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Entry into force of amendments to the lnternational Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers

The Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS) has issued a notification to owners, bareboat charterers, managers and representatives of ships flying the Cyprus flag, and  to foreign-flagged vessels visiting ports in Cyprus, regarding the latest amendments to the lnternational Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) of 1978, as amended, and the STCW Code.

The amendments, which were adopted on 25 November 2016 under resolutions MSC.416(97) and MSC.417(97), took effect on 1 January 2018 under the tacit acceptance procedure of the STCW Convention. They relate to the mandatory minimum requirements for the training and qualification of masters, officers, ratings and other personnel on passenger ships and the mandatory minimum requirements for the training and qualifications of masters and deck officers on ships operating in polar waters. They are applicable to Cyprus flagged passenger vessels and Cyprus flagged vessels operating in polar waters, and foreign-flagged passenger vessels visiting Cyprus ports and seafarers employed on them.

The DMS recommends the early implementation on a voluntary basis of the amendments relating to the mandatory minimum requirements for the training and qualifications of masters and deck officers on ships operating in polar waters and will recognise seafarers’ certificates issued in accordance with paragraph 4 of resolution MSC.416 (97) by countries whose certificates of competency are recognised by the Republic of Cyprus.

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