The Philippines, which is the largest source of the world's seafaring workforce, has extended by another year, the validity of seafarers’ Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) certificates that are due to expire.
The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) of the Philippines said in an advisory dated July 3, 2020, said all STCW certificates expiring between September 1 and 31 December this year will be automatically extended for a period of one year — from the date of expiry — without requiring its holders to file for a renewal.
MARINA noted that it is extending the validity of the seafarer's STCW certificates because the actions taken by the industry to support efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted trading, revalidation of certificates, crew changes and shore leaves.
“This applies to all STCW certificates of all Filipino seafarers who are both onboard or ashore at the time of expiry of their certificates, and are compliant with the provisions that are mentioned by MARINA on its advisory,” the MARINA said.
These provisions, it said, include that the seafarer must have completed an approved seagoing service appropriate to the certificate they hold — 12 months of service during the last five years or three months of service during the last six months immediately prior to revalidation.
“For Certificate of Proficiency (COP) in tanker courses, the seafarer must have completed approved seagoing service performing the duties appropriate to the tank certificate held, for a period of at least three months in total during the preceding five years,” the MARINA said, noting that seafarer must also meet the standards of medical fitness as specific in the STCW code.