusively on ships not fitted with ARPA, ECDIS, or GMDSS. For ARPA and ECDIS, this limitation must be reflected in the endorsement issued to the seafarer concerned. The GMDSS endorsement will only be added if the applicant qualifies for it.

(h) Exemptions and Limitations. (1) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in the appropriate table of competence in the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the certificate may include a corresponding limitation.

(2) A seafarer may have a limitation removed by providing the Coast Guard with evidence of having completed the individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required.

(i) Grandfathering. (1) Except as noted otherwise, each candidate who applies for a credential based on approved or accepted training or approved seagoing service that was started on or after July 1, 2013, or who applies for the MMC endorsement on or after January 1, 2017, must meet the requirements of these regulations.

(2) Except as noted by this subpart, seafarers holding an STCW endorsement prior to July 1, 2013, will not be required to complete any additional training required under this part to retain the STCW endorsements.

(3) Except as noted otherwise, candidates who apply for a credential based on approved or accepted training or approved seagoing service that was obtained before July 1, 2013 will be required to comply with the requirements of this part existing before the publication of these regulations on [EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS RULE]. This includes the assessments published prior to the date of publication of these regulations on [EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS RULE], as well as the additional requirements for the STCW endorsement section.

(4) Except as noted by this subpart, the Coast Guard will continue to issue STCW endorsements to candidates meeting the requirements of this part existing before the publication of these regulations on [EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS RULE], for seafarers identified in paragraph (i)(3) of this section, until January 1, 2017.

(j) Notwithstanding § 11.901 of this part, each mariner found qualified to Start Printed Page 45987hold any of the following domestic officer endorsements will also be entitled to hold an STCW endorsement corresponding to the service or other limitations of the license or officer endorsements on the MMC. The vessels concerned are not subject to further obligation under STCW because of their special operating conditions as small vessels engaged in domestic, near-coastal voyages:

(1) Masters, mates, or engineers endorsed for service on small passenger vessels that are subject to subchapter T or K of this chapter and that operate beyond the boundary line; and

(2) Masters, mates, or engineers endorsed for service on seagoing vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT, other than passenger vessels subject to subchapter H of this chapter.

(k) No mariner serving on, and no owner or operator of any of the following vessels, need hold an STCW endorsement, because they are exempt from application of STCW:

(1) Fishing vessels as defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101(11)(a);

(2) Fishing vessels used as fish-tender vessels as defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101(11)(c);

(3) Barges as defined in 46 U.S.C. 102, including non-self-propelled mobile offshore drilling units; and

(4) Vessels operating exclusively on the Great Lakes or on the inland waters of the U.S. in the Straits of Juan de Fuca or on the Inside Passage between Puget Sound and Cape Spencer.

(l) No mariner serving on, and no owner or operators of uninspected passenger vessels as defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101(42)(B), need to hold an STCW endorsement. The vessels concerned are not subject to further obligation under STCW because of their special operating conditions as small vessels engaged in domestic, near-coastal voyages.

STCW deck officer endorsements.

(a) Specific requirements for all STCW deck officer endorsements are detailed in the applicable sections in this part.

(1) Master on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more (management level).

(2) Chief mate on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more (management level).

(3) Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more (operational level).

(4) Master of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT (management level).

(5) Chief mate of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT (management level).

(6) Master of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT (management level).

(7) Master of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT limited to near-coastal waters (management level).

(8) OICNW of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT (operational level).

(9) OICNW of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT limited to near-coastal waters (operational level).

Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more (management level).

(a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as master, an applicant must—

(1) Provide evidence of 36 months of service as OICNW on vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more operating in oceans, near-coastal and/or Great Lakes. However, this period may be reduced to not less than 24 months if the applicant served as chief mate for not less than 12 months. Service on inland, waters that are navigable waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service. Experience gained in the engine department on vessels may be creditable for up to 3 months of the service requirements;

(2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence specified in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 11.102 of this part); and

(3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved training in the following subject areas:

(i) Search and rescue;

(ii) ARPA, if required;

(iii) GMDSS, if required; and

(iv) Management of medical care.

(b) Each candidate for a renewal of an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more, to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, must provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence in the following:

(1) Leadership and managerial skills; and

(2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the certificate may include a corresponding limitation.

(d) Seafarers holding an STCW endorsement as masters of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT, in accordance with § 11.311 of this subpart, are eligible to apply for the endorsement as master on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more upon completion of 6 months of sea service, under the authority of the endorsement; and complete any items in paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.

(e) Seafarers with one of the following domestic officer endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion of the requirements in the table below:

Table 11.305(e)—STCW Endorsement as Master on Vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more

Entry path from domestic endorsementsSea service under authority of the endorsement *Competence—STCW table A-II/2 **Training required by this section ***
Master ocean or near-coastal, unlimited tonnageYesYes.
Master OSVYesYes.
* This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the requirements of this section.
** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
*** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
Start Printed Page 45988
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief mate on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more (management level).

(a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief mate, an applicant must:

(1) Provide evidence of 12 months of service as OICNW on vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more operating in oceans, near-coastal and/or Great Lakes. Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service. Experience gained in the engine department on vessels may be creditable for up to 1 month of the service requirements;

(2) Meet the standard of competence specified in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 11.102 of this part); and

(3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved training in the following subject areas:

(i) Search and rescue;

(ii) ARPA, if required;

(iii) GMDSS, if required; and

(iv) Management of medical care.

(b) Each candidate for a renewal of an STCW endorsement as chief mate of vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more, to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, must provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence in the following:

(1) Leadership and managerial skills; and

(2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the certificate may include a corresponding limitation.

(d) Seafarers holding an STCW endorsement as chief mate of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT, in accordance with § 11.313 of this subpart, are eligible to apply for the endorsement as chief mate on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more upon completion of 6 months of sea service, under the authority of the endorsement; and complete any items in paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.

(e) Seafarers with one of the following domestic officer endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion of the requirements in the table below:

Table 11.307(e)—STCW Endorsement as Chief Mate on Vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or More

Entry path from domestic endorsementsSea service under authority of the endorsement *Competence—STCW table A-II/2 **Training required by this section ***
Chief Mate ocean or near-coastal, unlimited tonnageYesYes.
Master ocean or near-coastal, less than 500 GRT12 monthsYesYes.
Chief mate OSVYesYes.
Master Towing Vessel ocean or near-coastal12 monthsYesYes.
* This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the requirements of this section.
** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
*** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more (operational level).

(a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as OICNW, an applicant must:

(1) Provide evidence of seagoing service as follows:

(i) Thirty-six months of seagoing service in the deck department on vessels operating in oceans, near-coastal and/or Great Lakes. Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service; or

(ii) Twelve months of seagoing service as part of an approved training program, which includes onboard training that meets the requirements of Section A-II/1 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 11.102 of this part); and

(2) Provide evidence of having performed, during the required seagoing service, bridge watchkeeping duties, under the supervision of an officer holding the STCW endorsement as master, chief mate, second mate, or OICNW, for a period of not less than 6 months;

(3) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence specified in Section A-II/1 of the STCW Code; and

(4) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved training in the following subject areas:

(i) Medical first-aid provider;

(ii) Radar observer;

(iii) IMO Standard Marine Communication Phrases (SMCP);

(iv) Search and rescue;

(v) Basic and advanced firefighting;

(vi) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats;

(vii) Visual Signaling;

(viii) Bridge Resource Management (BRM);

(ix) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment;

(xi) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment; and

(xii) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(b) Experience gained in the engine department on vessels may be creditable for up to 3 months of the service requirements in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section.

(c) Each candidate for a renewal of an STCW endorsement as OICNW of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more, to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, must provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence in the following:

(1) Leadership and teamworking skills; and

(2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(d) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in Section A-II/1 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the certificate may include a corresponding limitation.

(e) Seafarers with one of the following domestic officer endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion of the requirements in the table below:Start Printed Page 45989

Table 11.309(e)—STCW Endorsement as OICNW on Vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or More

Entry path from domestic endorsementsSea service under authority of the endorsement *Competence—STCW table A-II/1 **Training required by this section ***
Mate ocean or near-coastal, unlimited tonnageYesYes.
Mate ocean or near-coastal, less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GTYesYes.
Mate ocean or near-coastal, NMT 500 GRT12 monthsYesYes.
Mate OSV12 monthsYesYes.
Mate Towing Vessel ocean or near-coastal6 monthsYesYes.
* This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the requirements of this section.
** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
*** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(4) of this section not previously satisfied.
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT (management level).

(a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as master, an applicant must:

(1) Provide evidence of 36 months of service as OICNW on vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more, operating in oceans, near-coastal waters and/or Great Lakes. However, this period may be reduced to not less than 24 months if the applicant served as chief mate for not less than 12 months. Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service. Experience gained in the engine department on vessels may be creditable for up to 3 months of the service requirements;

(2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence specified in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 11.102 of this part); and

(3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved training in the following subject areas:

(i) Search and rescue;

(ii) Management of medical care;

(iii) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment; and

(iv) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(b) Each candidate for a renewal of an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT, to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, must provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence in the following:

(1) Leadership and managerial skills; and

(2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the certificate may include a corresponding limitation.

(d) Seafarers with one of the following domestic officer endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion of the requirements in the table below:

Table 11.311(d)—STCW Endorsement as Master on Vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or More and Less Than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT

Entry path from domestic endorsementsSea service under authority of the endorsement *Competence—STCW table A-II/3 **Training required by this section ***
Master oceans or near-coastal, less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GTYesYes.
Master OSVYesYes.
Master oceans or near-coastal, less than 500 GRT12 monthsYesYes.
Master Towing Vessel oceans or near-coastal12 monthsYesYes.
* This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the requirements of this section.
** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
*** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief mate of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT (management level).

(a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief mate, an applicant must:

(1) Provide evidence of 12 months of service as OICNW on vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more, operating in oceans, near-coastal waters and/or Great Lakes. Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service. Experience gained in the engine department on vessels may be creditable for up to 1 month of the service requirements;

(2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence specified in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 11.102 of this part); and

(3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved training in the following subject areas:

(i) Search and rescue;

(ii) Management of medical care;

(iii) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment; and

(iv) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(b) Each candidate for a renewal of an STCW endorsement as chief mate of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT, to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, must provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence in the following:

(1) Leadership and managerial skills; and

(2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these Start Printed Page 45990circumstances, the certificate may include a corresponding limitation.

(d) Seafarers with one of the following domestic officer endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion of the requirements in the table below:

Table 11.313(d)—STCW Endorsement as Chief Mate on Vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or More and Less Than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT

Entry path from domestic endorsementsSea service under authority of the endorsement *Competence—STCW table A-II/2 **Training required by this section ***
Chief mate OSVYesYes.
Master oceans or near-coastal, less than 500 GRT6 monthsYesYes.
Master Towing Vessel oceans or near-coastal6 monthsYesYes.
* This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the requirements of this section.
** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
*** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT (management level).

(a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as master, an applicant must:

(1) Provide evidence of 36 months of seagoing service as OICNW on vessels operating in oceans, near-coastal waters and/or Great Lakes; however, this period may be reduced to not less than 24 months if not less than 12 months of such seagoing service has been served as OICNW. Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service. Experience gained in the engine department may be creditable for up to 3 months of the service requirements;

(2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence specified in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 11.102 of this part); and

(3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved training in the following subject areas:

(i) Search and rescue;

(ii) Management of medical care;

(iii) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment; and

(iv) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(b) Each candidate for a renewal of an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT, to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, must provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence in the following:

(1) Leadership and managerial skills; and

(2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the certificate may include a corresponding limitation.

(d) Seafarers with one of the following domestic officer endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion of the requirements in the table below:

Table 11.315(d)—STCW Endorsement as Master of Vessels of Less Than 200 GRT/500 GT

Entry path from domestic endorsementsSea service under authority of the endorsement*Competence—STCW table A-II/3 **Training required by this section***
Master oceans or near-coastal, less than 500 GRTYesYes.
Master Towing Vessel oceans or near-coastalYesYes.
Master oceans or near-coastal, less than 200 GRT12 monthsYesYes.
* This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the requirements of this section.
** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
*** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT limited to near-costal waters (management level).

(a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief mate, an applicant must:

(1) Provide evidence of 12 months of service as OICNW on vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or more, operating in oceans, near-coastal waters and/or Great Lakes. Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service. Experience gained in the engine department on vessels may be creditable for up to 1 month of the service requirements;

(2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence specified in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 11.102 of this part); and

(3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved training in the following subject areas:

(i) Medical first-aid provider;

(ii) Basic and advanced firefighting;

(iii) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats;

(iv) Radar observer, if required; and

(v) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(b) Each candidate for a renewal of an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT limited to near-coastal waters, to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, must provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence in the following:

(1) Leadership and managerial skills; and

(2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and Start Printed Page 45991proficiency required in Section A-II/3 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the certificate may include a corresponding limitation.

(d) Seafarers with one of the following domestic officer endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion of the requirements in the table below:

Table 11.317(d)—STCW Endorsement as Master of Vessels of Less Than 200 GRT/500 GT Limited to Near-Coastal Waters

Entry path from domestic endorsementsSea service under authority of the endorsement*Competence—STCW table A-II/3 **Training required by this section***
Mate oceans or near-coastal, less than 500 GRTYesYes.
Mate towing vessel oceans or near-coastalYesYes.
Master oceans or near-coastal, less than 200 GRT/500 GT6 monthsYesYes.
Mate oceans or near-coastal, less than 200 GRT/500 GT12 monthsYesYes.
* This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the requirements of this section.
** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
*** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT (operational level).

(a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as OICNW, an applicant must:

(1) Provide evidence of 36 months of service in the deck department on vessels operating in oceans, near-coastal waters, and/or Great Lakes. Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the required service. Experience gained in the engine department may be creditable for up to 3 months of the service requirements; or

(2) Provide evidence of not less than 12 months of seagoing service as part of an approved training program that includes onboard training that meets the requirements of Section A-II/1 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 11.102 of this part); and

(3) Provide evidence of having performed during the required seagoing service, bridge watchkeeping duties, under the supervision of an officer holding the STCW endorsement as master, chief mate, or OICNW, for a period of not less than 6 months. The Coast Guard will accept service on vessels as boatswain, able seaman, or quartermaster while holding the appropriate deck watchkeeping rating endorsement, which may be accepted on a two-for-one basis to a maximum allowable substitution of 3 months (6 months of experience equals 3 months of creditable service);

(4) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence specified in Section A-II/3 of the STCW Code; and

(5) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved training in the following subject areas:

(i) Medical first-aid provider;

(ii) Radar observer;

(iii) IMO SMCP;

(iv) Basic and advanced firefighting;

(v) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats;

(vi) Visual signaling;

(vii) Bridge Resource Management (BRM);

(viii) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment;

(ix) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment; and

(x) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(b) Each candidate for a renewal of an STCW endorsement as OICNW of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT, to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, must provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence in the following:

(1) Leadership and teamworking skills; and

(2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in Section A-II/3 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the certificate may include a corresponding limitation.

(d) Seafarers with one of the following domestic officer endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion of the requirements in the table below:

Table 11.319(d)—STCW Endorsement as Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) of Vessels of Less Than 200 GRT/500 GT

Entry path from domestic endorsementsSea service under authority of the endorsement *Competence—STCW table A-II/3 **Training required by this section ***
Mate oceans or near-coastal, less than 500 GRT O/NCYesYes.
Mate towing vessel oceans or near-coastalYesYes.
Master oceans or near-coastal, less than 200 GRT/500 GT6 monthsYesYes.
Mate oceans or near-coastal, less than 200 GRT/500 GT12 monthsYesYes.
* This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the requirements of this section.
** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
*** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
Start Printed Page 45992
Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT limited to near-coastal waters (operational level).

(a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as OICNW, an applicant must:

(1) Provide evidence of seagoing service as follows:

(i) Twenty four months of seagoing service in the deck department on vessels operating in oceans, near-coastal, and/or Great Lakes. Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service. Experience gained in the engine department may be creditable for up to 3 months of the service requirements; or

(ii) Successful completion of an approved training program that includes seagoing service as required by the Coast Guard; or

(iii) Successful completion of approved training for this section and obtain 12 months of seagoing service;

(2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence specified in Section A-II/3 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see § 11.102 of this part); and

(3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved training in the following subject areas:

(i) Medical first-aid provider;

(ii) Basic and advanced firefighting;

(iii) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats;

(iv) Bridge Resource Management (BRM);

(v) Radar observer, if required; and

(vi) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(b) Each candidate for a renewal of an STCW endorsement as OICNW of vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT limited to near-coastal waters, to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, must provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence in the following:

(1) Leadership and teamworking skills; and

(2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in Section A-II/3 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the certificate may include a corresponding limitation.

(d) Seafarers with one of the following domestic officer endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion of the requirements in the table below:

Table 11.321(d)—STCW Endorsement as OICNW of Vessels of Less Than 200 GRT/500 GT Limited to Near-Coastal Waters

Entry path from domestic endorsementsSea service under authority of the endorsement *Competence—STCW table A-II/3 **Training required by this section ***
Mate oceans or near-coastal less than 500 GRTYesYes.
Mate Towing Vessel oceans or near-coastalYesYes.
Master oceans or near-coastal, less than 200 GRTYesYes.
Mate oceans or near-coastal, less than 200 GRT6 monthsYesYes.
* This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the requirements of this section.
** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
*** Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
STCW engineer officer endorsements.

(a) Specific requirements for all STCW engineer officer endorsements are detailed in the applicable sections in this part.

(1) Chief engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power or more (management level).

(2) Second engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power or more (management level).

(3) Officer in Charge of an Engineering Watch (OICEW) in a manned engineroom or designated duty engineer in a periodically unmanned engineroom on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP propulsion power or more (operational level).

(4) Chief engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of between 750 kW/1,000 HP and 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propul