Seafarers’ Standard of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) certificates and medical certificates granted six-month extension
With the COVID-19 induced travel bans which greatly affected the shipping industry, the MSAF announced a six-month extension for seafarers who are holding both Standard of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) certificates and medical certificates.
The six-month extension will be from the original expiry date or till 10 August 2021 – whichever comes earlier. This provision is extended to Fijian seafarers onboard international vessels who are unable to return due to the pandemic-related travel bans. Shipowners and masters are hence allowed to have the current crew continue discharging their duties onboard. No action is needed from shipowners, operators and seafarers, though ship operators remain obliged to facilitate crew changes within the maritime Labour Convention (MLC) agreement.
The authority noted, “Seafarers are further reminded that once you apply for revalidation of STCW certificates, your new certificate will be renewed for a period of five years, effective from the date your original certificate expires.” MSAF will also be working with other flag states to recognise their short courses for revalidation of certificates.