The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) approves ONE YEAR EXTENSION validity of all COP, COE and COC for seafarers who are either ON BOARD or ASHORE.
MARINA Advisory No. 2020-73 series of 2020 adds another 12-month life-span for STCW Certificates expiring between 13 March 2020 to 31 December 2020 from the date of its expiration.
This move is in line with IMO’s Circular Letter No.4204/ Add.5/ Rev.1. In summary, it encourages issuing Administrations and PSC Authorities to take pragmatic and practical approach with regard to the extension of certificates and endorsements.
Actually, all IMO member states responded by creating circular letters extending STCW certificates of their seafarers. This aims at providing continuous employment opportunity amidst the coronavirus pandemic affecting seafaring.
Do I need to visit MARINA to get my 1 year extension?
Unfortunately, there are conditions for qualifying this Advisory. We will discuss it below.
First, application for revalidation of STCW Certificates applies to seafarers WHO HAD NOT UNDERGONE the required refresher trainings and/ or practical assessment of competence. In other words, you can revalidate your COP with 1 year extension even if you have no refresher course or practical assessment.
Second, only seafarers scheduled for deployment within 10 calendar days from the date of application qualifies this advisory. Furthermore, he must also have a seagoing period for at least:
- Twelve (12) months in total during the last 5 years prior to revalidation; OR
- Three (3) months in total during the last 6 months immediately prior to revalidating.
Third, tanker COPs shall be accepted for revalidation (1 year validity) even if expired. However, it requires two certain conditions. He must have an approved sea service performing duties in a tanker ship. Moreover, it must be for a period of AT LEAST 3 months in total during the preceding 5 years.
Fourth, seafarers applying for revalidation shall have a valid medical certificate from a DOH-accredited clinic.
Finally and I bet this is a good one, the Liaison Officer of your licensed manning/ shipping agency shall file the application for EXPEDITE processing. Therefore, he may have to ask for your MISMO account details so he can upload the following documentary requirements;
- Letter from concerned licensed manning agency duly signed by authorized official requesting for expedited processing of the application of its seafarers; AND
- POEA-approved employment contract.
I want my COP and COC to have a 5-year validity. What shall I do?
MARINA Advisory No. 2020-73 also has provisions if you want to re-validate your STCW certificates for a 5-year expiration period.
1. Affected by ECQ
If your COP and COC expires or are expiring between 13 March 2020 to 31 October 2020, you can still process them as revalidation. More importantly, MARINA will give you a five (5) year-validity from the date of issuance. This is possible if you have a COMPLETE DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS.
As we all know, the time period stated above was the height of strict quarantine measures. Our government issued lockdowns and travel bans during that time. This in turn includes suspension and/or unavailability of trainings and assessments.
Today, Maritime Training Institutions (MTIs) are slowly opening up. If you are one of those seamen affected above, now is the time to continue your training. Moreover, you can revalidate your COP/COC with a 5-year expiration.
2. Regular Application
Generally, MARINA encourages you to apply for the 5-year re-validation of your COP and/ or COC to avoid influx of applications next year.
You must only attend a MARINA-approved online/ offline course relevant to your certificate. Recently, they approved a handful of training centers offering Blended Learning Mode. This method of learning is a combination of distance learning and the traditional face-to-face classroom style education.
MARINA directs Licensed Manning Agencies (LMA) and shipping companies to submit a list of crew members and their expired/ expiring STCW Certificates pursuant to this Advisory.
This is to ensure that their crew are compliant with the above mentioned requirements.
In addition, LMAs must submit an electronic copy of the said information to email@example.com. The format must follow the attached template in Annex A.
As you may have noticed, the provisions in that advisory explains to those who are ashore. However, MARINA Advisory No. 2020-64 offers additional guidance for Filipinos who CURRENTLY ON BOARD.
COP/ COC expiring between the period 01 September 2020 to 31 October 2020 shall be automatically extended for a period of six months. In fact, it must take into effect without the need to file for an application in MARINA
Of course, manning/ shipping agencies shall send an electronic copy of the said information to firstname.lastname@example.org. The format must follow the attached template in Annex A
Repealing old Advisories
With the release of this latest advisory dated September 22, 2020, MARINA also rescinded Advisory Nos. 2020-63 and 2020-66. As a recap, those two only gave 3-month and 6-month extensions. With the pandemic still raging on today, a full year stretch of these documents will prove vital. All other issuances contrary to the latest Advisory are also revoked.
In conclusion, do you think MARINA handles well with regards to our training certificates during this pandemic?
Comment your thoughts.
May the winds be in your favor.