The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has taken steps to effectively extend the duration of AMSA-issued Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) certificates, certificates of safety training, and certificates of medical fitness if they would otherwise expire during the period between March 26 and October 1, 2020.
STCW certificates include a certificate of competency, a certificate of proficiency as rating, a GMDSS radio operator certificate, a certificate of safety or a certificate of proficiency as marine cook.
“During this time of uncertainty that has been caused by COVID-19, and in line with the advice from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), [we have] taken a pragmatic approach to seafarer certification,” said AMSA in a statement.
As a result, AMSA has implemented arrangements that extend the expiry date of all above-mentioned certificates and associated endorsements, expiring between March 26 and October 1, 2020 for a period of six months from the expiry date noted on the certificate, to enable owners and masters of ships to permit personnel subject to continue performing duties.
There is no requirement for vessel owners, operators or seafarers to apply to AMSA for the above measures to be used.
Those seafarers who meet the eligibility requirements for revalidation, and have the ability to make an application before the expiry date of the certificate, are “strongly encouraged” to apply to revalidate their certificate before it expires.
When the time comes to revalidate an expired certificate, the new replacement certificate will be issued for a period of five years from the original certificate expiry date.
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