The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) posted new policies for the filing of applications and rapid processing of Certificate of Competency (COC) and Certificate of Proficiency (COP).
In their latest guideline which came out last October 10, 2022, Advisory 2022-54 emphasized several measures to accelerate the application and release of the sought-after STCW certificates.
It can be noted that many seafarers have had a hard time getting these documents despite the promise of speed and efficiency upon transitioning to online systems.
MARINA revamps three key areas that seafarers must be aware of when applying for their COC or COP.
These changes will help decongest their system, avoid bottlenecks, and create urgency for seafarers who are renewing their certificates.
Here are the new policies under their latest advisory. I reworded them so you can better understand the message.
- All applications with pending status and awaiting document submissions by the applicant seafarers will be rejected and deleted from the inventory of applications. Specifically, applications submitted from 2019 to December 2021 with the above-mentioned deficiencies will be purged.
Likewise, the Advisory reiterates that seafarers intending to use the MISMO system must already meet the certification requirements before submitting their applications. Such applications include issuance, revalidation, or replacement of STCW certificates.
Lastly, seafarers shall be given one (1) month to comply with any deficiency and re-submit the correct documents. Failure to comply will result in the rejection of their application. Once again, they will be subjected to re-application and compliance with the minimum mandatory requirements.
My first attempt at the COP application using MISMO was okay considering that everything was made online. Though their website boasts of a three-day turnaround, it took about a week to release my certificates from the day I submitted them.
However, many seafarers still struggle to submit their requirements and get approved.
But this new approach of deleting unattended submissions I think would do better. It will certainly free up their databases resulting in faster computer processing.
Incomplete requirements are also overcrowding the system resulting in the problems we discussed above.
Finally, giving a one-month window to complete the requirements is more than enough especially if you have the complete documents at hand.
Instead of adding more computers or manpower to attend to their MISMO processes, making the system more efficient can be a valuable alternative.
Let’s see how this system plays out.
May the winds be in your favor.