[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 199 (Monday, October 15, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 62434-62435]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-25128]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 104

46 CFR Parts 10, 11, 12, and 15

[Docket No. USCG-2012-0917]


Policy Letters on the International Convention on Standards of 
Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard announces the availability of three policy 
letters providing guidance to vessels and mariners subject to the 
International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and 
Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW). These letters 
provide guidance on: The hours of rest requirements of the 2010 
amendments to the STCW Convention and Code; issuance of endorsements 
and approval of training for Vessel Personnel with Designated Security 
Duties (VPDSD) and vessel personnel

[[Page 62435]]

requiring security awareness training; and issuance of other 
endorsements and approval of other training to meet the 2010 
amendments. These letters are necessary to provide guidance to affected 
parties until regulations implementing amendments to the STCW are 
promulgated.

DATES: The three letters are available for viewing beginning October 
15, 2012.

ADDRESSES: The policy letters are available for viewing on the Coast 
Guard's National Maritime Center Web site at http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/.
    The docket for this notice is available for inspection or copying 
at the Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. You may also find this 
docket on the Internet by going to http://www.regulations.gov, 
inserting USCG-2012-0917 in the ``Keyword'' box, and then clicking 
``Search.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this notice, 
call or email the U.S. Coast Guard, Mariner Credentialing Program 
Policy Division (CG-CVC-4) at (202) 372-2357 or MMCPolicy@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

    In 2007, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) embarked on 
a comprehensive review of the entire STCW Convention and STCW Code. The 
Parties adopted amendments on June 25, 2010 at the STCW Diplomatic 
Conference in Manila, Philippines, and the amendments entered into 
force for all ratifying countries on January 1, 2012.
    The STCW Convention is not self-implementing; therefore, the U.S., 
as a signatory to the Convention, must initiate regulatory changes to 
ensure full implementation of the amendments to the STCW Convention and 
STCW Code. The U.S. implements these provisions under the Convention 
and under the authority of United States domestic laws in United States 
Code Titles 5, 14, 33, 46, and pursuant to 46 CFR, Chapter I, 
Subchapter B.
    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 published on November 17, 2009 (74 FR 59354), and to 
incorporate the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention that came into 
force on January 1, 2012. The public comment period for the SNPRM ended 
on September 30, 2011. The Coast Guard intends to publish a final rule 
to implement amendments to the STCW, including the 2010 amendments, and 
ensure that the U.S. is meeting its obligations under the Convention.

Description of Policy Letters

    The following three policy letters provide guidance to parties 
affected by STCW:

1. Hours of Rest

    This policy letter provides guidance to clarify the changes 
associated with the hours of rest requirements found within the 2010 
amendments to the STCW Convention and Code. This policy will provide 
information on the changes to the hours of rest requirements that are 
now being monitored internationally. It also provides recommended 
methods to lessen the port state control impact on U.S. vessels while 
operating abroad until the Coast Guard promulgates the final rule 
implementing STCW.

2. Security Endorsements

    This policy letter provides guidance on the issuance of 
endorsements and approval of training for Vessel Personnel with 
Designated Security Duties and vessel personnel requiring security 
awareness training under the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and 
Code. The IMO has provided an alternative means of compliance until 
January 1, 2014, and the Coast Guard has determined that the 
requirements in 33 CFR 104.220 and 104.225 can be used to comply with 
the 2010 amendments under this alternative. Endorsements will be issued 
based upon the documentary evidence that an individual has complied 
with existing regulations.

3. Issuing Endorsements and Approving Training

    This policy letter provides guidance on issuance of endorsements 
other than the security endorsements discussed above, and approval of 
other related training to meet the 2010 amendments to the STCW 
Convention and Code. The guidance in this document is intended to 
assist industry and individual mariners to meet the requirements of 
STCW and 46 CFR, Chapter I, Subchapter B. This policy provides methods 
for issuing STCW endorsements established by the 2010 amendments that 
may be obtained by meeting current domestic requirements. In addition 
to the information regarding the STCW endorsements, the policy letter 
announces that the Coast Guard will consider granting approval of 
training to meet various provisions of the 2010 amendments.
    This notice is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and United 
States Code Titles 5, 14, 33, 46.

    Dated: September 28, 2012.
Paul F. Thomas,
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Inspections and Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2012-25128 Filed 10-12-12; 8:45 am]
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