News Archives from 2-12-09 to 3-16-09

New Merchant Marine Credential . . . 03/16/2009

Certificate of Compliance coverOn March 16, 2009, the Coast Guard issued a final rule for the issuance of the new Merchant Marine Credential (MMC) which is a document which combines the old USCG license, USCG Merchant Mariner's Document (MMD), the old Certificate of Registry (COR) and STCW Endorsement into one document or credential. The Coast Guard's final rule takes effect on 15 April 2009. These new documents have some advantages for the mariner. One advantage is that there is just one fee for the credential instead of paying individual fees for each of the components of the credential. Another advantage is that the security checks that go with the credential are harmonized with the fact that merchant mariners are all required to hold Transport Workers Identification Credentials (TWIC cards). This means that merchant mariners are going to be able to apply to renew these credentials by mail and receive them by mail without the necessity of visiting a Regional Examination Center (REC). The complete text of the final rule is available at the link below. A sample credential is also available at the link below. If you have questions on the new Merchant Marine Credentials you should address them to the nearest Regional Examination Center. A letter from the National Maritime Center describing the new credential is also provided for your information. Alas, this rulemaking signals the passing of the old Coast Guard License to U.S. Merchant Marine Officer which the Coast Guard has issued for the past sixty seven years. For one last look see the link below.

NEW MERCHANT MARINE CREDENTIAL

Final Rule Merchant Marine Credential
Sample Merchant Marine Credential
Letter from the National Maritme Center
Letter Describing Relationship Between TWIC and New Credential
Last Look

Alaska Arctic Pilotage Proposed . . . 02/20/2009

The Alaska Board of Marine Pilots issued a second supplemental notice of proposed changes to the state pilotage regulations. These proposed changes, like the earlier versions, would extend the compulsory pilotage requirement in Arctic waters well outside the three-mile territorial waters of Alaska . Comments on the proposal should be submitted by March 27. Complete details can be found at the link below.

MARINE BOARD OF PILOTAGE PROPOSED RULES

Proposed Rule for Marine Pilotage Requirements

TWIC Temporary Equivalent Approved . . . - 02/12/2009

The US Coast Guard issued a policy statement regarding a limited equivalent security measure for truck drivers with a hazardous materials endorsement (HME) on their commercial driver’s license (CDL) or a Fast and Secure Trade (FAST) card. As a result of the backlog created by the October 2008 power outage at the facility housing the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, pickup and activation of TWICs for numerous truck drivers have been delayed. This policy statement, which is effective through April 15, provides for a limited equivalent security measure for truck drivers in this situation. TWIC Policy 04-09 (2/10/09).

LIMITED EQUIVALENT SECURITY MEASURE

TWIC Policy Memo 04-09

Firefighting and Salvage Final Rule . . . - 02/12/2009

fighting fireThe U.S. Coast Guard's final rule for vessel response plans for Salvage and Marine Firefighting for tank vessels carrying oil took effect on 30 January 2009. These rules are located in 33 CFR Part 155. These rules clarify the salvage and marine firefighting services that must be identified in vessel response plans and set new response time requirements for each of the required salvage and marine fire fighting services. The changes are designed to ensure that the appropriate salvage and marine firefighting resources are identified and available for responding to incidents up to and including the worst case discharge scenario. A copy of the final rule and Federal Register Notice is included at the link below.

MARINE FIREFIGHTING AND SALVAGE REQUIREMENTS

Final Rule Marine Firefighting and Salvage Response Plan Requirements