[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 2 (Wednesday, January 4, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 232-233]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-33818]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

46 CFR Parts 1, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15

[Docket No. USCG-2004-17914]


Implementation of the 2010 Amendments to the International 
Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for 
Seafarers, 1978--Hours of Rest and Security-Related Training

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of policy.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard announces steps for implementing the 2010 
amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, 
Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended, (STCW) 
concerning hours of rest and security-related training requirements. 
Because the final rule implementing the 2010 amendments to the STCW 
will not be published before the 1 January 2012 entry into force date, 
there is a need to provide guidance on implementation of the amendments 
related to these requirements, which will impact U.S. vessels and 
seafarers beginning on 1 January 2012. This notice applies to all 
vessels subject to STCW under current regulations.

DATES: This policy is effective January 1, 2012.

ADDRESSES: This notice is available in the docket and can be viewed by 
going to http://www.regulations.gov, inserting USCG-2004-17914 in the 
``Keyword'' box, and then clicking ``Search.'' You may also visit the 
Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the 
Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey, Avenue 
SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this notice, 
call or email Mrs. Mayte Medina, Office of Vessel Activities (CG-522), 
(202) 372-1406, email Mayte.Medina2@uscg.mil. If you have questions on 
viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, 
Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background and Purpose

    The International Convention on Standards of Training, 
Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended, (STCW) 
sets forth minimum training and hours of rest requirements for merchant 
mariners. In 2007, the IMO embarked on a comprehensive review of the 
entire STCW Convention and STCW Code, which sets forth provisions for 
implementing the STCW Convention. The Parties adopted these amendments 
on June 25, 2010 at the STCW Diplomatic Conference in Manila, 
Philippines. The amendments are scheduled to enter into force for all 
ratifying countries on January 1, 2012. The 2010 amendments include 
security training and certification requirements for vessel personnel 
working on board vessels; and changes to the hours of rest requirements 
applicable to personnel working on board U.S. vessels.
    The Convention is not self-implementing; therefore, the United 
States, as a signatory to the STCW Convention, must initiate regulatory 
changes to ensure full implementation of the amendments to the STCW 
Convention and STCW Code. The United States implements these provisions 
under the Convention and under the authority of United States domestic 
laws at United States Code titles 5, 14, 33, and 46.
    The Coast Guard published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (SNPRM) on August 1, 2011 (76 FR 45908), proposing changes 
to implement the STCW Convention and Code, to address the comments 
received from the public in response to the Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NPRM) published on November 17, 2009 (74 FR 59354), and to 
incorporate the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention that will come 
into force on January 1, 2012. The public comment period for the SNPRM 
ended on September 30, 2011. The Coast Guard will be publishing a final 
rule (FR) to implement amendments to the STCW, including the 2010 
amendments, and ensure that the U.S. is meeting its obligations under 
the Convention. The comments received will be discussed in the final 
rule.

Discussion

    This notice applies to all vessels subject to STCW under current 
regulations. This includes all seagoing vessels, as defined in 46 CFR 
15.1101, meaning self-propelled vessels engaged in commercial service 
that operate beyond the Boundary Line established by 46 CFR part 7, 
except those vessels that have been determined to be otherwise exempt 
from, or not subject to further obligation of, STCW under 46 CFR 
15.103(e) and (f).
    Although full implementation of the hours of rest and security 
training requirements necessitate regulatory changes, the Coast Guard 
is issuing this notice to implement mechanisms to lessen the port state 
control impact on United States vessels while operating abroad, and 
while the Coast Guard publishes the final rule.

Hours of Rest

    The 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code amended the 
rest hours requirements as follows: (1) Expanded the application for 
hours of work and rest periods for mariners to include all personnel 
with designated safety, prevention of pollution, and

[[Page 233]]

security duties onboard any vessel; (2) changed the weekly rest hours 
requirements from 70 hours to 77 hours; and (3) required the recording 
of hours of rest.
    Full implementation of these amendments will require regulatory 
changes to 46 CFR 15.1111. The Coast Guard will not be enforcing these 
STCW requirements until the regulations are published. Vessels 
operating in foreign ports are encouraged to implement these 
requirements to avoid any potential port state control detentions. 
Hours of rest for each crewmember can be documented in the vessel 
logbook.

Security Training Requirements

    The STCW Convention requires that mariners who commenced service 
after 1 January 2012 meet the training requirements for vessel 
personnel with designated security duties and security awareness, as 
appropriate. In addition, the STCW Convention also provides 
transitional provisions for mariners who started service prior to 1 
January 2012. Recognizing that the implementation date is fast 
approaching, and that there may be practical difficulties for all 
seafarers with security related requirements to obtain necessary 
certifications and/or the necessary endorsements required in accordance 
with regulation VI/6 of the 2010 Manila Amendments, the IMO issued 
Circular STCW.7/Circ.17. The Circular provides advice for port State 
control officers on transitional arrangements leading up to full 
implementation of the 2010 Manila Amendments on 1 January 2017. The 
Circular also recommends that Administrations inform their port State 
control authorities that, until 1 January 2014, it would be sufficient 
to accept compliance with section 13 of the International Ship and Port 
Facility Security (ISPS) Code, even if a seafarer's documentation with 
regard to the security-related training in regulation VI/6 is not in 
accordance with the 2010 Manila Amendments.
    Taking the information in the Circular into account, the Coast 
Guard has determined that the requirements in 33 CFR 104.220 (vessel 
personnel with security duties) and 104.225 (security training for all 
other personnel) meet the requirements of Section 13 of the ISPS Code. 
Therefore, the Coast Guard will continue to enforce 33 CFR 104.220 and 
104.225, and the requirements in Section 13 of the ISPS Code.
    Vessels operating in foreign ports should ensure that all 
personnel, except for the vessel security officer (VSOs), working on 
board the vessel are in possession of the appropriate course completion 
certificate or a company letter as proof of meeting the requirements in 
33 CFR 104.220 or 104.225, and Section 13 of the ISPS Code. VSOs must 
hold the appropriate endorsement on their credential.
    This notice is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 46 U.S.C. 
8304, 33 CFR part 104, 46 CFR parts 10, 11, 12, and 15, and 33 CFR 
1.05-1.

    Dated: December 28, 2011.
J.G. Lantz,
Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, U.S. Coast Guard.
[FR Doc. 2011-33818 Filed 12-30-11; 4:15 pm]
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