Sunday, April 5, 2009

Merchant Mariner's Licensing and Documentation Regulations

== Quote ==
"In the March 16, 2009 Federal Register the US Coast Guard published a major rewrite of the merchant mariner's licensing and documentation regulations. The entire Federal Register Part is here. Among the new regulations:
  • 46 CFR 15.401 "Employment and service within restrictions of credential" states in part: Beginning April 15, 2009, all mariners holding an active license, certificate of registry, MMD, or MMC issued by the Coast Guard must also hold a valid transportation worker identification credential (TWIC) issued by the Transportation Security Administration under 49 CFR part 1572.
  • Also, there will be no interim MMCs. The law provides that the Coast Guard must ensure a mariner meets certain criteria before issuing a credential and the possession of such a credential is required to serve in a position on any vessel (small passenger vessel to tank ship) that requires a credential. The Coast Guard has decided not to allow merchant mariners to serve prior to the issuance of their MMC. This is an acknowledged difference with the TWIC 30-day new hire rule.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Vessel General Permit for 26 types of operational discharges is now in effect for most commercial vessels over 79 feet in length. Vessels of 300 gross tons or more or have the ability to hold or discharge more than 8 cubic meters (2113 gallons) of ballast must submit an Notice of Intent in order to receive permit coverage. The deadline for submitting an NOI to escape the 30-day review period before operating in US waters is 19 Sept 2009. NOI's can be submitted starting 19 June 2009.

Dangerous fake copies of the Hammar H20 hydrostatic release unit have entered the market. Hammar issued a Safety Alert to warn about the risks in using these fake copies and also provided a number of ways to check the authenticity of products used. Serial numbers can be checked through the company website.

The US Coast Guard has issued a Policy Letter to provide guidance on compliance with the provisions of MARPOL 73/78, Annex VI (air pollution) for U.S. flagged vessels and all foreign flagged vessels 400 Gross Tons (ITC) and above that engaged on international voyages and call on U.S. ports.

The US Coast Guard issued a notice encouraging vessels making port calls in US ports to use the Advance Notice Form (ANF) and the Waste Delivery Receipt (WDR) approved by the IMO to improve communication between the ship and reception facility operators. The Coast Guard also encourages ship operators to send a copy of the ANF to the relevant Captain of the Port (COTP) prior to arrival in a US port.

The US Coast Guard and other search and rescue organizations now only receive distress alerts from digital 406­MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs)."
== Unquote==

Armstrong Marine Consulting, Inc (Federal Register-Department of Homeland Security).

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