Monday, April 23, 2018

Govt Eases Rules For issuing CDC for Seafarers

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But ‘simplification of rules does not mean the holder is entitled to a job’

Mumbai, January 21

The government has eased rules for issuing a so-called Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC)-cum-Seafarers’ Identity Document, removing the hurdles for those intending to work on ships but faced hurdles in obtaining the certificate.
Without a CDC, a person is not eligible to work on ships. If an Indian national of 18 years, holding an Indian passport and a Class 10 pass certificate, completes the five basic STCW safety courses spread over two weeks, he is entitled to apply for a CDC.
The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, sets qualification standards for masters, officers and general-purpose ratings on seagoing merchant ships.
The new rules on issuing CDC took effect on January 14.
Job scene The move will benefit thousands of Indians looking to work on board cruise liners as bartenders, house-keeping staff and laundrymen, and also in other ships in various capacities.
“Why should anyone come in their way of getting a job. They found it very difficult to get an Indian CDC because of the rigid rules and regulations. Hence, they took CDC from foreign entities. In this process, they were fleeced by agents and sub-agents. Besides, Indian nationals holding Indian passports but having a foreign CDC were looked upon with suspicion by immigration authorities. All that will stop now. There is no need for anybody to go outside, just have these five basic safety courses and become eligible to apply for an Indian CDC,” says Capt MC Yadav, Director (maritime education and training), FOSMA Maritime Institute and Research Organisation.
The five basic courses include personal survival techniques or proficiency in survival craft and rescue boards; fire prevention and fire-fighting or advance fire-fighting; elementary first aid or medical first aid or medical care; personal safety and social responsibility and security training for seafarers with designated security duties or ship security officer.
“It’s a feel-good factor,” said Abdulgani Serang, general secretary-cum-treasurer of the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI).
Maritime industry executives, though, say that the simplification of rules on issuing CDC does not mean that its holder is entitled to a job.
“Obtaining a CDC is not a right to a job just as having a passport is not a right to travel,” said an executive with a Mumbai-based maritime training institute.
“The sooner it is realised by the public, the better it is,” he said, asking not to be named.
“A person should do whatever is needed for getting a job,” he added.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


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Subject : Revalidation of Certificate of Competency

This Directorate has been issuing Certificate of Competency (CoC) in accordance with the rules and conforming to STCW '95 requirements. The Certificates of Competency issued are valid for a period of five years. Certificate of Competency are required to be revalidated after every five years after the candidates meet the requirements laid down in the META Manual and other notification.
In order to assist the candidates and reduce the time required for revalidation of a Certificate of Competency (in cases where a CoC booklet has been issued), it has been decided that the following procedures will be followed by the respective Examiner of Engineers in all districts, while carrying out the revalidation of the certificate of competency.
  1. Candidates can apply for the revalidation of his CoC at any declared examination district of his choice.
  2. Candidates must meet the eligibility requirements for revalidation of their CoC's as enumerated in the META Manual and other requirements as notified by the Directorate from time to time.
  3. The Examiner of Engineers of the district may revalidate the CoC after confirming and verifying the above, records of same must be kept.
  4. Examiner of Engineers must forward details of the revalidated CoCs to the INDoS Cell and D.G. Shipping on a weekly basis without fail.
Following documents are required to be forwarded to the Directorate;
  1. Copy of the application form
  2. Proof of sea service / shore service
  3. Copy of pages 1 and 5 of the Hard Cover (Certificate of Competency)
In supersession of Circular No. 64 dated the 25th May 2004 regarding the validity of the Certificate of Competency, the following shall be followed:
                (a) Candidate applying for endorsement of the revalidation of their CoC at any time before 12 months of expiry of the CoC, revalidation will be for five years from the date of successful completion of the revalidation course.
                 (b) Candidates who have done their revalidation course after the expiry of the validity of their CoC and are applying for the endorsement of the revalidation of their CoC, revalidation of the CoC shall be five years from the expiry of the validity of the CoC/previous revalidation
                 (c) In no case the validity of the CoC shall be more than five years from the date of completion of the revalidation course.
This issues with the approval of the Chief Examiner of Engineers


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Bottom of Form 1
Revalidation of MCA STCW CoCs 
All MCA STCW CoCs must be revalidated every 5 years.
This is an administrative process, which requires you to download a form from the MCA website.
You will need to submit your CoC, a valid ENG1 medical certificate, testimonials and certificate of discharge showing at least 12 months yacht service in the past 5 years.

Deck CoCs - you will need to prove that you have served as a master or deck officer in any seagoing ship (other than fishing vessels) of more than 80 gross tonnes or 24 metres in length for at least 12 months within the last five years

Engineering CoCs - you will need to prove that you have served as an engineer officer on any sea-going ship of at least 350 kilowatts power for at least 12 months within the last five years 

The STCW Convention 1978 has been amended by the 2010 Manila Amendments and contains new training requirements for all seafarers. Seafarers revalidating their Certificates of Competency (CoC) will be required to submit additional evidence to ensure their Certificate is valid for service on certain types of ships after 31 December 2016.
Updating-Refresher Training Requirements 
The 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Code bring in new requirements for seafarers required to hold any of the following safety training courses:
• Personal Survival Techniques (STCW Table A-VI/1-1)
• Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting (STCW Table A-VI/1-2)
• Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats Other Than Fast Rescue Boats (STCW Table A-VI/2-1)
• Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats (STCW Table A-VI/2-2) 
• Advanced Fire Fighting (STCW Table A-VI/3)
Seafarers required to hold any of the above certificates of proficiency shall, every five years, provide evidence of having maintained the required standard of competence, to undertake the tasks, duties and responsibilities specified in the above stated tables. 
Seafarers revalidating their Certificates of Competency (CoC) after 1 January 2017 will be required to submit documentary evidence of having completed MCA approved updating-refresher training. There is no requirement to provide documentary evidence for having completed updating-refresher training if a seafarer applies for CoC revalidation before 1 January 2017. 
From 1 January 2017 Port State Control Officers may require seafarers to provide documentary evidence of having maintained the required standard of competence, to undertake the tasks, duties and responsibilities listed above. 
Presenting the documentary evidence obtained on completing an MCA approved updating-refresher course will meet this requirement. 
Details of updating-refresher training will be published in a Marine Information Notice soon.

Deck Certificate of Competency Revalidation, ECDIS requirements 
The 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Code bring in the requirement for Deck Officers working onboard ships fitted with an Electronic Chart Display Information System (ECDIS) to undergo specific education and training. 
As of 1 January 2012 seafarers requiring revalidation of UK CoCs issued in compliance with STCW Regulation II/1, II/2 and II/3 (maintain a safe navigational watch; use of ECDIS to maintain safety of navigation; and maintain the safety of navigation through the use of ECDIS and associated navigation systems to assist command decision making) need to comply with the new STCW requirements to ensure their CoC remains valid on ships fitted with ECDIS after 31 December 2016. 
For the revalidation of UK CoC valid after 31 December 2016, the seafarer must have completed one of the following:
• MCA approved Navigation Radar and ARPA Simulator (NARAS)/ Navigation Aids and Equipment and Simulator Training (NAEST) (Operational Level) course completed on or after 1 January 2005; or
• MCA approved NARAS/ NAEST (Management Level) course completed on or after 1 January 2005; or
• MCA approved ECDIS course completed on or after 1 January 2005; or
• ECDIS simulator training course in compliance with IMO Model Course 1.27, accepted by the MCA and approved by an Administration whose CoC the MCA accept for the issue of a CEC.
The original course certificate must be submitted with the application. Deck Officers not meeting the above requirement will receive the following CoC limitation:
“From the 1 January 2017 this certificate is not valid for service on ships fitted with ECDIS”.
Deck Officers may subsequently request the removal of this limitation by providing documentary evidence of MCA approved ECDIS training

Engineering Certificate of Competency Revalidation, High Voltage (HV) requirements 
The 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Code bring in the requirement for engineers to undergo education and training in High Voltage systems, at both the operational and management levels. This requirement comes into force on the 1 January 2017 but will affect the revalidation of Engineering Certificates of Competency (CoC) from 1 January 2012. There is no requirement for additional training to be undertaken by all existing Engineer Officers, whether or not they intend to work on ships having High Voltage systems. However, High Voltage training requirements will be incorporated in the future training programmes of Engineer Officers at both the operational and management levels. 
No additional action is required for Engineer Officers who do not work on and do not intend to work on ships with High Voltage systems. These Engineer Officers will receive the following CoC limitation: 
“From 1 January 2017 this certificate is not valid for service on ships fitted with High Voltage (over 1000V) systems”.
Engineer Officers who do not want this limitation placed on their CoC should read the following section applicable to their Certificate.
Note: A High Voltage (over 1000V) system is where voltage is generated and distributed at high voltage or transformed to and distributed at high voltage. It does not include systems where high voltage is utilised locally e.g. ignition systems, radio transmission, Radar and other navigational equipment.
EOOW CoC Reg. III/1 (Operational Level)
To avoid having the High Voltage limitation, Engineer Officers of the Watch will need to show compliance with the 2010 Manila Amendments. In addition to the current revalidation requirements, they will have to provide documentary evidence of:
• completion of High Voltage (HV) course(*); or
• completion of the following sea service in the engine room on vessels fitted with HV systems;
• six months in the preceding five years; or
• three months sea service during the last twelve months.
Sea service evidence can be provided in the form of a company letter signed by an authorised official within the company.
Second/Chief Engineer Officer CoC Reg. III/2 and III/3 (Management Level)
To avoid having the High Voltage limitation, Senior Engineer Officers will need to show compliance with 2010 Manila Amendments. In addition to the current revalidation requirements, they will have to provide documentary evidence of completion of High Voltage (HV) course (*).
* High Voltage Courses
Courses previously undertaken prior to 1 July 2013 do not need to be MCA approved but you must provide documentary evidence confirming the course covers at least the following topics:
at the operational level
• The hazards associated with High Voltage systems;
• The functional, operational and safety requirements for a marine high-voltage system;
• Basic arrangement of High Voltage systems and their protective devices; 
• Safety procedures related to High Voltage systems; and 
• Immediate actions to be taken under fault conditions.
at the management level
• The functional, operational and safety requirements for a marine high-voltage system;
• Assignment of suitably qualified personnel to carry out maintenance and repair of high-voltage switchgear of various types;
• Taking remedial action necessary during faults in a high-voltage system;
• Producing a switching strategy for isolating components of a high-voltage system;
• Selecting suitable apparatus for isolation and testing of high-voltage equipment;
• Carrying out a switching and isolation procedure on a marine high-voltage system, complete with safety documentation; and 
• Performing tests of insulation resistance and polarization index on high-voltage equipment.
The original certificate and course syllabus must be submitted with the application. 
Engineer Officers may subsequently request the removal of the High Voltage limitation by providing documentary evidence of a High Voltage training course that includes the required topics. 

All Revalidation Applications will be processed by the Seafarer Training & Certification Branch (STCB) at the MCA Headquarters in Southampton. From this date all applications or revalidation enquiries should be sent to the following address:

Seafarer Training & Certification Branch
Bay 1/20
Spring Place
105 Commercial Road
SO15 1EG

Telephone Number +44 (0)2380 329231 - please select either option 1 for Deck Revalidations or option 2 for Engineering Revalidations

Alternatively please send your enquiry by email to either: or

Monday, February 15, 2016

MARINESHELF publishes articles contributed by seafarers and other marine related sites solely for the benefit of seafarers .All copyright materials are owned by its respective authors or publishers.

Carriage of chemicals by ship
Regulations governing the carriage of chemicals by ship are contained in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78).
The regulations cover chemicals carried in bulk, on chemical tankers, and chemicals carried in packaged form.
Chemicals carried in bulk
Both Conventions require chemical tankers built after 1 July 1986 to comply with the International Bulk Chemical Code (IBC Code), which gives international standards for the safe transport by sea in bulk of liquid dangerous chemicals, by prescribing the design and construction standards of ships involved in such transport and the equipment they should carry so as to minimize the risks to the ship, its crew and to the environment, having regard to the nature of the products carried.
The basic philosophy is one of ship types related to the hazards of the products covered by the Codes.  Each of the products may have one or more hazard properties which include flammability, toxicity, corrosivity and reactivity.
The IBC Code lists chemicals and their hazards and gives both the ship type required to carry that product as well as the environmental hazard rating.
Chemical tankers constructed before 1 July 1986 should comply with the requirements of the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (BCH Code) – the predecessor of the IBC Code.
The Annex II Regulations for the control of pollution by noxious liquid substances in bulk define a four-category categorization system for noxious and liquid substances.
The categories are:
  • Category X: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the sea from tank cleaning or deballasting operations, are deemed to present a major hazard to either marine resources or human health and, therefore, justify the prohibition of the discharge into the marine environment;
  • Category Y: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the sea from tank cleaning or deballasting operations, are deemed to present a hazard to either marine resources or human health or cause harm to amenities or other legitimate uses of the sea and therefore justify a limitation on the quality and quantity of the discharge into the marine environment;
  • Category Z: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the sea from tank cleaning or deballasting operations, are deemed to present a minor hazard to either marine resources or human health and therefore justify less stringent restrictions on the quality and quantity of the discharge into the marine environment; and
  • Other Substances: substances which have been evaluated and found to fall outside Category X, Y or Z because they are considered to present no harm to marine resources, human health, amenities or other legitimate uses of the sea when discharged into the sea from tank cleaning of deballasting operations. The discharge of bilge or ballast water or other residues or mixtures containing these substances are not subject to any requirements of MARPOL Annex II.
The annex also includes a number of other requirements reflecting modern stripping techniques, which specify discharge levels of products which have been incorporated into Annex II. For ships constructed on or after 1 January 2007 the maximum permitted residue in the tank and its associated piping left after discharge is set at a maximum of 75 litres for products in categories X, Y and Z (compared with previous limits which set a maximum of 100 or 300 litres, depending on the product category).
The marine pollution hazards of thousands of chemicals have been evaluated by the Evaluation of Hazardous Substances Working Group, giving a resultant GESAMP Hazard Profile which indexes the substance according to its bio-accumulation; bio-degradation; acute toxicity; chronic toxicity; long-term health effects; and effects on marine wildlife and on benthic habitats.
As a result of the hazard evaluation process and the categorization system, vegetable oils which were previously categorized as being unrestricted are now required to be carried in chemical tankers. The Annex includes, under regulation 4 Exemptions, provision for an Administration to exempt ships certified to carry individually identified vegetable oils, subject to certain provisions relating to the location of the cargo tanks carrying the identified vegetable oil.
Transport of vegetable oils
An MEPC resolution on Guidelines for the transport of vegetable oils in deep tanks or in independent tanks specially designed for the carriage of such vegetable oils on board dry cargo ships was adopted in October 2004. It allows general dry cargo ships that are currently certified to carry vegetable oil in bulk to continue to carry these vegetable oils on specific trades. The guidelines took effect on 1 January 2007.
Consequential amendments to the IBC Code
Consequential amendments to the International Bulk Chemical Code (IBC Code) have been adopted, reflecting the changes to MARPOL Annex II. The amendments incorporate revisions to the categorization of certain products relating to their properties as potential marine pollutants as well as revisions to ship type and carriage requirements following their evaluation by the Evaluation of Hazardous Substances Working Group.
Ships constructed after 1986 carrying substances identified in chapter 17 of the IBC Code must follow the requirements for design, construction, equipment and operation of ships contained in the Code.
Chemicals carried in packaged form
Chemicals which are carried in packaged form or in solid form or in bulk are regulated by Part A of SOLAS Chapter VII - Carriage of dangerous goods which includes provisions for the classification, packing, marking, labelling and placarding, documentation and stowage of dangerous goods.
Contracting Governments are required to issue instructions at the national level and the Chapter refers to International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, developed by IMO, which is constantly updated to accommodate new dangerous goods and to supplement or revise existing provisions.

IMDG Code was developed as a uniform international code for the transport of dangerous goods by sea covering such matters as packing, container traffic and stowage, with particular reference to the segregation of incompatible substances. The IMDG Code includes products considered to be marine pollutants.  IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee decided in principle, at its 73rd session in Nov-Dec 2000, to make some parts of the IMDG Code mandatory.
MARPOL Annex III includes regulations for the prevention of pollution by harmful substances in packaged form and includes general requirements for the issuing of detailed standards on packing, marking, labelling, documentation, stowage, quantity limitations, exceptions and notifications for preventing pollution by harmful substances. For the purpose of Annex III, “harmful substances” are those identified as “marine pollutants” in the IMDG Code.
The Convention, when it enters into force,  will make it possible for compensation to be paid out in compensation to victims of accidents involving HNS, such as chemicals.
HNS are defined by reference to lists of substances included in various IMO Conventions and Codes. These include oils; other liquid substances defined as noxious or dangerous; liquefied gases; liquid substances with a flashpoint not exceeding 60°C; dangerous, hazardous and harmful materials and substances carried in packaged form; and solid bulk materials defined as possessing chemical hazards.
The Convention also covers residues left by the previous carriage of HNS, other than those carried in packaged form.
The Convention defines damage as including loss of life or personal injury; loss of or damage to property outside the ship; loss or damage by contamination of the environment; the costs of preventative measures and further loss or damage caused by them.
The Convention introduces strict liability for the shipowner and a system of compulsory insurance and insurance certificates.
Preparedness and response - dealing with pollution incidents involving chemicals
The 2000 Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Co-operation to pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances, 2000 (HNS Protocol) is based on the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC), which was adopted in November 1990 and is designed to help Governments combat major oil pollution incidents.
The Convention and Protocol are designed to facilitate international co-operation and mutual assistance in preparing for and responding to a major oil pollution incident and to encourage States to develop and maintain an adequate capability to deal with pollution emergencies.

Monday, September 7, 2015

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Incidents with lifeboat lowering devices

Incidents with lifeboat lowering devices
MARS Report 201126
Recently, several incidents involving trouble with the lifeboat lowering device have been reported by our fleet vessels.
Case 1: Breakdown of lifeboat brake unit
During a routine drill, the lifeboat could not be controlled by the brake unit. The brake unit was dismantled and the thrust bearing was found to have completely broken, with the thrust shaft worn out and bent. The cause of this brake failure could not be positively identified, but the manufacturer advised that this type of damage could occur if excessive (> 15 kgf) downward force is applied on the brake counterweight by the operator, usually in a panic response to the lifeboat lowering out of control, often caused by a poorly adjusted or maintained brake system.
During the last annual inspection, which took place 5 months earlier, a dynamic winch brake test could not be undertaken, because, at that time the vessel was alongside at berth, preventing the full requirements of the test being carried out.
Case 2: Parting of lifeboat self-lowering control wire
An attempt was made to swing out the lifeboat, but the remote control wire suddenly parted just after starting the swing out. The remote control wire had recently been renewed but wound the wrong way round the auxiliary drum by a person trained and certified by the manufacturer at the last inspection.
When tests cannot be completed during an annual inspection due to circumstances such as those described above, the outstanding tests must be completed at the earliest opportunity without fail;
In addition to authorised service personnel, crew have equal responsibility for ensuring lifeboats are in good working order and are maintained and operated properly. Therefore ship's crew should take the utmost care to check and ensure lifeboat equipment remains fit for proper operation at all times;
An arrowed line on the drum is a simple and effective measure for ensuring it is wound in the correct direction.
Manufacturers have reminded us of the following operational safety information:
Do not apply a downward force of more than 15 kgf to the counterweight of the brake lever, as this may damage the thrust bearings. If properly maintained and adjusted, the brake is designed to operate solely by the force applied by the counterweight.
Confirm the home position of the brake lever is in the horizontal position. The ideal position for the lever is in slight contact with the stopper pin. The allowable clearance between the stopper pin and brake lever is 10 mm.
Before operation
Check braking efficiency by slightly lifting the suspension block (sling block) from the davit by davit handle without releasing the davit arm stopper (cradle stopper).
Adjust the limit switch so that the davit arm (cradle) stops just 50 to 100 mm from the stowing position. Check that the brake holds the boat in the position. If the winch is wound with the davit arm (cradle) touching the upper stopper because the limit switch is incorrectly set, the davit will become overloaded.

During operation
When stowing the boat, it is important to equalise the length of the fore and aft boat falls. Stop hoisting just before the wire guide comes into contact with the suspension block (sling block), and check clearance between the fore and aft. If clearance balance is uneven, adjust the end turnbuckles to make the clearance uniform.
After operation
After setting the davit arm stopper (cradle stopper), raise the brake lever of the winch slowly and unwind the boat fall wire to allow the boat to lower slightly. Mount the suspension block (sling block) onto the horn of the davit in order to release the load from the boat fall wire.