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STCW 2010 Manila Amendments - what changed?

In June 2010 significant changes to the STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers) Convention and Code were agreed at an IMO Diplomatic Conference in Manila in order to bring the Convention and Code up to date with new developments. These changes, known as “The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code” came into force on 1 January 2012 and are the first major revisions since the Convention and Code were updated in 1995.

The IMO has advised that amongst the amendments adopted, the important changes include: 

  • Improved measures to prevent fraudulent practices associated with certificates of competency and strengthen the evaluation process (monitoring of Parties’ compliance with the Convention);
  • Revised requirements on hours of work and rest and new requirements for the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as updated standards relation to medical fitness standards for seafarers;
  • New certification requirements for able seafarers;
  • New requirements relating to training in modern technology such as electronic charts and information systems (ECDIS);
  • New requirements for marine environment awareness training and training in leadership and teamwork;
  • New requirements for security training, as well as provisions to ensure that seafarers are properly trained to cope if their ship comes under attack by pirates;

The full text of the revised Convention and Code can be found on the IMO website.

Refresher Training

Previously the STCW requirements in respect of refresher training were interpreted in a number of ways by various Administrations. Any loopholes in the regulations have now been removed and courses concerning the safety and survival of crew and passengers will require refresher training every five years: 

  • Basic Safety Training;
  • Crisis Management and Human Behaviour;
  • Crowd Management;
  • Passenger Safety, Cargo Safety and Hull Integrity;
  • Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats;
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats, other than Fast Rescue Boats;
  • Training in Advanced Fire Fighting. 

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