There’s great news in store for the Seafarers of Goa. Mumbai’s directorate general of shipping has reportedly allowed an extension in the validity of the certificate typically issued for Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW). Seafarers now receive an extension of 12 months in some cases. This is, however, subject to terms and conditions.
As reported by Frank Viegas, the President of Goan Seafarers Association of India (GSAI), they had taken up this with Shripad Naik, the present Minister of Shipping in India, and also with Amitabh Kumar, the Director-General of Shipping in 2021’s October.
It was pointed out that seafarers have to bear the costs only to renew their STCW certificate with 18 months-validity without even joining a ship.
Now, however, the concerned authorities have extended STCW certificates that have been issued with 19 months- validity. Such a move is likely to benefit a majority of seafarers from Goa.
The validity of STCW certificates earlier was limited to 18 months from the issue date for certain STCW courses after finishing the three-tier program, but without undergoing any training at maritime institutes.
However, the extension is only going to be applicable in some cases.
For those seamen who are done with six months of service at sea within the validity of 18 months STCW certificate will have their certificate extended by 12 months from the expiry date. For seafarers who are currently on board, their STCW certificates stand extended until their sign-off or for 12 months, whichever is going to be earlier.
For seafarers ashore now but desire to join the ship on or prior to February 28, their certificates will be extended till sign-off or 12 months, whichever is earlier. However, for those ashore currently and are intending to join on/after 1 March, their STCW certificates will stand extended by a year from the date of expiry. The order states that these individuals need to complete the Tier-I DGS e-learning course at no extra cost for obtaining an extension.
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