[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 247 (Tuesday, December 24, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 77795-78012]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28032]



[[Page 77795]]

Vol. 78

Tuesday,

No. 247

December 24, 2013

Part II





Department of Homeland Security





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Coast Guard





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46 CFR Parts 1, 10, 11, et al.





Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention on 
Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 
1978, and Changes to National Endorsements; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 247 / Tuesday, December 24, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 77796]]


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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]
RIN 1625-AA16


Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention 
on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 
1978, and Changes to National Endorsements

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard issues this final rule to implement the 
International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and 
Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW Convention), as well 
as the Seafarers' Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code (STCW 
Code), to address the comments received from the public in response to 
the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM), and to 
incorporate the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention that came into 
force on January 1, 2012. In addition, this final rule makes other 
changes not required by the STCW Convention or Code, but necessary to 
reorganize, clarify, and update these regulations.

DATES: This final rule is effective March 24, 2014 except for 46 CFR 
part 10, subpart C, which is effective January 23, 2014. The 
incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule 
is approved by the Director of the Federal Register on March 24, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Comments and material received from the public, as well as 
documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, 
are part of docket USCG-2004-17914 and are 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, D.C. 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-2004-17914 in the ``Keyword'' box, and then clicking 
``Search.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, 
call or email Mr. Mark C. Gould, Maritime Personnel Qualifications 
Division, Coast Guard; phone (202) 372-1409; email 
mark.c.gould@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing the docket, 
call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 
202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents for Preamble

I. Executive Summary
    A. Basis and purpose
    B. Summary for major provisions
    C. Costs and benefits
II. Abbreviations
III. Regulatory History
IV. Overview
V. Tables of Changes
VI. Discussion of Comments and Explanation of Changes
    A. Summary of changes from the SNPRM
    B. Public comments on the SNPRM
    C. Discussion of Public Comments in Response to the Merchant 
Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) and the Merchant 
Mariner Medical Advisory Committee (MEDMAC) Recommendations
    D. Additional Request for Comments
VII. Incorporation by Reference
VIII.Regulatory Analyses
    A. Regulatory Planning and Review
    B. Small Entities
    C. Assistance for Small Entities
    D. Collection of Information
    E. Federalism
    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    G. Taking of Private Property
    H. Civil Justice Reform
    I. Protection of Children
    J. Indian Tribal Governments
    K. Energy Effects
    L. Technical Standards
    M. Environment

I. Executive Summary

A. Basis and purpose

    The United States has a well-established program for credentialing 
personnel serving on U.S. vessels that is governed by domestic law in 
United States Code, titles 5, 14, 33 and 46, and Code of Federal 
Regulations, title 46, subchapter B. Through these domestic statutes 
and regulations, the United States also implements the provisions of 
the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification 
and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended.
    The STCW Convention and Code set forth minimum training and 
certification requirements for merchant mariners. The IMO adopted 
amendments to the STCW in 1995. Those amendments entered into force on 
February 1, 1997. The Coast Guard implemented those amendments through 
an interim rule revising 46 CFR subchapter B, which published on June 
26, 1997 (62 FR 34505). The Convention was subsequently amended in 2002 
and 2007.
    In 2008, the IMO embarked on a comprehensive review of the entire 
STCW Convention and the STCW Code, which sets forth provisions for 
implementing the STCW Convention. Five meetings were held at IMO 
headquarters in London on the comprehensive review, at which the Coast 
Guard represented the U.S. and the draft 2010 amendments to the 
Convention were developed. The Coast Guard held public meetings prior 
to each one of the IMO review meetings to determine what positions U.S. 
delegations should advocate and to exchange views about amendments to 
STCW that were under discussion. In addition, the Coast Guard also 
obtained input from MERPAC on developments and implementation of the 
requirements relating to the 2010 amendments. After completing its 
review, the IMO adopted these amendments on June 25, 2010, at the STCW 
Diplomatic Conference in Manila, Philippines. They entered into force 
for all ratifying countries on January 1, 2012.
    The STCW Convention is not self-implementing; therefore, the United 
States, as a signatory to the STCW Convention, must initiate regulatory 
changes to ensure compliance with its treaty obligations through full 
implementation of the amendments to the STCW Convention and STCW Code. 
Accordingly, the Coast Guard is amending 46 CFR subchapter B to: Fully 
harmonize and incorporate the requirements for national licenses with 
those of the STCW Convention; to incorporate the 2010 amendments to the 
STCW Convention that came into force on January 1, 2012; and to make 
other changes not required by the STCW Convention that are necessary to 
reorganize, clarify, and update those regulations. A discussion of the 
2010 amendments implemented in this final rule is available in the 
preamble of the SNPRM (76 FR 45908).
    All signatories to the STCW Convention are presumed to be 
fulfilling their obligations under the Convention and, by publishing 
and implementing this final rule, the U.S. is joining the other 
signatories, including, but not limited to, Australia, Canada, France, 
Germany, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The U.S. is 
also ensuring that the U.S. remains on the IMO ``White List'' of 
countries giving the Convention full and complete effect. Inclusion on 
this list entitles U.S.-flag vessels to equal treatment under foreign 
nation port state control procedures, and enables U.S. mariners to 
compete in the global workforce. This final rule also

[[Page 77797]]

ensures that U.S. mariner credentialing requirements are consistent 
with international standards. Additionally, the rule strengthens U.S. 
authority to enforce the STCW Convention and STCW Code against foreign 
flag vessels in U.S. waters.
    Parties to the STCW Convention have port state control authority to 
detain vessels that do not comply with the Convention. If U.S. 
regulations are non-compliant with the STCW Convention and STCW Code, 
there is a risk that U.S. vessels will be detained in foreign ports and 
that U.S. mariners not in compliance with the STCW Convention would be 
ineligible to serve on foreign flag vessels.
    Over 90 percent of ships visiting U.S. waters are foreign-flag 
carrying multinational crews, and are subject to STCW. Additionally, 
approximately 1044 U.S. documented commercial vessels operate on ocean 
or near coastal voyages and are subject to the provisions of STCW. 
Implementation and enforcement of the STCW requirements promote 
shipboard practices that reduce the risk of human errors that could 
potentially lead to an accident in U.S. waters.

B. Summary of Major Provisions

    This section lists the major provisions in this final rule. Both a 
summary and a detailed explanation of the reasons for changes from the 
SNPRM can be found in Section VI of this preamble, Discussion of 
Comments. All of the changes below were made to the rule as proposed in 
the SNPRM in response to comments from the public, MERPAC, or MEDMAC.
    The Coast Guard is publishing this final rule to implement 
amendments to the STCW Code, including the 2010 amendments, and ensure 
that the U.S. is meeting its obligations under the Convention. In 
addition, the Coast Guard is issuing this final rule to respond to the 
comments, feedback, and concerns received from the public in response 
to the SNPRM. In order to address those comments and concerns, the 
final rule will: Clarify transitional provisions for STCW endorsements 
and for the issuance of medical certificates; provide additional 
training topics for STCW endorsements as part of approved formal 
training; remove the new apprentice mate (steersman) of towing 
(utility), master of towing (utility) and master of towing (harbor 
assist) endorsements; clarify the application of security requirements; 
grant sea service credit towards STCW endorsements for mariners who 
hold a national endorsement but serve on STCW compliant vessels; 
provide additional means for mariners holding a domestic tankerman 
endorsement to qualify for STCW tankerman endorsements; clarify the 
course approval provisions; and include compliance with industry-wide 
systems, such as International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 
and International Safety Management (ISM), as an alternate means of 
compliance with the Quality Standards System (QSS) provisions.

C. Costs and Benefits

    The changes between the SNPRM and this final rule do not result in 
additional impacts to the maritime industry except for the transitional 
provision that delays the implementation of the QSS requirements until 
January 1, 2017. This provision was included in this final rule based 
on the public comments received on the SNPRM and will delay the cost 
impact of QSS requirements to training providers. For a detailed 
discussion of comments, the changes, and their additional impacts, 
please see ``Regulatory Analyses,'' section VIII, of the preamble.

                           Table 1--Summary of Affected Population, Costs and Benefits
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                    Category                                                Final rule
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Affected Population............................  60,000 U.S. mariners \1\; 316 owners and operators of 1,044
                                                  U.S. flag vessels; and 141 STCW training providers.
Costs ($ millions, 7-percent discount rate)....  $32.6 (annualized).
                                                 $230.3 (10-year)
Benefits.......................................   Increase in vessel safety and a resulting decrease in
                                                  the risk of shipping casualties and their consequences
                                                  (fatalities, injuries, property loss and environmental
                                                  damage).
                                                  Prevention and mitigation of accidents on STCW
                                                  Convention-compliant foreign vessels in U.S. waters due to
                                                  increased ability of the Coast Guard to enforce requirements.
                                                  See Executive Summary for additional information.
                                                  Increase in mariners' situational awareness and
                                                  situational assessment.
                                                  Reduction of potential impacts of medical conditions
                                                  on human error.
                                                  Earlier detection and treatment of medical conditions.
                                                  Fulfillment of U.S. obligations under the STCW
                                                  Convention.
                                                  Maintenance of U.S. status on the IMO ``White List''
                                                  and avoidance of detention of U.S. flagged vessels in foreign
                                                  ports due to noncompliance with the STCW Convention.
                                                  Assurance that U.S. mariners can compete in the global
                                                  workforce market.
                                                  Assurance that U.S. credentialing regulations are
                                                  consistent with international performance standards based on
                                                  international consensus and the IMO convention, which
                                                  minimizes variation in standards of training and watchkeeping.
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Includes all mariners to which STCW applies, which is limited to voyages beyond the boundary line.

II. Abbreviations

ABET Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
A/B Able seaman
ATB Articulated tug barge vessel
AGT Any gross tons
BRM Bridge resource management
BST Basic safety training
BT Basic training
COI Certificate of inspection
CPR Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
DDE Designated duty engineer
DE Designated examiner
DHS Department of Homeland Security
DME Designated medical examiner
DOT U.S. Department of Transportation
DP Dynamic positioning
DPO Dynamic positioning officer
ECDIS Electronic chart display and information system
EOOW Engineering officer of the watch
ERM Engineroom resource management
ETO Electro-technical officer
FR Federal Register
FSD Functional speech discrimination
FWT Fireman/Watertender
GMDSS Global maritime distress and safety system
GRT Gross register tonnage
GT Gross tonnage
HP Horsepower
HSC High-speed craft
ILO International Labour Organization
IMO International Maritime Organization
IR Interim rule
ISM International Safety Management

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ISPS International Ship and Port Facility Security
ISO International Organization for Standardization
ITB Integrated tug-barge
ITC International Tonnage Convention
KUPs Knowledge, understanding, and proficiencies
MARAD U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration
MERPAC Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee
MMC Merchant mariner credential
MMD Merchant mariner's document
MEDMAC Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee
MODU Mobile offshore drilling unit
NMC National Maritime Center
NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking
NVIC Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular
OCMI Officer in charge, marine inspection
OICEW Officer in charge of an engineering watch
OICNW Officer in charge of a navigational watch
OIM Offshore installation manager
OPA 90 Oil Pollution Act of 1990
OSRV Oil spill response vessel
OSV Offshore supply vessel
PIC Person in charge
PSC Proficiency in survival craft
QA Qualified assessor
QMED Qualified member of the engine department
QSS Quality Standards System
RFPEW Rating forming part of an engineering watch
RFPNW Rating forming part of a navigational watch
Ro-Ro Roll-on/roll-off
SMCP Standard marine communication phrases
SNPRM Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking
STCW Convention International Convention on Standards of Training, 
Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978
STCW Code Seafarers' Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code
TRC Type rating certificate
TSAC Towing safety advisory committee
TOAR Towing officer assessment record
TWIC Transportation worker identification credential
U.S.C. United States Code
USCG United States Coast Guard
VSO Vessel security officer

III. Regulatory History

    The Coast Guard published changes to the regulations governing the 
credentialing of merchant mariners serving on U.S. flag vessels with an 
interim rule (IR) on June 26, 1997 (62 FR 34505). The 1997 IR ensured 
that credentials issued by the U.S. met International Maritime 
Organization (IMO) standards, thereby reducing the possibility of U.S. 
vessels being detained in a foreign port for non-compliance.
    In 2009, the Coast Guard proposed to update the changes made by the 
1997 IR to reflect experience gained during the implementation of that 
rule. The Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) 
on November 17, 2009 (74 FR 59354). The NPRM sought to incorporate all 
effective amendments to the International Convention on Standards of 
Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW 
Convention) and Seafarers' Training, Certification and Watchkeeping 
Code (STCW Code) as of that publication date. Five public meetings were 
held to receive comments on the NPRM. These meetings were announced in 
the Federal Register on November 18, 2009 (74 FR 59502).
    The public comment period for the NPRM ended on February 17, 2010. 
After considering comments, feedback, and concerns received from the 
public in response to the NPRM, and due to the adoption of the 2010 
amendments to the STCW Convention and Code, the Coast Guard recognized 
a need to make substantial changes to the merchant mariner 
credentialing program and regulations beyond those proposed in the 
NPRM. Because of these substantial changes, the Coast Guard recognized 
the necessity of developing a more comprehensive rule, and of providing 
additional opportunity, through a supplemental notice of proposed 
rulemaking (SNPRM), for the public to comment on these changes.
    The Coast Guard published a notice on March 23, 2010 (75 FR 13715), 
announcing that we were revisiting the approach proposed in the NPRM 
and considering publishing an SNPRM as a next step. The notice further 
explained that the review of the approach was based on feedback 
received on the NPRM and because of the adoption of the 2010 amendments 
to the STCW Convention. The IMO approved the 2010 amendments at the 
June Diplomatic Conference, where it was agreed that all provisions of 
the STCW Convention, including the 2010 amendments, would enter into 
force by January 1, 2012.
    The Coast Guard published an SNPRM on August 1, 2011 (76 FR 45908), 
providing 2 months for public comment. The SNPRM proposed to make 
changes to the implementation of the STCW Convention and Code to 
incorporate the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention that came into 
force on January 1, 2012, and address the comments received from the 
public in response to the NPRM. In addition, the SNPRM proposed to make 
other changes not required by the STCW Convention or Code, but 
necessary to reorganize, clarify, and update these regulations. Four 
public meetings were held to receive comments on the SNPRM. These 
meetings were announced in the Federal Register on August 2, 2011 (76 
FR 46217). The comments received during these four meetings are 
discussed in the ``Discussion of Comments'' section of this preamble.
    On November 3, 2011, the Coast Guard publicly announced the 
availability of recommendations from MERPAC and the Merchant Mariner 
Medical Advisory Committee (MEDMAC) concerning the SNPRM and invited 
public comment (76 FR 68202). The 30-day public comment period closed 
on December 5, 2011. The comments received in response to these 
recommendations are also discussed in the ``Discussion of Comments'' 
section of this preamble.
    On January 4, 2012, the Coast Guard published a notice of policy 
informing the public that the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention 
entered into force for all ratifying nations on January 1, 2012 (77 FR 
232). The notice also encouraged vessels operating in foreign ports to 
implement provisions of the 2010 amendments concerning hours of rest 
and security training to minimize potential port state control 
detentions.

IV. Overview

    This final rule is intended to ensure that U.S. mariners comply 
with the standards set forth in the STCW Convention and Code and to 
clarify and update the regulations in 46 CFR subchapter B, Merchant 
Marine Officers and Seamen. As a result of the comments, feedback, and 
concerns received from the public in response to the SNPRM, the Coast 
Guard made changes to the proposed regulations.
    Most seagoing merchant mariners must comply with the requirements 
of the STCW Convention and STCW Code. The Coast Guard recognizes that 
the CFR regulations implementing the STCW Convention and STCW Code 
requirements have been the subject of different interpretations and 
that the requirements reflected in the CFR are not currently organized 
in a manner that is easy to read and understand.
    This final rule also revises other sections of 46 CFR subchapter B 
in order to clarify, address omissions in, and update those 
regulations.

V. Tables of Changes

    The following table provides a crosswalk showing changes from the 
existing regulations to this final rule.

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          Current cite                  Cite under final rule                    Summary of changes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Subchapter B....................  Subchapter B....................  Changes Domestic to National when used to
                                                                     describe endorsements.
                                                                    The use of ``domestic'' to describe
                                                                     endorsements that are restricted to United
                                                                     States waters inside the STCW boundary line
                                                                     has been replaced by ``national'' to avoid
                                                                     confusion when discussing the domestic
                                                                     endorsements of other countries.
Sec.   10.107...................  N/A.............................  Removes the definition of Apprentice mate
                                                                     (steersman) of towing vessels (utility).
                                                                    Endorsement has been removed from
                                                                     regulations.
Sec.   10.107...................  N/A.............................  Removes definition of Competent Person.
                                                                    Moved relevant information into part 13 to
                                                                     ensure consistency, because ``competent
                                                                     person'' applies only to endorsements
                                                                     covered in that part.
Sec.   10.107...................  N/A.............................  Removes the definition of Limited.
                                                                    Definition is not needed because it has the
                                                                     same meaning as in standard English
                                                                     language usage.
Sec.   10.107...................  N/A.............................  Removes the definition of Restricted.
                                                                    Definition is not needed because it has the
                                                                     same meaning as in standard English
                                                                     language usage.
Sec.   10.107...................  N/A.............................  Removes definition for self-propelled tank
                                                                     vessel.
                                                                    Eliminates redundancy with the definition of
                                                                     tankship.
Sec.   10.107...................  Sec.   10.107...................  Revises the definition for Coast Guard-
                                                                     accepted.
                                                                    The definition is being revised to provide
                                                                     clarification on the instances where
                                                                     something may be approved by the Coast
                                                                     Guard for use in meeting a particular
                                                                     requirement.
Sec.   10.107...................  Sec.   10.107...................  Revises definition of Day.
                                                                    This revised definition will link the
                                                                     definition to the U.S. Code and provide
                                                                     further clarification regarding service on
                                                                     MODUs and cadet service on a maritime
                                                                     training ship within the regulations.
Sec.   10.107...................  Sec.   10.107...................  Revises definition of Designated Examiner
                                                                     (DE).
                                                                    The definition was revised to ensure that a
                                                                     DE applies to the Towing Officer Assessment
                                                                     Record only, as DE previously applied to
                                                                     all qualification processes.
Sec.   10.107...................  Sec.   10.107...................  Revises definition of Endorsement.
                                                                    The definition was revised to clarify that
                                                                     all endorsements are listed in Sec.
                                                                     10.109.
Sec.   10.107...................  Sec.   10.107...................  Revises definition of Inland waters.
                                                                    The definition was revised to allow sea
                                                                     service credit towards STCW on certain
                                                                     inland vessels.
Sec.   10.107...................  Sec.   10.107...................  Revises the definition of Near-coastal.
                                                                    Amends to include exceptions for operator of
                                                                     uninspected passenger vessels (OUPVs) in
                                                                     order to formalize a pre-existing exception
                                                                     for OUPVs.
                                                                    Includes near-coastal waters identified by
                                                                     another country's Administration when
                                                                     entering into a treaty or an agreement with
                                                                     that country.
Sec.   10.107...................  Sec.   10.107...................  Revises definition for Qualified Assessor.
                                                                    Clarifies this person's role and
                                                                     professional development.
Sec.   10.109...................  Sec.   10.109...................  Revises list of endorsements.
                                                                    Adds new endorsements in accordance with
                                                                     parts 11 and 12 to ensure that the lists of
                                                                     endorsements are consistent throughout the
                                                                     regulations.
Sec.   10.205...................  Sec.   10.205...................  Revises postdating.
                                                                    Clarifies and simplifies the postdating
                                                                     process. Postdating will occur unless the
                                                                     applicant specifies otherwise.
Sec.   10.209, 10.231...........  Sec.   10.209, 10.231...........  Adds required documentation for medical
                                                                     examinations.
                                                                    Adds a medical certificate issued by the
                                                                     Coast Guard.
                                                                    This serves as documentary proof of passing
                                                                     the medical examination.
Sec.   10.209, 11.480...........  Sec.   10.209, 10.480...........  Electronic submission of required documents.
                                                                    Allows course completion certificates,
                                                                     including radar observer, to be submitted
                                                                     electronically.
Sec.   10.215...................  Part 10, subpart C..............  Transfers medical requirements to a new
                                                                     subpart. Revises the physical requirements
                                                                     for mariners applying for a Coast Guard-
                                                                     issued credential. These changes include:
                                                                     annual submission of physicals by pilots,
                                                                     revision of vision standard, revision of
                                                                     hearing standard, clarification regarding
                                                                     demonstration of physical ability.
                                                                    Provides the Coast Guard some flexibility in
                                                                     the acceptance of other tests.
                                                                    The requirement to demonstrate physical
                                                                     ability provides information required for
                                                                     those mariners serving on vessels to which
                                                                     STCW applies.
Sec.   10.215...................  Sec.   10.301...................  Revises medical certificate validity period.
                                                                    Adds issuance of the new medical
                                                                     certificates with the following period of
                                                                     validity:
                                                                    (1) 2 years for STCW-endorsed mariners,
                                                                     unless the mariner is under the age of 18,
                                                                     in which case the maximum period of
                                                                     validity would be 1 year;
                                                                    (2) 2 years for a mariner who is serving as
                                                                     a first-class pilot, or acting as a pilot
                                                                     under Sec.   15.812; and
                                                                    (3) 5 years for all other mariners,
                                                                     consistent with the current practice and
                                                                     requirements.
Sec.   10.215...................  Sec.   10.305...................  Revises vision requirements.
                                                                    The 2010 amendments have expanded the
                                                                     applicability of vision standards from one
                                                                     eye to both eyes for deck personnel with
                                                                     STCW endorsements.
Sec.   10.217...................  Sec.   10.217...................  Removes reference to temporary permits.
                                                                    Formalizes long-standing Coast Guard
                                                                     practice of no longer issuing temporary
                                                                     permits.
Sec.  Sec.   10.227, 10.231.....  Sec.  Sec.   10.227, 10.231.....  Revises renewal requirements for
                                                                     credentials.
                                                                    Removes the requirement to submit an old,
                                                                     original credential in an application for
                                                                     renewal.
                                                                    This permits mariners to retain their
                                                                     previous credentials.

[[Page 77800]]

 
Sec.   10.303...................  Sec.   10.410...................  Removed Quality Standards System (QSS)
                                                                     requirements from Sec.   10.303 and moved
                                                                     them into a new Sec.   10.410.
                                                                    Adds QSS information into a new section and
                                                                     adds requirement for training providers to
                                                                     develop a QSS.
                                                                    This reflects the STCW requirement to use a
                                                                     QSS.
                                                                    Includes ISM, which is an industry-wide
                                                                     system, as alternate means of compliance
                                                                     for the QSS provision.
                                                                    Adds implementation date (January 1, 2017)
                                                                     for QSS requirements in accordance with the
                                                                     STCW Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Able-seafarer deck.
                                                                    Provides consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Able-seafarer engine.
                                                                    Provides consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Boundary line.
                                                                    Adding the definition will assist applicants
                                                                     in understanding the limits of the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Ceremonial license.
                                                                    Provides mariners an MMC endorsement
                                                                     suitable for framing.
                                                                    This is in response to mariner demand for a
                                                                     ceremonial license.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Chemical tanker.
                                                                    Adds definition for the differentiation of
                                                                     dangerous liquids into two endorsements
                                                                     under STCW.
                                                                    Clarifies the type of vessel on which
                                                                     mariners must serve to qualify for an STCW
                                                                     endorsement for advanced chemical tanker
                                                                     cargo operations.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of a Coast Guard-
                                                                     accepted Quality Standards System (QSS)
                                                                     organization.
                                                                    Adds definition regarding those
                                                                     organizations that may conduct QSS
                                                                     activities in regard to training,
                                                                     consistent with STCW requirements.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Coastwise Voyage.
                                                                    To clarify the boundaries of these types of
                                                                     voyages.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Communicable disease.
                                                                    Clarifies what a physician should look for
                                                                     when conducting medical examinations.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Deck department.
                                                                    To clarify the functions of this department.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Designated medical
                                                                     examiner.
                                                                    To clarify who can give medical examinations
                                                                     to mariners, establishing a network of
                                                                     medical examiners who have demonstrated an
                                                                     understanding of mariner fitness.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Domestic voyage.
                                                                    To clarify that domestic service does not
                                                                     include entering foreign waters.
                                                                    This will assist those operating small
                                                                     passenger vessels in waters close to or
                                                                     adjacent to foreign waters in determining
                                                                     whether the operator would be required to
                                                                     hold an STCW endorsement.
                                                                    The definition was revised to include
                                                                     voyages beginning and ending at a U.S. port
                                                                     and passing through the waters of another
                                                                     country if the U.S. has entered into a
                                                                     treaty or agreement with that country.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Dual-mode integrated tug
                                                                     barge (ITB).
                                                                    To clarify what is included in the
                                                                     operations and configuration of this type
                                                                     of ITB.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Electro-technical
                                                                     officer.
                                                                    Provides consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Electro-technical
                                                                     rating.
                                                                    Provides consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Engine department.
                                                                    To clarify the functions of this department.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Gross register tons
                                                                     (GRT).
                                                                    Provides definition for term used in the
                                                                     proposed rule and establishes an
                                                                     abbreviation for the use of this term
                                                                     throughout this subchapter.
                                                                    This will help the mariner to readily
                                                                     distinguish between GRT and gross tonnage.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Gross tonnage (GT).
                                                                    This will provide consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention and simplify the regulations by
                                                                     establishing an abbreviation for use
                                                                     throughout this subchapter.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of High-speed craft type
                                                                     rating.
                                                                    Adds a definition and requirement for a high-
                                                                     speed craft type rating to be compliant
                                                                     with the high-speed craft code. This puts
                                                                     into regulations existing processes that
                                                                     had previously been completed through
                                                                     Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular
                                                                     (NVIC) and policy letter.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of ILO.
                                                                    Establishes an abbreviation for the use of
                                                                     this term throughout this subchapter.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Integrated tug barge.
                                                                    To specify and make clear the features and
                                                                     capabilities of this type of tug barge
                                                                     combination.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of International Safety
                                                                     Management Code.
                                                                    This term is referenced in part 10.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Kilowatt (kW).
                                                                    To provide clarity and consistency, as the
                                                                     term is used in conjunction with the
                                                                     implementation of the STCW Convention and
                                                                     STCW Code.

[[Page 77801]]

 
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Lifeboatman-Limited.
                                                                    To provide for a new endorsement for persons
                                                                     serving in a position similar to
                                                                     Lifeboatman but on a vessel without a
                                                                     lifeboat.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Liquefied gas tanker.
                                                                    Adds definition for the change in STCW
                                                                     tanker cargo operations endorsements.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Management level.
                                                                    To explain that master, chief mate, chief
                                                                     engineer and first assistant engineer
                                                                     (second engineer officer) are considered
                                                                     management level under the STCW Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Medical certificate.
                                                                    To describe a new document that serves as
                                                                     proof that a mariner meets the required
                                                                     medical and physical standards.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Officer in Charge of an
                                                                     Engineering Watch (OICEW).
                                                                    To clarify that this endorsement is at the
                                                                     operational level.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Officer in Charge of a
                                                                     Navigational Watch (OICNW).
                                                                    To clarify that this endorsement is at the
                                                                     operational level.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Oil tanker.
                                                                    Adds definition for the differentiation of
                                                                     dangerous liquids into two STCW
                                                                     endorsements.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Operational level.
                                                                    Provides that officer endorsements other
                                                                     than management level are considered
                                                                     operational level under the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
                                                                    This will provide consistency with STCW
                                                                     Convention/Code.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Periodically
                                                                     unattended engine room.
                                                                    Provides clarity in the application of the
                                                                     service requirements for engineers.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Propulsion power.
                                                                    To provide consistency with the use of the
                                                                     term ``propulsion power'' in STCW and to
                                                                     encompass methods of measurement, such as
                                                                     horsepower (HP) and kilowatts (kW).
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Push-mode ITBs.
                                                                    To specify what is included in the
                                                                     configuration of this tug barge unit.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Qualified Assessor.
                                                                    To clarify the qualifications for this type
                                                                     of evaluator.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Quality Standard
                                                                     System (QSS).
                                                                    To ensure conformity with STCW requirements
                                                                     for use of a QSS and provide clarification
                                                                     of what is intended by this term when used
                                                                     in this subchapter.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds definition of Seagoing service.
                                                                    Clarify for the mariner what is included in
                                                                     this type of service, including Great Lakes
                                                                     and inland service.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Seagoing vessel.
                                                                    To ensure the definition captures all
                                                                     vessels to which STCW Convention and Code
                                                                     apply.
                                                                    There is no commercial vessels restriction,
                                                                     as appears in the current definition in
                                                                     Sec.   15.1101, because that would have
                                                                     excluded vessels such as yachts and
                                                                     government-owned vessels, which are
                                                                     required to be operated by mariners holding
                                                                     an STCW endorsement.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Ship.
                                                                    To provide clarity regarding the types of
                                                                     propulsion modes for these vessels.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Training program.
                                                                    To provide clarity regarding what is
                                                                     encompassed within training programs.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.107...................  Adds the definition of Unlimited.
                                                                    Clarifies the annotation on an MMC
                                                                     authorizing service on vessels of any
                                                                     tonnage or any propulsion power.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.205(h)................  Adds provision regarding Document of
                                                                     Continuity.
                                                                    To explain the process of replacing a
                                                                     Document of Continuity with an MMC.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.209...................  Adds ceremonial license.
                                                                    Allows mariners to request a ceremonial
                                                                     license when renewing his or her
                                                                     credential.
N/A.............................  Sec.  Sec.   10.232, 11.401,      Expands provisions granting sea service
                                   11.404, 11.405, and 11.406.       credit towards STCW endorsements to include
                                                                     those mariners who hold a national
                                                                     endorsement and provide proof of service on
                                                                     vessels to which STCW applies, whether on
                                                                     inland or coastwise service.
                                                                    Service on vessels to which STCW applies,
                                                                     whether inland or coastwise, will be
                                                                     credited on a day-for-day basis.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.405...................  Adds requirements for qualification as a
                                                                     qualified assessor or designated examiner.
                                                                    To ensure that qualified individuals conduct
                                                                     evaluations of mariners in conformity with
                                                                     the STCW Convention. See Section A-I/6 of
                                                                     the STCW Code.
                                                                    Adds a provision requiring qualified
                                                                     assessors who renew their qualifications to
                                                                     provide evidence of experience, training,
                                                                     or instruction within the past 5 years.
                                                                    To ensure that qualified assessors are
                                                                     trained in proper assessment techniques and
                                                                     have completed an ``assessor training''
                                                                     course as part of an accepted training
                                                                     program.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.409...................  Adds requirements for approval as a Coast
                                                                     Guard-accepted QSS organization.
                                                                    Requires organizations wishing to accept and
                                                                     monitor training to submit application for
                                                                     approval. Coast Guard-accepted QSS
                                                                     organizations will be audited once every
                                                                     five years.
                                                                    This is to ensure compliance with STCW
                                                                     Convention/Code and to provide oversight of
                                                                     these organizations.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.411...................  Adds simulator performance standards.
                                                                    To provide consistency with existing
                                                                     requirements and Section A-I/12 of the STCW
                                                                     Code.
N/A.............................  Sec.   10.412...................  Adds distance and e-learning,
                                                                    Adds a provision that will allow mariners to
                                                                     complete certain approved training via
                                                                     distance or e-learning courses.

[[Page 77802]]

 
                                                                    This will allow more options for obtaining
                                                                     training.
Sec.  Sec.   11.201, 11.205.....  Sec.   11.201...................  Re-organizes and consolidates all general
                                                                     requirements applicable to all domestic and
                                                                     STCW officer endorsements.
                                                                    Consolidates all endorsement requirements
                                                                     from the various sections (including Sec.
                                                                     Sec.   11.201, 11.205) into a general
                                                                     section with sub-titles to allow for easy
                                                                     reference.
Sec.   11.202...................  Sec.   15.817...................  Moves section for Global Maritime Distress
                                                                     and Safety System (GMDSS) competency
                                                                     without substantive change.
                                                                    Requires that all deck officers serving on
                                                                     vessels equipped with GMDSS provide an
                                                                     endorsement for GMDSS.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier to access and follow.
Sec.   11.202...................  Sec.   15.816...................  Moves section for Automatic Radar Plotting
                                                                     Aids (ARPA) competency without substantive
                                                                     change.
                                                                    Requires that all deck officers serving on
                                                                     vessels equipped with ARPA prove
                                                                     competency.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier to access and follow.
Sec.   Sec.   11.202, 11.205....  Sec.  Sec.   11.301, 11.302 and   Re-organizes and consolidates all
                                   11.303.                           requirements applicable to all STCW officer
                                                                     endorsements.
                                                                    Title changes from Basic safety training
                                                                     (BST) to Basic Training (BT) to be
                                                                     consistent with the STCW Convention.
                                                                    Consolidates all endorsement requirements
                                                                     from various sections (including Sec.  Sec.
                                                                       11.202 and 11.205) into a general section
                                                                     with sub-titles to allow for easy
                                                                     reference. General requirements (Sec.
                                                                     11.301), Basic training (Sec.   11.302) and
                                                                     Advanced firefighting (Sec.   11.303).
Sec.   11.202(c)................  Sec.  Sec.   11.305 to 11.321...  Moves the requirement for ARPA from the
                                                                     general section.
                                                                    To place the requirement in the appropriate
                                                                     operational-level and management-level
                                                                     certificate.
Sec.   11.202(d)................  Sec.  Sec.   11.305 to 11.321...  Moves the requirement for the training and
                                                                     assessment on GMDSS from the general
                                                                     section.
                                                                    Incorporates the GMDSS requirement with the
                                                                     requirement for the appropriate operational-
                                                                     level and management-level certificate to
                                                                     simplify and clarify the GMDSS requirement.
Sec.   11.202(e)................  Sec.  Sec.   11.305 to 11.321...  Changes the name of Procedures for Bridge
                                                                     Team Work to Bridge Resource Management
                                                                     (BRM).
                                                                    The BRM will be required for the operational
                                                                     level credential and leadership and
                                                                     managerial skills will be required for the
                                                                     management level credential.
                                                                    This will provide consistency with STCW.
Sec.   11.202(e)................  Sec.  Sec.   11.305 to 11.321...  Moves the requirement for Bridge Resource
                                                                     Management.
                                                                    Moves the BRM requirement to the appropriate
                                                                     operational-level certificate in order to
                                                                     clarify and simplify the requirement.
Sec.   11.202(b)................  Sec.   11.302...................  Moves requirements for Basic Training.
                                                                    Adds requirements for BT, including the
                                                                     requirement to maintain the standard of
                                                                     competence every 5 years through a
                                                                     combination of drills and onboard training
                                                                     and experience with shore-side assessments.
                                                                    This will ensure mariners maintain knowledge
                                                                     of BT.
Sec.   11.202(f)................  Sec.   11.301(h) and (i)........  Moves exemptions and relaxations for vessels
                                                                     that are not subject to any obligation
                                                                     under STCW.
                                                                    Moves exemption and relaxation requirements
                                                                     applicable to vessels that are exempt from
                                                                     the requirements or that are applicable
                                                                     because of their special operating
                                                                     condition as small vessels in domestic
                                                                     voyages.
                                                                    This was done to simplify the regulations by
                                                                     placing all STCW requirements in one
                                                                     subpart.
Sec.   11.205(c)................  N/A.............................  Removes letters of reference requirement.
                                                                    Removes the requirement to submit letters of
                                                                     reference because of the depth of new
                                                                     background investigation procedures by both
                                                                     the Coast Guard and the Transportation
                                                                     Security Administration.
Sec.   11.205(d)................  Sec.   11.201(h)................  Reduces firefighting training requirements
                                                                     for certain endorsements.
                                                                    Reduces the training from basic and advanced
                                                                     firefighting to basic firefighting training
                                                                     for vessels of less than 200 GRT in ocean
                                                                     services.
                                                                    This will reduce the burden on mariners
                                                                     serving on these vessels.
Sec.   11.205(d)................  Sec.   11.201(h)................  Adds firefighting training requirements for
                                                                     certain endorsements.
                                                                    Mandates basic firefighting training for
                                                                     some endorsements on non-ocean services.
                                                                    This is to ensure that mariners with those
                                                                     endorsements have basic firefighting skills
                                                                     and to improve overall maritime safety.
Sec.   11.211...................  Sec.   11.211...................  Adds provisions to accept certain towing
                                                                     vessel service, including service in inland
                                                                     tug-barge combinations such as ATBs and
                                                                     integrated tug barges (ITBs), based on the
                                                                     aggregate tonnage of the tug and barge(s)
                                                                     when greater than 1,600 GRT.
                                                                    Grants credit for service on towing vessels
                                                                     using the aggregate tonnage on a 1-for-2
                                                                     basis (2 days experience equals 1 day of
                                                                     creditable service) for up to 50 percent of
                                                                     the total service on vessels of 1,600 GRT
                                                                     or more.
Sec.  Sec.   11.211 (a) and (b),  Sec.   10.232...................  Creates new section for sea service.
 11.213.
                                                                    Inserts new section to discuss sea service
                                                                     issues applicable to all credentials,
                                                                     including foreign sea service,
                                                                     documentation to show proof of sea service,
                                                                     and sea service as a member of the armed
                                                                     forces.
                                                                    This is in response to public comments
                                                                     requesting further clarification on sea
                                                                     service requirements.
                                                                    Expands list of items applicants must
                                                                     provide as documentary evidence of sea
                                                                     service.

[[Page 77803]]

 
                                                                    Revises to include sea service credit for
                                                                     cadets serving onboard academy training
                                                                     ships where sea service is part of an
                                                                     approved training program.
                                                                    Will grant \1/2\ days of sea service credit
                                                                     for each day a cadet serves aboard an
                                                                     academy training ship where sea service is
                                                                     part of an approved training program.
Sec.   11.211(d)................  Sec.   11.211(c)................  Expands sea service credit on Articulated
                                                                     Tug Barges (ATBs).
                                                                    The Coast Guard will allow the service on
                                                                     ATBs to qualify for unlimited tonnage
                                                                     officer endorsements.
                                                                    This will reduce the burden on the mariner
                                                                     seeking to qualify for these endorsements.
Sec.   11.301...................  Sec.   11.301...................  Revises to provide mariners the opportunity
                                                                     to use the new STCW training requirements
                                                                     when applying for credentials.
                                                                    Provides that persons who hold or have held
                                                                     an STCW operational-level endorsement
                                                                     issued prior to the effective date of this
                                                                     final rule, and are seeking to upgrade to
                                                                     an STCW management-level endorsement, will
                                                                     not be required to do the assessments for
                                                                     STCW operational-level endorsements.
Sec.   11.301...................  Sec.   10.401...................  Revises the applicability to include
                                                                     training programs.
                                                                    Clarifies that the STCW Convention covers
                                                                     all training used to pursue certification,
                                                                     whether or not it is part of an approved
                                                                     course or training program. See Regulation
                                                                     I/6 of the STCW Convention and Section A-I/
                                                                     6 of the STCW Code.
Sec.   11.302...................  Sec.   10.402...................  Revises the credit that can be provided by
                                                                     course approval to allow for multiple
                                                                     purposes.
                                                                    Provides industry more flexibility to
                                                                     complete the requirements as current
                                                                     regulations are too confining.
Sec.   11.302...................  Sec.   10.402...................  Revises the requirements for the request for
                                                                     course approval.
                                                                    Incorporates previously issued guidance
                                                                     documents.
                                                                    This is to assist industry in understanding
                                                                     otherwise vague requirements.
                                                                    Revises course approvals to implement the
                                                                     IMO model course format and terminology.
Sec.   11.302...................  Sec.   10.402...................  Clarifies the circumstances that could lead
                                                                     to the suspension of course approval for a
                                                                     training course.
                                                                    Organizes the requirements for suspension of
                                                                     course approvals.
                                                                    This is being done in response to public
                                                                     comments regarding course approval
                                                                     suspensions.
Sec.   11.302...................  Sec.   10.402...................  Revises the reasons for withdrawal of course
                                                                     approval.
                                                                    Clarifies reasons for withdrawal of course
                                                                     approval.
Sec.   11.302...................  Sec.   10.407...................  Revises the requirements for the request for
                                                                     program approval.
Sec.   11.303...................  Sec.   10.403...................  Revises section to require that each student
                                                                     demonstrate practical skills appropriate
                                                                     for the course.
                                                                    Ensures that the training provided meets the
                                                                     requirements of the STCW Convention, i.e.,
                                                                     not only ensuring applicant knowledge,
                                                                     understanding and proficiency (KUP), but
                                                                     also requiring a demonstration of skills.
                                                                     See STCW Regulation I/6 of the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   11.303...................  Sec.   10.403...................  Revises the records and reports required for
                                                                     each approved course.
                                                                    Provides the Coast Guard the ability to be
                                                                     consistent with obligations under the STCW
                                                                     Convention to validate the training
                                                                     received by merchant mariners. See
                                                                     Regulation I/8 of the STCW Convention.
Sec.   11.303...................  Sec.   10.403...................  Adds QSS requirements for an approved
                                                                     course.
                                                                    Provides consistency with the obligation
                                                                     under the STCW Convention for approved
                                                                     training to be part of a QSS. See
                                                                     Regulation I/8 of the STCW Convention.
Sec.   11.304...................  Sec.   10.404...................  Revises the requirement to substitute all
                                                                     sea service for successful completion of an
                                                                     approved training program.
                                                                    Provides service credit for training
                                                                     programs, because they regularly provide
                                                                     more extensive training situations and
                                                                     broader opportunities to demonstrate
                                                                     proficiency.
Sec.   11.305...................  N/A.............................  Removes specific requirements regarding
                                                                     radar-observer certificates and qualifying
                                                                     courses.
                                                                    Removes requirements now unnecessary due to
                                                                     other proposed changes throughout this
                                                                     subpart.
Sec.   11.309...................  Sec.   10.409...................  Revises section to reduce redundant language
                                                                     from other sections of this subpart.
                                                                    Provides clarification with reference to
                                                                     Sec.   10.402 for collecting the necessary
                                                                     information.
Sec.   11.309...................  Sec.   10.409...................  Adds QSS requirements for accepted training.
                                                                    Provides consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention for approved training to be part
                                                                     of a QSS. See Regulation I/8 of the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   11.401...................  N/A.............................  Removes the requirement for deck officers to
                                                                     obtain a qualification as able seaman.
                                                                    Provides consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention that does not require a
                                                                     qualification as able seaman for seagoing
                                                                     deck officers.
Sec.   11.402...................  Sec.   11.402...................  Revises tonnage limitations for an unlimited
                                                                     officer endorsement by setting the minimum
                                                                     to 2,000 GRT.
                                                                    Establishes a revised minimum tonnage
                                                                     limitation. It was previously possible to
                                                                     obtain a limitation of less than 2,000 GRT.
                                                                    This requirement eases the burden on
                                                                     mariners seeking removal of tonnage
                                                                     limitations on their licenses.
Sec.   11.400 et seq............  Sec.   11.400 et seq............  Establishes a link between national and STCW
                                                                     deck officer endorsements.
                                                                    Provides better organization and
                                                                     clarification by linking the endorsements.
Sec.   11.463...................  Sec.   11.463(g)................  Adds a restriction to a specific type of
                                                                     towing vessel and/or towing operation. Adds
                                                                     the requirement for towing vessel officers
                                                                     serving on seagoing vessels to comply with
                                                                     the STCW Convention.
                                                                    Adds provision for a towing vessel
                                                                     restriction such as articulated tug barge
                                                                     (ATB) vessels that do not routinely perform
                                                                     all of the tasks in the Towing Officer
                                                                     Assessment Record (TOAR).
                                                                    Clarifies the regulations and policy for
                                                                     officers on towing vessels.

[[Page 77804]]

 
Sec.   11.463...................  Sec.   11.463...................  Re-opens grandfathering provision.
                                                                    Minimizes the burden on mariners by re-
                                                                     opening grandfathering provision for those
                                                                     who met training and service requirements
                                                                     prior to May 21, 2001.
Sec.   11.465...................  Sec.   11.465...................  Adds a time limit for acceptance of TOARs.
                                                                    The TOAR must be completed within 5 years of
                                                                     application for license to be consistent
                                                                     with the continued proficiency requirements
                                                                     for the renewal of a towing endorsement.
Sec.   11.467...................  Sec.   11.467...................  Adds the limitation to the endorsement as
                                                                     operator of uninspected passenger vessels
                                                                     to not more than 100 nautical miles
                                                                     offshore.
                                                                    Clarifies that this endorsement is limited
                                                                     to domestic near-coastal waters not more
                                                                     than 100 nautical miles offshore.
                                                                    This makes clear that this endorsement
                                                                     authorizes only domestic voyages.
Sec.   11.482...................  Sec.   11.482...................  Clarifies limitations for assistance towing
                                                                     endorsements.
                                                                    Clarifies and simplifies the application of
                                                                     the assistance towing endorsement.
Sec.   11.491...................  Sec.   11.491...................  Raises the tonnage limitations on national
                                                                     Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) endorsements.
                                                                    Raises the tonnage limitation for officers
                                                                     with a 500 GRT limitation to 1,600 GRT.
Sec.   11.493...................  Sec.   11.493...................  Revises language for Master (OSV).
                                                                    Eliminates unnecessary language and ensures
                                                                     consistency with STCW Convention and Code
                                                                     requirements by expanding the sea service
                                                                     requirements for this endorsement.
Sec.   11.495...................  Sec.   11.495...................  Revises language for Chief Mate (OSV).
                                                                    Eliminates unnecessary language and ensures
                                                                     consistency with STCW Convention and Code
                                                                     requirements.
Sec.   11.497...................  Sec.   11.497...................  Revises language for Mate (OSV).
                                                                    Eliminates unnecessary language and ensures
                                                                     consistency with STCW Convention and Code
                                                                     requirements.
Sec.   11.500 et seq............  Sec.   11.500 et seq............  Establishes a link between national and STCW
                                                                     engineer officer endorsements.
                                                                    Simplifies the regulations by providing link
                                                                     to appropriate section to add engineer STCW
                                                                     endorsement to existing national
                                                                     endorsement.
Sec.   11.501(d)................  Sec.   11.501(d)................  Adds Gas Turbine Propulsion.
                                                                    Clarifies propulsion mode limitations to
                                                                     engineer's licenses.
Sec.   11.518...................  Sec.   11.518...................  Removes oceans restriction from chief
                                                                     engineer (limited) endorsement.
                                                                    Simplifies the regulations by removing the
                                                                     geographical restriction.
                                                                    To sail beyond the boundary line, the holder
                                                                     of this endorsement must hold the
                                                                     appropriate STCW endorsement.
Sec.   11.520...................  Sec.   11.520...................  Removes chief engineer (limited near-
                                                                     coastal) endorsement.
                                                                    Allows all engineers who currently hold a
                                                                     license as chief engineer (limited near-
                                                                     coastal) to be upgraded to chief engineer
                                                                     (limited) without further sea service or
                                                                     testing requirements.
Sec.   11.522...................  Sec.   11.522...................  Removes oceans restriction from assistant
                                                                     engineer (limited) endorsement.
                                                                    Simplifies the regulations by removing the
                                                                     geographical restriction.
                                                                    To sail beyond the boundary line, the holder
                                                                     of this endorsement must hold the
                                                                     appropriate STCW endorsement.
Sec.   11.553...................  Sec.   11.553...................  Revises language for Chief Engineer (OSV).
                                                                    Eliminates unnecessary language and ensures
                                                                     consistency with STCW Convention and Code
                                                                     requirements by expanding the sea service
                                                                     requirements for this endorsement.
Sec.   11.555...................  Sec.   11.555...................  Revises language for Assistant Engineer
                                                                     (OSV).
                                                                    Eliminates unnecessary language and ensures
                                                                     consistency with STCW Convention and Code
                                                                     requirements.
Sec.   11.709...................  Sec.   11.709...................  Revises language for first-class pilot
                                                                     annual physical examinations.
                                                                    Integrates the first-class pilot's annual
                                                                     physical into the biennial medical
                                                                     certificate system.
Sec.   11.811...................  Sec.   11.337...................  Moves requirements for Vessel Security
                                                                     Officer (VSO) to STCW officer endorsement
                                                                     requirements without substantive change.
                                                                    Groups all STCW officer endorsements
                                                                     together.
Sec.   11.821...................  Sec.   11.821...................  Defines the applicability of the High-speed
                                                                     craft type rating.
                                                                    Limits the requirement to hold High-speed
                                                                     craft type rating to mariners operating
                                                                     vessels to which the High speed craft code
                                                                     applies.
Sec.   11.901...................  Sec.   11.901...................  Removes the list of endorsements requiring
                                                                     STCW endorsement.
                                                                    Amends section because the list of
                                                                     endorsements was redundant and unnecessary
                                                                     in this location.
Sec.   11.903...................  Sec.   11.903...................  Revises the list of endorsements requiring
                                                                     examination.
                                                                    Removes the endorsements that do not require
                                                                     an examination, based on a change in policy
                                                                     and progression consistent with the STCW
                                                                     Convention, i.e., master and second mate.
                                                                    Adds endorsements that require an
                                                                     examination, based on a change in policy
                                                                     and progression consistent with the STCW
                                                                     Convention (mate of near-coastal vessels of
                                                                     less than 200 GRT, master of near-coastal
                                                                     vessels of less than 100 GRT, and mate of
                                                                     Great Lakes and inland/river vessels of
                                                                     less than 200 GRT).
Sec.   11.910...................  Sec.   11.910...................  Revises table 1 to 11.910.
                                                                    Clarifies and simplifies the regulations by
                                                                     reflecting the combined endorsements at the
                                                                     management and operational levels.
Sec.   11.910...................  Sec.   11.910...................  Revises table 2 to 11.910.
                                                                    To revise the table of subjects in order to
                                                                     reflect combined examinations at the
                                                                     operational and management levels and the
                                                                     STCW Convention.
Sec.  Sec.   11.1001 to 11.1005.  N/A.............................  Deletes requirements for roll-on/roll-off
                                                                     passenger ships.
                                                                    To reflect the 2010 STCW amendment changes
                                                                     to include requirements for passenger
                                                                     ships.
                                                                    This also simplifies the regulations by
                                                                     merging requirements from subparts J and K.

[[Page 77805]]

 
Sec.   11.1105..................  Sec.   11.1105..................  Amends requirements for officers on
                                                                     passenger ships when in international
                                                                     voyages.
                                                                    Reflects the 2010 STCW amendment changes to
                                                                     include requirements for passenger ships.
                                                                    Expands the 2010 STCW amendment changes to
                                                                     include training in crowd management,
                                                                     passenger ship safety training, crisis
                                                                     management and human behavior, and training
                                                                     in passenger safety, cargo safety, and hull
                                                                     integrity.
                                                                    This also simplifies the regulations by
                                                                     merging requirements from subparts J and K.
N/A.............................  Sec.   11.301(a)................  Adds alternative methods for Standard of
                                                                     Competence.
                                                                    Adds alternative methods of demonstrating
                                                                     competence to provide mariners with
                                                                     multiple options, where allowed by the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   11.301(b)................  Revises Great Lakes and inland service.
                                                                    Grants day-for-day equivalency for Great
                                                                     Lakes service up to 100 percent and one-
                                                                     for-one up to 50 percent for inland
                                                                     service.
                                                                    This is in response to public comments
                                                                     requesting equivalency for Great Lakes
                                                                     service.
                                                                    Service accrued on vessels with dual
                                                                     tonnages.
                                                                    Service will be credited using the
                                                                     international tonnage.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   11.301(d)................  Rating service for management-level
                                                                     endorsements.
                                                                    Service as a rating is not acceptable for
                                                                     management-level STCW endorsements.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   11.301(g)................  Grandfathering provisions.
                                                                    These provisions will ease the transition
                                                                     for mariners with existing endorsements.
                                                                    Ensure consistency with the 2010 amendments
                                                                     to the STCW Convention and Code.
N/A.............................  Sec.   11.303...................  Requirements for Advanced Firefighting.
                                                                    Adds requirements for Advanced Firefighting
                                                                     including the requirement to maintain the
                                                                     standard of competence every 5 years
                                                                     through a combination of drills and onboard
                                                                     training and experience with shore-side
                                                                     assessments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   11.304...................  List of STCW deck officer endorsements.
                                                                    List of endorsements included in the
                                                                     applicable subsequent sections.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier for the mariner to access.
N/A.............................  Sec.   11.323...................  List of STCW engineer officer endorsements.
                                                                    List of endorsements included in the
                                                                     applicable subsequent sections.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier for the mariner to access.
N/A.............................  Sec.  Sec.   11.303 to 11.321;    Requirements for STCW deck and engineer
                                   Sec.  Sec.   11.323 to 11.335.    officer endorsements.
                                                                    Includes the STCW Convention list of
                                                                     requirements in order to obtain the
                                                                     endorsement.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier for the mariner to access.
N/A.............................  Sec.  Sec.   11.305 to 11.321;    Sea service requirements for STCW deck and
                                   Sec.  Sec.   11.325 to 11.335.    engineer officer endorsements.
                                                                    Includes STCW Convention language providing
                                                                     various alternatives for sea service.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier for the mariner to access.
                                                                    This also provides for acceptance of various
                                                                     modes of sea service.
N/A.............................  Sec.  Sec.   11.305 to 11.321;    Standard of competence from the STCW Code.
                                   Sec.  Sec.   11.325 to 11.335.
                                                                    Provides a specific requirement to meet the
                                                                     standard of competence from the appropriate
                                                                     tables in the STCW Code.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.  Sec.   11.305 to 11.325;    Requirement for training.
                                   Sec.  Sec.   11.323 to 11.335.
                                                                    Includes STCW Convention mandatory training.
                                                                    Adds classroom or formal training topics
                                                                     required for STCW endorsements.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.  Sec.   11.305 to 11.321;    Gap closing measures from the 2010
                                   Sec.  Sec.   11.325 to 11.335.    amendments.
                                                                    Includes training necessary to comply with
                                                                     the 2010 amendments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.  Sec.   11.305 to 11.321;    Exemptions from the standard of competence.
                                   Sec.  Sec.   11.325 to 11.335.
                                                                    Provides for exemptions from the tables of
                                                                     competence based on vessel type.
N/A.............................  Sec.  Sec.   11.305 to 11.321;    Inserts tables specifying entry paths from
                                   Sec.  Sec.   11.325 to 11.335.    national endorsements to STCW endorsements.
                                                                    Describes various entry points to obtain an
                                                                     equivalent STCW endorsement.
                                                                    This provides a method of determining which
                                                                     STCW endorsements are attainable for each
                                                                     national endorsement.
N/A.............................  Sec.   11.335...................  Adds a new section providing the
                                                                     requirements for STCW officer endorsement
                                                                     as electro-technical officer.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention. See regulation III/6 of the
                                                                     STCW Convention and Section A-III/6 of the
                                                                     STCW Code.
N/A.............................  Sec.   11.335...................  Provides equivalency accepted for personnel
                                                                     serving in a similar capacity.
                                                                    Allows for the issuance of the STCW officer
                                                                     endorsement as electro-technical officer to
                                                                     personnel with equivalent credentials and
                                                                     sea service.
                                                                    This makes it easier for an applicant to
                                                                     obtain this endorsement.
                                                                    Adds classroom or formal training topics
                                                                     required for STCW endorsements.
                                                                    Clarifies grandfathering provisions for
                                                                     Electro-Technical Officer.

[[Page 77806]]

 
N/A.............................  Sec.   11.335...................  Provides equivalency accepted for engineer
                                                                     officers.
                                                                    Allows for the issuance of the STCW officer
                                                                     endorsement as electro-technical officer to
                                                                     OICEW, second engineer officer and chief
                                                                     engineer officer.
                                                                    This makes it easier for an applicant to
                                                                     obtain this endorsement.
N/A.............................  Sec.   11.425...................  Adds a new section for mate of ocean, self-
                                                                     propelled vessels of less than 200 GRT.
                                                                    Allows for the issuance of this national
                                                                     endorsement.
                                                                    Provides a path of progression to master of
                                                                     oceans self-propelled vessels of less than
                                                                     200 GRT, and in accordance with Regulation
                                                                     II/3 of the STCW Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   11.821...................  Adds high-speed craft qualifications.
                                                                    Establishes qualifications for operating
                                                                     high-speed craft.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Subpart J.......................  Revises subpart to add new provisions on
                                                                     recognition of STCW officer endorsements
                                                                     issued by a foreign government.
                                                                    Establishes requirements for the recognition
                                                                     of STCW Certificates issued by foreign
                                                                     governments. Recognition is restricted to
                                                                     non-U.S. licensed officers and mariners
                                                                     with officer endorsements (except masters)
                                                                     found in Sec.   15.720(b). Application for
                                                                     a recognition certificate via the employer.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   12.02-7..................  Sec.   15.401...................  Moves this requirement to Sec.   15.401.
                                                                    Moves section to part 15 as it is a manning
                                                                     requirement.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier to understand.
                                                                    Adds implementation date (January 1, 2017)
                                                                     for medical certificates in accordance with
                                                                     STCW Convention.
Sec.   12.02-17.................  Sec.   12.205(c)................  Amends provisions for re-testing.
                                                                    Amends waiting period after third failed
                                                                     examination. Deletes maximum waiting period
                                                                     of 30 days after initial failure.
                                                                    This allows applicants to re-test earlier
                                                                     than the current time period.
Sec.   12.03....................  Subpart D (Sec.   10.400 series)  Consolidates Coast Guard-accepted and
                                                                     approved training into one subpart.
                                                                    Streamlines the regulations.
Sec.   12.05-1..................  Sec.   12.401...................  Adds able seaman endorsements.
                                                                    Adds able seaman-fish, and able seaman-sail.
                                                                    This codifies Coast Guard policy into the
                                                                     regulations.
Sec.   12.05-1(a) and (b).......  Sec.   15.401...................  Moves this requirement to Sec.   15.401
                                                                     without substantive change.
                                                                    Moves paragraphs to part 15 as it is a
                                                                     manning requirement.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier to understand.
Sec.   12.05-3..................  Sec.   12.401...................  Revises the general requirements to obtain
                                                                     an endorsement as able seaman (A/B) to
                                                                     include holding or qualified to hold an
                                                                     endorsement as lifeboatman.
                                                                    Clarifies the A/B requirement to allow being
                                                                     qualified for lifeboatman, and removes the
                                                                     requirement to pass the lifeboatman exam if
                                                                     the individual already holds the
                                                                     appropriate endorsement.
                                                                    This eases the burden on mariners seeking to
                                                                     obtain this endorsement.
Sec.   12.05-3(a)(2), 12.15-5,    Sec.   12.401...................  Moves requirement to Sec.   12.401 without
 12.25-20.                                                           substantive change.
                                                                    Consolidates general requirements for
                                                                     certification.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier for the mariner to access.
Sec.   12.05-3(b)...............  Sec.   12.602...................  Moves requirements for Basic Safety Training
                                                                     (BST).
                                                                    Title changes from BST to Basic Training
                                                                     (BT).
                                                                    Adds requirements for BT, including the
                                                                     requirement to maintain the standard of
                                                                     competence every 5 years through a
                                                                     combination of drills and onboard training
                                                                     and experience with shore-side assessments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   12.05-3(c)...............  Sec.   12.605...................  Adds a new section to provide the
                                                                     requirements for ratings forming part of a
                                                                     navigational watch (RFPNW).
                                                                    Provides requirements for RFPNW, required by
                                                                     the STCW Convention, in one location.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   12.05-7..................  Sec.   12.403...................  Adds service and training requirements for
                                                                     new rating endorsements.
                                                                    Adds service and training requirements for
                                                                     able seaman-fish, and able seaman-sail.
                                                                    This codifies Coast Guard policy into the
                                                                     regulations.
Sec.   12.05-9..................  Sec.   12.405...................  Adds requirement in paragraphs (a) and (c)
                                                                     to show that the listed demonstrations have
                                                                     been performed in a Coast Guard-approved
                                                                     course.
                                                                    This consolidates existing policy into the
                                                                     regulations.
Sec.   12.10....................  Sec.   12.407...................  Moves this requirement to Sec.   12.407 from
                                                                     Sec.   12.10.
                                                                    Moves requirement to STCW section.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier to understand without
                                                                     substantive change.
Sec.   12.10-1..................  Sec.   15.401...................  Moves this requirement to Sec.   15.401
                                                                     without substantive change.
                                                                    Moves section to part 15 as it is a manning
                                                                     requirement.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier to understand.
Sec.   12.10-3..................  Sec.   12.609...................  Moves requirements to qualify for an STCW
                                                                     endorsement as a rating forming part of an
                                                                     engineering watch (RFPEW) without
                                                                     substantive change.
                                                                    Moves requirement to STCW section.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier to understand.
Sec.   12.10-7..................  Sec.   15.404...................  Moves this requirement to Sec.   15.404
                                                                     without substantive change.

[[Page 77807]]

 
                                                                    Moves section to part 15 as it is a manning
                                                                     requirement.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier to understand.
Sec.   12.10-9..................  Sec.   12.617...................  Revises the requirements for certificates of
                                                                     proficiency in fast rescue boats, adding
                                                                     the specific areas of competence the STCW
                                                                     Convention requires.
                                                                    Provides additional information clarifying
                                                                     the STCW Convention requirements to obtain
                                                                     an endorsement for proficiency in fast
                                                                     rescue boats.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   12.13-3..................  Sec.   12.619...................  Revises the requirements for certificates of
                                                                     proficiency for medical first-aid provider,
                                                                     adding the specific areas of competence the
                                                                     STCW Convention requires.
                                                                    Provides additional information clarifying
                                                                     the STCW Convention requirements to obtain
                                                                     an endorsement for medical first-aid
                                                                     provider.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   12.13-3..................  Sec.   12.619...................  Revises this basis-of-documentary-evidence
                                                                     section to include those persons who have
                                                                     alternative qualifications.
                                                                    Adds the additional process to meet this
                                                                     requirement through the possession of a
                                                                     professional license or alternative
                                                                     professional qualification.
                                                                    This opens up additional options for
                                                                     mariners to utilize in obtaining this
                                                                     endorsement.
Sec.   12.13-3..................  Sec.   12.621...................  Revises the requirements for certificates of
                                                                     proficiency for person-in-charge of medical
                                                                     care, adding the specific areas of
                                                                     competence the STCW Convention requires.
                                                                    Provides additional information clarifying
                                                                     the STCW Convention requirements to obtain
                                                                     an endorsement for person-in-charge of
                                                                     medical care.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   12.13-3..................  Sec.   12.621...................  Revises this basis-of-documentary-evidence
                                                                     section to include those persons who have
                                                                     alternative qualifications.
                                                                    Adds the additional process to meet this
                                                                     requirement through the possession of a
                                                                     professional license or alternative
                                                                     professional qualification.
                                                                    This opens up additional options for
                                                                     mariners to utilize in obtaining this
                                                                     endorsement.
Sec.   12.15-1..................  Sec.   15.401...................  Moves this requirement to Sec.   15.401
                                                                     without substantive change.
                                                                    Moves section to part 15 as it is a manning
                                                                     requirement.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier to understand.
Sec.   12.15-3(e)...............  Sec.   12.501...................  Revises the RFPEW requirement for Qualified
                                                                     Member of the Engineering Department
                                                                     (QMED).
                                                                    Removes the specific requirement for the
                                                                     STCW endorsement as RFPEW associated with
                                                                     QMED and moves it to its own section.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier to understand.
Sec.   12.15-3(e)...............  Sec.   12.609...................  Adds a new section to provide the
                                                                     requirements for RFPEW.
                                                                    Provides requirements for RFPEW, required by
                                                                     the STCW Convention, in one location.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier to understand.
Sec.   12.15-7..................  Sec.   12.501...................  Revises the requirement to provide a more
                                                                     general requirement that a QMED endorsement
                                                                     applicant must complete an appropriate
                                                                     training program.
                                                                    There is no need to provide specific
                                                                     information regarding the training programs
                                                                     and courses; this information is included
                                                                     in the course approval letters provided to
                                                                     each training provider.
                                                                    This makes the regulations easier to follow.
Sec.   12.15-9..................  Sec.   12.501...................  Reduces the number of QMED ratings from 10
                                                                     to 5.
                                                                    This simplifies the regulations by removing
                                                                     several endorsements that are no longer
                                                                     used and combines several others.
Sec.   12.15-11.................  Sec.   12.505...................  QMED rating endorsement list.
                                                                    Revises the list of QMED rating endorsements
                                                                     to make the regulations easier to follow.
Sec.   12.15-13.................  N/A.............................  Deletes deck engine mechanic rating as an
                                                                     MMC endorsement.
                                                                    Deletes this rating for new applicants;
                                                                     however, companies that wish to continue to
                                                                     employ mariners in this rating may do so.
                                                                    This simplifies the regulations by removing
                                                                     several endorsements that are rarely used
                                                                     and combines several others.
Sec.   12.15-15.................  N/A.............................  Deletes engineman rating as an MMC
                                                                     endorsement.
                                                                    Deletes this rating for new applicants;
                                                                     however, companies that wish to continue to
                                                                     employ mariners in this rating may do so.
                                                                    This simplifies the regulations by removing
                                                                     several endorsements that are rarely used
                                                                     and combines several others.
Sec.   12.25-1..................  Sec.   12.701...................  Changes section title from ``Credentials
                                                                     required'' to ``Credentials required for
                                                                     entry-level and miscellaneous ratings''.
                                                                    Revises for clarity; no substantive change.
Sec.   12.25-10.................  Sec.   12.703...................  Moves general requirements.
                                                                    Consolidates general requirements for entry-
                                                                     level ratings.
                                                                    This makes the regulations easier to follow.
Sec.   12.25-45.................  Sec.   15.818...................  Moves section for GMDSS at-sea maintainer.
                                                                    Requires that anyone serving as at-sea
                                                                     maintainers on vessels equipped with GMDSS
                                                                     must provide documentary evidence of
                                                                     competency.
                                                                    This re-organizes the regulations to make
                                                                     them easier to access and follow.
Sec.   12.25-45.................  Sec.   12.623...................  Revises section to provide more specific
                                                                     information regarding the qualification
                                                                     requirements for an endorsement as GMDSS at-
                                                                     sea maintainer.
                                                                    Specifies the methods of qualification
                                                                     allowed to obtain the endorsement.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention and makes the regulations easier
                                                                     to follow.

[[Page 77808]]

 
Sec.   12.30....................  N/A.............................  Deletes requirements for ro-ro passenger
                                                                     ships.
                                                                    Reflects the 2010 STCW amendment changes to
                                                                     include requirements for passenger ships,
                                                                     including ro-ro passenger ships.
Sec.   12.35....................  Sec.   12.905...................  Amends requirements for ratings on passenger
                                                                     ships when in international voyages.
                                                                    Reflects the 2010 amendment changes to
                                                                     include requirements for passenger ships.
                                                                    Merges requirements from subparts 12.30 and
                                                                     12.35.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.201...................  Adds section with general requirements for
                                                                     national and STCW rating endorsements.
                                                                    Consolidates all requirements applicable to
                                                                     all rating endorsements contained in this
                                                                     part.
                                                                    This makes the regulations easier to follow.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.203...................  Adds section with documentation of sea
                                                                     service for ratings.
                                                                    Provides information on where to find the
                                                                     requirements for documentation and proof of
                                                                     sea service for ratings.
                                                                    This makes the regulations easier to follow.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.409...................  Adds new section with requirements for
                                                                     lifeboatman-limited endorsement.
                                                                    This endorsement is for mariners who serve
                                                                     on vessels without installed lifeboats.
                                                                    Mariners serving on vessels without
                                                                     lifeboats could not qualify for the
                                                                     lifeboatman endorsement under current
                                                                     regulations.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.601...................  Adds section with general requirements
                                                                     applicable to STCW rating endorsements.
                                                                    Adds provisions to provide mariners the
                                                                     opportunity to use the new STCW training
                                                                     requirements when applying for credentials.
                                                                    Consolidates all requirements applicable to
                                                                     STCW endorsements in this subpart.
                                                                     Establishes list of STCW rating
                                                                     endorsements.
                                                                    Establishes that the mariner with an STCW
                                                                     endorsement must also hold the equivalent
                                                                     national endorsement.
                                                                    This makes the regulations easier to follow.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.601...................  Adds section with standard of competence.
                                                                    Adds alternative methods of demonstrating
                                                                     competence.
                                                                    This provides mariners with multiple
                                                                     options, where allowed by the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.601...................  Adds section with grandfathering provisions.
                                                                    Adds provisions for the implementation of
                                                                     the amendments to the requirements,
                                                                     including the 2010 amendments to the STCW
                                                                     Convention and Code.
                                                                    This eases the burden on mariners with
                                                                     existing endorsements.
N/A.............................  Sec.  Sec.   12.603-12.609......  Insert tables specifying entry paths from
                                                                     national endorsements to STCW endorsements.
                                                                    Describes various entry points to obtain an
                                                                     equivalent STCW endorsement.
                                                                    This provides a method of determining which
                                                                     STCW endorsements are attainable for each
                                                                     national endorsement.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.603...................  Adds new section with requirements for STCW
                                                                     rating endorsement as able seafarer-deck.
                                                                    Includes the STCW Convention requirements in
                                                                     order to obtain the endorsement.
                                                                    Includes grandfathering provisions.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.605...................  Adds new section providing the requirements
                                                                     for RFPNW.
                                                                    Provides specific requirements for this STCW
                                                                     endorsement.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.607...................  Adds a new section with requirements for
                                                                     STCW endorsement as able seafarer-engine.
                                                                    Includes the STCW Convention requirements in
                                                                     order to obtain the endorsement.
                                                                    Includes grandfathering provisions.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.609...................  Adds new section providing the requirements
                                                                     for RFPEW.
                                                                    Provides specific requirements for this STCW
                                                                     endorsement.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.609(d)................  Adds a new section to provide the
                                                                     requirements for RFPEW.
                                                                    Limits RFPEW endorsement to propulsion mode
                                                                     if all STCW competencies are not completed.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.611...................  Adds a new section providing the
                                                                     requirements for STCW officer endorsement
                                                                     as electro-technical rating.
                                                                    Includes the STCW Convention requirements in
                                                                     order to obtain the endorsement. See
                                                                     regulation III/7 of the STCW Convention and
                                                                     Section A-III/7 of the STCW Code.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
                                                                    Adds classroom or formal training topics
                                                                     required for STCW endorsements.
                                                                    Clarifies grandfathering provisions for
                                                                     Electro-Technical Rating.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.611...................  Equivalent arrangements for personnel
                                                                     serving in a similar capacity.
                                                                    Allows for the issuance of the STCW
                                                                     endorsement as electro-technical rating to
                                                                     personnel with equivalent credentials and
                                                                     sea service.
                                                                    This provides applicants with multiple paths
                                                                     to obtain this endorsement.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.613...................  Adds new section with requirements for
                                                                     Proficiency in survival craft and rescue
                                                                     boats other than fast rescue boats (PSC).
                                                                    Adds requirements to maintain the standard
                                                                     of competence every 5 years through a
                                                                     combination of drills and onboard training
                                                                     and experience with shore-side assessments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.615...................  Adds new section to provide a new
                                                                     endorsement for proficiency in survival
                                                                     craft and rescue boats other than lifeboats
                                                                     and fast rescue boats (PSC-limited).

[[Page 77809]]

 
                                                                    Adds new section because there are
                                                                     individuals assigned to vessels without
                                                                     lifeboats who do not need to meet the full
                                                                     requirements for proficiency in survival
                                                                     craft and rescue boats other than fast
                                                                     rescue boats (PSC), but must still meet the
                                                                     proficiency in the survival craft installed
                                                                     on their vessels.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.615...................  Adds new section with requirements for
                                                                     Proficiency in survival craft and rescue
                                                                     boats other than lifeboats and fast rescue
                                                                     boats (PSC).
                                                                    Adds requirements to maintain the standard
                                                                     of competence every 5 years through a
                                                                     combination of drills and onboard training
                                                                     and experience with shore-side assessments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.617...................  Adds new section with requirements for
                                                                     Proficiency in fast rescue boats.
                                                                    Adds requirements to maintain the standard
                                                                     of competence every 5 years through a
                                                                     combination of drills and onboard training
                                                                     and experience with shore-side assessments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.625...................  Adds new section with requirements to
                                                                     qualify for an STCW endorsement as vessel
                                                                     personnel with designated security duties.
                                                                    Adds requirement for certification of
                                                                     personnel with security duties (except
                                                                     VSOs) in accordance with the 2010
                                                                     amendments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
                                                                    Adds the STCW transitional provisions for
                                                                     seafarers with designated security duties
                                                                     that allow existing mariners who took a
                                                                     course and/or can document service on board
                                                                     vessels to obtain an endorsement.
N/A.............................  Sec.   12.627...................  Adds new section with requirements to
                                                                     qualify for an STCW endorsement in security
                                                                     awareness.
                                                                    Adds requirement for all other personnel
                                                                     working onboard the vessels, in accordance
                                                                     with the 2010 amendments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
                                                                    Adds the STCW transitional provisions for
                                                                     security awareness that allows existing
                                                                     mariners who took a course and/or can
                                                                     document service onboard vessels to obtain
                                                                     an endorsement.
Sec.   13.120...................  Sec.   13.120...................  Amends the requirements for transfers for
                                                                     the renewal of tankerman endorsements.
                                                                    Also adds requirements for STCW
                                                                     certification valid for tank vessels.
                                                                    Clarifies the types of transfers required
                                                                     according to the type of endorsement being
                                                                     renewed.
Sec.   13.121...................  Sec.   13.121...................  Includes tables of topics for each tanker
                                                                     course.
                                                                    Clarifies and updates list of subjects that
                                                                     the tanker courses must cover.
Sec.   13.127...................  Sec.   13.127...................  Revises service requirements for tankerman-
                                                                     engineer.
                                                                    Clarifies information that must be included
                                                                     in the service letter for tankerman-
                                                                     engineer.
Sec.   13.127...................  Sec.   13.127...................  Amends sea service credit for service
                                                                     onboard ATBs on a case-by-case basis.
Sec.   13.201...................  Sec.   13.121...................  Moves the cargo course and firefighting
                                                                     course requirements of this section to Sec.
                                                                       13.121.
                                                                    Clarifies existing requirements and makes
                                                                     the regulations easier to read.
Sec.   13.301...................  Sec.   13.121...................  Moves the cargo course and firefighting
                                                                     course requirements of this section to Sec.
                                                                       13.121.
                                                                    Clarifies existing requirements and makes
                                                                     the regulations easier to read.
Sec.   13.307, Sec.   13.309....  Sec.   13.121...................  Moves the firefighting and cargo course
                                                                     requirements of this section to Sec.
                                                                     13.121.
                                                                    Provides firefighting and cargo training
                                                                     course subjects in the appropriate table.
Sec.   13.401...................  Sec.   13.401...................  Amends Tankerman-Assistant requirements.
                                                                    Adds an examination requirement for mariners
                                                                     who qualify for the endorsement on sea
                                                                     service alone.
                                                                    This ensures that an applicant has the
                                                                     necessary knowledge to obtain this
                                                                     endorsement.
Sec.   13.407, Sec.   13.409....  Sec.   13.121...................  Moves the firefighting and cargo course
                                                                     requirements of this section to Sec.
                                                                     13.121.
                                                                    Provides firefighting and cargo training
                                                                     course subjects in the appropriate table.
                                                                    This makes the regulations easier to follow.
Sec.   13.501...................  Sec.   13.121...................  Moves the cargo course and firefighting
                                                                     course requirements of this section to Sec.
                                                                       13.121.
                                                                    Clarifies existing requirements and makes
                                                                     the regulations easier to read.
N/A.............................  Sec.   13.601...................  Adds new section with alternative methods of
                                                                     demonstrating competence to provide
                                                                     mariners with multiple options, where
                                                                     allowed by the STCW Convention.
                                                                    This opens additional paths of demonstrating
                                                                     competence.
N/A.............................  Sec.   13.603...................  Adds requirements for an STCW endorsement as
                                                                     advanced oil tanker cargo operations.
                                                                    Allows mariners serving on tank barges as
                                                                     tankerman-PIC (barge) to qualify for this
                                                                     STCW endorsement with a limitation to non-
                                                                     self-propelled vessels.
                                                                    Allows engineer officers serving as
                                                                     tankerman engineer to qualify for this STCW
                                                                     endorsement for certain tanker operations
                                                                     with a limitation to maintenance and repair
                                                                     of cargo equipment.
                                                                    Adds the effective date for new mariners to
                                                                     obtain original STCW tanker endorsements of
                                                                     March 24, 2014, in accordance with the
                                                                     provisions of the 2010 amendments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   13.605...................  Adds requirements for an STCW endorsement as
                                                                     advanced chemical tanker cargo operations.
                                                                    Allows mariners serving on tank barges as
                                                                     tankerman-PIC (barge) to qualify for this
                                                                     STCW endorsement with a limitation to non-
                                                                     self-propelled vessels.
                                                                    Allows engineer officers serving as
                                                                     tankerman engineer to qualify for this STCW
                                                                     endorsement for certain tanker operations
                                                                     with a limitation to maintenance and repair
                                                                     of cargo equipment.

[[Page 77810]]

 
                                                                    Adds the effective date for new mariners to
                                                                     obtain original STCW tanker endorsements of
                                                                     March 24, 2014, in accordance with the
                                                                     provisions of the 2010 amendments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   13.607...................  Adds requirements for an STCW endorsement as
                                                                     advanced liquefied gas tanker cargo
                                                                     operations.
                                                                    Allows mariners serving on tank barges as
                                                                     tankerman-PIC (barge) to qualify for this
                                                                     STCW endorsement with a limitation to non-
                                                                     self-propelled vessels.
                                                                    Allows engineer officers serving as
                                                                     tankerman engineer to qualify for this STCW
                                                                     endorsement for certain tanker operations
                                                                     with a limitation to maintenance and repair
                                                                     of cargo equipment.
                                                                    Adds the effective date for new mariners to
                                                                     obtain original STCW tanker endorsements of
                                                                     March 24, 2014, in accordance with the
                                                                     provisions of the 2010 amendments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   13.609...................  Adds requirements for an STCW endorsement as
                                                                     basic oil and chemical tanker cargo
                                                                     operations.
                                                                    Adds the effective date for new mariners to
                                                                     obtain original STCW tanker endorsements of
                                                                     March 24, 2014, in accordance with the
                                                                     provisions of the 2010 amendments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
N/A.............................  Sec.   13.611...................  Adds section to include requirements for an
                                                                     STCW endorsement as basic liquefied gas
                                                                     tanker cargo operations.
                                                                    Adds the effective date for new mariners to
                                                                     obtain original STCW tanker endorsements of
                                                                     March 24, 2014, in accordance with the
                                                                     provisions of the 2010 amendments.
Sec.   14.309...................  Sec.   14.309...................  Expands options for payment of wages upon
                                                                     discharge of a mariner.
                                                                    In order to reflect current practices for
                                                                     electronic fund transfer for payment of
                                                                     wages, the Coast Guard will allow companies
                                                                     to provide, instead of payment, a statement
                                                                     of wages due and when wages will be
                                                                     deposited.
Sec.   15.103...................  Sec.   15.105...................  Adds clarification that a safe manning
                                                                     certificate may be issued to uninspected
                                                                     vessels on an international voyage.
                                                                    Provides uninspected vessels on
                                                                     international voyages the necessary
                                                                     information they will need to provide port
                                                                     state control Officers in foreign ports.
                                                                    Adds pilot vessels on pilotage duty to the
                                                                     list of vessels not subject to STCW.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   15.515...................  Sec.   15.515...................  Clarifies the requirement regarding
                                                                     passenger vessels.
                                                                    Provides clarification to assist in
                                                                     understanding manning requirements because
                                                                     existing language is confusing.
Sec.   15.605...................  Sec.   15.605...................  Adds the requirement that individuals
                                                                     serving on uninspected passenger vessels
                                                                     (UPVs) on international voyages must comply
                                                                     with the STCW Convention.
                                                                    UPVs operating on near-coastal domestic
                                                                     voyages are held to be substantially in
                                                                     compliance with the STCW Convention.
                                                                     However, the STCW Convention requires all
                                                                     individuals to be in compliance with the
                                                                     STCW Convention when on international
                                                                     voyages.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
                                                                    This also makes it clear that operators on
                                                                     UPVs on international voyages must obtain
                                                                     the appropriate STCW endorsement.
Sec.  Sec.   15.805, 15.810,      Sec.  Sec.   15.805, 15.810,      Adds provisions requiring mariners who serve
 15.820, 15.825, 15.840, 15.845,   15.820, 15.825, 15.840, 15.845,   on vessels subject to STCW to also hold an
 15.850, and 15.860.               15.850, and 15.860.               STCW endorsement appropriate to the tonnage/
                                                                     propulsion power for the vessel upon which
                                                                     he or she is operating.
Sec.   15.805...................  Sec.   15.805...................  Provides for all UPVs on international
                                                                     voyages to be under the control of an
                                                                     individual holding a license or endorsement
                                                                     as master.
                                                                    Provides consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention, which requires that all vessels
                                                                     on an international voyage, including UPVs,
                                                                     must be operated by an individual who
                                                                     complies with the STCW Convention.
Sec.   15.845...................  Sec.   15.845...................  Adds manning provision for new lifeboatman-
                                                                     limited rating.
                                                                    Provides an alternative for those vessels
                                                                     without lifeboats and sets the provisions
                                                                     to use the lifeboatman-limited endorsement
                                                                     instead of the lifeboatman endorsement.
Sec.   15.915...................  Sec.   15.915...................  Removes chief engineer (limited near-
                                                                     coastal) endorsement.
                                                                    Allows all engineers who currently hold a
                                                                     license as chief engineer (limited near-
                                                                     coastal) to be upgraded to chief engineer
                                                                     (limited) 1,600 GRT without further sea
                                                                     service or testing requirements.
Sec.   15.1101..................  Sec.   15.1101..................  Moves definitions of this section to Sec.
                                                                     10.107, and this section now provides a
                                                                     list of vessels exempt from having to
                                                                     comply with the STCW Convention. Also
                                                                     provides for certificates for a single
                                                                     international voyage for persons serving on
                                                                     vessels exempted under this section.
                                                                    Complies with STCW requirements and makes
                                                                     the regulations easier to read.
Sec.   15.1103..................  Sec.   15.1103..................  Adds requirement for medical certificate as
                                                                     a condition of employment.
                                                                    In addition, provides an extension, not to
                                                                     exceed 90 days, if the certificate expires
                                                                     during a voyage.
                                                                    All mariners must have a medical
                                                                     certificate. The 2010 amendments to the
                                                                     STCW Convention require a 2-year medical
                                                                     certificate for all seafarers holding STCW
                                                                     endorsements.
                                                                    Adds provisions requiring mariners who serve
                                                                     as able seafarer-deck or able seafarer-
                                                                     engine on vessels subject to STCW to also
                                                                     hold an STCW endorsement appropriate to the
                                                                     tonnage/propulsion power for the vessel
                                                                     upon which he or she is operating.

[[Page 77811]]

 
                                                                    Adds implementation date (January 1, 2017)
                                                                     for medical certificates and for
                                                                     endorsements as able seafarer-deck and able
                                                                     seafarer-engine in accordance with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   15.1111..................  Sec.   15.1111..................  Revises hours of work and rest periods for
                                                                     mariners.
                                                                    The following changes are included as part
                                                                     of the 2010 amendments: (1) Expanded the
                                                                     application for hours of rest periods for
                                                                     mariners; (2) amended the weekly rest hour
                                                                     requirements from 70 hours to 77 hours; (3)
                                                                     recording of hours of rest and (4) included
                                                                     flexibility from the rest hour requirements
                                                                     in exceptional circumstances.
                                                                    Revises provision regarding records of daily
                                                                     hours of rest for mariners so that mariners
                                                                     must receive a copy of the records
                                                                     pertaining to them.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   15.1113..................  Sec.   15.1113..................  Adds requirements for persons to hold an
                                                                     STCW endorsement for personnel with
                                                                     security duties.
                                                                    This requirement has already been
                                                                     implemented with regards to VSOs.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   15.1113..................  Sec.   15.1113..................  Adds requirements for persons to hold an
                                                                     STCW endorsement in security awareness.
                                                                    Adds requirement for all other personnel
                                                                     working onboard the vessels to hold an STCW
                                                                     endorsement in security awareness, in
                                                                     accordance with the 2010 amendments.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   15.1113..................  Sec.   15.1113..................  Adds requirements for contractors to receive
                                                                     security familiarization and that records
                                                                     be maintained onboard.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
Sec.   15.1113..................  Sec.   15.1113..................  Adds implementation date for security
                                                                     personnel to effective date of final rule.
                                                                    Clarifies the progression for security-
                                                                     related training from ``security
                                                                     awareness'' as the lowest level of
                                                                     training, to ``vessel personnel with
                                                                     designated security duties'' as the next-
                                                                     higher level of training, to ``vessel
                                                                     security officer'' as the highest level of
                                                                     training.
N/A.............................  Sec.   15.403...................  Adds new section to establish when
                                                                     credentials for ratings are required.
                                                                    Requires mariners serving on vessels over
                                                                     100 GRT to produce the appropriate
                                                                     credential for the position sought.
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the U.S. Code.
N/A.............................  Sec.   15.404...................  Adds new section to provide the various
                                                                     endorsements required for service.
                                                                    Explains specific endorsements required and
                                                                     covered under these manning requirements.
                                                                    This makes the regulations easier to follow.
N/A.............................  Sec.   15.865...................  Adds manning provision for qualified member
                                                                     of the engine department (QMED).
                                                                    Explains that QMEDs are required and covered
                                                                     under these manning requirements
                                                                    This ensures consistency with the STCW
                                                                     Convention.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The following table provides a crosswalk showing changes from the 
SNPRM to this final rule.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Cite                                              Summary of changes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Subchapter B................................  Tonnage limitation format for endorsements has been returned to
                                               the current format.
                                              The tonnage limit format that was proposed in the SNPRM created
                                               limitations that were not consistent with vessel documented
                                               tonnages.
Subchapter B................................  Changes domestic to national when used to describe endorsements.
                                              The use of ``domestic'' to describe endorsements that are
                                               restricted to United States waters inside the STCW boundary line
                                               has been replaced by ``national'' for greater clarity when
                                               discussing the domestic endorsements of other countries.
                                              An MMC endorsement will not use either the word domestic or
                                               national.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds the definition of able-seafarer deck.
                                              Provides consistency with the STCW Convention.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds the definition of able-seafarer engine.
                                              Provides consistency with the STCW Convention.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Removes the definition of apprentice mate (steersman) of towing
                                               vessels (utility).
                                              Endorsement has been removed from regulations.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds definition of chemical tanker.
                                              Adds definition for the differentiation of dangerous liquids into
                                               two endorsements under STCW.
                                              Clarifies the type of vessel on which mariners must serve to
                                               qualify for an STCW endorsement for advanced chemical tanker
                                               cargo operations.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds the definition of communicable disease.
                                              Clarifies what a physician should look for when conducting medical
                                               examinations.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Revises definition of day.
                                              Adds clarification on cadet service on a maritime training ship.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Revises definition of disabled vessel.
                                              The definition was revised to provide greater clarity regarding
                                               the scope of the assistance towing endorsement.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Changes definition of domestic officer endorsement to national
                                               officer endorsement.

[[Page 77812]]

 
                                              The use of ``domestic'' to describe endorsements that are
                                               restricted to United States waters inside the STCW boundary line
                                               has been replaced by ``national'' for greater clarity when
                                               discussing the domestic endorsements of other countries.
                                              This change has been made throughout subchapter B.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Changes definition of domestic rating endorsement to national
                                               rating endorsement.
                                              The use of ``domestic'' to describe endorsements that are
                                               restricted to United States waters inside the STCW boundary line
                                               has been replaced by ``national'' for greater clarity when
                                               discussing the domestic endorsements of other countries.
                                              This change has been made throughout subchapter B.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Revises definition of domestic voyage.
                                              The definition was revised to include voyages beginning and ending
                                               at a U.S. port and passing through the waters of another country
                                               if the U.S. has entered into a treaty or agreement with that
                                               country.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds the definition of electro-technical officer.
                                              Provides consistency with the STCW Convention.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds the definition of electro-technical rating.
                                              Provides consistency with the STCW Convention.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Revises definition of Endorsement.
                                              The definition was revised to clarify that all endorsements are
                                               listed in Sec.   10.109.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds the definition of high-speed craft type rating.
                                              Adds a definition and requirement for a high-speed craft type
                                               rating to be compliant with the high-speed craft code. This puts
                                               into regulations existing processes that had previously been
                                               completed through Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular and
                                               policy letter.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds the definition of International Labor Organization.
                                              This will provide clarification regarding information incorporated
                                               by reference.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds the definition of International Safety Management Code.
                                              This term is referenced in part 10.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Revises definition of inland waters.
                                              The definition was revised to allow sea service credit towards
                                               STCW on certain inland vessels.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Removes the definition of limited.
                                              Definition is not needed because it has the same meaning as in
                                               standard English language usage.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds definition of liquefied gas tanker.
                                              Adds definition for the change in STCW tanker cargo operations
                                               endorsements.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds definition of medical certificate.
                                              To describe a new document that serves as proof that a mariner
                                               meets the required medical and physical standards.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Revises definition for near-coastal.
                                              Includes near-coastal waters identified by another country's
                                               Administration when entering into a treaty or an agreement with
                                               that country.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds definition of oil tanker.
                                              Adds definition for the differentiation of dangerous liquids into
                                               two STCW endorsements.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Revises definition for qualified assessor.
                                              Clarifies this person's role and professional development.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Removes the definition of restricted.
                                              Definition is not needed because it has the same meaning as in
                                               standard English language usage.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Revises definition of seagoing vessel.
                                              To ensure the definition captures all vessels to which STCW
                                               Convention and Code apply.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Revises the definition of self-propelled.
                                              Reverts back to existing language regarding self-propelled vessels
                                               that are fitted with both sails and mechanical propulsion.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Removes definition for self-propelled tank vessel.
                                              Eliminates redundancy with the definition of tankship.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Revises the definition of ship.
                                              To provide clarity regarding the types of propulsion modes for
                                               these vessels.
Sec.   10.107...............................  Adds the definition of unlimited.
                                              Clarifies the annotation on an MMC authorizing service on vessels
                                               of any tonnage or any propulsion power.
Sec.   10.205...............................  Revises postdating.
                                              Clarifies and simplifies the postdating process. Postdating will
                                               occur unless the applicant specifies otherwise.
Sec.  Sec.   10.209, 10.480.................  Electronic submission of required documents.
                                              Allows course completion certificates, including radar observer,
                                               to be submitted electronically.
Sec.   10.219...............................  Removes proposed amendments in the SNPRM that limited user fee
                                               payment options to credit card or electronic payment only. This
                                               change gives mariners the ability to pay by cash, by attaching a
                                               check or money order to their application package, or by
                                               electronic means.
Sec.   10.301...............................  Revises medical certificate validity period.
                                              Adds issuance of the new medical certificates with the following
                                               period of validity: 2 years for a mariner who is serving as a
                                               first-class pilot, or acting as a pilot under Sec.   15.812.
Sec.   10.232...............................  Revises to include sea service credit for cadets serving onboard
                                               academy training ships where sea service is part of an approved
                                               training program.
                                              Will grant 1\1/2\ days of sea service credit for each day a cadet
                                               serves aboard an academy training ship where sea service is part
                                               of an approved training program.
                                              Expands list of items applicants must provide as documentary
                                               evidence of sea service.

[[Page 77813]]

 
Sec.  Sec.   10.232, 11.401, 11.404, 11.405,  Expands provisions granting sea service credit towards STCW
 and 11.406.                                   endorsements to include those mariners who hold a national
                                               endorsement and provide proof of service on vessels to which STCW
                                               applies, whether on inland or coastwise service.
                                              Service on vessels to which STCW applies, whether inland or
                                               coastwise, will be credited on a day-for-day basis.
Sec.   10.402...............................  Revises course approvals to implement the International Maritime
                                               Organization model course format and terminology.
Sec.   10.405...............................  Adds a provision requiring qualified assessors who renew their
                                               qualifications to provide evidence of experience, training, or
                                               instruction within the past 5 years.
                                              Ensures that qualified assessors are trained in proper assessment
                                               techniques and have completed an ``assessor training'' course as
                                               part of an accepted training program.
Sec.   10.407...............................  Revises the requirements for the request for program approval.
Sec.   10.410...............................  Adds a new paragraph (g) to include International Safety
                                               Management, which is an industry-wide system, as alternate means
                                               of compliance for the Quality Standards System (QSS) provision.
                                              Adds implementation date (January 1, 2017) for QSS requirements in
                                               accordance with the STCW Convention.
Sec.   11.211...............................  Revises to accept certain towing vessel service, including service
                                               in inland tug-barge combinations such as articulated tug barges
                                               (ATBs) and integrated tug barges (ITBs), based on the aggregate
                                               tonnage of the tug and barge(s) when greater than 1,600 GRT.
                                              Grants credit for service on towing vessels using the aggregate
                                               tonnage on a 1-for-2 basis (2 days experience equals 1 day of
                                               creditable service) for up to 50 percent of the total service on
                                               vessels of 1,600 GRT or more.
Sec.   11.301...............................  Revises to provide mariners the opportunity to use the new STCW
                                               training requirements when applying for credentials.
                                              Provides that persons who hold or have held an STCW operational-
                                               level endorsement issued prior to the effective date of this
                                               final rule, and are seeking to upgrade to an STCW management-
                                               level endorsement, will not be required to do the assessments for
                                               STCW operational-level endorsements.
Sec.   11.301...............................  Separates Basic Safety Training and Advanced Firefighting
                                               requirements from the general section (Sec.   11.301) into new
                                               sections (Sec.  Sec.   11.302 and 11.303, respectively).
                                              Title changes from Basic Safety training (BST) to Basic Training
                                               (BT).
Sec.   11.304...............................  Moves the list of STCW deck officer endorsements from Sec.
                                               11.303.
Sec.  Sec.   11.305 to 11.321; Sec.  Sec.     Increased the number of classroom or formal training topics
 11.325 to 11.335.                             required for STCW endorsements.
Sec.   11.335...............................  Adds to the number of classroom or formal training topics required
                                               for STCW endorsements.
                                              Clarifies grandfathering provisions for Electro-Technical Officer.
Sec.   11.337...............................  Moves requirements for Vessel Security Officer from Sec.   11.811
                                               to STCW officer endorsement requirements.
                                              Groups all STCW officer endorsements together.
Sec.   11.425...............................  Adds endorsement for mate of ocean self-propelled vessels of less
                                               than 200 GRT.
                                              Allows for the issuance of this national endorsement.
                                              Provides a path of progression to master of oceans self-propelled
                                               vessels of less than 200 GRT, and in accordance with Regulation
                                               II/3 of the STCW Convention.
Sec.   11.465...............................  Removes SNPRM proposal for endorsement for master of towing
                                               vessels (harbor assist), and removes endorsement for master of
                                               towing vessel (utility).
                                              Coast Guard is currently considering moving these issues to
                                               another rulemaking or seeking additional input from the Towing
                                               Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC), which would give the public
                                               additional time to comment on this matter.
Sec.   11.466...............................  Removes SNPRM proposal for endorsement as apprentice mate
                                               (steersman) of towing vessels (utility).
                                              Coast Guard is currently considering moving this issue to another
                                               rulemaking or seeking additional input from the TSAC, which would
                                               give the public additional time to comment on this matter.
Sec.   11.491...............................  Raises the tonnage limitations on national Offshore Supply Vessel
                                               endorsements.
                                              Raises the tonnage limitation for officers with a 500 GRT
                                               limitation to 1,600 GRT.
Sec.   11.493...............................  Revises language for Master (OSV).
                                              Expands the sea service requirements for this endorsement.
Sec.   11.495...............................  Revises language for Chief Mate (OSV).
                                              Expands the sea service requirements for this endorsement.
Sec.   11.497...............................  Revises language for Mate (OSV).
                                              Eliminates unnecessary language and ensures consistency with STCW
                                               Convention and Code requirements.
                                              Expands the sea service requirements for this endorsement.
Sec.   11.518...............................  Removes oceans restriction from chief engineer (limited)
                                               endorsement.
                                              Simplifies the regulations by removing the geographical
                                               restriction.
                                              To sail beyond the boundary line, the holder of this endorsement
                                               must hold the appropriate STCW endorsement.
Sec.   11.520...............................  Removes chief engineer (limited near-coastal) endorsement.
                                              Allows all engineers who currently hold a license as chief
                                               engineer (limited near-coastal) to be upgraded to chief engineer
                                               (limited) without further sea service or testing requirements.
Sec.   11.522...............................  Removes oceans restriction from assistant engineer (limited)
                                               endorsement.
                                              Simplifies the regulations by removing the geographical
                                               restriction.
                                              To sail beyond the boundary line, the holder of this endorsement
                                               must hold the appropriate STCW endorsement.
Sec.   11.553...............................  Revises language for Chief Engineer (OSV).
                                              Expands the sea service requirements for this endorsement.
Sec.   11.555...............................  Revises language for Assistant Engineer (OSV).
                                              Expands the sea service requirements for this endorsement.

[[Page 77814]]

 
Sec.   11.709...............................  Revises language for first-class pilot annual physical
                                               examinations.
                                              Integrates the first-class pilot's annual physical into the
                                               biennial medical certificate system.
Sec.   11.821...............................  Defines the applicability of the High-speed craft type rating.
                                              Limits the requirement to hold High-speed craft type rating to
                                               mariners operating vessels to which the High-speed craft code
                                               applies.
Sec.   11.903...............................  Revises the list of endorsements requiring examination.
                                              Adds endorsements (that were removed in the SNPRM) that require an
                                               examination, based on a change in policy and progression
                                               consistent with the STCW Convention (offshore installation
                                               manager, barge supervisor, ballast control operator, chief
                                               engineer (MODU), assistant engineer (MODU).
                                              Adds endorsements that require an examination, based on a change
                                               in policy and progression consistent with the STCW Convention
                                               (mate of near-coastal vessels of less than 200 GRT, master of
                                               near-coastal vessels of less than 100 GRT, and mate of Great
                                               Lakes and inland/river vessels of less than 200 GRT).
Sec.   11.1105..............................  Expands the 2010 STCW amendment changes to include training in
                                               crowd management, passenger ship safety training, crisis
                                               management and human behavior, and training in passenger safety,
                                               cargo safety, and hull integrity.
Sec.   12.601...............................  Separates Basic Safety Training from the general section (Sec.
                                               12.601) into a new section (Sec.   12.602).
                                              Title changes from Basic Safety training to Basic Training.
Sec.   12.601...............................  Establishes that the mariner with an STCW endorsement must also
                                               hold the equivalent national endorsement.
Sec.   12.601...............................  Revises to provide mariners the opportunity to use the new STCW
                                               training requirements when applying for credentials.
Sec.   12.603...............................  Includes grandfathering provisions that will be accepted for STCW
                                               rating endorsement as able seafarer-deck.
                                              This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
Sec.   12.607...............................  Includes grandfathering provisions that will be accepted for STCW
                                               rating endorsement as able seafarer-engine.
                                              Includes all domestic Qualified Member of the Engine Department
                                               endorsements that will be eligible for the STCW endorsement as
                                               able seafarer-engine.
                                              Provides an alternate path with a reduced sea service requirement
                                               to the able seafarer-engine endorsement that will facilitate the
                                               transition from domestic to STCW endorsements.
                                              This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
Sec.   12.611...............................  Adds to the number of classroom or formal training topics required
                                               for STCW endorsements.
                                              Clarifies grandfathering provisions for Electro-Technical Rating.
Sec.   12.625...............................  Revises to include the STCW transitional provisions for seafarers
                                               with designated security duties that allow existing mariners who
                                               took a course and/or can document service on board vessels to
                                               obtain an endorsement.
Sec.   12.627...............................  Revises to include the STCW transitional provisions for security
                                               awareness that allows existing mariners who took a course and/or
                                               can document service onboard vessels to obtain an endorsement.
Sec.   13.127...............................  Amends sea service credit for service onboard ATBs on a case-by-
                                               case basis.
Sec.   13.603...............................  Revises to include only requirements for an STCW endorsement as
                                               advanced oil tanker cargo operations. This endorsement was
                                               combined with advanced chemical tanker cargo operations in the
                                               SNPRM and is now located in Sec.   13.605.
                                              Allows mariners serving on tank barges as tankerman-PIC (barge) to
                                               qualify for this STCW endorsement with a limitation to non-self-
                                               propelled vessels.
                                              Allows engineer officers serving as tankerman engineer to qualify
                                               for this STCW endorsement for certain tanker operations with a
                                               limitation to maintenance and repair of cargo equipment.
                                              Revises the effective date for new mariners to obtain original
                                               STCW tanker endorsements from January 1, 2017, to March 24, 2014,
                                               in accordance with the provisions of the 2010 amendments.
Sec.   13.605...............................  Revises to include only requirements for an STCW endorsement as
                                               advanced chemical tanker cargo operations.
                                              Allows mariners serving on tank barges as tankerman-PIC (barge) to
                                               qualify for this STCW endorsement with a limitation to non-self-
                                               propelled vessels.
                                              Allows engineer officers serving as tankerman engineer to qualify
                                               for this STCW endorsement for certain tanker operations with a
                                               limitation to maintenance and repair of cargo equipment.
                                              Revises the effective date for new mariners to obtain original
                                               STCW tanker endorsements from January 1, 2017, to March 24, 2014,
                                               in accordance with the provisions of the 2010 amendments.
Sec.   13.607...............................  Revises to include only requirements for an STCW endorsement as
                                               advanced liquefied gas tanker cargo operations.
                                              Allows mariners serving on tank barges as tankerman-PIC (barge) to
                                               qualify for this STCW endorsement with a limitation to non-self-
                                               propelled vessels.
                                              Allows engineer officers serving as tankerman engineer to qualify
                                               for this STCW endorsement for certain tanker operations with a
                                               limitation to maintenance and repair of cargo equipment.
                                              Revises the effective date for new mariners to obtain original
                                               STCW tanker endorsements from January 1, 2017, to March 24, 2014,
                                               in accordance with the provisions of the 2010 amendments.
Sec.   13.609...............................  Revises to include only requirements for an STCW endorsement as
                                               basic oil and chemical tanker cargo operations.
                                              Revises the effective date for new mariners to obtain original
                                               STCW tanker endorsements from January 1, 2017, to March 24, 2014,
                                               in accordance with the provisions of the 2010 amendments.
Sec.   13.611...............................  Adds section to include requirements for an STCW endorsement as
                                               basic liquefied gas tanker cargo operations.
                                              Adds the effective date for new mariners to obtain original STCW
                                               tanker endorsements from January 1, 2017, to March 24, 2014, in
                                               accordance with the provisions of the 2010 amendments.
Sec.  Sec.   15.105, 15.403, 15.1101........  Adds pilot vessels on pilotage duty to the list of vessels not
                                               subject to STCW. Pilots are exempt from STCW requirements.

[[Page 77815]]

 
Sec.   15.401...............................  Adds implementation date (January 1, 2017) for medical
                                               certificates in accordance with STCW Convention.
Sec.  Sec.   15.805, 15.810, 15.820, 15.825,  Includes provisions requiring mariners who serve on vessels
 15.840, 15.845, 15.850, and 15.860.           subject to STCW to also hold an STCW endorsement appropriate to
                                               the tonnage/propulsion power for the vessel upon which he or she
                                               is operating.
Sec.   15.865...............................  Adds manning provision for qualified member of the engine
                                               department (QMED).
                                              Explains that QMEDs are required and covered under these manning
                                               requirements
                                              This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
Sec.   15.915...............................  Removes chief engineer (limited near-coastal) endorsement.
                                              Allows all engineers who currently hold a license as chief
                                               engineer (limited near-coastal) to be upgraded to chief engineer
                                               (limited) 1,600 GRT without further sea service or testing
                                               requirements.
Sec.   15.1103..............................  Includes provisions requiring mariners who serve as able seafarer-
                                               deck or able seafarer-engine on vessels subject to STCW to also
                                               hold an STCW endorsement appropriate to the tonnage/propulsion
                                               power for the vessel upon which he or she is operating.
                                              Adds implementation date (January 1, 2017) for medical
                                               certificates and for endorsements as able seafarer-deck and able
                                               seafarer-engine in accordance with the STCW Convention.
Sec.   15.1111..............................  Revises provision regarding records of daily hours of rest for
                                               mariners so that mariners must receive a copy of the records
                                               pertaining to them.
Sec.   15.1113..............................  Adds requirements for contractors to receive security
                                               familiarization and that records be maintained onboard.
                                              Revises implementation date for security personnel to the
                                               effective date of this final rule.
                                              Clarifies the progression for security-related training from
                                               ``security awareness'' as the lowest level of training, to
                                               ``vessel personnel with designated security duties'' as the next-
                                               higher level of training, to ``vessel security officer'' as the
                                               highest level of training.
                                              This ensures consistency with the STCW Convention.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VI. Discussion of Comments and Explanation of Changes

    In this section, we discuss comments on the SNPRM and changes made 
in response to them. The section consists of four subsections, the 
first of which contains a summary of the changes made from the SNPRM. 
Subsection B follows with a more in-depth discussion of comments and 
recommendations received from the public, MERPAC, and MEDMAC, together 
with associated changes. MERPAC and MEDMAC recommendations are 
discussed in separate groups that appear at the end of the subsection. 
Subsection C contains a discussion of public comments in response to 
the MERPAC and the MEDMAC recommendations. The Coast Guard announced 
the availability of those recommendations in a notice published in the 
Federal Register on November 3, 2011 (76 FR 68202). Subsection D, 
entitled ``Additional Request for Comments'', contains a discussion of 
public comments solicited by the Coast Guard on six specific issues in 
the SNPRM (76 FR 45909).

A. Summary of Changes From the SNPRM

    The following list provides a brief description of the major 
provisions in this final rule, including changes to the provisions 
proposed in the SNPRM. A detailed explanation of the reasons for these 
and other changes can be found in subsection B of this section, Public 
comments on the SNPRM. All of the changes to the SNPRM described in the 
summary below were made in response to comments from the public, 
MERPAC, or MEDMAC.
1. Medical
    The Coast Guard is changing the validity period of a medical 
certificate issued to a mariner who is serving as a first-class pilot 
from 1 year, as proposed in the SNPRM, to a maximum period of 2 years. 
The Coast Guard is making this change in response to comments from the 
public, MEDMAC, and MERPAC. The comments raised concerns that the Coast 
Guard would not be able conduct medical evaluations and issue medical 
endorsements in a reasonable amount of time with a 1-year validity 
period. Aligning the validity period of a medical certificate issued to 
a first-class pilot with the validity period of STCW medical 
certificates will help to minimize the numbers of mariners who will 
require more frequent medical evaluation. This change should decrease 
the workload on the medical evaluation staff and help to reduce the 
possibility of unreasonable time delays. The requirement for pilots to 
obtain annual physical examinations remains unchanged.
    Additionally, the Coast Guard received comments requesting clear 
direction on implementation of the 2-year medical certificate. The 2010 
STCW amendments require that issuance of medical certificates with 2-
year validity periods be fully implemented by January 1, 2017. 
Accordingly, the Coast Guard is including that implementation date in 
this final rule. To facilitate implementation, the Coast Guard will 
start issuing 2-year medical certificates 30 days after the publication 
of this final rule.
2. STCW Training
    The Coast Guard received comments opposing the increase in on-the-
job training permitted as an alternative to current implementing policy 
on classroom training. Commenters cited many reasons, including 
concerns that the proposed increase would result in degradation of the 
competence and proficiency of U.S. mariners. Commenters also worried 
that the proposed increase might not be practical because many vessels 
are currently minimally manned, and personnel may not have time to 
provide more on-the-job training.
    The Coast Guard recognizes that the STCW Convention is competence-
based and not training-based. For this reason, each administration 
bears the responsibility of establishing the appropriate combination of 
training and experience necessary to achieve the necessary level of 
competence, and to establish when and how training must be 
accomplished.
    The Coast Guard agrees that a more appropriate balance between on-
the-job training and formal training is required. Accordingly, the 
Coast Guard increased the number of classroom or formal training topics 
required for STCW endorsements in this final rule. These additional 
training topics were part of the extensive list of topics proposed in 
the NPRM, which were omitted from the SNPRM in response to comments 
requesting greater opportunities for on-the-job training. This final 
rule strikes

[[Page 77816]]

an appropriate balance between the two proposals. This increase in the 
number of classroom or formal training topics does not change the 
overall cost estimates presented in the regulatory analyses because 
those cost estimates reflect the costs if all of the training were 
formal or classroom training.
    Parts 11 and 12 of 46 CFR are amended to include a combination of 
training and in-service requirements and assessments, to provide 
mariners with flexibility, and ensure that seafarers achieve the level 
of competence required for STCW endorsements. This final rule generally 
increases required classroom training compared to the SNPRM, but the 
overall amount of training of all kinds has not changed. At the same 
time, this rulemaking increases flexibility compared to the SNPRM by 
providing for the use of onboard training programs, approved individual 
company training programs, approved workshop skills training, approved 
laboratory training, and where appropriate, approved simulator 
training. We also added an opportunity for a candidate to complete an 
approved program by taking individual courses offered by different 
providers. This change also addresses the concerns that shipboard 
factors, including reduced manning, higher mariner workload, and 
mariner fatigue issues, could make it a challenge for seafarers onboard 
vessels to train others.
3. Utility and Harbor Assist Towing
    The Coast Guard is not including the endorsements for apprentice 
mate (steersman) of towing (utility), master of towing (utility), and 
master of towing (harbor assist) that were proposed in the SNPRM. 
Public comment raised sufficient concerns with these provisions, as 
discussed below in ``Discussion of Public Comments,'' that the Coast 
Guard wants to seek additional comment from the industry. We are 
currently considering moving the issue to another rulemaking or seeking 
additional input from the Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC), 
which would give the public additional time to comment on this matter.
4. Transitional Provisions
    Unless specified otherwise, STCW provisions in this final rule will 
be phased in beginning on the effective date of this final rule with 
full compliance required by January 1, 2017.
    Additionally, unless specified otherwise, national endorsement 
provisions in this final rule will be phased in beginning on the 
effective date of this final rule. Individuals seeking an original 
credential or raise-of-grade to an existing credential during this 
period, who began training or service before the effective date of this 
final rule, need only meet the requirements in place when they began 
training or service. Those individuals who start training or service on 
or after the effective date of this final rule must meet all provisions 
described in this final rule. Changes in terminology on national 
endorsements will be made at the first renewal or raise-of-grade 
following the effective date of this final rule.
    Other transitional provisions for STCW and national endorsement 
provisions are discussed below in the applicable sections of this 
summary.
5. Chief Engineer (limited near-coastal)
    The Coast Guard is removing the endorsement for chief engineer 
(limited near-coastal) currently found in Sec.  11.520. We have also 
removed the word ``oceans'' from the remaining chief engineer (limited) 
and assistant engineer (limited) titles in response to recommendations 
from the public and MERPAC that all engineers who currently hold a 
license as chief engineer (limited near-coastal) should be upgraded to 
chief engineer (limited) without further testing requirements.
    New applicants for chief engineer (limited) are required to provide 
proof of 2 years of sea service in accordance with Sec.  11.518 and 
take the appropriate examination. Further, we are keeping the 2-year 
sea service requirement to upgrade from assistant engineer (limited) to 
chief engineer (limited). Since the written examination for both chief 
engineer (limited) categories are identical, those mariners going from 
chief engineer (limited near-coastal) to chief engineer (limited) will 
not be required to take an examination. However, a chief engineer 
(limited near-coastal) upgrading to chief engineer (limited) must 
present at least 1 year of sea service either as chief engineer 
(limited near-coastal), or in combination with assistant engineer 
(limited). Current mariners who hold a chief engineer (limited near-
coastal) credential may continue to renew that credential.
6. Articulated Tug Barges (ATBs)
    The Coast Guard is making changes in accepting certain towing 
vessel service, including service in inland tug-barge combinations such 
as ATBs and integrated tug barges (ITBs), based on the aggregate 
tonnage of the tug and barge(s) when greater than 1,600 GRT. We made 
this change in response to comments from the public and MERPAC, who 
recommended that the Coast Guard reconsider its position of not 
granting service credit on ATBs toward an STCW endorsement without 
limitation, and adopt a regulation or policy whereby inland tug-barge 
combinations are accepted in computing license tonnage ratings as they 
presently are for ITB and ATB service.
    This change will facilitate the towing industry's need for career 
paths to retain highly-skilled personnel. This service will be accepted 
only when properly documented by the towing company.
7. STCW Applicability
    The Coast Guard is exempting pilot vessels engaged on pilotage duty 
from STCW requirements. The Coast Guard made this change in response to 
comments from the public and MERPAC, who recommended that the Coast 
Guard interpret the STCW Convention to regard pilot vessels as not 
being seagoing ships because they operate ``in waters within, or 
closely adjacent to, sheltered waters or areas where port regulations 
apply'' in accordance with Article II of the STCW Convention.
    We agree that pilot vessels should not be considered seagoing 
vessels, and that persons serving aboard them while engaged in pilotage 
duty are exempt from application of the STCW Convention. This position 
is consistent with the U.S. interpretation of the STCW Convention, and 
stating it explicitly in regulations clarifies the proper treatment of 
such vessels and personnel for mariners and marine inspectors.
8. Able Seafarer-Deck and Able Seafarer-Engine
    The Coast Guard is clarifying the STCW transitional provisions for 
able seafarer-deck and able seafarer-engine endorsements by adding 
grandfathering provisions and deadlines for compliance. We made this 
change in response to comments from the public and MERPAC, who 
recommended that the Coast Guard set an effective date for compliance 
with those endorsement requirements that afford affected mariners and 
the National Maritime Center (NMC) enough time to process the necessary 
applications. This change will help facilitate an orderly transition to 
full compliance with the new requirements of the 2010 amendments by 
January 1, 2017.
9. STCW Assessments of Competence
    The Coast Guard is changing the STCW endorsement requirements in 
Sec. Sec.  11.301 and 12.601, which will

[[Page 77817]]

provide mariners the opportunity to use the new STCW training 
requirements when applying for credentials. The Coast Guard made these 
changes in response to comments from the public requesting that onboard 
and on-the-job training remain available as an option to demonstrate 
proficiency for the credentialing of mariners.
    In addition, the Coast Guard is adding a new paragraph, Sec.  
11.301(g)(4), providing that persons who hold or have held an STCW 
operational-level endorsement issued prior to the effective date of 
this final rule, and are seeking to upgrade to an STCW management-level 
endorsement, will not be required to do the assessments for STCW 
operational-level endorsements. The Coast Guard made this change in 
response to commenters who were concerned that the SNPRM would require 
applicants for management-level STCW endorsements who hold domestic 
management-level endorsements to provide evidence of operational-level 
training and assessments. The Coast Guard agrees that these mariners 
should not be required to do assessments for STCW operational-level 
endorsements because they will be deemed to have completed these 
assessments under the STCW Convention.
10. Sea Service Credit for Mariners Holding National Endorsements on 
STCW Vessels
    The Coast Guard is further expanding provisions granting sea 
service credit towards STCW endorsements to include those mariners who 
hold a national endorsement and provide proof of service on vessels to 
which STCW applies, whether on inland or coastwise service. We made 
this change in response to comments from the public and MERPAC, who 
recommended that mariners serving on vessels to which STCW applies, and 
that engage in coastwise voyages and inland waters, should be granted 
day-for-day service credit.
    This change is applicable to vessels operating on the Inside 
Passage between Puget Sound and Cape Spencer, Alaska. Service on 
vessels to which STCW applies, whether inland or coastwise, will be 
credited on a day-for-day basis.
11. STCW Tanker Endorsements
    The Coast Guard is including provisions to allow mariners serving 
on tank barges to qualify for an STCW endorsement with a limitation to 
non-self-propelled vessels. The Coast Guard made this change in 
response to comments from the public and MERPAC, who requested that 
mariners who hold an endorsement as tankerman-PIC (barge) be allowed to 
qualify for an STCW endorsement for advanced oil tanker cargo 
operations, advanced chemical tanker cargo operations, or advanced 
liquefied gas tanker cargo operations.
    This change is necessary because these barges operate beyond the 
boundary line and are, consequently, subject to the STCW Code and 
Convention. Mariners serving on them must hold STCW endorsements, and 
this change will allow mariners who hold an endorsement as tankerman-
PIC (barge) to qualify for an STCW endorsement for advanced oil tanker 
cargo operations, advanced chemical tanker cargo operations, or 
advanced liquefied gas tanker cargo operations provided that they meet 
the appropriate sea service requirements and the standards of 
competence of the STCW Code.
    The Coast Guard is also including provisions to allow engineer 
officers to qualify for an STCW endorsement for certain tanker 
operations with a limitation to maintenance and repair of cargo 
equipment. The Coast Guard made this change in response to comments 
from the public and MERPAC, who requested that mariners who hold a 
national endorsement as tankerman-engineer be allowed to qualify for an 
STCW endorsement for advanced oil tanker cargo operations, advanced 
chemical tanker cargo operations, or advanced liquefied gas tanker 
cargo operations. The limitation to maintenance and repair of cargo 
equipment is necessary because it aligns with the duties of a national 
tankerman-engineer endorsement.
    Engineers serving onboard tank vessels subject to STCW are required 
to hold a tankerman endorsement. This change will allow engineer 
officers serving on such vessels, who hold or qualify for a national 
tankerman-engineer endorsement, to qualify for an STCW endorsement for 
advanced oil tanker cargo operations, advanced chemical tanker cargo 
operations, or advanced liquefied gas tanker cargo operations without 
having to complete the onboard assessment requirements for tankerman-
PIC.
    In addition, the Coast Guard will accept service onboard some ATBs 
toward the national and STCW tankerman endorsements, provided the ATB 
equipment is equivalent to comparable tankship equipment. The Coast 
Guard made this change in response to comments from the public and 
MERPAC, who requested that mariners receive credit for service onboard 
ATBs, taking into account that new ATBs have cargo-handling equipment 
identical to the equipment on tankships. This change is necessary to 
ensure career paths remain available and to facilitate the use of new 
ATBs as qualifying platforms for tankerman endorsements.
    The Coast Guard is amending applicable sections in 46 CFR part 13 
to correct the date by which mariners must meet the new STCW 
requirements to obtain original tanker endorsements from January 1, 
2017, to the effective date of this final rule, in accordance with the 
provisions of the STCW 2010 amendments. After the effective date of 
this final rule, all seafarers applying for an original tankerman 
endorsement must meet those requirements. These corrections are 
necessary to maintain consistency with 46 CFR parts 11 and 12, and we 
made them in response to comments requesting clarification of effective 
dates.
12. Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) Endorsements
    The Coast Guard is making changes to the national OSV endorsements 
for both deck and engineer officers in response to comments from the 
public objecting to inconsistencies between national and STCW 
endorsements. We are changing the OSV endorsements for both deck and 
engineer officers by separating the national and STCW credentials to 
ensure consistency with other requirements. The exemption from meeting 
the STCW requirements in the existing regulations remains unchanged. 
Additional changes to national OSV endorsements include: (1) Revisions 
to sea service requirements for OSV endorsements to make those 
requirements comparable to other credentials; (2) the option to 
complete an approved course for a mate or assistant engineer to meet 
the sea service requirements; and (3) the progression from vessels less 
than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT to more than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT for chief mate 
and master.
    The change described in (3) above addresses Section 617 of the 
Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-281) and its removal 
of the 500 GRT tonnage limits on OSVs. These amendments will ensure 
that mariners with existing licenses or MMCs can progress to higher 
credentials.
13. Security
    The Coast Guard is making changes to the security requirements in 
parts 12 and 15 in response to comments expressing concern that the 
SNPRM did not include all of the requirements and different means of 
compliance, commonly referred to as ``flexibilities'',

[[Page 77818]]

contained in the Convention. The Coast Guard agrees. Based on comments 
to the SNPRM, the Coast Guard included additional security provisions 
in this rulemaking, which are described below, to better facilitate an 
orderly transition.
    In addition, after the development of the SNPRM, the IMO published 
Circular STCW.7/Circ.17 in June 2011, advising administrations and port 
state control authorities that mariners may comply with section 13 of 
the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code instead 
of Regulation VI/6 of the STCW Convention until January 1, 2014. The 
Coast Guard has added a provision in this final rule consistent with 
the circular, but amended the date to the effective date of this final 
rule, to facilitate mariner compliance with the new requirements.
    The Coast Guard is making changes to the security provisions in 
part 15 to clarify that all contractors, whether part-time, full-time, 
temporary, or permanent are required to have knowledge of the security 
topics listed in 33 CFR 104.225, either through training or equivalent 
job experience. The Coast Guard is making this change in response to 
comments from the public and MERPAC indicating a potential for 
misinterpreting this requirement as not covering contractors or 
passenger vessels. The 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention (Section 
A-VI/6) require that all persons employed or engaged on a seagoing ship 
receive security familiarization. The term ``all persons'' includes 
seafarers and other personnel, including contractors, whether part-
time, full-time, temporary, or permanent.
    In addition, the Coast Guard is making changes to the security 
application requirements in order to clarify that Regulations VI/5 and 
VI/6 of the 2010 amendments apply only to vessels of 500 GT or more. 
The STCW security requirements only apply to vessels subject to the 
STCW Convention--which are vessels operating beyond the boundary line--
except for those vessels listed in Sec.  15.1101 of this final rule. 
The Coast Guard is making this change in response to comments from the 
public and MERPAC questioning the proper application of the tonnage 
limitation required by the STCW Convention. The security requirements 
in the STCW Convention are meant to support the requirements of the 
ISPS Code, which applies to vessels of 500 GT or more.
    Additionally, the Coast Guard is changing transitional provisions 
for security awareness and for seafarers with designated security 
duties by adding grandfathering provisions and deadlines for 
compliance. The Coast Guard is making this change in response to 
comments from the public and MERPAC requesting greater clarity on the 
subject. This change will help mariners meet the implementation date 
requirements of the 2010 amendments, and will provide mariners further 
flexibility by allowing them to obtain an STCW endorsement when they 
have completed a Coast Guard-approved course and/or can provide proof 
of service onboard vessels. In accordance with Section A-VI/6 of the 
STCW Convention, these transitional provisions will only be available 
until March 24, 2014.
    The Coast Guard also added a provision permitting mariners to 
satisfy the security-related training requirements in Regulation VI/6 
of the 2010 amendments by complying with 33 CFR 104.220 and 104.225. 
The Coast Guard made this change in response to a recommendation from 
IMO Circular STCW.7/Circ.17, published in June 2011, advising 
Administrations and port state control authorities that mariners may 
comply with section 13 of the ISPS Code instead of Regulation VI/6 
until January 1, 2014. However, the Coast Guard has amended the date to 
the effective date of this final rule. The Coast Guard has determined 
that requirements in 33 CFR 104.220 and 104.225 meet the requirements 
of section 13 of the ISPS Code and is amending Sec.  15.1113 
accordingly. This change will promote an orderly transition and help 
ensure that mariners meet the implementation date requirements.
    The Coast Guard is making changes to clarify that the security 
training requirements in the STCW Convention and Code were developed as 
a progression where ``security awareness'' is the lowest level of 
training, ``vessel personnel with designated security duties'' is the 
next-higher level of training, and ``vessel security officer'' (VSO) is 
the highest level of training. The Coast Guard agrees with comments 
from the public and MERPAC suggesting that mariners with a higher level 
of training should be allowed to serve in positions that require a 
lower level of training. Under this system, for example, mariners who 
completed VSO training would be eligible for any position with a 
security training requirement at the VSO level or lower.
14. Course Approvals
    The Coast Guard is changing Sec.  10.402 regarding course approvals 
in order to implement the IMO model course format and terminology. We 
made this change in response to comments from the public and MERPAC, 
who recommended that the Coast Guard minimize administrative burden and 
cost on training providers by requiring only the information currently 
required for IMO model courses.
    This change will retain an existing industry practice to use the 
IMO model course format and terminology for the submission of requests 
for Coast Guard-approved courses. This change will also allow minor 
modifications to courses to be submitted to the Coast Guard for review 
without requiring training providers to resubmit the entire course.
15. Quality Standards System (QSS)
    In response to comments from MERPAC and the public, the Coast Guard 
is amending the proposed QSS requirements to include ISM, which is an 
additional industry-wide system, as an alternate means of compliance 
with one or more of the QSS provisions. The Coast Guard agrees with 
these comments because it recognizes that overlapping ISM and QSS 
requirements allow use of ISM as an alternative to certain 
corresponding QSS requirements.
    Additionally, the Coast Guard is including a deadline for 
implementation of the QSS requirements. We made this change in response 
to a commenter who requested clarification of the implementation 
deadline. This transitional provision will help ensure that all 
courses, programs, and training creditable towards STCW will meet the 
requirements of a QSS by January 1, 2017.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ We are aligning this deadline with the implementation of the 
training requirements in this rulemaking in order to provide 
industry with ample opportunity to implement the change.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

16. Post-Dating of Credentials
    The Coast Guard is changing Sec.  10.205 regarding post-dating of 
credentials, by reducing the permissible post-dating of an MMC renewal 
from 12 months to 8 months after the date that the Coast Guard accepts 
a complete application. This change is in accordance with Sec.  614 of 
the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-281) (as 
codified in 46 U.S.C. 7302), which only allows post-dating of 
credentials for up to 8 months.
    In addition, the Coast Guard has amended Sec.  10.205 to require 
automatic post-dating with the option for immediate issuance. The Coast 
Guard made this change in response to commenters who requested that the 
Coast Guard ensure that post-dating is automatically completed for 
every renewal.

[[Page 77819]]

17. Retention of Cash Payment for User Fees
    The Coast Guard is not including the provisions proposed in Sec.  
10.219 of the SNPRM, which would have required user fees to be paid by 
credit card or electronic payment only. This proposed change would have 
eliminated the ability for mariners to pay user fees by cash or to 
attach a check or money order to their application package. Public 
comment raised concerns that mariners should not be forced to pay by 
credit card and that not all mariners have credit cards.
    The Coast Guard agrees, is not including this proposed requirement, 
and will continue to accept cash, checks, and money orders, as well as 
credit cards and electronic payments for MMCs and associated 
endorsements. The Coast Guard has amended Sec.  10.219 accordingly.
18. Academy Sea-Service Equivalency
    The Coast Guard is amending Sec.  10.232 to include sea service 
credit for cadets serving onboard academy training ships where sea 
service is part of an approved training program. The Coast Guard made 
this change based on a comment recommending that the Coast Guard grant 
1\1/2\ days of sea service credit for each day a cadet serves aboard an 
academy training ship where sea service is part of an approved training 
program.
    This change is consistent with the Coast Guard's existing practice 
of crediting academy training ship sea service reported to the 
International Maritime Organization. To maintain consistency, the Coast 
Guard is making a similar revision to the definition of ``day'' in 
Sec.  10.107.
19. Qualified Assessor (QA) Approval
    The Coast Guard is amending the definition of ``Qualified 
Assessor'' in Sec.  10.107 in order to clarify this person's role and 
professional development. We made this change in response to comments 
from the public and MERPAC, who requested clarification of QA training 
requirements and approval. This change ensures that any person serving 
as an assessor for STCW endorsements has demonstrated the requisite 
level of competence in the task for which the assessment is being made, 
and has been individually approved by the Coast Guard.
    For the same reasons, the Coast Guard is also adding a provision 
requiring QAs who renew their qualifications to provide evidence of 
experience, training, or instruction within the past 5 years.
    In response to the same comment, the Coast Guard is also amending 
Sec.  10.405 to ensure that QAs are trained in proper assessment 
techniques and have completed an ``assessor training'' course as part 
of an accepted training program. This topic will be further discussed 
in the guidance the Coast Guard is developing concerning QAs.
20. Endorsement for Mate of Ocean Self-Propelled Vessels of Less Than 
200 GRT
    In response to a commenter's request, the Coast Guard is including 
an endorsement in Sec.  11.425 for mate of ocean self-propelled vessels 
of less than 200 GRT. We made this change to provide a path of 
progression to master of oceans self-propelled vessels of less than 200 
GRT, and in accordance with Regulation II/3 of the STCW Convention.
21. Electro-Technical Officer/Rating
    The Coast Guard is amending Sec.  11.335 and Sec.  12.611 to 
include additional training topics appropriate for an STCW endorsement 
for an electro-technical officer and electro-technical rating. We made 
this change in response to commenters who requested clarification of 
STCW training and grandfathering requirements applicable to these 
endorsements. In addition, Sec.  11.335 and Sec.  12.611 are amended to 
clarify the grandfathering provisions applicable to these endorsements 
in accordance with the 2010 amendments of the STCW Convention.
22. Manning
    In response to commenters' requests, the Coast Guard has included 
provisions in 46 CFR part 15, subpart H, requiring mariners who serve 
on vessels subject to STCW to also hold an STCW endorsement appropriate 
to the tonnage/propulsion power for the vessel upon which he or she is 
operating. This change ensures consistency with domestic manning 
requirements and avoids confusion or disagreement with port state 
inspectors regarding which mariners on U.S. vessels must hold STCW 
endorsements.

B. Public Comments on the SNPRM

    The Coast Guard received more than 900 comments in response to the 
SNPRM published on August 1, 2011. These comments consist of letters to 
the docket, remarks at the public meetings in Miami, New Orleans, 
Seattle, and Washington, DC, comments submitted by MERPAC, and comments 
submitted by MEDMAC. The following discussion contains an analysis of 
comments received and an explanation of any changes made to the rule as 
proposed in the SNPRM.
    Several comments note grammatical and non-substantive errors in the 
SNPRM. The Coast Guard has incorporated these comments, where 
appropriate, without further discussion.
1. Comment Period
    Thirty-two commenters request that due to the complexity and broad 
ranging impacts of this rulemaking, the Coast Guard extend the comment 
period beyond the 60 days given in the SNRPM to permit the necessary 
comprehensive review of the provisions.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The 2010 amendments to the STCW 
Convention came into force on January 1, 2012. As a signatory State to 
the Convention, the U.S. needed to demonstrate by that date, or as soon 
as possible thereafter, that it remains in compliance with its 
requirements to minimize the risk of U.S. flag vessels being detained 
in foreign ports. However, while we did not extend the original comment 
period, we provided an additional 30-day comment period that closed on 
December 5, 2011 to respond to MERPAC and MEDMAC recommendations (76 FR 
68202).
2. Definitions
    Two commenters recommend that the Coast Guard amend the definition 
of ``Coast Guard-accepted'' because the commenters believe the proposed 
definition does not take into account Coast Guard-accepted training for 
instructors, supervisors, or assessors (i.e., Train-The-Trainer 
courses) or other types of training that are accepted by the Coast 
Guard to meet the familiarization training requirements of the STCW 
Convention.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The definition in Sec.  10.107 would 
include this training even though particular types of training are not 
explicitly set out in the definition.
    Five commenters recommend that the Coast Guard amend the definition 
of ``day.'' In their view, the definition for a day should be the same 
for vessels of every tonnage. If it is a condition of employment to 
work 12 hours a day, then the mariner should receive 1\1/2\ days of sea 
service even if working on a vessel less than 100 gross tons.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The definition of day already 
includes language that vessels allowed to work 12-hour days as defined 
in the U.S. Code will receive 1\1/2\ days sea service credit. However, 
changes to regulations on this subject are limited by statutory 
restrictions on the type and tonnage of vessels and the number of 
watches that may be run. Accordingly, the definition of day permits 
mariners who work 12-

[[Page 77820]]

hour days to receive 1\1/2\ days of sea-service credit, to the extent 
permitted by statute.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend the definition 
for ``domestic officer endorsement'' to provide that the holder of an 
MMC with this endorsement will be restricted to service on vessels on 
domestic voyages only.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Vessel manning requirements are 
specified in part 15 and it would be inappropriate to include them in 
the definition of the endorsements.
    Two commenters recommend that the Coast Guard change the term 
``domestic officer endorsement'' to ``national officer endorsement'' 
and ``domestic rating endorsement'' to ``national rating endorsement'' 
to avoid confusion with usage of the term ``domestic'' in other phrases 
used throughout the SNPRM.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has changed ``domestic endorsement'' to 
``national endorsement'' to eliminate confusion.
    Thirteen commenters recommend that the Coast Guard amend the 
definition of ``domestic voyage'' to include voyages between Washington 
State and Alaska through the Inside Passage or Mexico and the United 
States.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended the definition to include 
voyages beginning and ending at a U.S. port and passing through the 
waters of another country if the U.S. has entered into a treaty or 
agreement with that country.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend the definition 
of ``increase in scope'' by citing a few examples. The commenter states 
that this would help avoid confusion between this term and ``raise of 
grade.''
    The Coast Guard agrees. The key distinction between the two 
definitions is ``existing credential.'' The Coast Guard has amended 
both definitions for clarity by adding examples.
    Two commenters state that the definitions of ``limited'' and 
``restricted'' are very similar and should each be more clearly defined 
to avoid confusion.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The Coast Guard recognizes that the 
two terms have been used interchangeably in the past and that there is 
no consistency in the use of the terms in relation to the title of the 
credential. The Coast Guard is of the opinion that all limited 
endorsements or credentials have inherent in their qualifications some 
sort of constraint which reduces the authority of the credential. 
Therefore, to avoid confusion, the Coast Guard is deleting, rather than 
further defining, the two definitions because the terms have the same 
meaning as in standard English language usage. Five commenters 
recommend that the Coast Guard amend the definition of ``near-coastal'' 
by adding the following sentence: ``While a near-coastal endorsement 
does not preclude its use in another Administration's waters, that 
endorsement is limited to the near-coastal waters as determined and 
accepted by the local administration.''
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. Amending the definition of ``near-
coastal'' is not necessary because a foreign administration would not 
be bound to honor such a provision in the Coast Guard's regulations 
absent an agreement with the United States. The Coast Guard, however, 
has amended the definition of ``domestic voyage'' to include voyages 
beginning and ending at a U.S. port and passing through the waters of 
another country if the U.S. has entered into a treaty or agreement with 
that country.
    Two commenters recommend that the Coast Guard amend the definition 
of ``overriding operational condition'' so that the intent and its use 
are not abused or over applied.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Because the definition comes directly 
from the STCW Convention and the meaning of the phrase is 
straightforward, adopting it in U.S. regulations is not discretionary. 
Additionally, the definition was written with the flexibility necessary 
to embrace unforeseen circumstances, which cannot all be listed in this 
final rule.
    Three commenters recommend that the Coast Guard amend the 
definition of ``passenger vessel'' in Sec.  11.1103. The commenters 
expressed concern that all provisions of Regulation V/2 of the STCW 
Convention and A-V/2 of the STCW Code will be imposed on passenger 
vessels, when some of the provisions are clearly applicable only to 
roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) passenger vessels.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The 2010 amendments to the STCW 
Convention and Code consolidated passenger vessel requirements, which 
are applicable to seafarers serving on Ro-Ro passenger vessels. The 
2010 amendments also consolidated the requirements applicable to 
seafarers serving on passenger vessels other than a Ro-Ro passenger 
vessel. The application of the 2010 amendments is based on the 
responsibilities of the seafarer onboard the vessels and the type of 
vessel they served on: (1) Personnel assisting passengers in emergency 
situations must complete crowd management training; (2) personnel 
providing direct service to passengers in passenger spaces onboard 
passenger vessels shall have completed the safety training; (3) 
personnel with designated responsibility for the safety of passengers 
in emergency situations onboard passenger vessels must have completed 
approved training in crisis management and human behavior; and (4) 
personnel assigned immediate responsibility for embarking and 
disembarking passengers, loading, discharging or securing cargo, or 
closing hull openings onboard Ro-Ro passenger vessels shall have 
completed approved training in passenger safety, cargo safety and hull 
integrity. To avoid confusion and facilitate the implementation, the 
Coast Guard has amended Sec.  11.1105 to specify the types of training 
necessary.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend the definition 
of ``Quality Standard Systems or QSS'' as it is too vague.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The QSS definition derives from 
established quality system practices. The provisions in Sec.  10.410 
provide further information on the specific elements of the QSS. The 
Coast Guard will be developing additional guidance on the 
implementation of the QSS.
    Three commenters recommend that the Coast Guard amend the 
definition of ``rest.'' In their view, the requirement to record 
periods of rest either should be placed on the mariner, or be removed 
in its entirety because employers cannot assure that their mariners 
actually rest when they are away from the workplace.
    The Coast Guard disagrees, and is retaining the existing definition 
for ``rest'' in Sec.  10.107. The definition for ``rest'' is consistent 
with the STCW convention. The phrase ``and is allowed to sleep without 
interruptions'' in the definition does not imply that the master needs 
to force the mariner to sleep, but that the mariner is afforded time 
for rest and allowed to sleep. The 2010 amendments to the STCW 
Convention, specifically Section A-VIII/1, paragraph 7, require that 
records of daily hours of rest be maintained onboard the vessel. This 
final rule does not specify who is responsible for recording rest 
periods because that determination is within the discretion of each 
vessel master.
    One commenter recommends that the term ``sailor'' be defined in 
Sec.  10.107 rather than in a portion of a specific regulation (Sec.  
15.705).
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Because the Coast Guard's reference to 
``sailor'' is clarified solely for the purpose of part 15, inclusion of 
the definition in Sec.  10.107 would be inappropriate.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend the definition 
of

[[Page 77821]]

``seagoing service'' to include service on the Great Lakes and inland 
waters.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The definition is intentionally a 
general one. The specific requirements for sea service, which may be 
earned on the Great Lakes and inland waters, and the individual 
requirements for each credential, are detailed in Sec.  10.232.
    One commenter asks for clarification of the definition of 
``seagoing service.'' The commenter asks if it is the Coast Guard's 
intent that a mariner serving on a vessel that is crewed-up, capable, 
and occasionally operates outside the boundary line, will receive all 
seagoing service.
    The Coast Guard has expanded the sea service credit requirements in 
Sec.  10.232 to ensure mariners operating on inland and Great Lakes 
waters can get credit toward an STCW credential. Therefore, even if the 
vessel has time on both ocean-going and inland waters, credit will be 
awarded accordingly.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend the definition 
of ``senior company official'' by replacing the phrase ``a lower level 
employee'' with ``a person designated.''
    The Coast Guard agrees and has changed ``lower level employee'' to 
``another employee.''
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard define the term 
``training ship'' in Sec.  10.109.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. A ``training ship'' as used in Sec.  
12.601(b)(1)(ii) is determined by whether or not, and to what extent, 
the vessel is used as part of an approved program.
    Twenty-seven commenters recommend that the Coast Guard delete part 
(2) of the proposed definition of ``utility towing.'' They pointed out 
that TSAC did not recommend part (2), and the proposed definition 
appears to conflict with the Coast Guard Commandant's ruling in a 2009 
USCG District 7 Appeal.
    The Coast Guard agrees that further consideration is necessary. 
Therefore, the Coast Guard is not including the proposed new 
endorsements for utility towing and harbor assist, and the definition 
for ``utility towing.'' Instead, we are retaining the existing 
definition of ``disabled vessel.''
    Two commenters recommend that the Coast Guard amend the term 
``vessel personnel with security duties'' to ``vessel personnel with 
designated security duties,'' saying that using the latter phrase as it 
will appear on the MMC endorsement will add consistency and clarity.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has added ``designated'' to the 
definition. The amended definition is consistent with the 2010 
amendments to the STCW Convention.
    Two commenters recommend that the definition of ``vessel personnel 
with security duties'' should state ``those with duties as defined in 
the vessel's security plan or Alternate Security Program.'' In their 
view, clarification is needed so that the skills and abilities an 
employee brings to the job may be recognized as equivalent to training.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The Coast Guard is revising the definition 
``vessel personnel with designated security duties'' to harmonize it 
with the guidance in Section B-VI/6 of the STCW Code and to ensure 
consistency with the requirements in 33 CFR 104.220 and 104.225. The 
expression ``with designated security duties'' denotes those having 
specific security duties and responsibilities in accordance with the 
vessel security plan. The Coast Guard has also amended the requirements 
in Sec. Sec.  12.625 and 15.1113 to ensure that the term ``vessel 
personnel with designated security duties'' is used throughout.
    One commenter recommends that the definition of ``Vessel Security 
Officer or VSO'' be amended to ``Vessel Security Officer or VSO means a 
person onboard the vessel accountable to the master, designated by the 
Company as responsible for security of the vessel, including 
implementation and maintenance of the Vessel Security Plan, and for 
liaison with the Facility Security Officer and the vessel's Company 
Security Officer.''
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The requirements for VSOs in Sec.  
11.352 are intended to meet the requirements of the STCW Convention. 
The definition provided in Sec.  10.107 is consistent with the 
definition in the STCW Convention.
    One commenter objects to the Coast Guard changing the format of the 
definition of ``Western Rivers.''
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Although the format of the definition 
was changed from a single paragraph of text to a numbered list, there 
was no substantive change to the current definition.
3. Medical
    One commenter notes that MMCs are valid for 5 years, yet the 
medical certificates for STCW endorsements are to be updated every 2 
years. The commenter poses five questions:
    (1) Will the mariner be required to renew his or her STCW 
endorsements with the Coast Guard every 2 years when the medical 
certificate is renewed?
    No, the medical certificate will be managed as a separate stand-
alone document.
    (2) Will there be an expiration date within the MMC under the 
international pages for their physical every 2 years?
    No, the medical certificate will be managed as a separate stand-
alone document.
    (3) Who will track this information if it is not indicated in the 
MMC?
    As with all credentials, it is incumbent upon the mariner to track 
whether his or her credential is valid. Additionally, it is the 
responsibility of the company, operator, or master to ensure that 
persons serving on a vessel hold valid documents, see Sec.  15.401.
    (4) How will the requirement be enforced?
    This will be enforced through regular inspections, boardings, and 
company/master verification. It is the responsibility of the company, 
operator, or master to ensure that persons serving on a vessel hold 
valid documents, in accordance with Sec.  15.401.
    (5) Will the National Maritime Center (NMC) be able to handle the 
additional work load associated with a 2-year physical as required by 
the STCW \3\?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Mariners with significant medical conditions are encouraged 
to submit documentation at least 6 months in advance in order to 
obtain a credential prior to expiration. Other mariners may submit 
as late as two weeks prior to expiration of the certificate. 46 
U.S.C. 7507 and 7508 (see Public Law 112-213, Sec.  306) authorizes 
the extension of credentials and medical certificates for up to 1 
year.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It is expected that the NMC will be able to handle the additional 
workload through a clarification of medical guidelines. Additionally, 
with more frequent exams there should be the ability to have additional 
flexibility with certain medical conditions. Although additional 
funding to support personnel and credentialing activities at the NMC is 
one of the Coast Guard's many budget priorities, in the absence of 
additional funding the Coast Guard will continue to evaluate its 
limited resources and seek efficiencies to best handle the additional 
workload.
    One commenter notes that the requirement for ``Medical 
certificates/endorsements issued to a mariner who is serving as a 
first-class pilot, or acting as a pilot under Sec.  15.812 of this 
subchapter, to be issued for a maximum period of 1 year'' is 
inconsistent with Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 8-94 
which indicates that the annual physical exam is only required if 
serving on vessels greater than 1,600 GRT.
    To ensure consistency with 46 U.S.C. 7101(e)(3) and to avoid any 
ambiguity, the Coast Guard has amended

[[Page 77822]]

Sec. Sec.  11.709(b), 11.709(d), and 15.812 for clarity as recommended 
by the commenter.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend the proposed 
regulations to provide that pilots be issued 2-year, rather than 1-
year, medical certificates. In the commenter's view, such a change 
would not impact public or navigation safety and would provide much 
needed administrative and workload relief to the Coast Guard's medical 
review program staff at the NMC.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  10.301(b)(2) 
accordingly.
    One commenter believes that this rulemaking is an opportunity to 
improve marine safety, if implemented effectively. In the commenter's 
view, 5 years between medical certifications among an aging workforce 
is not practical. While the direct impact from incidents that are due 
to medical conditions is unclear from Coast Guard and National 
Transportation Safety Board statistics, most operators know it is a 
major concern, the commenter says, and if established effectively, a 
new system that better tracks mariner fitness will have major positive 
effects on keeping mariners and the public safe. Additionally, two 
commenters believe that additional clarification is required regarding 
the extent of training, the approval process, and the bodies that would 
be accepted for the licensing of these designated medical examiners 
(DME) by the Coast Guard.
    The Coast Guard disagrees that more frequent medical certificates 
for all mariners are needed. The Coast Guard is establishing within 
this rule the process to issue limitations, restrictions, and waivers 
for medical conditions, which will allow the Coast Guard to track 
mariner fitness where necessary. Provisions in this final rule will 
allow for the use of DMEs in the future. Plans are underway for the 
development of a DME Program, which will address the information sought 
by this commenter, and the Coast Guard will issue future guidance on 
this program. During the development of that guidance, the public will 
be invited to participate to ensure the creation of the best possible 
system.
    One commenter requests that cadets issued endorsements as ``cadet 
(deck) or cadet (engine)'' who are enrolled in an approved 4-year 
academy training program and who have obtained a medical certificate, 
not be required to obtain another medical certificate until they 
complete their training and apply for their original MMC as Officer in 
Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) or Officer in Charge of an 
Engineering Watch (OICEW).
    There are no medical requirements for the ``cadet'' endorsement in 
parts 10 or 12 of this final rule. Cadets will not be entitled to 
receive an STCW endorsement until successful completion of the training 
program.
    Six commenters support the inclusion of the ``designated medical 
examiner'' to the list of those who can complete a mariner's physical 
exam, but do so with concern. They caution not to develop a system that 
relies too heavily on these designated personnel, which may require a 
mariner to travel great distances for a physical examination.
    The Coast Guard agrees. As previously noted, plans for the 
development of a DME Program are underway. Changes in this rulemaking 
will allow for the use of DMEs in the future. The Coast Guard will 
issue future guidance for the DME Program.
    One commenter states that, due to the complexity of the mariner's 
physical exam, he would not be in favor of the DME being anything other 
than a licensed medical doctor or licensed nurse practitioner.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. We believe that the physician's 
assistant has the necessary training and knowledge to conduct a 
physical examination. Mid-level provider utilization for fitness 
examinations has been previously implemented with other transportation 
agencies, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
    Furthermore, the DME program has not been developed. During the 
development process, the public will be invited to participate to 
ensure the creation of the best possible system.
    Three commenters note that in Sec.  15.401(c), the proposed 
regulation fails to specify an effective date. As it will take mariners 
and the Coast Guard time to process the required medical examinations 
and to issue these certificates/endorsements, the commenters recommend 
a phase-in period be specified in the final rule as recommended by STCW 
7/Circ.16.
    The Coast Guard has included an implementation date in Sec. Sec.  
15.401 and 15.1103. Compliance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW 
Convention and Code requires that full implementation of the issuance 
of medical certificates is achieved by 2017. To facilitate 
implementation, the Coast Guard will start issuing 2-year medical 
certificates 30 days after the publication of this final rule.
    Three commenters state that, with regard to Sec.  15.401(f), this 
is an improvement over current practice and is strongly supported.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and this section remains unchanged from the 
SNPRM.
    Three commenters state that, with regard to the demonstration of 
physical ability, the Coast Guard has removed the section which allows 
those applying for entry level positions to demonstrate physical 
ability, rather than undergo a complete physical examination. The 
commenters recommend that this section be reinserted.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and the text is now included in Sec.  
10.304(d)(1)(ii).
    Two commenters recommend that the Coast Guard consider publishing a 
list of acceptable eye tests for Engineers that meet the four-color 
standard.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has added a new sentence at the end of 
Sec.  10.305: ``The Coast Guard will accept Farnsworth D-15 Hue Test as 
a color vision test to meet the requirements of this subparagraph.'' 
This test is part of Commission Internationale de l'Eclarage Color 
Vision Report as part of the recommended testing to qualify for 
Standard 3. Additionally, the Coast Guard will publish guidance on 
additional acceptable tests.
    One commenter requests that the Coast Guard consider working with 
the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop common medical 
certificate standards. He also recommends that the Coast Guard accept 
the results of medical tests conducted in accordance with other agency 
regulations.
    There are no current plans for the Coast Guard to combine medical 
credentialing with the other transportation agencies. We are currently 
working with other agencies on a limited basis to improve our medical 
credentialing process and guidelines.
    Thirteen commenters recommend that, with regard to Medical 
Certification--subpart C, the Coast Guard delay implementation of 
issuing medical certificates/endorsements for a maximum period of 2 
years until the NMC can be properly staffed with trained medical 
doctors for reviewing medical documents.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Immediate implementation of the STCW 2-
year medical certificate is a requirement set by the 2010 amendments to 
the STCW.
    One commenter states that, with regard to Sec.  10.231(c)(8), the 
Coast Guard must clarify that physicals are still valid for 3 years on 
a license upgrade.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The 3-year validity of the physical 
for license upgrade is only applicable to national endorsements. This 
is no longer applicable for the issuance of

[[Page 77823]]

STCW credentials, since the medical certificate is valid for only 2 
years. The Coast Guard has amended Sec.  10.231 accordingly to ensure 
clarity.
    One commenter notes that Sec.  10.301(b)(1) states that medical 
certificates/endorsements issued to a mariner serving under the 
authority of an STCW endorsement will be issued for a maximum period of 
2 years unless the mariner is under the age of 18, in which case the 
maximum period of validity will be 1 year. The commenter asks what 
policy and/or procedures will be implemented to ensure that those 
sailing on the Great Lakes will not have their renewal applications 
delayed because the evaluators will be unaware that Great Lakes service 
will not require a biennial physical, in accordance with Sec.  
10.301(b)(3).
    The STCW Convention does not apply to the Great Lakes; therefore, 
mariners applying for a medical certificate to serve on these vessels 
will be issued a 5-year medical certificate. The Coast Guard will 
develop guidance for the medical evaluators to ensure that the correct 
requirement is applied to the mariner's application.
    Twelve commenters note that the term ``medical certificate,'' used 
throughout the rulemaking, is not defined. If it is envisioned that 
this would be a document separate from a mariner's credential issued by 
the NMC, the commenters recommend that the item be removed until it can 
be fully defined.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. Implementation of a 2-year medical 
certificate is a requirement set by the 2010 amendments to the STCW. A 
new definition has been added in Sec.  10.107.
    Two commenters believe that it is wrong to determine the medical 
fitness of mariners remotely, based upon the submission of medical 
records and tests to an evaluator who has not physically examined the 
mariner. The commenters believe that a process which isolates the 
evaluator from the mariner results in excessive and expensive medical 
testing, and lengthy time delays in processing licenses that can 
interfere with the mariner's ability to rejoin their vessels for 
scheduled assignments.
    Two other commenters state that the new requirement on medical 
examiners to be Coast Guard certified raises concerns with 
accessibility, since many mariners live in isolated Alaskan communities 
and currently use local health care professionals for merchant marine 
physicals. The commenters expect additional expenses for crewmembers 
from small coastal communities who will need to travel farther for the 
new biennially required Coast Guard physicals. The commenters recommend 
that the Coast Guard either remove the Coast Guard certification 
requirement from this definition or make a simple, fair, and cost-
effective certification process for the limited number of Alaskan 
medical providers.
    Plans for the development of a DME program are underway. Provisions 
in this final rule allow for the use of DMEs in the future. The Coast 
Guard is reviewing programs used by other agencies and foreign 
administrations when developing the maritime model. The Coast Guard 
will issue future guidance for the DME program. Additionally, it is 
envisioned that mariners will retain the option to use personal medical 
providers qualified under Sec.  10.302, which is expected to mitigate 
the impacts on mariners in remote locations.
    One commenter recommends that, with regard to Sec.  10.301, the 
Coast Guard define what exam requirements IMO and the International 
Labour Organization (ILO) deem necessary for the 2-year medical exam 
and consider a modified or limited exam focused on these specific 
requirements, along with significant changes in health history and 
medications. This limited exam would be conducted as an interval exam 
in between the 4- or 5-year complete (Coast Guard Form CG-719K) 
physical exam.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The examination and reporting 
requirements in the rule match those from STCW, which requires medical 
exams every 2 years. The Coast Guard will continue to use one set of 
forms, the CG-719K and CG-719K/E forms, which contain the exam 
requirements for all U.S. medical examinations irrespective of the 
validity dates.
    One commenter notes that proposed Sec.  10.304(b) (current Sec.  
10.215(d)(2)) states that applicants for food-handler endorsement must 
obtain a statement from a licensed physician, physician assistant, or 
nurse practitioner attesting that they are free of ``communicable 
diseases.'' The commenter notes that, aside from the fact that there is 
no definition provided in 46 CFR part 10 for communicable diseases, 
this requirement is way too broad and makes it very unclear as to what 
the physician needs to be looking for.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has added a definition of ``communicable 
diseases''.
    Twelve commenters note that when a mariner submits an application 
for examination or renewal and a medical condition requires a review, 
the time required to complete the review is excessive. The commenters 
recommend that the Coast Guard provide prescriptive guidance for a 
mariner's physician to make the sole determination as to whether or not 
a condition will disqualify a mariner from successfully completing the 
credentialing process.
    The Coast Guard will continue to review determinations of medical 
disqualification to ensure consistency, oversight, and provide mariners 
the ability to appeal adverse determinations. Plans for the development 
of a DME program are underway. Provisions in this final rule will allow 
for the use of DMEs in the future. The Coast Guard will issue future 
guidance for the DME program. The Coast Guard is also working with 
MEDMAC to develop guidance on medical conditions.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ The DME program was proposed consistent with public comments 
on the SNPRM to increase the availability of medical personnel for 
examinations. The program is based on broad statutory authority to 
ensure mariners are physically and mentally fit (14 U.S.C. 2 and 633 
authorize the Coast Guard to issue regulations for the promotion of 
life and safety on waters under the jurisdiction of the United 
States; 46 U.S.C. 2103 provides the Coast Guard broad authority over 
merchant marine personnel; and 46 U.S.C. Chapters 71 and 73 include 
requirements that mariners be physically qualified for 
endorsements). Because of the extent of the training and 
administration needed to establish and run a DME program, it is best 
to develop guidance for those areas. Subsequently, the Coast Guard 
will consider revising the medical evaluation regulations in 
Sec. Sec.  10.301 through 10.306 of this final rule, and converting 
DME program guidance to regulations. Existing medical evaluation 
regulations can be found in 46 CFR 10.215.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard retain the existing 
5-year rule for validity of medical endorsements.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Implementation of the STCW 2-year 
medical certificate is required by the 2010 amendments to the STCW and 
is not discretionary. The United States is obligated, as a signatory to 
the Convention, to implement the 2-year certificate.
    The same commenter suggested, alternatively, that the Coast Guard 
increase manning at the NMC so that applications for medical 
endorsements can be completed within a specified time period. The 
commenter suggests that this evaluation period should be something on 
the order of 2 weeks from receipt of the application by the NMC. If the 
application cannot be completed in time, the mariner should be provided 
with a temporary or conditional medical endorsement. Regarding the 
determination of fitness for duty, the commenter states that the Coast 
Guard should adopt language stating that in no case should the medical 
opinion of any generalist be of a higher priority than

[[Page 77824]]

the medical opinion of a specialist in their field of specialty 
practice.
    With regard to the commenter's suggestion on the evaluation period, 
the Coast Guard disagrees. While the average time for evaluating 
medical fitness is less than 2 weeks, the evaluation may take longer 
for those with more complex medical conditions. Where a mariner has 
made a timely application or the Coast Guard has a backlog, his/her 
credential may be extended. With regard to the comment on fitness for 
duty, the Coast Guard partially agrees and will continue to review 
determinations of medical disqualification to ensure consistency, 
oversight, and provide mariners the ability to appeal adverse 
determinations. Furthermore, the development of a DME program, 
including interim authority issues, is underway and should provide some 
relief to the medical evaluation program. Provisions in this final rule 
allow for the use of designated medical examiners in the future. The 
Coast Guard is reviewing programs used by other agencies to assist in 
developing the maritime model. We intend to work with stakeholders in 
the development of the DME program and will issue future guidance on 
this subject. Under the DME program the Coast Guard will ensure these 
physicians receive training on the maritime industry and the 
identification of medical conditions that they must refer to the Coast 
Guard for evaluation.
    One commenter stated that a 2-year limit for deep-sea medical 
examinations seems a bit harsh and could become expensive. Could there 
be a minimum period of validity of 2 years and a maximum of 3 years? 
The commenter also suggested that better controls for tracking the 
pilot submittal for their annual physical should be given some thought.
    As discussed above, the Coast Guard disagrees. Implementation of 
the STCW 2-year medical certificate is a requirement set by the 2010 
amendments to the STCW and is not discretionary. The Coast Guard has 
implemented controls to track submittals from pilots as well as medical 
waivers. Additionally, with the establishment of medical certificates, 
it will be easier to track all medical evaluations.
    Two commenters are concerned that the NMC Medical Evaluations 
Division will not be able conduct medical evaluations and issue medical 
endorsements in a reasonable time frame under its current structure and 
staffing. Furthermore, the commenters say, the Coast Guard did not 
include the cost for review and issuance in the proposal. They 
recommend that the Coast Guard set aside this proposal until it can 
ensure an efficient, accurate, and timely review of Medical Endorsement 
applications. Additionally, the commenters believe, the current 
practice of medical vetting must be revised. This should include the 
acceptance of reports from medical specialists at ``face value.'' The 
commenters believe the Coast Guard should not presume to have general 
practitioners and/or physician's assistants vetting and ``second 
guessing'' the evaluations and reports from medical specialists holding 
the requisite credentials. The commenters recommend that the Coast 
Guard put a hold on proposed Sec.  10.301(b)(1) until NVIC 04-08 can be 
rewritten for a realistic 2-year STCW schedule that will not place a 
large financial burden on the mariner. They also recommend a suspension 
until the medical review process can be vastly improved to handle a 
timely 2-year review process.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Implementation of the STCW 2-year 
medical certificate is a requirement set by the 2010 amendments to the 
STCW and is not discretionary. Any delay in implementation will fail to 
meet the requirements of these amendments, and will subject mariners 
and vessels on which they serve to an increased risk of port-state 
detention.
    The Coast Guard is taking action in this final rule to minimize the 
number of mariners who will require more frequent medical evaluation. 
The Coast Guard also has limited authority to grant interim operating 
authorization to mariners serving under the authority of an STCW 
endorsement. The Coast Guard has amended Sec.  15.1103(h)(3) to allow 
mariners to continue to operate if the mariner's medical certificate 
expires during a voyage, provided the period after expiration does not 
exceed 90 days. This is consistent with the STCW 2010 amendments. 
Additionally, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 provides the 
Coast Guard with the authority to grant extensions of up to 12 months 
for national endorsements when the Coast Guard experiences a backlog.
    Furthermore, the Coast Guard will be working to develop the DME 
program to help mitigate any workload issues. Plans for the development 
of a DME program, including interim authorities, are underway. The 
Coast Guard is reviewing programs used by other agencies when 
developing the maritime model, and the Coast Guard intends to work with 
its stakeholders in the development of the DME program.
    The Coast Guard will issue future guidance for the DME program. The 
use of DMEs will also require the Coast Guard to ensure these 
physicians receive training on the maritime industry and the medical 
conditions that must be evaluated by the Coast Guard, using training 
methods similar to those already employed by other federal agencies. 
The Coast Guard is also working with the MEDMAC to review and improve 
policy in this area.
    The Coast Guard did not factor in any potential reduction in the 
cost for review and issuance of medical certificates in the proposal as 
the degree to which DME will alleviate burden and the timing of a DME 
program being up and running is still under development. Furthermore, 
the Coast Guard is seeking and will continue to seek to improve 
efficiencies in the use of our limited resources, as noted in our 
response to comment 5 above. The Coast Guard estimated that the costs 
of implementing the new STCW requirements, including medical, will be 
less than $4 million on a recurring basis.
    Finally, mariners are not paying any fees to the Coast Guard for 
the review of their medical records and the issuance of their medical 
certificates, and will not pay any fees associated with the review and 
issuance of medical certificates. Provisions in this final rule will 
allow for the use of DMEs in the future.
    One commenter notes that the Coast Guard is incorporating STCW 
revisions to its regulations pertaining to medical standards and that 
the revisions will increase the frequency of required medical 
evaluations of mariners from once every 5 years to once every 2 years. 
However, the commenter believes the 2-year interval will not alert the 
Coast Guard to significant changes in a mariner's health that might 
develop within even shorter periods. The commenter recommends that the 
Coast Guard require mariners to report to the Coast Guard, in a timely 
manner, any substantive changes in their medical status or medication 
use that occur between required medical evaluations.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. As discussed above, the 2-year reporting 
interval is consistent with the 2010 amendments. Moreover, there are 
valid concerns that requiring more frequent medical reporting could 
overload available medical evaluation staff and heighten the 
possibility of undesirable processing delays.
    One commenter requests that the Coast Guard use the term medical 
``waivers'' appropriately. In the commenter's view, by any common or 
generally accepted definition, a

[[Page 77825]]

``waiver'' should only be used to describe a situation in which a 
mariner does not meet the applicable medical fitness standards. Because 
of mitigating circumstances, however, the NMC ``waives'' the medical 
standard or standards and grants the credential or endorsement. To 
clarify this point, the commenter recommends that the Coast Guard 
include specific language from NVIC 04-08 dealing with NMC credential 
issuing actions/options, and that proposed regulation Sec.  10.303(b) 
be amended.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The use of the term ``waivers'' has caused 
confusion; therefore the Coast Guard is clarifying the meaning of 
medical waivers to avoid ambiguity and to improve consistency. A 
``waiver'' will be used to describe a situation in which a mariner does 
not meet the applicable medical fitness standards. Operational 
limitations will be issued on medical and physical conditions and 
restrictions will be issued based upon medical and physical conditions. 
The operational limitations and restrictions will be reflected in the 
medical certificate.
    The same commenter argues that the distinction between Great Lakes 
pilots' physical exams and those for other mariners should be 
eliminated. The commenter recommends that proposed regulations in Sec.  
10.302(b) be amended by striking the last sentence of this subparagraph 
(i.e., ``Medical examinations for Great Lakes pilots must be conducted 
by a licensed medical doctor in accordance with the physical exam 
requirements in 46 CFR 402.210.''). The commenter states that there is 
no statutory requirement or policy justification to require Great Lakes 
pilots to see a ``licensed medical doctor'' when all other mariners 
have the option of seeing other types/classes of medical professionals.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard did not propose in this 
rulemaking any changes to the physical examination requirements for 
Great Lakes pilots contained in 46 CFR 402.210, but may consider such 
changes in a future rulemaking. The existing requirement in Sec.  
10.215(a)(2) has been moved to Sec.  10.302, but otherwise remains 
unchanged to ensure that mariners are not confused when applying for a 
medical certificate.
    Two commenters feel that proposed Sec. Sec.  11.709(b) and (d) are 
not clear and should be amended to remove ambiguity as to Coast Guard 
authority with respect to credential invalidation. According to these 
commenters, amending this proposed regulation would also ensure that 
the regulation accurately reflects the reality of pilot submission of 
annual physical examinations.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended those sections accordingly.
    One commenter states that the Coast Guard/NMC should be given 
flexibility from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary to 
utilize existing resources as interim approved DMEs. Most major 
shipping companies already require annual physicals, so they have 
developed a network of providers, utilizing both union physicians and 
private companies, that has been effective in determining mariners' 
fitness for duty.
    The Coast Guard intends to work with its stakeholders in the 
development of the DME program, and interim authority issues would be 
addressed in that future DME proposal.
    One commenter asks, with regard to Sec.  10.301, why a Coast Guard 
medical review is required every 2 years for a STCW medical certificate 
if the mariner is getting a medical review every 5 years for a renewal.
    The implementation of the STCW 2-year medical certificate is 
required by the 2010 amendments to the STCW, and is not discretionary. 
The United States is obligated, as a signatory to the Convention, to 
implement the 2-year certificate. This final rule implements the 2-year 
certificate, which will help ensure the Coast Guard and mariners meet 
the requirements of these amendments. Mariners to whom STCW applies 
seeking to renew their MMC may either submit a valid medical 
certificate or a new form CG-719K.
    Five commenters note that the proposed amendments would require 
endorsement or notation on an MMC every 2 years following a mandatory 
medical certification. Presently, MMCs are re-issued every 5 years. By 
requiring medical recertification to be noted on the MMC, this will 
increase the burden on crewmembers to obtain a new MMC every 2 years. 
The commenters believe this would result in a waste of resources when 
crewmembers will not only have to obtain medical certification, but 
also a new MMC.
    The MMC will remain valid for a 5-year period. The Coast Guard has 
amended Sec.  10.301 and will issue a separate medical certificate with 
the appropriate validity date through the NMC to avoid overburdening 
the system and the application process.
    Five commenters recommend that the Coast Guard establish a process 
to grant ``interim operating authorization'' to mariners who submit 
their medical information in a timely manner but whose medical 
certificates cannot be processed by the NMC before expiration of the 
MMC.
    The Coast Guard partially agrees. The Coast Guard has limited 
authority to grant interim operating authorization to mariners serving 
under the authority of an STCW endorsement and has amended Sec.  
15.1103(h)(3) to allow mariners to continue to operate if the mariner's 
medical certificate expires during a voyage, provided the period after 
expiration does not exceed 90 days.\5\ This is consistent with the STCW 
2010 amendments to the STCW Convention. Additionally, the Coast Guard 
Authorization Act of 2010 provides the Coast Guard with authority to 
grant limited extensions for national endorsements when the Coast Guard 
experiences a backlog.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ A mariner not engaged on a voyage on the expiration date of 
the medical certificate wouldn't receive an extension under this 
provision. The Coast Guard may grant an extension, however, to a 
mariner who has made timely application, or if the issuance of the 
credential is delayed due to backlog, or due to natural catastrophe.
    \6\ For all activities at NMC a backlog is considered to be more 
than 9,000 pending applications. For the appeals process, a backlog 
occurs when the average processing time for appeals exceeds 90 days.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One commenter asks whether the medical certificate is separate 
from, or part of, a person's Merchant Mariners Document (MMD). If it is 
a separate certificate, would there be fees for the review and 
issuance? The commenter notes that there is no mention of this in the 
rulemaking.
    The Coast Guard will issue a separate medical certificate through 
the NMC. This approach will impose less burden on mariners and the 
Coast Guard than the production of medical endorsements to be added to 
the MMC. This final rule does not include additional fees associated 
with the medical certificate because the Coast Guard will not collect 
any fees from the mariners for the review of medical records and 
issuance of medical certificates to mariners.
    The same commenter asks if a mariner would be required to pay for 
and obtain an MMD if the medical certificate is part of a person's MMD, 
and the mariner was serving on small passenger vessels and not 
currently required to have an MMD.
    The Coast Guard plans to continue the existing practice for 
personnel who do not hold an MMC or MMD. They will not be required to 
apply for a separate medical certificate.
    One commenter states that the proposed medical document system is 
overly burdensome to the industry in view of the very small gain in 
safety that might possibly be achieved.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Implementation of the STCW 2-year 
medical certificate is a requirement set

[[Page 77826]]

by the 2010 amendments to the STCW, and is only applicable to seafarers 
serving on vessels to which STCW applies. The Coast Guard is taking 
action in this final rule to minimize the number of mariners who will 
require more frequent medical evaluation by not requiring 2-year 
medical certificates for mariners seeking only national endorsements. 
Medical certificates for such endorsements will be valid for 5 years 
unless the mariner has a limitation, restriction, or waiver for a 
medical condition. The Coast Guard also has limited authority to grant 
interim operating authorization to mariners serving under the authority 
of an STCW endorsement. The Coast Guard has amended Sec.  15.1103(h)(3) 
to allow mariners to continue to operate if the mariner's medical 
certificate expires during a voyage, provided the period after 
expiration does not exceed 90 days. This is consistent with the 2010 
amendments. The Coast Guard will also be working to develop the DME 
program to help mitigate any workload issues, and the Coast Guard 
Authorization Act of 2010 provides the Coast Guard with the authority 
to grant limited extensions for national endorsements when the Coast 
Guard experiences a backlog.
    Additionally, unidentified medical conditions can impair a 
mariner's ability to perform tasks and respond, thus contributing to 
the human element of casualties. This final rule will require more 
frequent medical exams for STCW mariners, thus reducing the potential 
impacts of medical conditions on human error. In combination, the 
provisions of this final rule are expected to reduce potential for 
vessel accidents.
    In summary, the 2-year medical certificate requirement is 
consistent with the STCW Convention requirement for seagoing mariners, 
and strikes an appropriate balance between maritime safety and the 
administrative processing burden.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard update its medical 
reporting systems, to take advantage of computer interface 
capabilities, make it more secure and Health Insurance Portability and 
Accountability Act compliant, prior to requiring mandatory medical 
certification at a minimum of every other year. Additionally, the 
commenter believes common sense would dictate scaling frequency of 
these renewals to a mariner's age. For instance, it's currently 5 
years; at age 50, it becomes annual.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. We are currently working on improving 
our medical credentialing process and guidelines and will issue future 
guidance on this subject. However, we are not planning on delaying 
implementation of the medical certificate. The 2010 amendments to the 
STCW Convention and Code requires that full implementation of the 
issuance of medical certificates be achieved by January 1, 2017. To 
facilitate implementation, the Coast Guard will start issuing 2-year 
medical certificates 30 days after the publication of this final rule. 
In addition, the STCW Convention does not base the frequency of medical 
examinations on the age of the seafarer. Therefore, there are no plans 
for age-based examinations at this time.
4. Training
    One commenter supports the way the Coast Guard has adopted the STCW 
standards of competence at the management and operational levels for 
deck officer endorsements in Sec.  11.301(a). The commenter believes 
that, by publishing them in the rules, mariners can see the options 
available to them under STCW. By adhering to the terms of the 
Convention rather than reflecting the assumed intent of delegates to 
the IMO, the commenter says, the Coast Guard is meeting its obligations 
to the international maritime community and U.S. mariners in a 
responsible, reasonable fashion.
    The same commenter stated that the Coast Guard's proposed revision 
of Sec.  12.605 in response to the comments of MERPAC is laudable. In 
view of the anticipated changes, the commenter recommends revision of 
the provisions of NMC Policy Letter 14-02 to reflect these standards.
    The Coast Guard is currently reviewing guidance in this area and 
will consider future revisions to the Policy Letter that might be 
necessary as a result of this rulemaking.
    Thirty-three commenters oppose the introduction of onboard 
assessments as an alternative to the current regime of structured 
training. The reasons cited include concerns that this alternative 
method would result in the degradation of the competency and 
proficiency of the U.S. mariner, potentially shift the overall training 
responsibilities to vessel's personnel onboard minimally manned 
vessels, possibly conflict with STCW Section A-I/6, allow the conduct 
of assessments that cannot be safely done onboard the vessels, and fail 
to allow for competencies that are not conducive to self-learning and 
must be supplemented with formal training.
    Thirteen commenters agree with the Coast Guard moving away from 
only accepting classroom training as demonstration of proficiency for 
the credentialing of mariners. The commenters state that onboard and 
on-the-job training should remain an important part of the industry, 
and support this change.
    The Coast Guard responds that the STCW Convention is a competence-
based Convention and not a training-based Convention. Further, approved 
classroom training is not the only means of acquiring knowledge; on the 
contrary, on-the-job training conveys certain knowledge, understanding 
and proficiencies more thoroughly and efficiently. The STCW Convention 
does not specify what competencies (including knowledge, understanding, 
and proficiencies) require approved, formal training. It is up to the 
Administration to establish the required training and/or experience 
necessary to achieve the level of competence, and to establish when and 
how the training should be obtained.
    The Coast Guard recognizes commenters' concerns that shipboard 
operations might make it challenging for seafarers onboard vessels to 
train others, particularly when reduced manning, higher mariner 
workload, and mariner fatigue issues are taken into account. The Coast 
Guard also recognizes that not all STCW competencies and individual 
knowledge, understanding, and proficiencies must be accomplished as 
part of a formal structured, training as there are areas where in-
service experience may fulfill the competency requirement. Taking this 
into account, the Coast Guard reviewed the tables of competencies and 
identified the training topics that must be accomplished as part of 
approved formal training.
    The increased number of training topics that must be covered by 
approved training will strike an appropriate balance between providing 
flexibility and ensuring mariners achieve a sufficient level of 
competence for STCW endorsements. These training topics in the final 
rule were part of the extensive list of topics proposed in the NPRM, as 
well as those listed in the SNPRM. Parts 11 and 12 of this final rule 
are amended to include a combination of training and in-service 
requirements, validated through assessments, to ensure that seafarers 
achieve the necessary level of competence. However, these changes do 
not prohibit companies and organizations from developing approved in-
service training.
    One commenter recommends that e-learning not be proctored.
    The Coast Guard agrees. E-learning is optional under Sec.  10.412 
and Section B-I/6 of the STCW Code, and neither require proctoring of 
e-learning courses. However, all testing must be proctored to ensure 
secure procedures for the examination system to prevent cheating.

[[Page 77827]]

Additionally, all assessments must be monitored by qualified assessors.
    One commenter notes that deck officers are spending time with 
cadets and teaching and assessing them on required tasks, after the 
cadet learns the material in the classroom. The commenter specifically 
noted that we can hardly expect an officer to teach a three-star fix, 
explain a mid-latitude sailing, work an amplitude and do his job, the 
commenter says. In the commenter's view, not only might a deck officer 
feel uncomfortable teaching those elements (which are no longer a daily 
part of his job), there simply may not be the time to do so.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The SNPRM did not propose to 
require deck officers to teach cadets onboard. We agree, however, that 
the development of onboard assessments is not intended as the wholesale 
transfer of the training of seafarers from shoreside educational 
establishments to the shipboard personnel responsible for the oversight 
of the vessel's operation. The Coast Guard recognizes that onboard 
duties can preclude the time needed to provide a comprehensive training 
program for subordinates, but that there is still a burden to ensure 
that they are competent to perform their duties, which include 
assisting supervisors and other shipboard personnel with their duties. 
The Coast Guard also recognizes that STCW is a competency-based system 
and that by differing combinations of exposure, training and self-study 
each mariner may independently acquire individual STCW competencies 
while onboard vessels. Therefore, onboard assessments do not contain a 
training component beyond the feedback needed by the candidates to 
further develop themselves and should reasonably be within the scope of 
the duties of an assessor. The Coast Guard will be developing guidance 
that includes the development of qualified assessors, pertinent 
guidelines and other standards that will be needed for the successful 
use of onboard assessments.
    A training institution asks the reasons for the Coast Guard's 
decision to eliminate most of the existing approved education/training 
and assessor qualifications (Sec.  11.301(a)(1)) for certification as 
an OICNW, chief officer, and master on unlimited tonnage vessels. They 
asked ``what prompted the Coast Guard to change its interpretation 
after 10 years of precedence?''
    The 1997 interim rule, implementing the 1995 amendments to STCW 
with changes to 46 CFR parts 10 and 12, did not limit the permissible 
means of demonstrating required competencies to formal training. Since 
the publication of the interim rule, mariners have pointed out the 
benefit of permitting greater flexibility in demonstrating competence 
through the many methods allowed by the Code. Further, the SNPRM 
reflected the more flexible approach to demonstrating competence in the 
2010 amendments.
    The same commenter asks if the Coast Guard knows of any other flag 
state that shares this interpretation of STCW competence and training 
requirements, and if, from a public policy perspective, the Coast Guard 
believes this change is a reduction in the safety standards for the 
industry.
    The Coast Guard is aware of a number of countries that share parts 
or all of the interpretations of the flexibilities that exist within 
the STCW Convention and Code. These flexibilities are the basis for 
these regulations, which do not represent a reduction in safety 
standards for the industry. This rulemaking will ensure a consistent 
implementation of the Convention requirements throughout the industry. 
A consistent implementation of the proper combination of training, 
assessment and sea service will further increase safety, security and 
environmental protection.
    One commenter requests that current Sec.  10.404(a)(3), which 
addresses the use of sea service that is credited as a result of 
completing an approved course, be clarified.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. We did not propose a change to the 
existing requirements in this section. However, we included new 
language in Sec.  10.404(a)(4) to clarify the applicability of this 
provision to STCW endorsements.
    One commenter states that the sections of this SNPRM regarding the 
training and assessment for OICNW operational level and for chief mate/
master at the management level represent a circumvention of the intent 
and spirit of IMO's Resolution 7--Promotion of technical knowledge, 
skills and professionalism of seafarers; In particular paragraphs .1 
through .4 and .6 of the Resolution.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The use of on-board-training supports 
the intent of Resolution 7, to ensure that mariners are involved in the 
development of junior officers to ensure qualified professionals.
    One commenter stated that the low level of understanding of basic 
meteorology exhibited by candidates for endorsement as OICNW extends, 
to a lesser degree, to sailing Masters ``grandfathered before STCW.'' 
The commenter recommends that the Coast Guard review the Detailed 
Teaching Syllabus from IMO model course Section 11 and require that 
OICNW candidates be required to complete this course.
    The Coast Guard agrees. Meteorology was added to the list of 
training subjects that must be completed as part of structured training 
at the operational level.
    Two commenters like the option of using alternate methods of 
demonstrating competence.
    One commenter states that the Coast Guard should task MERPAC with 
reviewing the training areas for all ratings/licenses to ensure 
developing technologies and operations are incorporated into the 
requirements in a timely manner. The commenter states that a 
comprehensive review by MERPAC relative to these concerns is warranted 
and will be valuable in assuring the necessary competencies are 
required for mariners holding specific endorsements.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and asked MERPAC, in task statement 75, to 
review the STCW SNPRM and provide comments and recommendations to the 
Coast Guard, including: (1) Developing a list of training elements (in 
addition to those in the proposed SNPRM) for operational and management 
level deck and engineer officers, where and if appropriate, that should 
be completed as part of a structured program/training course to address 
the knowledge, understanding, and proficiencies (KUPs) in the 
competence tables; and (2) identifying which of the training elements 
can be accomplished onboard vessels, and which could better be 
accomplished ashore in a formal classroom setting.
    During its October 5, 2011, meeting, MERPAC recommended the 
competencies that must be subject to formal training and also 
recommended that the content of the training should be appropriate to 
the tonnage, route and/or type of vessel. The Coast Guard agrees with 
some of the areas identified by MERPAC concerning formal training and 
has amended part 11, subpart C, and part 12, subpart F, of this final 
rule to include a combination of training and in-service requirements 
(validated through assessments) to ensure that the seafarers achieve 
the level of competence. These formal training topics were part of the 
NPRM published in 2009.
    One commenter recommends that consideration be given to authorizing 
approved training facilities that meet Coast Guard and STCW quality 
system standards to issue certificates of proficiency on completion of 
an approved course and assessment that

[[Page 77828]]

would be accepted by the Coast Guard as meeting the requirements for 
STCW endorsement.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The STCW Convention authorizes the 
issuance of ``certificates of proficiency'' by training institutions 
for some of the competency requirements. However, authorizing training 
institutions to issue certificates of proficiency places additional 
burdens on them, and would create significant oversight difficulties. 
Training institutions would be required to deal with port state control 
authorities around the world on confirmations of the validity and 
authenticity of the document issued by the institution. Authorizing 
training institutions to issue certificates of proficiency would also 
require those institutions to be responsible for preventing the 
issuance of fraudulent certificates and ensuring they meet a 
standardized format.
    One commenter recommends that Sec.  12.623(a)(2)(ii) be deleted as 
there are currently no approved Global Maritime Distress and Safety 
System (GMDSS) maintainer courses in the United States and there are no 
published guidelines for what such a course should contain. 
Alternatively, the commenter says, the Coast Guard should publish 
course guidelines/criteria for development of a GMDSS maintainer 
course.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. Until such time as the Coast Guard 
establishes criteria for and approves such ``GMDSS at sea maintainer 
courses,'' Sec.  12.623(a)(2)(ii) will not be a viable option to 
demonstrate competency. Nonetheless, the Coast Guard has included this 
option because it intends to soon begin the process of promulgating 
guidelines for GMDSS course content and approval.
    One commenter recommends that, in Sec.  11.305(d), allowance should 
be made for a mariner to crossover from the 500-1,600-ton master to 
second mate, then with training and sea service progress to unlimited 
master, such as the progression in Sec.  11.404.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard is providing this career 
progression in Sec.  11.305(d) in support of STCW Regulation II/2. The 
length of qualifying service required for master and chief mate on 
vessels of 3,000 GT or more in STCW Regulation II/2, paragraph 2, is 
the same as that required for master and chief mate on vessels of 
between 500 and 3,000 GT in paragraph 4 of the same regulation. This 
career progression recognizes that service, and provides a method for 
mariners holding the lower tonnage credential to obtain the master of 
vessels of 3,000 GT or more upon completion of additional service and 
any assessments that have not been completed.
    One commenter notes that proposed Sec.  10.404(a)(3) states that: 
``Unless otherwise allowed, training obtained before receiving an 
endorsement may not be used for subsequent raises of grade, increases 
in scope, or renewals.'' The commenter says that this provision would 
discourage OICNW candidates from pursuing training beyond the minimum 
required. If they opt to receive training in higher level professional 
abilities at the management level, they become more valuable to the 
safe operation of the vessel, the commenter states, and they can 
benefit from practical experience by applying those higher abilities at 
the operational level to assist senior officers.
    In addition, one other commenter states that, with regard to Sec.  
10.404(a)(3), unless there are provisions made within this section, 
individuals may need to take the same class twice to receive or to 
maintain a credential when upgrading or increasing the scope of their 
license. The commenter states that this is an expensive and unnecessary 
training requirement.
    The Coast Guard partially agrees. The existing requirements in 
Sec.  10.404(a)(3) apply to national endorsements where the training is 
used in ``lieu'' of ``service'' or ``exam.'' This requirement is not 
applicable to STCW provisions, since the Convention allows for the 
attainment of training and assessment for management level at the 
operational level. The Coast Guard has added Sec.  10.404(a)(4) to 
ensure that this does not apply to STCW courses.
    One commenter asks if, with regard to Sec. Sec.  11.309(a)(4)(iii) 
and 11.319(a)(5)(iii), it would be possible to include Standard Marine 
Communication Phrases (SMCP) training in the ``Flashing Light'' course 
requirement for STCW.
    The Coast Guard allows training providers broad discretion in 
determining how to establish their courses and programs, and the course 
can be approved to meet both requirements. The Coast Guard will allow 
training providers to include the SMCP training in a ``Flashing Light'' 
course, but will not require it.
    The same commenter asks if the same methods of demonstrating 
competence will be allowed for chief mates in the future. In other 
words, will the course requirements for advancing to chief mate no 
longer be mandatory?
    Section 11.307 of this final rule requires the completion of 
approved training in several subject areas for an endorsement as chief 
mate on vessels of 3,000 GT or more. That section specifies the 
acceptable methods of demonstrating competence and the training 
requirements for this endorsement.
    One commenter requests that, with regard to the Towing Officer 
Assessment Record (TOAR), sections for barge work be allowed on 
simulators and a DE should be authorized to sign off on them.
    The Coast Guard agrees but does not believe a change to the rule is 
needed. The guidance in NVIC 4-01 allows for the use of simulators in 
this case.
    One commenter asks if consideration has been given to modifying 
Sec.  11.516(a)(6) to change the present 3-year requirement for an 
accepted training program for an original unlimited third assistant 
engineer horse power license to some shorter period of time.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has removed the 3-year duration in Sec.  
11.516(a)(6) for the training program because each program will be 
evaluated based upon its individual merits and its ability to provide 
the theoretical knowledge, understanding and proficiency to enable the 
candidate to serve as third assistant engineer.
    One commenter recommends removal of the requirement in Sec. Sec.  
12.501 and 12.607 for holding/service as a Qualified Member of the 
Engine Department/able seafarer-engine for engineer officer 
credentials.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The requirements to become an 
engineering officer are contained in Sec.  11.516 and not in Sec. Sec.  
12.501 or 12.607. We are keeping the requirement in Sec.  11.516 for 
service as QMED as part of an option to become a third assistant 
engineer ``coming up through the hawsepipe.'' There are five classes of 
QMED listed in Sec.  12.501 through which this service can be met; some 
stand watch, while others don't. The Coast Guard does not wish to 
restrict mariners from these choices. Candidates for third mate and 
rating forming part of a navigational watch need directed watchstanding 
duty experience, whereas third assistant engineer and ratings forming 
part of an engineering watch candidates can gain relevant experience 
sailing in any of the QMED ratings.
    One commenter proposes, that because of the burdens imposed by STCW 
on domestic mariners, that the United States, pursuant to Article XV of 
the SCTW Convention, advise the IMO that the U.S. domestic 
credentialing program is ``sufficient for mariners serving on vessels 
of 200 to 1,600 GRT (500 to 300 tons IRT) in domestic coastwise 
waters.''
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Although Article XV provides for a 
country's

[[Page 77829]]

withdrawal from the entire Convention, it does not allow a country to 
opt out of certain provisions of the Convention to which it does not 
agree. Additionally, it is the Coast Guard's view that, overall, the 
requirements of STCW are justified in the interests of safety, 
security, and protection of the marine environment. Finally, 
recognizing that STCW allows a variety of ways for a mariner to 
demonstrate competence other than formal classroom training, this final 
rule now includes implementation of assessment-based processes that 
allow acceptance of these various methods.
    One commenter states that the SNPRM preamble, on page 45917, says 
that Sec.  10.401 revises the applicability to include training 
programs, but the commenter can't find that in the cited section. Is it 
someplace else?
    The requirements in Sec.  10.401 apply to both approved courses and 
training programs.
5. Utility and Harbor Assist Towing
    One commenter states that he is a Commercial Tow Boat Operator on 
Lake Washington, and that he typically moves boats (18' to 40') to a 
repair shop, not unlike taking your car to a shop with a flat tire. He 
asks if someone can tell him why he would need to have any special 
treatment or license to do this.
    Under section 8904 of 46 U.S.C., mariners towing a disabled vessel 
for compensation must be credentialed by the Coast Guard. Additionally, 
if the towing vessel is greater than 26 feet in length, the operator 
must be credentialed by the Coast Guard to operate the vessel in the 
location.
    One commenter states that the practical demonstration required in 
Sec.  10.227(e)(6) is too vague, that the assessment and its conditions 
need to be further defined. According to the commenter, ``ongoing 
participation in training and drills during the validity of the license 
or MMC may be used to renew but this section does not define what type 
of training or drills are required. This section should define these 
issues.''
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard has provided the towing 
industry the documentation being sought for this issue through guidance 
in NVIC 04-01 revision 1. The review of NVIC 04-01 and the TOARs is 
ongoing with the TSAC task statement 08-01.
    Two commenters recommend that, with regard to the provision for new 
towing endorsements included in the SNPRM, the Coast Guard remove these 
provisions and transfer them to the new subchapter M proposed 
rulemaking dealing with the inspection of towing vessels. In the 
commenters' view, the creation of the new towing endorsements is 
unrelated to the STCW, raises serious safety concerns, and should not 
be fast-tracked as part of a final rule to implement the STCW 
amendments.
    In addition, seven other commenters oppose the creation of the new 
master of towing (utility) and master of towing (harbor assist) 
licenses.
    The Coast Guard is not including in this final rule the 
endorsements for apprentice mate (steersman) of towing (utility), 
master of towing (utility), and master of towing (harbor assist) that 
were proposed in Sec. Sec.  11.466(c), 11.464(d), and 11.464(e) of the 
SNPRM. Public comment raised sufficient concerns with these provisions, 
as discussed below in ``Discussion of Public Comments,'' that the Coast 
Guard wants to seek additional comment from the industry. We are 
currently considering moving the issue to another rulemaking and 
seeking additional input from TSAC, which would give the public 
additional time to comment on this matter. However, we are retaining 
the existing definition of ``disabled vessel.''
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard look closely at the 
requirements of the model TOAR in NVIC 4-01 to ensure that they are 
easily used for all towing vessels without imposing a towing 
requirement which is inconsistent with a vessel's design or capability.
    This issue is outside the scope of this rulemaking. TSAC is 
currently amending NVIC 4-01--Model TOAR under task statement 08-01.
6. Chief Engineer (Limited Near-Coastal)
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend Sec.  11.512. 
The minimum service required to qualify an applicant for endorsement as 
first assistant engineer of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled 
vessels is 1 year of service as an assistant engineer while holding a 
license or MMC endorsement as second assistant engineer. The commenter 
states that service as a chief engineer (limited-oceans/limited-near-
coastal) supersedes that of an assistant engineer (limited). However, 
the NMC does not recognize this, thereby refusing to accept service as 
chief engineer (limited-oceans/limited-near-coastal) in the same manner 
as assistant (limited).
    The Coast Guard agrees with including sea service as chief engineer 
(limited) as an option in the service requirements for first assistant 
engineer and has amended Sec.  11.512 accordingly. Please note, as 
discussed below, that the Coast Guard has eliminated the chief engineer 
(limited near-coastal) endorsement and dropped the ``Ocean'' 
designation from both chief and assistant engineer (limited). Also 
included in this rulemaking is a crossover path from assistant engineer 
(limited) to third assistant engineer.
    One commenter recommends that all engineers who hold a license as 
chief engineer (limited) 1,600 GRT near-coastal or ocean prior to 
January 1, 2013, should be given an STCW endorsement as chief engineer 
meeting the requirements of STCW III/2, but with a tonnage limitation 
to 1,600 GRT. Evidence of meeting the standard of competence for 
leadership and management skills and for management of electrical and 
electronic control equipment should be required at the first renewal of 
such an endorsement, the commenter says.
    The Coast Guard disagrees with the suggestion that mariners holding 
certain national endorsements be ``given'' an STCW endorsement. Most 
national credential holders qualify in some way for an STCW 
endorsement; however, they must also meet the additional STCW sea 
service, training, and/or assessments involved, as appropriate. These 
mariners are able to apply for a particular STCW endorsement outlined 
in the relevant crossover table in the STCW sections of the rule (part 
11, subpart C, and part 12, subpart E).
    The same commenter recommends that all engineers who currently hold 
a license as chief engineer (limited near-coastal) should be upgraded 
to chief engineer (limited-ocean) 1,600 GRT without further sea service 
or testing requirements and given the same STCW III/2 endorsement 
restricted to vessels less than 1,600 GRT.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part and has amended the regulations to 
remove chief engineer (limited near-coastal). New applicants for chief 
engineer (limited) and those wishing to upgrade from near-coastal to 
the new, single credential will have to sail the additional year 
already specified in the regulations. Current mariners who hold a chief 
engineer (limited near-coastal) credential may continue to renew that 
credential. However, since the written examination for both chief 
engineer (limited) categories are identical, those mariners going from 
chief engineer (limited near-coastal) to chief engineer (limited) will 
not be required to take an examination.
    Five commenters recommend that the Coast Guard eliminate the chief 
engineer (limited near-coastal) license and replace it with a chief 
engineer (limited) license limited to vessels less than 1,600 GRT, 
unlimited horsepower (HP). Consistent with the corresponding

[[Page 77830]]

service requirements for deck licenses, the commenters recommend that 
the service time required for a chief engineer (limited) license also 
be reduced from 5 years to 4 years. There are many unlicensed engineers 
and limited scope licensed engineers who perform duties and have 
responsibility as engineer aboard vessels sailing internationally. The 
commenters recommend grandfather provisions for these engineers upon 
proof of sea service. They feel that these mariners should be granted a 
limited-scope license and an STCW endorsement that allows them to 
continue to serve in the capacity in which they have sailed. The 
commenters state that this limitation could be restricted to a specific 
type of vessel, tonnage, and/or equipment the Coast Guard finds 
appropriate, but it is crucial that these qualified mariners are able 
to continue sailing.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part and has amended the regulations to 
remove chief engineer (limited near-coastal). New applicants for chief 
engineer (limited) and those wishing to upgrade from near-coastal to 
the new single oceans credential will have to sail the additional year 
already specified in the regulations, for a total of 5 years. However, 
since the written examination for both chief engineer (limited) 
categories are identical, those mariners going from chief engineer 
(limited near-coastal) to chief engineer (limited) will not be required 
to take an examination. The Coast Guard does not agree with the request 
to reduce service time from 5 years to 4 years as it is inconsistent 
with the STCW Convention and Code.
    One commenter believes that limiting the geographical routes for an 
engineer's license to anything other than near-coastal or oceans is 
superfluous. The commenter states that limits of 1,000 HP are also 
fairly useless since few towing vessels for offshore service are so 
underpowered, and that a limit of 4,000 HP is more realistic.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Current national standards apply to more 
than towing vessels and are also applicable to all vessels of less than 
1,600 GRT. Further, the Designated Duty Engineer (DDE) endorsements 
carry not only horsepower restrictions but also tonnage and route 
restrictions. Industry has demonstrated a use for the 1,000 HP 
endorsement. Therefore, we are retaining it in subpart E of part 11. 
Additionally, we have eliminated the chief engineer (limited near-
coastal) endorsement from Sec.  11.520. All limited engineers are now 
authorized to sail upon oceans on vessels of less than 1,600 GRT but 
are not restricted as to horsepower.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend Sec.  11.510, 
which sets out the service requirements for domestic endorsements as 
chief engineer of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled vessels. 
As proposed in the SNPRM, the section accepted service as a first 
assistant engineer or while holding a license or MMC endorsement for 
that position. The commenter points out that chief engineer (limited-
oceans/limited-near-coastal) and assistant engineer (limited) are 
recognized as ``management level'' endorsements. Therefore, the 
commenter says, this section should be amended to include the 
following: Service as chief engineer (limited oceans/limited near-
coastal) or assistant engineer (limited), while holding a license as 
first assistant engineer, is creditable as first assistant engineer on 
a two-for-one basis (2 days of service creditable as 1 day) on vessels 
over 1,600 GRT and over 4,000 HP, applicable to 100 percent of the 
total required service.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  11.510 to allow 
creditable sea service as the commenter suggests.
7. Articulated Tug Barges (ATBs)
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard reconsider its 
present position in the SNPRM, and adopt a regulation or policy whereby 
inland tug-barge combinations are accepted in computing license tonnage 
ratings as they presently are for ITB and ATB service.
    In order to facilitate the towing industry's need for career paths 
to retain highly-skilled personnel, the Coast Guard has amended text in 
Sec. Sec.  10.232 and 11.211 to accept certain towing vessel service 
based on the aggregate tonnage of the tug and barge(s) when greater 
than 1,600 GRT. This service will be accepted only when properly 
documented by the towing company.
    One commenter notes that Sec.  11.211(d) provides specific sea 
service credit for ATBs. The commenter asks how far back will the Coast 
Guard grant sea service credit with proper documentation on an ATB.
    Service on ATBs will be accepted subject to the same time 
considerations as service on other vessels. Generally, the only 
applicable conditions are that a portion of a mariner's qualifying 
service must meet the ``recency'' requirements of Sec.  11.201(c).
    One commenter notes that Sec.  11.463(g) acknowledges that the 
Coast Guard will issue a towing endorsement restricted to specific 
types of vessels, such as ATBs. It has been accepted that not all tasks 
on a TOAR apply to an ATB and, consequently, someone on an ATB may not 
be able to obtain a completed TOAR. In the commenter's view, Sec.  
11.464(i) should contain a provision to authorize an ATB endorsement 
for mariners who are unable to complete the TOAR because some 
requirements in the TOAR do not apply or the equipment is not 
specifically fitted on an ATB. The same provision should be made in 
Sec.  11.465(d)(2).
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Both sections reference the requirements 
for a TOAR in Sec.  10.404(c). This section requires mariners to 
complete a TOAR approved by the Coast Guard. Additionally, the 
regulations and implementing policy provide mariners the opportunity to 
revise the TOAR to make it appropriate for the vessel upon which they 
serve, if they get those changes approved by the Coast Guard. As part 
of the approval, the Coast Guard will note the routes and/or vessels 
for which the TOAR is approved. Mariners serving on ATBs will be 
considered to have met the requirement to hold a completed TOAR if they 
have completed the Coast Guard-approved TOAR for ATBs on the applicable 
routes.
    Three commenters recommend that if the Coast Guard intends to 
credit ATB sea time the same as unlimited vessels, the Coast Guard is 
obligated to ensure that these combined tonnage vessels are manned as 
ships, inspected as ships, and that the crews and vessels meet all 
international conventions as ships. Two of the commenters further 
recommend that sea service credit for ATBs should be limited to no more 
than one day of sea service credit for every 3 days served, up to a 
maximum of 6 months credit toward a raise in grade of unlimited level 
licenses. The third commenter recommends that the Coast Guard award sea 
service credit for mariners serving on ATBs on a 2 for 1 basis (2 days 
of service is awarded 1 day of sea service credit).
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The proposed standard provides a 
comparable service credit to the existing regulations, and there is no 
evidence to demonstrate that it would increase risk in marine 
transportation.
    Three commenters state that, in Sec.  11.211(d), service on ATBs or 
sophisticated tank barges should be permissible to qualify for a 
tankerman-PIC endorsement.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The Coast Guard has amended Sec.  13.127 to 
accept service onboard some ATBs toward the national and STCW tankerman 
endorsements (including tankerman-PIC), provided the ATB equipment is 
equivalent to comparable tankship

[[Page 77831]]

equipment. This change is necessary to ensure career paths and to 
facilitate the use of new ATBs as qualifying platforms for tankerman 
endorsements. In addition, the Coast Guard has provided a means for 
mariners serving on tank barges to qualify for an STCW endorsement with 
a limitation to non-self-propelled vessels.
8. Manning
    Thirty-four commenters were concerned that, as worded, Sec.  
15.515(b) would not allow passenger vessels with the minimum crew 
complement required by the Certificate of Inspection (COI) to conduct 
drills or shore side operations (like vehicle inspections) requiring 
crew members to be off the vessel. The commenters recommend that the 
Coast Guard clarify that the crew complement required by the COI may be 
off the vessel in rescue boats or shore side as needed to accomplish 
routine operations or emergency response and drills.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Due to passenger vessels' minimum 
manning, it is essential for the safety of the passengers to ensure 
there are sufficient personnel on the vessel to respond to emergencies 
and passenger needs.
    One commenter states that the proposed change to the 4-on-8-off 
watch schedule would greatly affect working conditions on ships such as 
his, working in inland waters on a 6-on-6-off watch schedule.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. We have not proposed to require a 4-
hours-on, 8-off watch schedule in Sec.  15.1111. The section requires 
that all mariners subject to STCW must receive: (1) A minimum 10 hours 
of rest in any 24-hour period; and (2) 77 hours of rest in any 7-day 
period. Mariners subject to STCW, such as the commenter, who work on 
vessels utilizing a 6-on, 6-off watch schedule, would be given 
sufficient rest, receiving 12 hours of rest in any 24-hour period, and 
84 hours of rest in a 7-day period.
    One commenter states that, in Sec.  15.403(c), the phrase ``each 
person serving as an able seafarer-deck'' could lead to confusion 
because of the lack of a definition of that individual. The commenter 
recommends that it be clearly stated that A/B-deck is equivalent to 
able seaman (A/B), which is consistent with the qualification standards 
in Sec.  12.603.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec. Sec.  15.404(b) and 
15.404(d)(3) accordingly.
    One commenter states that in Sec.  15.404(b), which sets out 
certain requirements for serving aboard a vessel, the last sentence 
makes it sound like all persons on a vessel must comply, not just those 
serving as a rating as A/B. The commenter recommends that the 
application of this provision should be clarified to affect just those 
endorsement holders who are serving to fill a manning standard.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the last sentence in Sec.  
15.404(b) to read ``Each person serving as a non-watchstanding A/B on 
vessels must also hold an STCW endorsement as able seafarer-deck.''
    One commenter asks, with regard to Sec.  12.603, which sets out 
requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as able seafarer-deck, 
how the COIs will be worded. Will COIs now list both domestic and STCW 
endorsements required?
    COIs will list both national and STCW endorsements. The Coast Guard 
will be revising safe manning documents to be consistent with the 
changes in this final rule.
    One commenter notes that Sec.  15.1105 does not reference the STCW-
required security familiarization.
    At this time, the Coast Guard intends to satisfy the STCW 2010 
amendments regarding security familiarization requirements through the 
regulations in existing 33 CFR subchapter H, subpart B, which require 
that mariners meet the knowledge requirements via training or 
equivalent job experience. The requirements in 33 CFR 104.220 and 
104.225 meet the requirements for familiarization training. If any 
changes to 33 CFR 104.220 and 104.225 are needed, the Coast Guard will 
consider including them in a separate, future rulemaking.
    Three commenters believe that the requirements of proposed Sec.  
15.1113 are written for a cargo vessel, where the entire vessel is 
defined as a secure or restricted space, and does not take into account 
the operation of a typical passenger vessel, on which most spaces are 
open to the general public.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The 2010 amendments to the STCW 
Convention (Section A-VI/6) require that all persons employed or 
engaged on a seagoing vessel receive security familiarization. The 
requirements will apply equally to both cargo and passenger vessels. 
The term ``all persons'' includes seafarers and other personnel, 
including contractors, whether part-time, full-time, temporary, or 
permanent.
    As discussed above, the Coast Guard intends to meet the STCW 2010 
amendments regarding security requirements via the regulations in 33 
CFR subchapter H, specifically 33 CFR 104.225, which requires that all 
contractors, whether part-time, full-time, temporary, or permanent, 
must have knowledge on a number of topics, through training or 
equivalent job experience. Accordingly, the Coast Guard has amended 
Sec.  15.1113 to ensure that all contractors, whether part-time, full-
time, temporary, or permanent, must have knowledge of the topics listed 
in 33 CFR 104.225 through training or equivalent job experience.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend Sec.  15.1113 
to read as follows:
    (a) Onboard a seagoing vessel of 200 GRT/500 GT or more:
    (1) All persons performing duties as Vessel Security Officer (VSO) 
must hold a valid endorsement as VSO;
    (2) After July 1, 2012, all personnel with designated security 
duties must hold a valid endorsement as vessel personnel with 
designated security duties, or a certificate of course completion from 
an appropriate Coast Guard-accepted course meeting the requirements of 
33 CFR 104.220; and
    (3) After July 1, 2012, all other vessel personnel, including 
contractors, whether part-time, full-time, temporary, or permanent, 
must hold a valid endorsement in security awareness, or a certificate 
of course completion from an appropriate Coast Guard-accepted course 
meeting the requirements of 33 CFR 104.225.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  15.1113 to address the 
following issues: (1) Provide for the appropriate application to 
vessels over 500 GT; (2) include all transitional provisions from the 
STCW Convention applicable to existing mariners; (3) include an 
implementation date of March 24, 2014, for new mariners; (4) amend the 
requirements applicable to contractors and other personnel to ensure 
that they do not have to obtain an endorsement; and (5) ensure persons 
meeting the VSO requirements are considered to have met the 
requirements of training for personnel with or without security duties.
    Two commenters recommend that the Coast Guard review the language 
in Sec.  15.812(a)(1) to ensure that the intent of this section is not 
to require ``all coastwise towing vessels,'' which are propelled by 
machinery and subject to inspection under 46 U.S.C. chapter 33, to 
carry a pilot irrespective of whether they are actually engaged in 
towing.
    The Coast Guard proposed no changes to existing Sec.  15.812(a)(1), 
and that provision remains unchanged in this final rule. For that 
reason, the commenter's request to revise the conditions under which 
coastwise towing vessels are required to carry a pilot is outside the 
scope of the

[[Page 77832]]

rulemaking. The Coast Guard may consider this matter in a future, 
separate rulemaking.
    Two commenters recommend that, in order to avoid confusion (or 
disagreement with port state control on what endorsements are required 
for mariners on towing vessels), the Coast Guard should work with 
vessel owners to clarify, on a vessel's Safe Manning Document, what 
STCW requirements must be met (e.g., 1 master (STCW III/2), 2 licensed 
mates (STCW III/1), etc.).
    The Coast Guard agrees and is amending the manning requirements in 
Sec. Sec.  15.805 and 15.810 accordingly. Furthermore, the Coast Guard 
will be revising safe manning documents to be consistent with the 
changes in this final rule.
    Fifteen commenters note that, throughout the current language of 
Part 10 of title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations, there remain 
inaccurate and outdated statements that mariner credentials are valid 
only when accompanied by a current Transportation Worker Identification 
Credential (TWIC). Since enactment of the Coast Guard Authorization Act 
of 2010 (section 809 of Pub. L. 111-281), these are incorrect 
statements as a matter of law. Section 809 relieved a mariner with a 
Coast Guard credential who does not need unescorted access to a secure 
or restricted space on a vessel that has a Coast Guard-approved vessel 
security plan (as required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act 
of 2004, as amended) from the requirement of obtaining a TWIC. The 
commenters recommend that references to TWIC should be altered to state 
``if required'' or ``as appropriate.''
    The Coast Guard agrees, and is in the process of amending the TWIC 
requirements in a separate rulemaking (RIN 1625-AB80). Additionally, 
the Coast Guard recently published CG-CVC Policy Letter 11-15 to revise 
the credentialing enforcement in regard to TWIC.
    One commenter states that the SNPRM creates a de facto manning 
requirement for any vessel subject to STCW to carry a chief engineer. 
As the STCW Convention only draws restrictions for chief engineer 
endorsements by horsepower, and most seagoing towing vessels are well 
over 4,000 HP, the commenter states that the regulations will 
effectively make an unlimited chief engineer endorsement required on 
all towing vessels. The commenter recommends that the Coast Guard take 
steps to minimize the impact of this rule and assure that the United 
States meets the requirements of the STCW convention.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. Those mariners sailing with chief 
engineer (limited) and DDE-unlimited endorsements may obtain a 
corresponding STCW endorsement at the management level without raising 
the grade or increasing the scope of their national endorsement under 
Sec. Sec.  11.325, 11.327, and 11.331.
    One commenter recommends that, with regard to existing mariners, 
the Coast Guard expand the grandfathering provisions so that chief 
engineer endorsements may be issued for engineers who are already 
deemed qualified and currently sail as engineers on seagoing towing 
vessels over 4,000 HP. Upon appropriate presentation of proof of sea 
service, the commenter recommends that these mariners be granted a 
limited-scope license and STCW endorsement that allows them to continue 
to serve in their current capacity.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Paths for existing mariners with 
national engineering endorsements to obtain an STCW endorsement are 
already included in Sec. Sec.  11.325, 11.327, 11.329, and 11.331.
    One commenter notes that developing future mariners for engineering 
licenses will be more difficult. The engineering department for towing 
vessels have historically consisted of one-man engine departments, with 
future engineers being developed by identifying talented and motivated 
deckhands or mechanics and training them as an extra person under the 
tutelage of the engineer for several months (and, often augmented by 
professional classroom training) until they are deemed qualified. One 
possible solution to this, the commenter says, is to ensure that safe 
manning certificates for these vessels only require a DDE and OICEW 
(III/1). The commenter states that this is also appropriate, as from a 
competency-based evaluation, an operational-level engineer is all that 
is required to operate these engine rooms due to the level of support 
from shoreside management in management-level tasks.
    The Coast Guard disagrees that a change in the proposed rule is 
necessary. Under existing regulations, engineers are developed through 
on-the-job training and formal courses. The commenter's suggested 
solution is already allowed under current regulations, and the 
cognizant Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) has the authority 
to set manning requirements on a vessel's COI.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard make the electro-
technical officer (ETO) and electro-technical rating positions 
mandatory on a vessel's COI.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. We are not planning to require these two 
positions at this time in Sec. Sec.  11.335 and 12.611. Not all vessels 
require an ETO or rating. There is no identified need at this time.
9. Transitional Provisions
    One commenter states that Sec. Sec.  11.493 through 11.497 seem to 
be inconsistent with the underlying concept of a domestic credential 
forming the ``base'' document upon which an individual can receive an 
STCW endorsement. If the primary requirement for these endorsements is 
that an individual meet the standard for the STCW endorsement, the 
commenter asks, why not simply put these sections in Subpart C? In the 
commenter's view, it seems unsupportable to require an applicant for 
OSV mate to meet the full requirements for OICNW in Sec.  11.309 and 
then serve an additional 12 months to cross over to an STCW OICNW as 
stated in Table 11.309(e).
    The Coast Guard partially agrees. The Coast Guard amended 
Sec. Sec.  11.491, 11.493, 11.495, and 11.497 to separate the national 
and STCW credentials to ensure consistency with other endorsement 
requirements. The Coast Guard made additional changes to the OSV 
endorsements for both deck and engineer officers to include: (1) Sea 
service requirements comparable to other credentials; (2) the option to 
complete an approved course for a mate or assistant engineer to meet 
the sea service requirements; and (3) the progression from vessels less 
than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT to more than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT for chief mate 
and master. These changes also address the recent passage of the Coast 
Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (Section 617) and the removal of the 
500 GRT tonnage limits on OSVs. These amendments will ensure that 
mariners with existing licenses or MMCs will have the opportunity to 
progress to higher credentials.
    One commenter states that the value of the transitional provisions 
will depend on the date of the requirement to hold an STCW endorsement 
as able seafarer-Deck in accordance with Sec. Sec.  15.403(c) and 
15.1103(b). If that requirement comes into force on January 1, 2012, 
the commenter says, it will be impossible for mariners to receive the 
proper endorsements by the end of this year, even under the 
transitional qualification requirements. The commenter recommends that 
the Coast Guard set a date of compliance that will give the affected 
mariners and the NMC

[[Page 77833]]

enough time to process the applications required.
    The Coast Guard agrees. To ensure an orderly transition consistent 
with STCW, full implementation and compliance is expected to be 
achieved by January 1, 2017. The Coast Guard amended Sec.  15.1103 to 
reflect full compliance by January 1, 2017.
10. Assessments
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend Sec.  
11.323(b)(2) by specifying the reference to ``steam'' distilling plants 
in proposed Sec.  11.323(b)(2) and also recommends adding ``or 
completing STCW boiler competencies'' after ``accepted training'' to 
allow demonstration of proficiency in addition to training.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The common limitations placed on an 
engineering credential will be for service on vessels without certain 
equipment, including auxiliary boilers, waste heat boilers, distilling 
plants, oily water separators, and sewage treatment plants. An 
applicant may remove any limitation at any time by demonstrating the 
appropriate competencies. Although the Coast Guard disagrees with the 
comment, we updated and clarified Sec.  11.323(b)(2) by including oily 
water separators and sewage treatment plants as additional limitations, 
and revising the method available to an applicant to remove these 
restrictions for his or her MMC.
    One commenter asks whether, if the Coast Guard allows onboard 
assessments for meeting portions of the STCW standards of competence, 
those vessels will be required to meet the same QSS as outlined in 
Sec.  10.410 since they are in effect acting as a ``training 
provider.'' Onboard assessments are not training, the commenter states, 
and therefore, they should not have to meet the requirements for a QSS.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Because onboard assessments are not 
training, they will not have to meet the requirements for a QSS. 
However, the Coast Guard will be developing guidance for the training 
and certification of qualified assessors and will be implementing an 
oversight process for them as part of that guidance.
    One commenter states that requiring the knots to be demonstrated as 
part of a Coast Guard-approved course (see Sec.  12.405(c)) is unduly 
restrictive. The commenter recommends accepting this demonstration if 
it is performed as a Coast Guard-approved assessment without the 
framework of a course, in the same way as many of the proficiency 
demonstrations required for an STCW officer endorsement.
    The Coast Guard agrees. In general, the Coast Guard will be 
approving a system of qualified assessors as part of this rulemaking. 
It is envisioned that this system will allow for the demonstration of 
assessments via an approved course or separate from an approved course. 
Any assessment, associated with a course or not, and used to satisfy 
STCW requirements, must be submitted to the NMC for approval prior to 
initiation. The Coast Guard agrees that demonstration of the knots is a 
skill that can be obtained outside an approved course; therefore, a 
demonstration of competence may be achieved via assessment only.
    The same commenter states that it would be extremely helpful to 
list in Sec. Sec.  12.613(b)(3), 12.615(b)(3), and 12.617(b)(2) what 
assessments must be conducted ashore.
    The Coast Guard has amended text in Sec. Sec.  12.613, 12.615, and 
12.617 to specify the assessments that must be conducted ashore for 
proficiency in survival craft, basic safety training, and advanced 
firefighting.
11. Sea Service
    One commenter recommends that mariners serving on the inside waters 
of southeast Alaska should be granted day-for-day service credit.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has revised Sec.  10.232 to accept 
service where STCW is applicable on a day-for-day credit.
    Two commenters believe that there will be an excess of mariners 
sailing internationally as RFPNW if they are not restricted to lookout 
duties until they become able seamen-special in accordance with the 
CFR. While the RFPNW earns sea time and satisfies the requirements of 
A/II-5 of the Code, the path to A/B-special remains balanced if the 
restriction remains in place, the commenters state. Under the 1995 
amended STCW Convention, an 11-month program was created from entry to 
A/B-special to meet the RFPNW/A/B-special training and assessment 
requirements. Most of the competencies of A/II-5 are accomplished in 
this program. This existing program can be modified to allow 
competencies for able seafarer-deck to be added if the NMC will 
continue to grant sea service credit. Therefore, the commenters 
recommend that the Coast Guard grant sea service credit and actual sea 
service time to mariners who are enrolled in an approved program and 
who have completed all other requirements of able seafarer-deck and are 
otherwise qualified for the endorsement.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The 2010 amendments to the STCW 
Convention allow for the reduction of sea service requirements as part 
of an approved training program. The applicant must also meet the 
requirements for RFPNW and the standards of competence for able 
seafarer deck in Section A-II/5 of the STCW Code. Section 12.603 is 
consistent with the STCW requirements for able seafarer deck. 
Furthermore, an able seaman special would still need to meet an 
additional sea service requirement of 6 months.
    One commenter asks if, with regard to Sec.  11.305, the holder of a 
chief mate credential working as the mate on a fishing vessel of more 
than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT would receive sea service credit as a chief 
mate, even though manning does not require he or she to hold this 
license and the vessel is not subject to STCW.
    The Coast Guard replies that where the mariner holds a chief mate 
credential, and fills the position as mate on the fishing vessel, and 
the position meets the definition of chief mate found in Sec.  10.107, 
that service will be credited as chief mate.
    Two commenters recommend that the Coast Guard reduce the qualifying 
time for near-coastal mate on vessels of less than 200 GRT to a more 
attainable level, perhaps more in line with the domestic requirement of 
1 year of sea time.
    The Coast Guard agrees. Section 11.321 of the SNPRM and this final 
rule allows seafarers holding a national endorsement as mate near-
coastal of less than 200 GRT with 6 months of sea service to qualify 
for an STCW endorsement as OICNW of less than 200 GRT/500 GT. This 
provision is consistent with Regulation II/3, paragraph 4 of the STCW 
Convention.
    One commenter believes that sea service credit should be based on 
horsepower and tonnage for engineer and unlicensed engine room ratings 
and that the same should apply to deck license and ratings unless the 
scope of service is excessively limited. The commenter believes the 
latter should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Also, the commenter 
suggests that the NMC train or supply their evaluators with specific 
guidelines to preclude the apparent inconsistencies issuing forth from 
that office.
    The Coast Guard partially agrees with the commenter's first 
statement, realizing that there are differences in acceptable sea time 
structure between the deck and engine departments simply because of 
inherent differences in what deck officers and engineers are 
responsible for. Skills for masters and mates are relative to 
conditions, such as

[[Page 77834]]

power versus sail propulsion and the routes upon which they sail. 
Engineers must have training and skills related to the size and type of 
propulsion units they operate, such as diesel engines, steam boiler and 
turbines, or gas turbines.
    Currently, sea time for a credential for licensed engineers 
(officer endorsements) is based on both horsepower and tonnage, 
depending on the credential sought. Service is further restricted to 
inland vessels only for mariners who hold DDE 1,000 HP credentials. 
However, we removed the ``near-coastal'' route restriction on chief 
engineer (limited) endorsements.
    Engine unlicensed (rating endorsements) sea time is accepted from 
any vessel on which such ratings are required. Likewise, sea time for 
the various categories of able seamen is established in law (46 U.S.C 
7306). There has been no proposal to change this practice.
    With regard to the commenter's second suggestion, deck endorsements 
that are excessively limited are currently evaluated on a case-by-case 
basis.
    The NMC receives and measures feedback from its customers, and 
updates evaluator training. Specific guidance and checklists tailored 
to the endorsement under review are important parts of all evaluators' 
tools.
12. Endorsements
    Three commenters ask, with regard to the separation of STCW and 
domestic endorsements, whether a mariner could have a domestic 
endorsement that is a level up or down from his/her STCW endorsement. 
If so, and if there is a mismatch, which endorsement is controlling?
    The Coast Guard has amended Sec. Sec.  11.201(a), 12.201(a), and 
13.601(a) to ensure alignment between a mariner's national and STCW 
endorsements. The duties and responsibilities must match. In order to 
be considered for an STCW endorsement, the applicant must have or be 
receiving the equivalent national endorsement. Also, the applicant 
cannot request nor be considered for a lesser or greater STCW 
endorsement than the equivalent national endorsement that they hold or 
will be receiving on their MMC.
    Two commenters state that, with regard to Sec.  11.422(a), the 
removal of the 150-ton category will be very helpful to mariners who 
have been stranded at the 150 GRT limitation.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has retained the removal of the 150 ton 
endorsement.
    Two other commenters recommend that the Coast Guard reduce the 
tonnage requirement for STCW endorsements over 200 GRT/500 GT and less 
than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT to 50 GRT.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. It would be inappropriate to reduce the 
tonnage to 50 GRT, because of the differences in equipment requirements 
on vessels of such limited tonnage. The Coast Guard, however, is 
revising the lower tonnage to 100 GRT as was proposed in Sec.  11.402 
of the SNPRM.
    The same commenters recommend that the Coast Guard include OICNW on 
vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT (Sec.  11.309) in ``may qualify 
for'' master domestic 500 GRT oceans (Sec.  11.418(c)).
    The Coast Guard agrees to the crossover from master of ocean or 
near-coastal self-propelled vessel less than 500 GRT to OICNW of 
vessels 200 GRT/500 GT or more (Sec.  11.309), and has amended Sec.  
11.418 accordingly.
    Four commenters recommend that all masters and mates on existing 
subchapter T/K U.S. flag vessels built prior to July 18, 1982, with 
dual tonnages be allowed to have their Coast Guard licenses/MMC's 
endorsed by the Coast Guard to show the vessel's International Tonnage 
Certificate (ITC) tonnage.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The determination of a vessel's ITC 
tonnage is between the OCMI and the vessel owner for each vessel. 
Except as noted for 200 GRT/500 GT and 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT, our 
credentialing scheme is based on GRT. In addition, this suggestion 
would inappropriately allow a mariner to raise the tonnage authority of 
their endorsements without serving on progressively larger vessels. 
Also, where the ITC tonnage is higher, mariners must meet the higher 
credentialing requirement to receive the appropriate STCW endorsement.
    One commenter notes that Sec.  12.607(c) states:
    ``Seafarers holding a rating endorsement as QMED before January 1, 
2017 will be eligible for this endorsement upon showing evidence of 
holding an endorsement as an RFPEW.'' The commenter requests that the 
Coast Guard amend this section so there is no confusion as to which 
QMED endorsements apply to this section.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  12.607 to distinguish 
between QMED endorsements.
    One commenter does not believe Table 12.607(e) is easy to read and 
understand. The commenter says the table should be rewritten and 
reformatted to provide a complete understanding of the requirements to 
obtain the endorsement of able seafarer-engine.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has rewritten and reformatted Table 1 to 
12.607(e) to include all domestic QMED endorsements that will be 
eligible for the STCW endorsement as rating as able seafarer-engine in 
table 1 to 12.607(e). This table provides an alternate path with a 
reduced sea service requirement to the able seafarer-engine endorsement 
that will facilitate the transition from domestic to STCW endorsements. 
Additionally, the Coast Guard modified all similar tables to avoid 
confusion.
    One commenter recommends that Table 12.609(d) should be rewritten 
and reformatted to provide a complete understanding of the requirements 
to obtain the endorsement of electro-technical rating.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has corrected the errors in Table 1 to 
12.611(c), which was mislabeled as Table 12.609(d).
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard add the words, ``* * 
* retain the STCW endorsements and authority in force prior to 7/1/13'' 
at the end of Sec.  11.301(i)(2) to make the intent clear.
    The Coast Guard disagrees that greater clarity is needed. This 
section, as proposed, already provided for grandfathering, and the 
commenter's suggestion addresses manning requirements that are 
addressed in part 15. In addition, in the event that the operating 
authority of a mariner's STCW endorsement changes, this final rule 
provides a means for them to qualify for the appropriate endorsements.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard reconsider its 
acceptance of foreign service and experience in Sec.  11.201(c)(4). In 
the commenter's view, any blanket acceptance of foreign service would 
be deemed irresponsible in the assurance of marine safety and 
protecting the marine environment.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part, but asserts that no change is 
needed in proposed Sec.  11.201(c)(4). That section does not provide 
for a blanket acceptance of foreign service. Rather, it provides for 
the Coast Guard to determine that the foreign service is fair, 
reasonable and equivalent to the service acquired on a U.S. vessel. In 
addition, these mariners will also be required to meet any training and 
assessment requirements.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard establish a single 
endorsement for Proficiency in Survival Craft as contained in the STCW 
Convention. The actual proficiencies for this endorsement should cover 
all commonly used survival craft. The

[[Page 77835]]

commenter believes the proposed segregation is unnecessarily burdensome 
and the multiple layers of certification for such a simple group of 
proficiencies are pointless.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The endorsement requirements were 
drafted to ensure that mariners do not have to meet the training 
requirements for lifeboats if they sail onboard vessels that do not 
carry lifeboats.
13. Security
    Nine commenters object to Sec.  15.1113(b) and (c). The current 
requirements allow companies to tailor their training to their 
particular operation and eliminate areas that don't apply. In the 
commenters' view, the proposed rule would require companies to send all 
personnel to a school to learn subjects not pertaining to their 
company's operation, which would be an unacceptable burden.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The 2010 amendments to the STCW 
Convention require that persons serving onboard STCW-compliant vessels 
meet a standard of competence specified in the Convention. At this 
time, the Coast Guard intends to meet the STCW 2010 amendments on 
security training through the existing regulations in 33 CFR subchapter 
H, subpart B, which requires that such persons meet the knowledge 
requirements via training or equivalent job experience. For that 
reason, paragraphs (b) and (c) of Sec.  15.1113 in this final rule 
remain unchanged from the SNPRM. If any changes to 33 CFR 104.220 and 
104.225 are needed, the Coast Guard will consider including them in a 
separate, future rulemaking.
    Fifteen commenters note that the proposed rule contains 
requirements regarding training for vessel personnel with security 
duties and also imposes a responsibility for all other vessel personnel 
to demonstrate training in security. In the commenter's view, these 
provisions appear to apply only to mariners serving on vessels subject 
to the STCW Convention.
    The 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention (Section A-VI/6) require 
all persons employed or engaged on a seagoing vessel to have received 
security familiarization. The term ``all persons'' includes seafarers 
and other personnel, including contractors, whether part-time, full-
time, temporary, or permanent. At this time, the Coast Guard intends to 
meet the STCW 2010 amendments regarding this subject through the 
regulations in 33 CFR 104.225, which requires that all contractors, 
whether part-time, full-time, temporary, or permanent, must have 
knowledge on a number of topics, through training or equivalent job 
experience. The Coast Guard has also amended Sec.  15.1113 to ensure 
that all contractors have knowledge of the requirements, through 
training or equivalent job experience, of 33 CFR 104.225.
    Eight commenters object to any suggestion in Sec.  15.1113 to 
extend STCW security training provisions to crew members of vessels in 
domestic service not subject to STCW.
    The Coast Guard agrees. Under Sec.  15.1101, subpart K of part 15 
applies only to seagoing vessels subject to the STCW Convention, except 
vessels in Sec.  15.1101(a)(1) and (a)(2). Accordingly, Sec.  15.1113 
applies only to vessels subject to STCW as provided in Sec.  15.1101. 
The Coast Guard is not applying these requirements to crewmembers on 
vessels in domestic service that are not subject to STCW. However, 33 
CFR 104.220 and 104.225 contain the security personnel requirements for 
vessels in domestic service.
    Seven commenters believe that the requirements of Sec.  15.1113(b) 
are too stringent and exceed the requirements of the STCW 2010 
amendments. In the commenters' view, it fails to take into account the 
transitional provisions provided in STCW Code A-VI/6(5) and (9).
    The Coast Guard agrees. To ensure mariners can meet the 
implementation date requirements, the Coast Guard has amended the 
proposed requirements in Sec. Sec.  12.625 and 12.627. The revised 
sections will include the STCW transitional provisions for security 
awareness and for seafarers with designated security duties that would 
allow existing mariners that took a course and/or can document service 
onboard vessels to obtain an endorsement. In accordance with Section A-
VI/6 of the STCW Convention, this transitional provision will only be 
available until March 24, 2014.
    The same commenter would like confirmation that individuals who 
complete a Coast Guard-approved VSO course, or those mariners whose MMC 
is endorsed as VSO, will meet the training and/or endorsement 
requirements as vessel personnel with designated security duties.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The security training requirements in the 
STCW were developed as a progression where ``security awareness'' is 
the lowest level of training and ``vessel security officer'' is the 
highest level of training. Therefore, the VSO training meets the 
requirements for vessel personnel with security duties, and the vessel 
personnel with security duties meets the requirements for security 
awareness. The Coast Guard has added Sec.  11.337 to state the 
requirements for VSO, amended Sec.  12.625 to clarify requirements for 
vessel personnel with designated security duties, and amended 
Sec. Sec.  15.1113(b) and (d) to establish the hierarchal relationship 
between the three endorsements. Under this system, for example, 
mariners who completed VSO training would be eligible for any position 
with a security training requirement at the VSO level or lower.
    One commenter asks how the additional requirements in STCW 
regarding competencies related to anti-piracy and anti-armed attack 
will be addressed for existing VSOs and grandfathered vessel personnel 
with specific security duties and Maritime Security Awareness-certified 
seafarers. Will their current certifications be grandfathered, will 
there be ``bridging'' courses covering these additional requirements, 
or will they have to take a new approved course by a certain date?
    At this time, the Coast Guard intends to meet the STCW 2010 
amendments on this subject through the regulations in 33 CFR 104.220 
and 104.225. The Coast Guard will consider changes to 33 CFR 104.220 
and 104.225 as part of a separate rulemaking. Under this final rule, 
all existing VSOs, vessel personnel with security duties and other 
personnel will be grandfathered and will not be required to take 
refresher training on piracy.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ In regard to grandfathering, in general, each STCW 
endorsement has grandfathering provisions associated with it to 
accept the credentials issued prior to the effective date of this 
rule except where STCW imposes additional requirements. The Coast 
Guard does not expect to add training requirements on piracy for 
those mariners identified in our response until 33 CFR part 104 is 
revised as part of a separate rulemaking. A projected effective date 
of that rule is not yet available.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One commenter notes Sec.  15.1113(b) states that ``all personnel 
with security duties'' must hold a valid endorsement as vessel 
personnel with designated security duties. Unless this section is 
revised, the commenter says, it could be construed so broadly as to 
include every person in the crew (except for the VSO), which raises the 
concern--particularly for cargo vessels with crews of limited size--of 
placing an unnecessary and unwieldy certification or formal training 
burden on mariners and vessel operators. The commenter recommends that 
this section should use the term ``personnel with designated security 
duties'' throughout.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The Coast Guard is revising the definition 
of

[[Page 77836]]

``Vessel personnel with designated security duties'' to harmonize it 
with the guidance in Section B-VI/6 of the STCW Code and to ensure 
consistency with the requirements in 33 CFR 104.220 and 104.225. The 
expression ``with designated security duties'' denotes those having 
specific security duties and responsibilities in accordance with the 
vessel security plan. The Coast Guard amended the requirements in 
Sec. Sec.  12.625 and 15.1113 to ensure that the term ``vessel 
personnel with designated security duties'' is used throughout.
    The same commenter recommends minor revisions to Sec. Sec.  12.625 
and 12.627, where STCW endorsements for ``vessel personnel with 
designated security duties'' and ``security awareness'' are obtained by 
providing ``satisfactory documentary evidence'' of meeting the 
requirements in 33 CFR 104.220. Since ``satisfactory documentary 
evidence'' is not defined, the commenter recommends adding language to 
read ``Present satisfactory documentary evidence, such as a certificate 
or letter signed by a company official, or a certificate of completion 
from an approved training course, of meeting the requirements in 33 CFR 
104.220.''
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the text accordingly. At 
this time, the Coast Guard intends to meet the STCW 2010 amendments 
regarding security training via the regulations in 33 CFR 104.220 and 
104.225, which require personnel to have knowledge on a number of 
topics. Documentary evidence may include a certificate or letter signed 
by a company official or a certificate of course completion from a 
Coast Guard accepted course.
    One commenter states that, with regard to Sec. Sec.  12.625(a) and 
12.627(a), the Coast Guard does not describe or identify the process 
for obtaining security endorsements or certificates for existing 
mariners that have already received security awareness, security system 
and security duties-related training. The ``grandfathering'' of 
existing mariners who received the appropriate training and are working 
under a MTSA-required security system prior to July 1, 2012, is not 
addressed. Neither does the proposal indicate if the organization may 
issue course completion certificates for existing mariners or define a 
process for documentation of past training and service under a security 
system. Previous training needs to be accepted as meeting the 
requirements for issuance of certification prior to July 1, 2012.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the proposed requirements in 
Sec. Sec.  12.625 and 12.627. These sections will include the STCW 
transitional provisions for security awareness and for seafarers with 
designated security duties that would allow existing mariners who took 
a course and/or can document service onboard vessels to obtain an 
endorsement. In accordance with Section A-VI/6 of the STCW Convention, 
this transitional provision will only be available until March 24, 
2014.
    One commenter states that these requirements should include the 
acceptance of approved, non-proctored, eLearning Computer Based 
Training (CBT) to meet the requirements of Sec.  15.1113.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The requirements in 33 CFR 104.220 and 
104.225 allow for the use of in-house training, which includes 
eLearning and distance learning. The Coast Guard will consider a 
separate, future rulemaking if changes to those sections are needed.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend Sec.  12.625 to 
read as follows:
    (a) An applicant for an STCW endorsement as vessel personnel with 
designated security duties must:
    (1) Present satisfactory documentary evidence of meeting the 
requirements in 33 CFR 104.220; and
    (2) Meet the physical examination requirements in 46 CFR, part 10, 
subpart C.
    The same commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend Sec.  
12.627 to read as follows:
    (a) An applicant for an endorsement for security awareness must:
    (1) Present satisfactory documentary evidence of meeting the 
requirements in 33 CFR 104.225; and
    (2) Meet the physical examination requirements in 46 CFR, part 10, 
subpart C.
    The Coast Guard partially agrees. The two requirements proposed by 
the commenter are included in this final rule in Sec. Sec.  12.625 and 
12.627. However, an additional requirement to meet the safety and 
suitability requirements and the National Driver Registry review 
requirements in Sec.  10.209(e) is included in this final rule in 
accordance with 46 U.S.C. 7101.
    One commenter notes that, with regard to Sec.  15.1113, applicants 
will, in the near term, have to rely on the STCW Code transitional 
provisions, which permit use of experience, as opposed to approved 
training, to qualify for these endorsements until January 1, 2014. This 
will not be an option for new mariners and others without relevant 
experience. Not only are adequate training resources unlikely to be 
available, but the commenter states it is also not clear that there 
will be sufficient time for compliance by those with adequate 
experience. Presumably mariners cannot apply for, and the Coast Guard 
cannot issue, endorsements until they are authorized by regulation.
    The STCW Convention requires that mariners who commenced service 
after January 1, 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 
January 1, 2012. Recognizing that the implementation date was 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 amendments to the STCW Code and 
Convention, the IMO issued Circular STCW.7/Circ.17 providing advice for 
port state control officers on transitional arrangements leading up to 
full implementation of the 2010 amendments to the STCW Code and 
Convention on January 1, 2017. The circular recommends that 
administrations should inform their port state control authorities 
that, until March 24, 2014, even if a seafarer's documentation with 
regard to the security-related training in regulation VI/6 is not in 
accordance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code, it 
would be sufficient to accept compliance with section 13 of the ISPS 
Code. Taking the information in the circular into account, the Coast 
Guard has amended Sec.  15.1113 to implement the requirements for 
``vessel personnel with designated security duties'' and for ``security 
awareness.'' The requirements in 33 CFR 104.220 and 104.225 meet the 
requirements of Section 13 of the ISPS Code.
14. Course approvals
    One commenter requests existing guidance on instructor 
qualification be published immediately and prior to the intended NVIC.
    The Coast Guard is working to provide guidance on this subject as 
soon as practicable with a NVIC within 60 days of publication of this 
rule or as soon as possible.
    Two commenters offered several recommendations for improvement of 
the course/program approval process through clarification, elimination, 
or addition of certain requirements. More specifically, the commenters 
suggested that the Coast Guard provide guidance

[[Page 77837]]

on the content of course approval application components, including the 
cover letter, teaching syllabus, goal statement, assessment tools, and 
course completion certificates.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part with these recommendations and some 
have been incorporated into this final rule while some will be 
published in a NVIC. For clarification, the cover letter should contain 
a general description to clearly describe the request. The goal 
statement should explain the overall intent of the course or program 
while the performance objectives should support the goal statement with 
individual components of the entire course. Assessment instruments 
include all methods used to measure the abilities of the student to 
successfully complete the course/program. For both initial and renewed 
approvals, instructors must have performed the instruction within the 
previous 5 years or provide evidence of current training in 
instructional techniques (i.e. Train the Trainer).
    One commenter believes the copy of the course completion 
certificate in the course approval submission is redundant.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The certificates are required to ensure 
they will contain the necessary information used by professional 
qualification evaluators at NMC to verify course completion. The Coast 
Guard hopes to eliminate the need for course completion certificates 
with a future electronic solution. Until then, the certificates are a 
required component of the course approval submission package.
    One commenter notes that, in Sec.  10.403(a)(2), the phrase 
``visual aids for realism'' is vague and unnecessary. He recommends 
that the item read, ``Have the equipment necessary, including 
simulators where appropriate. . . .''
    The Coast Guard agrees and has changed ``visual aids for realism'' 
to ``the necessary equipment. . . .'' Necessary equipment encompasses 
more than just visual aids.
    The same commenter notes that Sec.  11.301(a)(1)(xiii) probably 
should read `` . . . successful completion of an approved course'' 
because the courses are approved. An approved school could run a non-
approved course.
    The Coast Guard agrees. This change has been made to ensure 
consistency with other sections.
    One commenter contends that the proposed requirements to obtain 
course approval in Sec.  10.402 are excessive and exceed the 
information required in IMO model courses. It is recommended that the 
Coast Guard minimize the administrative burden and cost on all training 
providers by requiring only the information currently required for IMO 
model courses.
    The Coast Guard partially agrees. All of the course approval 
application requirements in Sec.  10.402 are critical components of a 
curriculum package and are required for review by the regulatory agency 
granting approval. The IMO model courses are not meant to be the 
documentation model for approval. They are meant to help organize and 
present the training course. To ensure consistency in the use of the 
terminology, the Coast Guard has amended Sec.  10.402 to use the IMO 
model course terminology.
    The same commenter states that Sec.  10.402 for course approval and 
Sec.  10.403 for general standards for courses appears to have been 
written with non-academy training institutions in mind, who offer only 
individual stand-alone courses. The commenter therefore recommends that 
the Coast Guard consider separating the requirement for approved 
courses and approved programs by adding a separate section in the 
regulations that apply only to maritime academies, or other similar 
institutions that operate under multi-year approved education and 
training programs.
    The Coast Guard agrees and new section Sec.  10.407 has been 
created to apply solely to training programs. The Coast Guard 
recognizes that the 4-year academy training programs are subject to 
standards by state and regional/national accrediting bodies and 
therefore will accept information from these accrediting bodies to meet 
one or more of the course approval requirements. Standardization of the 
requirements for training programs will simplify the regulations and 
reduce administrative costs, which can be passed on to mariners as a 
reduction of the cost of training.
    The same commenter notes that in the Coast Guard's response to 
comments on the NPRM, which were published in the SNPRM, concerning the 
need for greater specificity regarding the qualification requirements 
for instructors, the Coast Guard states that this beneficial 
information would be better provided by a NVIC or similar guidance 
document. The commenter urges the Coast Guard to engage in a dialogue 
with the public academies before initiating any such policy.
    The Coast Guard agrees. Additional details on the qualification for 
instructors in Sec.  10.402 will be provided by a NVIC or similar 
guidance document which we plan on issuing after the publication of the 
final rule. The Coast Guard will gather industry input and comment 
through MERPAC and/or through notice and comment.
    Three commenters object to Sec.  10.403(a)(7), which states that 
each school with an approved course must not change its approved 
curricula without approval from the NMC as specified in Sec.  10.402(e) 
of this subpart. Supplemental material to enhance relevant learning 
points is regularly used to enhance Coast Guard-approved courses and 
approved curriculum. This allows students to stay current with industry 
and regulatory changes between course approval submissions. The 
commenter recommends that this section be changed to read ``not 
significantly change its approved curriculum without approval from the 
NMC''.
    Another commenter recommends that the Coast Guard define which 
significant changes to courses or training programs require approval, 
including changes in curriculum, classrooms, and new simulators.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  10.403(a)(7) to ensure 
that only significant changes are submitted for review and approval. We 
plan to issue additional details on changes to curricula by a NVIC or 
similar guidance document after the publication of the final rule. The 
Coast Guard will gather industry input and comment through MERPAC or 
through notice in the Federal Register.
    One commenter states that all course providers know and understand 
that the Coast Guard currently uses internal guidance on instructor 
qualifications for approval in each course area. This guidance would be 
beneficial to maritime training providers and would assist them in 
saving time, effort, and resources. The commenter believes that the 
Coast Guard should publish the current internal guidance until a NVIC 
can be published.
    The Coast Guard agrees that all guidance on instructor 
qualification should be made available to the public. The Coast Guard 
will make available any of the current instructor qualification 
requirements on the NMC's Web site. Additional details on the 
qualification for instructors will be provided by a NVIC or similar 
guidance document, which we plan on issuing after the publication of 
the final rule. The Coast Guard will gather industry input and comment 
through MERPAC and/or through notice in the Federal Register.
    Two commenters recommend that, in Sec.  10.402(b)(5)(iii) the word 
``hold'' should be changed to ``has held'' in the requirement that 
course instructors

[[Page 77838]]

``hold a license, endorsement, or other professional credentials . . . 
.'' There are mariners who have come ashore and, for whatever reason, 
did not renew their licenses.
    Another commenter objects to the requirement in Sec.  10.402(b)(5) 
that course instructors ``hold a license, endorsement, or other 
professional credential that provides proof of having attained a level 
of qualification equal or superior to the relevant level of knowledge, 
skills, and abilities described in the performance objective.'' Many 
maritime security instructors come from military or law enforcement 
backgrounds and have substantial relevant experience, but no piece of 
paper that proves their qualifications.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has deleted the requirement that the 
instructor hold a license, endorsement, or other professional 
credential in proposed Sec.  10.402(b)(5) and broadened the requirement 
for instructors now found in Sec.  10.402(b)(2)(iii)(C). The instructor 
must have the level of experience and qualification equal or superior 
to the relevant level of knowledge, skills, and abilities described in 
the performance objective.
    One commenter notes that training onboard vessels and on-the-job 
training are critical to a mariner's growth and experience. However, 
the commenter states that ships' facilities and areas used as 
``training rooms'' may not meet the Coast Guard requirements for shore-
side facilities. This seems in conflict with the Coast Guard's initial 
reasoning for establishing such classroom criteria. Additionally, the 
working environment onboard a continually operating, revenue generating 
ship may be in conflict with a focused, uninterrupted learning 
environment for sufficiently rested mariners. Will vessels providing 
training to meet the onboard assessments (e.g., Basic Safety Training's 
first aid element) be required to meet the same course requirements, 
training facility requirements, and serve the Coast Guard the same 21-
day advanced notice of training? If not, then the commenter says there 
is a major discrepancy between shore side and onboard training.
    All Coast Guard-approved training will have to meet the 
requirements in the regulation. The Coast Guard will issue a NVIC with 
additional information on any departure or any interpretation of these 
regulations regarding on-the-job training. The option for onboard 
training and assessments is permitted provided the vessel has the 
equipment and capabilities necessary for successful execution.
    Two commenters object to the requirements in Sec.  10.402(b)(1)(ii) 
and (b)(6), which require training providers seeking course approval to 
submit detailed site information. Holding a course at an alternative 
location already requires approval from the NMC.
    This is an integral part of the oversight process and is necessary 
to prevent the use of spaces unsuitable for classroom purposes. 
Further, detailed site information is required as part of an 
application for course approval, which is not redundant with any 
subsequent request for approval of an alternative location. However, 
the Coast Guard appreciates the concern and will make efforts to 
expedite the process. We plan to issue additional details on changes to 
curricula by a NVIC or similar guidance document after the publication 
of the Final Rule. The Coast Guard will gather industry input and 
comment through MERPAC and/or through notice in the Federal Register.
15. Quality Standards System (QSS)
    One commenter notes that the Coast Guard proposes to add QSS 
requirements for Coast Guard-approved courses. The commenter states 
that this proposal is incomplete in that it does not include the 
standard of performance metrics that are to be applied. Furthermore, it 
does not provide exemptions for companies that maintain and audit their 
training programs to ISM or ISO codes. While the proposal does appear 
to provide for the application of ISM or ISO codes, the commenter says 
it seems to do so outside of a company's existing ISM safety management 
system and framework.
    The same commenter notes that the Coast Guard proposes to accept 
documentation from a national academic accreditation body or from a 
national or international quality standard system as meeting one or 
more of the QSS requirements. The commenter states that this proposal 
is superfluous and, if implemented, its application should be limited 
to maritime training institutions and schools.
    Section 10.410(e) as currently written is broad and does not apply 
only to training institutions and schools. That paragraph of the SNPRM 
provided that Coast Guard will accept documentation from a training 
institution certified under ISO as evidence of satisfying one or more 
of the requirements in Sec.  10.410(c). However, the Coast Guard 
recognizes that other management systems should be included as a means 
to comply with the QSS requirement. Therefore, the Coast Guard has 
added a new paragraph (g) to include ISM, which is an industry-wide 
system, as an alternate means of compliance for the QSS provision. This 
will allow schools that currently implement ISM to comply with the new 
QSS requirements without needing to modify their programs. Regarding 
the issue of performance metrics, the STCW Convention already specifies 
the metrics. It is expected that the QSS ensure compliance with the 
STCW requirements as implemented by the regulations.
    One commenter asks for justification and confirmation regarding the 
QSS requirements contained in Sec.  10.410 as they apply to the state 
maritime academies. Based on the rigorous standards for accreditation 
by regional and national organizations, and the ongoing self-assessment 
review of their licensing programs and individual courses at each of 
the academies, as well as Coast Guard and U.S. Department of 
Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) oversight of their 
training programs through the Joint Coast Guard/MARAD/Academy Review 
Committee Charter utilized since the implementation of the 1995 STCW 
amendments, the commenter believes the academies already meet the 
spirit and intent for a QSS as allowed by STCW Sections B-l/8-5 and 7 
where ``education quality standards'' and ``government agencies'' are 
permitted to satisfy the QSS requirements.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard does not have 
flexibility in whether or not the QSS or the independent evaluation is 
implemented, since this is a Convention requirement. All courses and 
programs in support of an STCW certificate must meet the STCW 
requirements. Section 10.410(e) was included to give the academies 
credit for their accreditation program. The Coast Guard recognizes that 
there is some overlap between the oversight provided by the different 
accreditation bodies and the Coast Guard responsibility for oversight 
to meet the STCW requirements. While we recognize the Academies' 
courses are already subject to a review and oversight process, it does 
not assess compliance with STCW, nor does this process ensure a quality 
system oversight of those STCW items. It is envisioned that the 
academies can use documentation from the academy accreditation process 
to meet the requirements for a QSS. Consequently, the manual may take 
the form of a reference document for those areas that are part of the 
Academies' accreditation program, and detailed information will be 
required to fill gaps between the QSS requirements and the Academies' 
accreditation information.

[[Page 77839]]

    One commenter recommends that, with regard to Sec.  11.410, the 
Coast Guard consider a transitional provision, which would approve 
stand-alone courses containing any new training or assessments mandated 
by the 2010 STCW amendments, and would be required for mariners who 
begin their service or training on or after July 1, 2013. This 
provision would allow training providers until January 1, 2017, to 
implement a QSS for all stand-alone Continuing Education courses 
offered after that date.
    The Coast Guard agrees that a transitional provision is necessary 
to ensure course providers are afforded time for implementation. The 
Coast Guard has amended Sec.  10.410(f) to ensure that all courses, 
programs and training creditable towards STCW meet the requirements of 
a QSS by January 1, 2017. Furthermore, during this transitional period, 
the Coast Guard will accept course completion certificates submitted 
with mariner applications in order to ensure mariners are not impacted 
while the course providers are in the process of coming into compliance 
with the QSS requirements.
    One commenter notes that the Coast Guard proposes to add QSS 
requirements for training schools offering Coast Guard-approved STCW 
courses. According to the commenter, bona fide training schools will 
have few issues with this if done in a reasonable and cost-effective 
manner. However, in the commenter's view, there has been a lack of any 
substantive or realistic oversight by the Coast Guard of training 
schools. If the Coast Guard does not engage itself in meaningful and 
practical training school oversight, it's not clear how a QSS will 
solve this issue.
    The Coast Guard agrees with the need for robust oversight. The QSS 
requirements are meant to work with the new oversight provisions in 
Sec. Sec.  10.409 and 10.410. The Coast Guard continues to work to 
improve its oversight responsibilities over the training schools.
    One commenter notes that, with regard to Sec.  10.410, course 
providers have not actually ``arranged'' for any Coast Guard audits. 
The commenter expects that the Coast Guard will continue to notify 
training providers of the dates of intended administrative visits.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the text in Sec.  10.410 to 
clarify this point.
    One commenter believes, with regard to Sec.  10.410, that the Coast 
Guard must retain oversight and provide a no-cost option for a QSS.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The Coast Guard is not mandating the third-
party auditor. The Coast Guard is providing two alternatives for the 
QSS in Sec.  10.410(b): (1) Third party quality system oversight 
through a Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization; or (2) where the 
organization develops their own QSS and the Coast Guard does the 
oversight.
    One commenter asks why, in Sec.  10.409(f), in the information to 
be submitted by the QSS Organization related to approved courses, a 
one-paragraph description of course content is required. Wouldn't it be 
better to have a standard course code, developed by Coast Guard/NMC, to 
which the QSS Organization refers in the submission document?
    The Coast Guard disagrees. We allow training providers discretion 
to tailor their courses or programs to meet their unique needs, and the 
Coast Guard will approve such courses and programs for any requirements 
the training may satisfy. Accordingly, we consider it infeasible to 
require the use of standard, ``one size fits all'' course codes because 
such a step would significantly reduce flexibility for training 
providers.
    One commenter asks whether the reference to certification of 
international quality management systems standards acceptable for 
training providers in Sec.  10.410 includes maritime education and 
training standards such as ones being used internationally by the 
commenter's QSS organization, which are based on ISO 9001, and are 
designed especially for maritime training providers and courses.
    Yes. The Coast Guard has provided for the use of other nationally 
and internationally-accepted quality management systems standards 
(e.g., ISO 9001) in Sec.  10.410(e).
    One commenter asks if the applicability of the requirement for 
approval of training courses and programs in Sec.  10.401 include 
courses and programs put on by ship owners and operators for their own 
seafarers or others. If so, must these ship owners/operators have their 
own QSS? And if so, will the QSS system need approval?
    The requirements in Sec.  10.401 do not differentiate between 
courses provided at a training institution or onboard a vessel. 
Therefore, all courses which may be accepted instead of service 
experience or examination required by the Coast Guard must meet the 
requirements in Sec.  10.401. Courses offered by vessel owners/
operators will also need to meet the QSS requirements. The Coast Guard 
recognizes that vessels subject to STCW are also subject to the ISM and 
that there is some overlap between the QSS requirements in Sec.  10.410 
and the ISM requirements. To address this overlap the Coast Guard has 
included a new subparagraph Sec.  10.410(g). It is envisioned that the 
vessel owners and operators will use ISM documentation to meet the 
requirements for a QSS.
    One commenter is concerned that the proposed requirement to 
participate with a QSS is not clear. It is unclear whether or not Coast 
Guard approval of a training course is an alternative to using a QSS. 
Nonetheless, it is important that a course provider, having Coast Guard 
approval for one or two courses, be allowed to continue to submit these 
courses directly to the Coast Guard for approval. For small companies 
that have one or two courses, a relationship with a QSS is impractical, 
burdensome and unnecessarily expensive.
    Section 10.410(a) requires that all providers of Coast-Guard 
approved courses, programs, training and Coast Guard-accepted training 
towards an STCW endorsement maintain a QSS. The Coast Guard is 
providing two alternatives for the QSS in Sec.  10.410(b): (1) Third-
party quality system oversight through a Coast Guard-accepted QSS 
organization; or (2) where the organization develops their own QSS and 
the Coast Guard does the oversight. Furthermore, the Coast Guard is 
accepting documentation from equivalent standards as meeting one or 
more of the QSS requirements: (1) A national academic accreditation 
body; (2) a national or international quality management system 
standard (e.g., ISO 9001); and/or (3) ISM.
    Three commenters ask if the QSS requirements apply only to STCW 
courses. If it applies to all courses, this is a huge expansion, the 
commenters said, and doesn't add any benefit to non-STCW courses 
compared to the pain imposed on small maritime educators.
    The QSS requirements in Sec.  10.410 only apply to Coast-Guard 
approved courses, programs, training and Coast Guard-accepted training 
leading towards an STCW endorsement.
    One commenter agrees with the QSS proposal as written. However, the 
commenter says there needs to be further explanation of the ``National 
Academic accreditation body'' the Coast Guard is proposing. Who, what, 
and where is the organization based, what are their credentials, and 
how do they apply to the maritime industry?
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. Because of the large volume of 
academic accreditation bodies in the U.S., the Coast Guard is not 
including them in

[[Page 77840]]

the rulemaking. The Coast Guard will publish guidance on those 
accreditation bodies accepted by the Coast Guard. The accreditation 
bodies include: (a) The New England Association of Schools and 
Colleges; (b) Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges; (c) 
Southern Association of Schools and Colleges; (d) North Central 
Association of Schools and Colleges; (e) Western Association of Schools 
and Colleges; and (f) American Council on Education.
    One commenter asks, with regard to Sec.  10.409, if there will be 
user fees associated with conducting audits, reviewing programs, and 
issuing letters of acceptance to QSS.
    The Coast Guard may consider establishing such fees as part of a 
separate, future rulemaking.
16. Applicability
    Four commenters state that a lot of the regulations start out with 
the phrase ``all personnel.'' However, STCW mainly applies only to 
self-propelled vessels. The commenters ask the Coast Guard to 
differentiate the application of the regulations.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The Coast Guard has made some 
additional changes to the text to ensure clarity. Section 15.1101 
specifies that the regulations in subpart K apply only to vessels 
subject to the STCW Convention. The requirements apply to self-
propelled vessels that operate beyond the boundary line specified in 46 
CFR part 7, except for those vessels exempted from the application 
under Sec.  15.1101(a)(1), and small vessels engaged exclusively on 
domestic voyages that are not subject to any obligations under the STCW 
Convention under Sec.  15.1101(a)(2).
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard should interpret the 
STCW Convention to regard pilot vessels as not being considered 
seagoing ships because they operate ``in waters within, or closely 
adjacent to, sheltered waters or areas where port regulations apply'' 
in accordance with Article II of the STCW Convention.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has revised Sec. Sec.  15.105(f) and 
15.1101(a) to exclude pilot vessels engaged on pilotage duties from the 
application of STCW.
    One commenter asks how the A/B- Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit 
(MODU) endorsement, which is recognized in the Marine Safety Manual, 
will be affected by the proposed rulemaking.
    The rating of A/B-MODU is not affected by this rulemaking. Unlike 
the other A/B ratings established pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 7306-7311a, A/
B-MODU is not a rating authorized by statute or regulation. The A/B-
MODU endorsements for ratings were issued to address a perceived 
deficit of seaman qualified for the unique requirements of serving 
onboard a MODU. However, it is likely that the Coast Guard will work to 
phase out this endorsement, providing transitional procedures that will 
allow those currently holding this rating to continue to serve aboard 
MODUs.
    Two commenters state that proposed Sec.  12.409(a) requires every 
person serving onboard vessels fitted with liferafts, but not fitted 
with lifeboats, to hold an endorsement as lifeboatman-limited. The 
commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend this section to read 
that ``those serving under the authority of this rating endorsement'' 
must hold the endorsement.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  12.409(a) to clarify 
that persons fulfilling the manning requirements for lifeboatman must 
hold a lifeboatman-limited endorsement.
    One commenter states that proposed Sec.  15.520(e) would exempt a 
dynamically-positioned drillship from its requirements. As written this 
section requires that a drillship be under the command of an MMC 
officer with an endorsement as master when underway, and an endorsement 
as offshore installation manager (OIM) when on location. Appendix (i) 
to the Coast Guard-BOEMRE Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation Final 
Report concluded that a dynamically-positioned drillship is never on 
location. Therefore, the commenter concludes that a dynamically-
positioned drillship master would not require an OIM endorsement since 
it is never on location.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The text in Sec.  15.520(e) has been 
amended to clarify that drillships operating with a dynamic positioning 
system (DP) must be under the command of a master with an OIM 
endorsement.
    One commenter notes that the proposed rule changes apply to 
mariners who operate internationally, seaward of the boundary line. The 
Coast Guard states in the SNPRM that it does not intend to ``apply 
strict international standards upon our domestic mariners. . . .'' The 
commenter does not agree that operations on the Great Lakes and in the 
Inside Passage (extending between Seattle, Washington; British 
Columbia, Canada; and southeast Alaska) should be exempt from the STCW 
Code. Those areas are as navigationally complex and operationally 
challenging as international oceangoing voyages and thus deserve the 
high safety standards that STCW provides, standards which, the 
commenter believes, are not met by existing Coast Guard domestic 
regulations for inland waters.
    The Coast Guard partially agrees. The STCW Convention applies to 
mariners serving on seagoing vessels, except pleasure craft, fishing 
vessels, and vessels entitled to sovereign immunity such as warships. 
Article II of the STCW Convention defines a seagoing ship as a ship 
other than one that ``navigates exclusively in inland waters or in 
waters within, or closely adjacent to, sheltered waters or areas where 
port regulations apply.'' The STCW Convention does not apply to vessels 
operating on the Great Lakes. The provisions in this final rule that 
would implement amendments to the STCW Convention only apply to 
commercial vessels operating seaward of the boundary line, as specified 
in 46 CFR part 7. Vessels on the Inside Passage between Puget Sound and 
Cape Spencer, Alaska, are not exempted from the application of the STCW 
Convention. Discretionary application of STCW standards on inland 
waters is neither necessary nor supported by historical casualty data, 
which do not demonstrate the need for substantive changes to domestic 
regulations for inland waters. The Coast Guard does not intend to apply 
international standards to our domestic mariners in this regard.
    One commenter states that the final rule should clearly state that 
the requirements of STCW do not apply to inland towing operations or to 
crewmembers who work on inland towing vessels.
    The Coast Guard agrees and emphasizes the STCW Convention applies 
to mariners serving on seagoing vessels, except pleasure craft, fishing 
vessels, and vessels entitled to sovereign immunity such as warships. 
Article II of the Convention defines a seagoing ship as a ship other 
than one that ``navigates exclusively in inland waters or in waters 
within, or closely adjacent to, sheltered waters or areas where port 
regulations apply.'' The provisions in this final rule that implement 
amendments to the STCW Convention only apply to commercial vessels 
operating seaward of the boundary line, as specified in 46 CFR part 7.
    Three commenters state that, since the STCW Convention and Code 
were written to correct the well-documented lack of competence and 
professionalism on some large, deep-sea vessels with large and diverse 
crews, the authors and users of the U.S. MMC regulations need to 
remember that the U.S. workboat fleet, consisting of tugs, OSVs, 
crewboats, seismic boats, etc., are NOT small ships. These boats have 
simplistic

[[Page 77841]]

and redundant propulsion systems, wheelhouse engine control, small crew 
size, and typically operate on nearshore voyages with well-documented 
competence and an exemplary safety record. As such, a ``one-size-fits-
all'' STCW system is unwarranted, unworkable, and unfair to the 
workboat fleet, say the commenters. They note and appreciate that the 
SNPRM has shown some flexibility in application to workboats, but say 
more flexibility is needed to avoid damage to this industry.
    The Coast Guard recognizes that one-size-fits-all is not the 
correct implementation of the STCW Convention to the U.S. industry. 
Taking this into account, the Coast Guard has included the 
flexibilities provided by the Convention in this rule. For example, the 
regulatory text in 46 CFR part 11 includes an allowance for knowledge, 
understanding and proficiencies that may not be applicable to a certain 
type of vessel, in which case a limitation would be issued. Such 
exemptions are consistent with the Convention flexibility that allows 
for limitations based on size, operational area and vessel type.
    Three commenters state that Sec. Sec.  15.403(c) and 15.404(a) are 
too broad. They recommend that the Coast Guard replace ``200 GRT/500 GT 
or more'' with ``500 GRT or more on a domestic voyage or 200 GRT/500 GT 
or more on an international voyage'' for clarity and accuracy.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard has amended Sec. Sec.  
15.403(c) and 15.404(a) by replacing ``200 GRT/500 GT or more'' with 
``500 GT or more'' consistent with the STCW requirements for RFPNW and 
able seafarer-deck. The STCW is a binding agreement with foreign 
countries, and these tonnage cutoffs are required by the STCW 
Convention.
    The same commenters feel that the last sentences in Sec. Sec.  
15.404(b) and 15.404(d)(3) are overly broad. They suggest replacing 
them with ``An Able Seaman filling an A/B billet on the COI and serving 
onboard a seagoing vessel, except those vessels listed in Sec.  
15.105(f) or (g) of this part, must also hold an STCW endorsement as 
able seafarer-deck.'' They also suggest replacing the last sentence in 
Sec.  14.404(d)(3) with ``A QMED filling a QMED billet on the 
Certificate of Inspection and serving onboard a seagoing vessel, except 
those vessels listed in Sec.  15.105(f) or (g) of this part, must also 
hold an STCW endorsement as able seafarer-engine.''
    The same commenters feel that Sec. Sec.  15.404(e) and 15.404(f) 
are inaccurate as drafted. They suggest that ``Persons serving on 
vessels subject to the STCW Convention'' be replaced with ``Persons 
serving as Lifeboatman onboard a seagoing vessel, except those vessels 
listed in Sec.  15.105(f) or (g) of this part''.
    The Coast Guard disagrees with adding the proposed text because it 
would be redundant with the text in Sec.  15.105(f) and (g). 
Furthermore, to add such a phrase might lead to confusion on those 
vessels that have a lifeboatman manning requirement without the 
associated STCW manning requirement. Finally, the exemptions in 
Sec. Sec.  15.105(f) and (g) apply to all of 46 CFR part 15, including 
Sec.  15.404. Vessels listed in Sec.  15.105(f) or (g) are already 
exempted from STCW compliance.
    The same commenters ask if the endorsements in Sec. Sec.  
15.404(i), (j) and (k) are national endorsements, STCW endorsements, or 
both.
    These endorsements are STCW endorsements.
    Three commenters recommend that the Coast Guard amend proposed 
Sec.  15.1103(b) by replacing ``200 GRT/500 GT or more'' with ``over 
500 GRT on a domestic voyage or over 200 GRT/500 GT on an international 
voyage'' for clarity and accuracy.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard amended Sec. Sec.  
15.403(c) and 15.404(a) by replacing ``200 GRT/500 GT or more'' with 
``500 GT or more'' consistent with the STCW requirements for RFPNW. 
STCW is a binding agreement with foreign countries, and these tonnage 
cutoffs are required by the STCW Convention.
    One commenter states that, in Sec.  15.1101(a)(2)(ii), STCW vessel 
certificates don't apply to vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT. 
However in Sec.  15.1103(c), language is missing which would exempt 200 
GRT/500 GT vessels. The commenter recommends that the exclusion 
language in Sec.  15.1103(b) be included in Sec.  15.1103(c).
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The applicability of the entire subpart 
is identified in Sec.  15.1101. The applicability of endorsements for 
deck ratings in Sec.  15.1103(b) and (c) is 500 GT or more. The 
applicability of endorsements for engineering ratings in Sec.  
15.1103(d) and (e) is 1,000 HP/750 kW. These applicability requirements 
are consistent with Chapters II and III of the STCW Convention. Using 
the deck rating limitations on engineering ratings would be 
inconsistent with the STCW Convention.
    Three commenters recommend that the Coast Guard amend Sec. Sec.  
15.1105(b) and (c) by replacing ``Onboard a seagoing vessel,'' with 
``Onboard a seagoing vessel, except those vessels listed in Sec. Sec.  
15.105(f) or (g) of this part.''
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec. Sec.  15.1105(b) and 
(c) to ensure it clearly specifies the applicability of the section.
    Three commenters feel that the proposed applicability in proposed 
Sec.  15.1109 seems overly broad. In place of ``all masters'' they 
suggest it should say ``all masters, except those serving on the 
vessels listed in Sec.  15.105(f) or (g) of this part.''
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  15.1109 as recommended 
for clarity.
    Three commenters observe that Sec.  15.1109, concerning 
watchkeeping principles, refers to provisions of the Convention and 
Code that consist of more than 21 pages. In comparison, proposed Sec.  
15.1111 inserted the STCW Code text nearly verbatim. The commenters 
believe that if the Coast Guard is going to require the master to 
observe an external standard, it should at least summarize it in this 
section.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. While the full text of the STCW 
Convention and STCW Code is not readily available to individuals, the 
Coast Guard intends to publish NVICs with the relevant text of the 
Convention and Code, most notably the tables of competency from Part A 
of the STCW Code, consistent with the copyright held by the IMO. These 
NVICs will be made available online and will enable the public to view 
them as necessary.
    One commenter is concerned that, on page 45933 of the SNPRM 
preamble, the Coast Guard notes that individual variances issued to 
small vessels on international voyages by local Captains of the Port 
for vessels on short international voyages to Canada, the Bahamas, the 
British Virgin Islands, and Mexico will be rendered null and void once 
the proposed rulemaking becomes final. The commenter requests that the 
Coast Guard clarify the mariner credential, endorsement and manning 
requirements for small vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT, including 
towing vessels, engaged in international voyages to nearby foreign 
countries, such as Canada, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, and 
Mexico.
    The Coast Guard disagrees that the proposed regulations are 
unclear. Existing regulations excepting smaller vessels in Sec.  
15.105(e) and (f) remain unchanged. Small vessels are considered to be 
in compliance with STCW when on domestic voyages. The regulations also 
provide for issuance of a restricted STCW endorsement for an occasional 
international voyage for these vessels. This regulatory provision has 
never provided for these endorsements to be used for routine

[[Page 77842]]

international voyages. For those operators that routinely operate on 
international voyages, we have clarified the requirements for these 
STCW endorsements consistent with the STCW Convention and Code. 
Further, those small vessel operators that make routine international 
voyages have always been responsible for holding the appropriate STCW 
endorsement or certificate.
    Four commenters state that it is the clear intent of 46 U.S.C. 
Chapter 143 and the IMO to not impose increased regulatory burdens on 
industry if the Convention measurement were used for applicability 
determinations of domestic and international rules. Therefore, they 
feel that any revisions to the regulations should include language to 
the effect of: ``Existing Subchapter T/K vessels built prior to July 
18, 1982 shall be allowed to apply United States regulations and 
international conventions, including SOLAS, STCW and MARPOL using their 
respective US regulatory tonnages that were in force prior to coming 
into force of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement 1969 
(ITC) for the life of the vessel.''
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Owners of vessels built prior to the ITC 
are not required to obtain an ITC tonnage. However, if they do, they 
must comply with the provisions of STCW and other international 
conventions that apply GRT.
    Four commenters state that all U.S. flag vessels with dual tonnages 
built prior to July 18, 1982, should have the following statements 
placed on the COI, International Ship Security Certificate, Safety 
Management Certificate, and SOLAS Passenger Ship Safety Certificates: 
(1) ``The gross tonnage according to the measurement system previously 
in force to the measurement system of the International Convention on 
Tonnage Measurement, 1969 is {insert U.S. Regulatory Tonnage{time} , 
according to the regulations of the United States of America.''; and 
(2) ``When operating on an International Voyage: All licensed 
individuals must hold licenses authorizing service on vessels of a 
tonnage at least equal to the vessel's U.S. Regulatory Tonnage as 
indicated on this Certificate of Inspection.''
    With regard to (1), this recommendation is beyond the scope of this 
rulemaking. With regard to (2), the Coast Guard disagrees. STCW and the 
International Tonnage Convention require mariners on international 
voyages to meet the credentialing requirements applicable to the 
tonnage indicated for the voyage on which they are engaged.
    One commenter states that uninspected fishing industry vessels are 
currently exempt from STCW. The United States is not currently a 
signatory party to the STCW-F convention which applies to fishing 
industry vessels; however, the commenter recommends that the domestic 
license structure be altered to include the second engineer, similar to 
the proposed limited, OSV, and MODU engineer license tracks.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The STCW Convention does not apply to 
fishing vessels. This final rule is intended to implement the STCW 
Convention, and provisions solely addressing domestic credentialing are 
outside its scope.
    One commenter wants to exempt persons serving on pilot boats from 
application of the STCW Convention. The commenter recommends that the 
United States interpret the STCW Convention regarding pilot vessels as 
follows: Pilot vessels are not considered seagoing ships because they 
operate ``in waters within, or closely adjacent to, sheltered waters or 
areas where port regulations apply.'' Consistent with this recommended 
interpretation of the U.S. obligations under the STCW Convention, 
persons serving aboard pilot boats should be exempt from application of 
the STCW. Therefore, the commenter recommends that a new subparagraph 
(5) be inserted in Sec.  15.105(f) as follows: (5) Pilot boats.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec. Sec.  15.105(f)(5) and 
15.1101(a)(1)(v) to exempt pilot vessels engaged in pilotage duty from 
STCW requirements in those sections.
    One commenter states that there is no exclusionary language in 
Sec.  15.404(c) exempting vessels of less than 200 GRT/500 GT. They 
request that such an exemption be inserted in this section.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The STCW Convention's RFPEW requirements 
are based on HP/KW limitations and not tonnage limitation. The change 
proposed by the commenter would be inconsistent with the Convention.
    One commenter states that there is a long history of cooperation 
between Canada and the United States concerning reciprocity of 
recognizing domestic licensing schemes. The commenter requests 
clarification of STCW applicability to vessels on voyages on these 
waters.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended text in Sec.  10.232(b)(3) 
so that seafarers working under national endorsements but who sail on 
STCW-equipped and -manned vessels inside the boundary line can claim 
STCW sea service on a one-for-one basis.
17. General requirements
    One commenter appreciates the Coast Guard efforts to listen to 
comments to NPRM. Another commenter appreciates the separation of the 
domestic and the STCW licensing schemes, and a third commenter states 
that NMC Policy Letter 11-07 was very beneficial to their company.
    The Coast Guard appreciates these comments.
    One commenter notes that Sec.  11.301(c)(2) specifies the form for 
providing evidence of continued competence in fire fighting for STCW 
endorsements, but the proposal has no similar provision for the fire-
fighting training required for domestic endorsements. The commenter 
recommends that a statement be included to describe the form of 
acceptable evidence to document continued competence for domestic 
endorsements.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Changes to fire-fighting training in 
this final rule are required by the STCW Convention and Code. The 
requested changes to fire-fighting training for domestic endorsements 
are outside the scope of this rulemaking because the Coast Guard 
proposed no changes in that area in the SNPRM. Therefore, we are not 
extending this requirement to vessels to which STCW does not apply.
    One commenter is concerned that the Coast Guard is narrowing the 
spectrum of jobs that will qualify for sea service credit in Sec.  
10.232(f).
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard did not change the types 
of jobs that will receive sea service credit. The change in sea service 
credit was limited to: (1) Consolidating all requirements in parts 10, 
11 and 12 into one section that addresses sea service; and (2) 
expanding the type of service creditable towards STCW credentials to 
include near-coastal and Great Lakes service.
    One commenter states that the various tables in 46 CFR part 11, 
subparts C, D, and E are confusing and do not clearly show how someone 
with a domestic license (e.g., second mate) can enter and qualify for 
an appropriate STCW endorsement (e.g., chief mate). The commenter 
recommends that these tables be combined into a single table, or shown 
as a figure instead of a table.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The separate tables in part 11 describe 
the endorsement requirements more clearly than a single consolidation 
would and are co-located with the associated requirements referenced in 
the tables.

[[Page 77843]]

    Two commenters recommend that the Coast Guard publish a list of 
existing policy documents (or portions of policy documents) that it 
intends to cancel upon publication of the final rule.
    The Coast Guard agrees. All policy letters that have been 
incorporated or overcome by this final rule will be cancelled, and the 
Coast Guard will notify the public as soon as possible through a notice 
in the Federal Register.
18. Hours of Rest
    Fourteen commenters feel that, with regard to Sec.  15.1111(g), 
requiring records of daily hours of rest for mariners would be 
redundant with records kept in the official ship's logbook. This will 
impose an unnecessary administrative burden upon vessel officers, 
mariners and oversight authorities since the information required by 
this section should be available for all parties to check in the 
official ship's logbook. They also recommend that the Coast Guard 
change the last sentence to read ``A copy of the records shall be 
provided to the mariner upon request.''
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The Coast Guard will accept entries 
in the logbook. This section, as drafted, does not preclude the use of 
the logbook as a means to keep records of rest periods. The Coast Guard 
will consider developing a consolidated form to capture mandated work/
rest information. In response to the commenters' second recommendation, 
the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention require that seafarers 
receive a copy of the records pertaining to them. Although the language 
of the provision has been altered slightly from what was proposed in 
the SNPRM, the requirement to provide seafarers with a copy of their 
records, whether requested or not, has been retained.
    One commenter notes that the SNPRM proposes to increase the amount 
of rest that mariners must be provided in any 7-day period from 70 
hours to a minimum of 77 hours. This increase enhances mariners' 
ability to reduce fatigue. However, the commenter notes that the change 
still falls short in two areas. First, the commenter believes, it does 
not apply to mariners in domestic service, including those transiting 
the Great Lakes and the Inside Passage. Second, it does not address the 
hours of the day/night during which the rest should be obtained, and 
thus does not preclude disrupted circadian rhythms or fragmented sleep 
periods from adversely affecting mariner performance. The commenter 
believes that the Coast Guard should modify its hours of service rules 
accordingly. Moreover, the commenter urges the Coast Guard to work with 
the IMO to change international rules to ensure that mariners worldwide 
operate under work schedules that, in accordance with the scientific 
literature on circadian rhythms, provide sufficient rest.
    One commenter stated that language should be added to Sec.  
15.1111(g) to the effect that if the vessel is a day boat, records of 
daily hours of rest are not required. Why record the rest period for a 
crew member if they have left the vessel for home and are returning a 
different day for another run?
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The hours of rest in part 15, subpart K 
only apply to vessels subject to STCW and not inland vessels. We are 
unable to modify the hours of rest for vessels to which STCW does not 
apply as part of this rulemaking because it would require changes to 
the U.S. Code and is therefore outside the scope of this rulemaking.
    Two commenters recommend that, with regard to Sec.  15.1111, the 
Coast Guard, working with MERPAC, develop a U.S. standard record 
keeping form or program for the maintenance of daily hours of rest so a 
uniform system across the U.S. flag fleet can be implemented. This will 
not only assist port state control oversight but also lessen any 
additional burden upon the U.S. mariner.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The Coast Guard will accept entries 
in the logbook and the use of the standard IMO/ILO record of hours of 
rest as a means to document hours of rest. The text as currently 
drafted does not preclude the use of the logbook as a means to keep 
records of rest periods. The Coast Guard will consider developing a 
consolidated form to capture mandated work/rest.
    One commenter notes that, in Sec.  15.1111, the term ``rest 
period'' has no real definition. It should be replaced with the term 
``off duty period'' for the sake of clarity.
    The Coast Guard disagrees and is retaining the existing definition 
for ``rest'' in Sec.  10.107, which provides, in part, that rest is a 
period of time during which the person concerned is off duty.
    Two commenters state that, with regard to Sec.  15.1111, the 
proposal is ambiguous and requires amendments to address, or exclude, 
off-watch work-related hours spent on travel, dead-heads, etc. The 
proposal fails to outline a method by which crews working a 12-hour 
watch, commuting to and from the vessel on a daily or nightly basis, 
are to record so called ``rest periods.'' Lastly, the full definition 
of a ``rest period'' needs to be presented and clarified.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Rest is defined in 46 U.S.C. 8104 and in 
Sec.  10.107 of this final rule, as that period when the mariner is off 
duty, not performing work, and allowed to sleep without interruption. 
The Coast Guard has previously established policy that traveling to and 
from the vessel is neutral time, which is neither rest nor work.
    Seafarers serving onboard vessels authorized to implement a 12-hour 
watch under 46 U.S.C. 8104 will be required to document the hours of 
rest. The Coast Guard will accept entries in the logbook and the use of 
the standard IMO/ILO record of hours of rest as means to document hours 
of rest. The Coast Guard will also consider developing a consolidated 
form to capture mandated work/rest. The Coast Guard plans to retain the 
definition for ``rest'' in Sec.  10.107, which provides, in part, that 
rest is a period of time during which the person concerned is off duty.
    One commenter asks, with regard to Sec.  15.1111, if the Coast 
Guard will summarize the impact of this requirement on vessel 
operations and potentially manning, as it will apply not only to 
watchkeepers, but also to those with safety, pollution prevention and 
security responsibilities--this includes the master and chief engineer.
    The rest requirements apply to all persons assigned duty as an 
OICNW or OICEW, or duty as ratings forming part of a navigational or 
engineering watch, or designated safety, prevention of pollution, and 
security duties onboard any vessel. It is the company's responsibility 
to ensure that all persons mentioned above are afforded rest in 
accordance with Sec.  15.1111.
    Three commenters note that Sec.  15.1111(g) requires both the 
master and each mariner to ``endorse'' the rest schedule. This 
``endorsement'' is not required by the STCW Code and will reduce the 
rest of all vessel personnel, if reporting to a central location to 
sign the rest schedule after each watch is required. The commenters 
recommend dropping the proposed endorsement requirement.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The copy of the records due to the mariner 
is what is required to be endorsed, and we have amended Sec.  
15.1111(g) to reflect this.
    With regard to Sec.  15.1111, one commenter believes that requiring 
more rest for mariners equates to requiring more crew. Many U.S. 
shipping companies are at minimum manning due to the high cost of 
maintaining crews and vessels. Additional regulations will only drive 
business overseas and deplete the U.S. fleet further.

[[Page 77844]]

    The Coast Guard disagrees because no commenter has provided, and 
the Coast Guard is not aware of, any data in support of these 
arguments. Additionally, the STCW Code and Convention prescribes 
training, not manning, requirements, and the hours of rest are 
international requirements that apply to all vessels subject to STCW.
    As discussed in the SNPRM and supporting Regulatory Analysis, we 
believe that the new requirements can be accommodated without changing 
existing watch rotations or current crew sizes, therefore resulting in 
no additional cost. According to Coast Guard industry experts, STCW 
vessels engaged in transoceanic voyages are staffed with a 3-watch crew 
rotation. Even for STCW vessels staffed with only 2 watches, resulting 
in an average of 12 hours of rest per day or 84 hours a week, the 77 
hours a week rest requirement should be able to be met without change 
in watch schedules. The Coast Guard will monitor the implementation of 
rest hour requirements and report any new data it finds on industry 
costs to implement these requirements.
    One commenter notes that offshore petroleum operators are required 
to meet both the work-hour requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 
1990 (OPA 90) and rest hour requirements of STCW. The SNPRM includes a 
definition of ``rest'' but not one for ``work.'' This is problematic, 
as it could be interpreted that a mariner, who is not resting, 
therefore, must be working. If that were the case, it will be 
impossible for some operators to meet the requirements of OPA 90, since 
drills will be considered work. The commenter recommends that a 
definition of ``work'' be added that explicitly states emergencies and 
drills will not be considered ``work.'' This will allow petroleum 
operators the flexibility to track all work/rest/drill hours in one 
continuous log rather than maintain separate logs for each purpose 
under unclear guidelines.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Part 15, subpart K applies to vessels 
subject to STCW, and the Convention does not address work. Therefore, 
it was not included in this rulemaking. Adding a definition for 
``work'' would need to be part of a separate rulemaking subject to 
public notice and comment.
    One commenter believes that the need to track both work and rest 
hours may be overly burdensome for these mariners. With that said, 
however, the commenter states that there may be some trends in 
identifying fatigue, or advantages in tracking rest in lieu of work or 
vice-versa. The commenter recommends that the Coast Guard examine the 
efficacy of tracking hours of rest and hours of work.
    This is outside the scope of this rulemaking. This rulemaking only 
made changes related to the hours of rest in the STCW Convention. This 
rulemaking does not include changes to work-hour requirements. 
Furthermore, we are unable to modify the hours of service as part of 
this rulemaking because it would require changes to the U.S. Code.
19. Radar Endorsements
    One commenter notes that currently mariners need only carry the 
radar certificate with them and it does not have to be endorsed on 
their new credential. The commenter says the Coast Guard has provided 
no rationale for the change in Sec.  11.480(d), which requires that an 
applicant for a radar observer endorsement or for renewal of such an 
endorsement to submit evidence of training to the Coast Guard. The 
commenter states that this is both time-consuming and an additional 
expense for mariners, and recommends that the current policy remain in 
place.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard proposed changes to the 
radar observer requirements that explicitly permit mariners to submit 
evidence of training in person, by mail, fax, or other electronic 
means. The requirement to submit such evidence, however, predates this 
rulemaking, and was established by a rule published in the Federal 
Register on September 11, 2008, (73 FR 52789).
    Two commenters note that Sec.  10.209 states that if the applicant 
desires a credential with a radar-observer endorsement in accordance 
with Sec.  11.480 of this subchapter, either the radar-observer 
certificate or a certified copy must be presented. The commenter notes 
that current Coast Guard policy is to accept copies of any certificate 
when submitting the application. The commenters recommend that the 
current policy be retained and that the Coast Guard continue to accept 
copies of any training certificates and documents submitted with the 
application.
    The Coast Guard agrees. We currently accept copies of all course-
completion certificates, including those for radar, and we have amended 
Sec.  10.209 accordingly.
20. Ratings
    Four commenters note that, in Sec. Sec.  12.603(b) and 12.607(b), 
it says ``Until January 1, 2017, seafarers may be considered to have 
met the requirements of this section.'' The phrase ``may be'' is 
unclear. The commenters recommend replacing ``may be'' with ``will be'' 
to improve application and clarity. Assuming the effective date of the 
final rule will be very soon, this flexibility will be necessary to 
avoid overwhelming the Coast Guard with able seafarer applications and 
stripping the U.S. flag fleet of qualified crew members while awaiting 
thousands of new STCW endorsements.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has revised the sections as recommended 
to ensure clarity.
    One commenter notes that, in proposed Sec.  12.701, the paragraph 
begins with ``Every person employed in a rating other than A/B or QMED 
aboard U.S. flag vessels requiring such persons.'' As drafted, this 
paragraph appears intended to apply 46 U.S.C. 8701, but instead expands 
the requirements of the law. The commenter suggests it say instead 
``Every person employed as a rating aboard U.S. flag vessels of 100 
GRT/100 GT or more, except as exempted by 46 U.S.C. 8701.''
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. As written, the paragraph appears 
to require MMDs in more situations than envisioned by 46 U.S.C. 8701. 
Section 12.701 has been revised to clarify: (1) That a rating 
endorsement on an MMC qualifies as holding an MMD; and (2) that the 
requirement to hold an MMD only applies to vessels subject to 46 U.S.C. 
8701. The MMD requirement in the statute extends beyond those employed 
as a rating to anyone employed or engaged upon the vessel.
    One commenter notes that, in light of STCW standards for able 
seafarer-deck that go far beyond the U.S. requirements for service and 
training that have served our mariners well, it is laudable that the 
Coast Guard has adopted transitional provisions in Sec. Sec.  12.603(a) 
and (b) that will delay, if not mitigate, the additional burdens 
imposed by the Convention. The table in Sec.  12.603(e), however, could 
be read to ``trump'' those provisions. The commenter recommends 
changing Sec.  12.603(e) to the effect that, ``Except as provided in 
(b) and (c), seafarers with the following . . . .''
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The table in Sec.  12.603(e) 
already accounts for the provisions in Sec.  12.603(a). Additionally, 
to avoid misinterpretation, the Coast Guard amended footnote ``*'' to 
link the table to the requirements for certification as a RFPNW in 
Sec.  12.603(a)(2) and (3). The Coast Guard amended Sec.  12.603(e) to 
ensure that it does not override the provisions in paragraphs (b) and 
(c).
    Two commenters express concern that the A/B maintenance and 
watchstander billets will be replaced by the ordinary

[[Page 77845]]

seaman, who does not have enough experience to be steering vessels. 
Therefore, the commenter recommends leaving the RFPNW restricted to 
lookout duties until he becomes able seaman-special.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. RFPNW is a prerequisite for able seaman 
but requires competence in lookout duties, steering, etc. U.S. Code and 
existing manning regulations also include provisions on when an 
ordinary seaman can actually assume the duties of a helmsman as well as 
standing watches.
    Two commenters state it is their understanding that our domestic 
RFPNW able seaman-special will no longer be able to sail 
internationally (outside the boundary lines) until he obtains an able 
seafarer-deck endorsement (Sec. Sec.  15.404 and 12.603). The 
commenters ask if a mariner sails as a RFPNW, will this reduce the need 
for able seafarer-deck onboard. They would like the assurance that 
entry level mariners will not replace able seamen onboard ships sailing 
beyond the boundary line.
    Entry-level mariners will not replace able seamen onboard vessels 
sailing beyond the boundary line. The numbers of able seamen are 
required by regulation. Section 15.404(b) has been amended to clarify 
the manning of vessels with A/Bs holding either RFPNW or able seafarer-
deck.
    One commenter states that Sec.  12.607(e) could be misconstrued to 
take precedence over the transitional provisions in paragraphs (b) and 
(c).
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The table in Sec.  12.607(e) 
already accounts for the provisions in Sec.  12.607(a). Additionally, 
to avoid misinterpretation the Coast Guard amended footnote ``*'' to 
link the table to the requirements for certification as a RFPNW in 
Sec.  12.607(a)(2) and (3). The Coast Guard also is amending Sec.  
12.607(e) to ensure that it does not override the provisions in 
paragraphs (b) and (c).
21. Recognition of Certificates
    One commenter suggested that the MMCs issued to foreign mariners in 
recognition of their STCW endorsement contain specific language 
describing the scope and authority of the MMC.
    The Coast Guard agrees with the concerns of the commenter and notes 
that foreign mariners will not be issued an MMC. Rather, they will be 
issued a separate document. The Coast Guard has yet to decide upon the 
specific design of this document, and will consider the recommendations 
of the commenter when the document is designed. Part 11, subpart J of 
this final rule contains provisions on recognition of STCW certificates 
issued by foreign nations.
    One commenter disagrees with the proposal to recognize certificates 
issued by other parties to the STCW Convention. Presently there is a 
shortage of U.S. merchant mariners, and the commenter says it is 
incumbent upon our regulatory bodies as well as industry itself to 
promote the U.S. merchant marine to maintain a strong maritime presence 
in the U.S. and worldwide.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The U.S. will recognize certificates 
issued by other parties to the STCW Convention in accordance with 
existing laws of the United States. Under 46 U.S.C. 8103(b)(3)(A), the 
citizenship requirements can be waived for mariners other than master 
on OSVs operating from a foreign port. To ensure compliance with the 
STCW Convention, in the limited cases of OSVs, the U.S. needs to 
recognize seafarer competence certificates from other countries that 
have ratified the STCW Convention.
22. Qualified Assessors (QA)
    One commenter notes that, in Sec.  10.405(c), the requirement for a 
``Train-the-Trainer'' course to follow IMO model course 6.09 is 
contrary to the Coast Guard's existing policy of allowing most 40-hour 
``Train-the-Trainer'' courses offered by State educational systems. The 
commenter recommends that the current policy continue to be accepted as 
meeting ``another Coast Guard-accepted syllabus.''
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  10.405(c) to broaden 
the acceptance of courses based on another Coast Guard-accepted 
syllabus.
    Thirty three commenters feel that, just because a mariner may 
possess any given rating or license, this does not mean that this 
mariner is also proficient in teaching and assessment competencies. The 
commenters believe that any program that includes onboard teaching and 
assessments should be Coast Guard certified as meeting QSS requirements 
including ongoing oversight of assessor qualifications including 
periodic audits consistent with the requirements already imposed on 
shore based training providers.
    The Coast Guard agrees and will be developing guidance for 
qualified assessors (QAs) and the assessment of STCW proficiencies.
    One commenter states that one valuable thing that a well-rounded 
licensed officer must have is experience on all type of vessels, in all 
types of waters under all types of conditions. The licenses for third 
and second mate allow the mariner to ``sail'' on all types of vessels. 
However, the proposed rules will allow assessments to be made on only 
one type of vessel. How could a mariner sailing on an OSV gain any 
knowledge of a container ship, car carrier, tanker, tug boat, etc.? 
Years of training have given the U.S. airline industry one of the 
safest records in the world. The commenter believes that the maritime 
industry needs to follow this plan.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The STCW requirements and the U.S. 
credentialing system allow for mariners to sail on all types of 
vessels; however, the average mariner does not have experience on all 
types of vessels. The competence requirements in the STCW convention 
and U.S. regulations are supplemented by familiarization requirements 
onboard the vessel prior to the seafarer taking the responsibilities of 
his or her assigned duties.
    The Coast Guard will be developing guidance for QAs and the 
assessment of STCW proficiencies. It is important that the U.S. not 
reduce its commitment to ensuring that its mariners develop according 
to a high standard of competence. However, the Coast Guard also 
recognizes that this development of competencies must be flexible and 
multifaceted to facilitate mariner training. The use of QAs and 
standardized assessments will provide options for mariner development, 
as well as providing standards for the training and maritime industries 
to use in development of required and optional courses and programs. 
Those courses and programs will also provide other options for mariner 
training and development.
    One commenter recommends that Sec.  10.405(c) become Sec.  
10.405(b)(4). The commenter points out that applicants for QA positions 
may provide documentary evidence of a ``Train-the-Trainer'' course, 
which seems inappropriate. The commenter recommends that a ``train the 
assessor'' course be added as an acceptable program.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  10.405 to ensure that 
the QA is trained in proper assessment techniques, by means of an 
``assessor training'' course. In addition, this topic will also be 
discussed in the guidance that the Coast Guard is developing concerning 
QAs.
    The Coast Guard disagrees, however, with re-designating Sec.  
10.405(c) as Sec.  10.405(b)(4). Section 10.405(c) provides specific 
information applicable to both Sec.  10.405(a) and Sec.  10.405(b), 
which set out the requirements for QA and DE respectively.

[[Page 77846]]

    One commenter notes that in Sec.  11.301(a)(1)(i), it says that 
assessments are signed by a DE, but he believes that it should read 
``qualified assessor'' because these provisions are specific to STCW 
endorsements.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has revised Sec.  11.301(a)(1)(i) as 
recommended.
23. License Progression
    One commenter states that, with regard to Sec.  11.305(e), he 
strongly supports the crossover paths from domestic to STCW 
endorsements. These advancement opportunities will not only encourage 
ambitious individuals to enter the maritime workforce, they will 
motivate those individuals to obtain the training needed to establish 
the required competence.
    The Coast Guard appreciates this support.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard develop career paths 
for chief engineer (MODU) and assistant engineer (MODU).
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The MODU industry has established 
processes for their personnel and the Coast Guard already has 
established progression tasks for engineers who wish to transition to a 
conventional vessel.
    Three commenters note that Sec.  11.305 requires evidence of 36 
months service as OICNW to qualify for an STCW endorsement as unlimited 
master oceans without any time required as chief mate. In current Sec.  
11.404, the minimum service required to qualify an applicant for an 
endorsement as master of ocean any gross tons is 1 year of service as 
chief mate or a minimum of 6 months as chief mate with 12 months as 
second or third mate. The proposed reduction in experience is a 
deskilling of the unlimited master ocean license. The commenter 
recommends retaining the current requirements.
    Another commenter notes that proposed Sec.  11.305 has a provision 
that would permit a master of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT to cross 
over to master 3,000 GT or more (unlimited) with only 6 months service 
on vessels of under 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT and no experience on vessels of 
unlimited size. Under the current regulations, a master 1,600 GRT 
oceans can cross over to third mate unlimited oceans with 12 months 
service or second mate unlimited with an examination. The commenter 
says that permitting the proposed drastic reduction in experience from 
the current regulation in essence allows an individual with a license 
that formerly was considered equivalent to third or second mate 
unlimited to progress to unlimited ocean master with only 6 months 
experience in ships of limited size. The commenter says this is an 
astounding reduction of standards, and recommends retaining the current 
requirements.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. This cross over provision, which is 
consistent with the STCW Convention, is available only to those 
mariners who have already obtained a national endorsement with 
authority to operate vessels of unlimited tonnage or offshore support 
vessels of up to 10,000 GT. Additionally, the STCW competence and 
training requirements will ensure that those persons seeking to obtain 
the management-level STCW endorsement have demonstrated competence and 
achieved the required level of training.
    One commenter notes that the definition of ``chief mate'' in Sec.  
10.107 clearly characterizes the role and responsibility of a 1,600 GRT 
mate on a vessel allowed to operate under a two-watch system. Therefore 
the commenter expects that the use of the term ``chief mate'' in Sec.  
11.311 will permit such service (or service while holding a master 
endorsement) to satisfy the provision allowing for a reduction in 
service to 24 months provided that 12 months is ``served as chief 
mate.'' However, the commenter is concerned that the provision will be 
misconstrued as written and recommend that it be reworded to allow the 
reduction ``. . . if the applicant served in the capacity of chief mate 
for not less than 12 months.''
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. Where the mariner holds a 
management-level credential, and fills the position as mate, and the 
position meets the definition of chief mate found in Sec.  10.107, then 
that service will be credited as chief mate. However, the Coast Guard 
does not believe this section is confusing and likely to be 
misconstrued, nor did the Coast Guard revise this definition as part of 
this rulemaking project.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard consider streamlining 
ocean, OSV, and Uninspected Vessel qualification training pipelines by 
utilizing current STCW certifications for their basis rather than the 
HP rating.
    The Coast Guard did not propose a change in the national 
endorsement scheme. Regulatory changes on that subject would need to be 
part of a separate rulemaking and subject to public notice and comment.
    One commenter notes that, for unlimited tonnage vessels (at least 
1,600 GRT), the U.S. domestic license structure provides for four 
licenses, whereas the STCW convention provides for three licenses. The 
commenter says that our domestic licensing system works well and is 
easily adaptable to meet STCW requirements. It supports a three-watch 
system or periodically unmanned engine rooms.
    The Coast Guard has been using the four-license national structure 
to fit in with the STCW three-license system since the 1997 IR. The 
national third assistant engineer and second assistant engineer 
endorsements, as well as the national third and second mate 
endorsements, fall neatly within the STCW OICNW and OICEW endorsements. 
Typically, national master and chief mate align with their STCW 
counterparts, and the national chief engineer and first assistant 
engineer endorsements also align with theirs.
    One commenter notes that, for limited tonnage vessels (at least 500 
GT up to 1,600 GT), our domestic license structure provides for only 
two licenses, whereas the STCW convention provides for three licenses. 
Currently, the limited assistant engineer license is endorsed for 
oceans. The restricted limited chief engineer license is endorsed for 
near-coastal, where the unrestricted limited chief engineer license is 
endorsed for oceans. Therefore, the commenter recommends that the Coast 
Guard restructure the domestic license track to mirror STCW and 
introduce a limited second engineer license. Any restrictions, in terms 
of routes, would be issued strictly on the basis of STCW certification. 
Without the appropriate STCW certificate, the domestic license would be 
restricted to near-coastal, regardless of the level of the license. 
With the appropriate STCW certificate, the scope of the license would 
be extended to oceans, again regardless of the level of the license. 
This proposed license structure would support a two- or three-watch 
system or a periodically unmanned engine room.
    The same commenter proposes that the domestic license tracks for 
OSV and MODU follow the same pattern as proposed for the limited-
license track, introducing a second engineer license. This proposed 
license structure would support a two- or three-watch system or 
periodically unmanned engine rooms.
    The same commenter also notes that, for limited tonnage vessels 
less than 500 GT, our domestic license structure provides for three 
designated duty engineer licenses, although most vessels would carry 
just one licensed engineer. The restrictions placed on the DDE license 
are based on horsepower and routes as a function of qualifying sea 
service in the engine room. The commenter recommends that the 
horsepower limits be based on

[[Page 77847]]

conventional methods used for the other license tracks, rather than sea 
service requirements.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part and has removed the endorsement for 
chief engineer (limited-near-coastal) in Sec.  11.520. We also amended 
sections Sec. Sec.  11.518 and 11.522 to establish new crossover points 
from limited to unlimited national engineering endorsements. However, 
the remainder of the commenter's suggested progression paths are 
unnecessarily complex. The Coast Guard's licensing scheme is clearer 
and is based upon the Coast Guard's long experience and the maritime 
industry's needs.
    Ten commenters believe that the proposed changes in the engineering 
training requirements in the SNPRM represent a significant improvement 
over the NPRM. The commenters believe, though, that additional changes 
are needed to ensure an engineering career path that meets the twin 
goals of safety and practicality. The commenters recommend the removal 
of all route restrictions in Sec.  15.915 so an engineer seeking to 
sail on an international or ocean voyage will require an STCW 
endorsement. The commenters believe that the need to obtain an STCW 
endorsement creates a route restriction.
    Additionally, five commenters recommend that the Coast Guard allow 
direct crossover from lower-level to upper-level licenses where 
appropriate, including a new crossover from chief engineer (limited) to 
first assistant engineer (unlimited).
    Similarly, five commenters recommend that the Coast Guard provide a 
direct crossover from third assistant engineer to DDE-unlimited HP and 
assistant engineer (limited) to vessels under 1,600 GRT, and from 
second assistant engineer to chief engineer (limited) to vessels under 
1,600 GRT.
    The Coast Guard agrees with most of these comments. In this final 
rule, the Coast Guard has provided a crossover from chief engineer 
(limited) to first assistant engineer. Direct crossover from third 
assistant engineer and assistant engineer (limited) to DDE is already 
permitted in current regulations. Additionally, the Coast Guard has 
added, in figure Sec.  11.505(a) of this final rule, a direct crossover 
from third assistant engineer to assistant engineer (limited). The 
Coast Guard does not agree, though, with the need for a crossover from 
second assistant engineer to chief engineer (limited) because first 
assistant engineer is the crossover point to chief engineer (limited). 
Also, removal of the national route restrictions would require a 
separate rulemaking subject to public notice and comment.
    One commenter encourages the Coast Guard to take this opportunity 
to review engineer endorsements and licenses for the operation of 46 
CFR chapter I, subchapter H vessels on inland waters within three miles 
from land.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The current regulations allow the OCMI 
to set manning requirements and national credentials already exist to 
cover this type of operation, and changes to these regulations are 
outside the scope of this rulemaking.
    One commenter states that proposed new language will allow officers 
serving on vessels subject to 46 CFR chapter I, subchapters T and K to 
obtain an STCW endorsement, but at the same time will prohibit officers 
serving on the vessels subject to 46 CFR chapter I, subchapter H from 
realizing the same benefit. The commenter recommends that the Coast 
Guard reverse this policy and grant STCW endorsements to those officers 
serving on 46 CFR chapter I, subchapter H vessels.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. STCW applies to seagoing commercial 
vessels, except fishing vessels. However, special provisions allow for 
exempting smaller vessels on near-coastal voyages from unreasonable or 
impracticable requirements. The exemptions for small passenger vessels 
engaged exclusively on domestic voyages is limited to vessels less than 
100 GRT and engaged in domestic trade. In 1997, the Coast Guard 
determined that an equivalency between STCW requirements and current 
U.S. laws and industry practice is justified. The revisions to the 
rules on inspection and certification of small passenger vessels (46 
CFR chapter I, subchapters T and K), as well as the fact that the Coast 
Guard has the opportunity to perform direct oversight of the 
operational aspects of these vessels, supports such an equivalency. 
Therefore, this final rule imposes no new requirements either on 
personnel serving on these vessels or on their owners or operators. In 
contrast, 46 CFR chapter I, subchapter H applies to vessels of more 
than 100 GRT. Because these vessels are more complex, and can carry 
more passengers onboard, STCW regulations require additional training, 
service, and assessments.
    One commenter recommends that Figure 11.403 should include the 
master of towing vessels progression and appropriate crossover points.
    The Coast Guard agrees, but has provided the separate progression 
paths as well as credentialing crossovers in Figure 11.463 for improved 
readability.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard add to Sec.  11.412 
an upgrade from master 500 GRT Oceans (domestic) to 1,600 GRT oceans 
(domestic) with one additional year of sea service under the authority 
of the license above 50 GRT. This is congruent with the service 
requirement in Table 1 to Sec.  11.311(d) for ocean master more than 
200 GRT/500 GT and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part and has added a paragraph noting 
that mariners may raise the grade of an officer endorsement as master 
from less than 500 GRT to less than 1,600 GRT with 1 year of service as 
a master, mate, or master or mate (pilot) of towing vessels on vessels 
over 100 GRT.
    One commenter disagrees with the route limitation in Sec.  
15.915(a)(1) and recommends that the Coast Guard remove it, because 
there is a lot of towing commerce between the West Coast, Alaska, and 
Hawaii. The commenter believes insertion of this route restriction will 
hurt the towing industry.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard did not propose any 
changes to this paragraph. This final rule provides for a progression 
to endorsements valid for oceans service. If mariners serve on vessels 
operating on oceans, they may obtain one of the engineer endorsements 
authorizing service on oceans.
    One commenter notes that Sec.  11.420 requires 1 year of service as 
mate in order to obtain an original mate 500 GRT Ocean license. This is 
illogical, the commenter says, as a mate position is an entry level 
deck officer position. A provision allowing for an original 500 GRT 
mate license with 3 years of service on ocean or near-coastal routes on 
vessels greater than 50 GRT should be added.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard did not propose any 
changes to the service requirements for an endorsement as mate less 
than 500 GRT in Sec.  11.420. The requirement in that section for an 
applicant to have at least 1 year service as a master, mate or 
equivalent supervisory service, of which at least 6 months must be on 
vessels of more than 50 GRT, to qualify for this endorsement remains 
unchanged from the current regulation.
    One commenter notes that there are currently two paths to master on 
vessels of less than 200 GRT: 36 months on vessels of greater than 200 
GRT; and 1 year acting as master on a towing vessel, but there are no 
tonnages mentioned in regulation.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has deleted the tonnage requirement from 
Sec.  11.317(a)(1).

[[Page 77848]]

    Two commenters recommend that the Coast Guard look very closely at 
the implementation schedule proposed for these credentials, especially 
for those vessels of less than 200 GRT. There will be a great shortage 
for engineers on these vessels. The commenters say the Coast Guard 
should work with industry to develop career paths and a realistic 
implementation period.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The rule provides an implementation 
period ending on January 1, 2017. In addition, we have provided 
multiple progression paths to facilitate engineers operating on tow 
boats to be able to obtain an STCW endorsement.
    Two commenters believe that the new STCW requirements will make it 
even more challenging for their industry to develop future engineers. 
The commenters recommend that QMED time be credited on a 2-for-1 basis 
for up to 50 percent of the service time required for upgrade. They 
believe that such a provision is necessary in order to allow 
individuals with significant service time as unlicensed engineer to 
obtain the STCW endorsement needed to continue their career in the 
towing industry.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The STCW Convention does not allow for 
the use of rating time towards management level credentials. We have 
added new progression paths in part 12, subpart F to ensure engineering 
ratings can qualify.
24. License Separation Scheme
    Four commenters state that separation of the STCW endorsements from 
the domestic licensing scheme does nothing to make it easier for 
mariners to read and understand the requirements for each STCW 
endorsement. By separating the two sides of the existing credentialing 
scheme, the commenters believe the Coast Guard fails to consider the 
simplicity of the STCW scheme and the manner in which it accounts for 
credentialing options limited to near-coastal voyages.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. This final rule clarifies endorsement 
requirements, while being responsive to comments to the SNPRM and NPRM 
from industry supporting separate schemes. The final rule also provides 
clearer career progression paths from national to STCW endorsements.
    One commenter is in agreement with the proposal to separate the two 
licensing schemes, but notes that there are many domestic mariners who 
either have come from the STCW realm and continue to work as mariners 
or are deep-sea mariners who work domestically during periods of time 
off and then return to their regular duties. The commenter recommends 
that OCMIs should evaluate training and drill programs of the domestic 
fleets and allow credit for any training and drills that meet OCMI/NMC 
guidelines.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. Evaluation of training courses and 
evidence of drills are part of the NMC's functions. Providing these 
functions from a central location ensures a uniform and consistent 
implementation of the STCW Convention requirements. One of the 
functions of the Regional Examination Centers is to provide oversight 
for the courses.
    One commenter states that, in the requirements for a domestic 500 
GRT oceans master endorsement (Sec.  11.418) in accordance with 
paragraph (c), an individual ``may qualify for an STCW endorsement, 
according to Sec. Sec.  11.307, 11.311, 11.313 and 11.315 of this 
part.'' However, the proposed rules do not provide an STCW endorsement 
as master beyond 200 GRT/500 GT without additional sea service; nor do 
they provide ability to work as an OICNW on vessels of less than 200 
GRT/500 GT, requirements which would have been met according to Sec.  
11.309.
    The Coast Guard agrees. This rulemaking only allows the master of 
oceans self-propelled vessels of less than 500 GRT to obtain an 
endorsement as master of vessels of less than 500 GT without providing 
additional service. If a seafarer holds an STCW endorsement as OICNW, 
Sec. Sec.  11.307, 11.311, 11.313, and 11.315 of this final rule 
contain provisions for obtaining the management-level endorsements.
    Two commenters state that, according to Sec.  11.305(d), seafarers 
holding an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT or 
more and less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT in accordance with Sec.  11.311 
are eligible to apply for the endorsement as master on vessels of 1,600 
GRT/3,000 GT or more upon completion of 6 months of sea service, under 
authority of the endorsement; and complete any items in Sec. Sec.  
11.305(a)(2) and (a)(3) not previously satisfied. The commenters ask if 
this means that someone holding the respective domestic license would 
be able to upgrade to an unlimited master.
    As previously noted, we are separating the national officer 
endorsement from the STCW endorsement in this final rule, and mariners 
must meet the separate qualification requirements for each endorsement.
25. GT/GRT Equivalency
    One commenter states that, in Sec.  15.915(a), the Coast Guard has 
added the 200 GRT wording to what currently only says 500 GT. The 
commenter believes this has a great effect on uninspected towing 
vessels between the 200 and 300 GRT range, which would mean that a DDE-
unlimited would no longer be able to work on vessels in this range. The 
commenter recommends either retaining the original language, or 
substituting terms of uninspected vessels which would limit it to 300 
GRT, or defining it as 300 GRT/500 ITC. This, the commenter believes, 
would allow engineers who have been working on these vessels for many 
years to continue doing so.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has restored the 500 GRT limit as found 
in existing Sec.  15.915(a). DDEs working on vessels subject to STCW 
are covered by their STCW endorsements as found in Sec. Sec.  11.325 
and 11.331. However, the DDE limitations on their national endorsements 
still apply.
    One commenter states that Sec.  11.301(d)(4) regarding dual-tonnage 
service may cause confusion and result in unintended consequences and 
notes that several dual-tonnage vessels have tonnage that falls above 
one threshold but below the other (i.e., 199 GRT/538 ITC or 235 GRT/424 
ITC). In these instances, the commenter believes, the manning 
requirements are primarily driven by whether the vessel is operating 
domestically or internationally. The commenter recommends that this be 
considered and that the Coast Guard modify this section so that the 
mariner is given sea service credit at whichever equivalency is higher.
    The Coast Guard agrees that using dual-tonnage may cause confusion. 
In order to address this issue, the Coast Guard will issue guidance to 
specify the process for determining the tonnage to be used when 
applying for a credential.
26. High-Speed Craft (HSC)
    Four commenters feel that the type rating certificate renewal 
period every 2 years is too short a span and should be increased to 5 
years to match all other industry standard MMCs. The commenters 
recommend that, if the HSC licensing has to remain at 2-year renewal 
intervals: (1) 90 days sea service should be required as opposed to 180 
days; and, (2) 4 round trips over each route instead of 12 round trips, 
as long as the licensed deck officer also has current first-class 
pilotage over the routes. Another option could be to stay with the 
present 12 required round trips every 2 years, but allow trips aboard 
non-HSC type vessels to be credited on a 2-for-1 basis for up to 50 
percent of the

[[Page 77849]]

trips so long as the licensed deck officer is also a first-class pilot 
for those routes.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. This proposal would diminish the 
requirements applied under the HSC code that were taken directly from 
that code. The Coast Guard has amended the HSC code section to ensure 
it is only applicable to seafarers operating vessels subject to the HSC 
Code.
    Three commenters are concerned that the wording in Sec.  11.821 
could cause a problem for every operator of a vessel to which the HSC 
Code does not apply. The commenters recommend that the wording be 
changed because the Coast Guard inspectors may apply this to any vessel 
that operates at high speed. Alternatively, the commenters believe the 
Coast Guard should further define the application here and the term 
``High Speed Craft'' should be added to the definitions section in part 
10, so that it is clear to all that the Coast Guard is not requiring 
every operator of every craft that goes over 25 knots to be type rated.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the HSC code section to 
ensure it is only applicable to seafarers operating vessels to which 
that code applies.
    One commenter is opposed to having a separate type rating 
certificate (TRC) for each type of HSC and believes it would require 
repetition in the already archaic licensing application process. If 
existing licensed crew members are hired, and they have to have a 
separate individual type rating added to their existing license, the 
commenter believes it will stall the entire process of hiring.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The HSC code requires an operator to be 
trained on specific vessels or classes of vessels. If the HSC code is 
applicable to a vessel, the Coast Guard will continue to require 
compliance with that requirement; however, the training requirement 
would not apply to the owners and operators of those vessels not 
subject to the HSC code.
    Three commenters believe that it is inappropriate and confusing to 
insert TRC in proposed Sec.  11.821 and that the requirement for a TRC 
for a HSC is derived from the HSC code, not from STCW. The commenters 
note that the HSC code is not referenced and not incorporated into this 
rulemaking and that there are currently two vessels in the U.S. 
operating in compliance with the HSC code, and a fleet of vessels that 
are not ``code boats.'' The commenters believe it would be confusing to 
the Coast Guard and the industry to have this section of a separate 
code incorporated here without sufficient definition or explanation. As 
a result, the commenter believes the entire section should be deleted.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. We proposed to include the high-
speed craft provisions in the SNPRM, and included them in this final 
rule, because these vessels are in use within the U.S. and the existing 
regulations did not account for them. These new requirements will 
further promote safe operation of these vessels. Section 11.821 has 
been amended to clarify that it applies only to vessels subject to the 
HSC code.
27. Horsepower
    One commenter observes that trade publications highlighting 
significant new vessel deliveries noted all of the offshore vessels and 
many inland boats had propulsion power exceeding 4,000 HP. For that 
reason, the commenter recommends increasing all current domestic 
credential HP breakpoints to better reflect the current fleet 
composition. The commenter recommends that the Coast Guard submit a 
paper to a future STCW meeting to increase the STCW limits from the 
current 1,000/4,000 HP breakpoints. More realistic breakpoints could be 
4,000/10,000/20,000 HP. Alternatively, on a vessel with multiple 
identical main engines, regulators could count only the power level of 
a single engine as the required power limit on the engineer credential.
    This comment is outside the scope of this rulemaking. The Coast 
Guard did not propose any new requirements in this area, and regulatory 
changes would require a separate rulemaking, including public notice 
and comment.
28. Designated Examiners (DE)
    Six commenters agree with the new definition that restricts DEs to 
only evaluating the proficiency of any applicant for a towing-vessel 
endorsement. The commenter also believes that the current system of 
applying for recognition through the NMC is appropriate.
    The Coast Guard agrees and will continue to approve the DEs for 
evaluation of applicants for towing endorsements.
    Three commenters ask if the definition of ``designated examiner'' 
indicates that he or she could be approved by either the Coast Guard or 
a Coast Guard-accepted organization.
    The definition in Sec.  10.107(b) has been revised to reflect that 
the Coast Guard will continue to approve all DEs.
29. Equivalency
    One commenter urges the Coast Guard to recognize the limited size 
and scope of towing vessel engine rooms and account for this by issuing 
safe manning certificates for towing vessels subject to STCW that allow 
an individual serving as officer in charge of an engineering watch or 
designated duty engineer in a periodically manned towing vessel engine 
room meeting the operational (STCW III/1) rather than management (STCW 
III/2) level training requirements to serve as chief engineer.
    Pursuant to the STCW Convention, persons with chief engineer 
functions are required to meet Regulation III/2 or III/3 as 
appropriate. STCW does not provide for any exemptions from these 
requirements. If a DDE is the only engineer on the boat, then he is the 
de-facto chief engineer and must meet Regulation III/2 or III/3 of the 
STCW Convention. If he or she is an engineer in addition to another who 
is acting as the chief engineer, then he or she would only be required 
to meet Regulation III/1 of the STCW Convention.
    One commenter requests that the Coast Guard allow OCMI's to exempt 
crew members, or at least members of the steward's department, on 
passenger vessels operating on very short-duration cruises inside 
completely protected bays and harbors from the requirement to obtain 
MMCs.
    The same commenter requests that the Coast Guard designate San 
Francisco Bay and San Diego Harbor as ``Rivers'' when applying the MMC 
requirement.
    This comment is outside the scope of this rulemaking. The Coast 
Guard did not propose any new requirements in this area, and regulatory 
changes would require a separate rulemaking, including public notice 
and comment.
30. Electro-Technical Officer (ETO)
    One commenter recommends that an additional requirement to qualify 
for an endorsement as an ETO aboard an unlimited tonnage vessel (Sec.  
11.335) should be an endorsement as an OICEW (engineers' license). 
Service as an ETO requires a thorough knowledge and operational 
experience of all shipboard engineering systems.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Qualification as an OICEW is not a 
prerequisite for an ETO endorsement under the STCW Convention. In 
addition, the Convention provides for other personnel without a marine 
engineering credential to qualify for this endorsement.
    One commenter states that there is no clear education, training or 
certification requirement for ETO. The commenter states that the 
minimum requirement for an applicant should be that he or she hold a 
GMDSS maintainer license and be certified as CompTia A+ Network+ and 
Security+. There should also be a

[[Page 77850]]

requirement that he or she is also certified in the repair and 
operation of Automatic Identification System, Long Range Identification 
and Tracking, Ship Security Alert System, Simplified Voyage Data 
Recorder Radar/Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) 
and all bridge electronics. The commenter also recommends that there 
should be a recertification requirement.
    The Coast Guard partially agrees. Section 11.335 has been amended 
to include training requirements appropriate for an ETO. The Coast 
Guard disagrees that the GMDSS maintainer should be a pre-requisite for 
the ETO since the STCW Convention does not expressly require it. This 
final rule allows companies to add this requirement as an additional 
responsibility of an ETO.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard establish the 
following minimum knowledge for Sec.  11.335, ETO and Electro-technical 
rating: Each applicant for an endorsement/license as an electro-
technical officer/rating shall furnish evidence that he or she meets 
the standard of the GMDSS maintainers as required by the Coast Guard 
and having met the requirements for electro-technical officer/rating as 
outlined in STCW A-III/6 or A-III/7.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The GMDSS maintainer and ETO are 
separate endorsements that are now established in STCW. This final rule 
allows companies to add this requirement as an additional 
responsibility of an ETO.
    One commenter asks, with regard to Sec.  11.335:
    (1) In what engine room capacity does the potential ETO have to 
serve?
    (2) If proficiencies are demonstrated onboard a vessel, who signs 
the competencies?
    (3) Does any new OICEW or greater endorsement qualify as ETO 
without additional training, service, or assessment?
    (4) Is ETO to be a subsidiary duty of any OICEW or higher?
    (5) Is this the intended outcome or is the ETO to be a specialized 
Electronics/Automation/Controls engineer?
    The STCW Convention is not a manning document; therefore, the Coast 
Guard will not require that any vessel carry a mariner holding this ETO 
endorsement. However, anyone serving in the capacity of ETO must hold 
the endorsement. If proficiencies are demonstrated onboard a vessel, a 
qualified assessor would sign the competencies. Any new OICEW must meet 
the requirements of Sec.  11.335 in order to qualify as an ETO. Any 
mariner who meets the ETO requirements in Sec.  11.335 will be issued 
an ETO endorsement without regard to whether they also hold or qualify 
for a corresponding national endorsement or any other STCW endorsement.
31. Examinations
    One commenter notes that Sec.  11.201(j)(2) contains a 
recommendation that an applicant take the exam ``as soon as possible,'' 
even though the preamble of the SNPRM (76 FR 45939) states that the 
Coast Guard agreed with a comment that the advice is unnecessary and 
would be dropped. The commenter recommends deleting the statement.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and Sec.  11.201(j)(2) has been amended to 
delete this language and indicate only that the approval for 
examination is good for 1 year.
    One commenter recommends that, in Sec.  12.205, the Coast Guard add 
a consequence to the last sentence of (c), such as ``or the application 
will be voided.''
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The regulatory text is clear that the 
approval for examination is good for 1 year.
    Two commenters note that Sec.  11.201(j)(1)(iii) requires 
applicants (e.g., cadets) enrolled in a comprehensively approved 
program of training, service and assessment be authorized for the Coast 
Guard exam ``not more than 3 months prior to the completion of the 
program provided all applicable sea service requirements are completed 
prior to the examination.'' The commenters believe the 3-month period 
is more restrictive than the 6-month period previously allowed by the 
Coast Guard and recommended that the 6-month period be retained.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The exams need to be completed soon 
before or after issuance of the credential to ensure that new officers 
have the knowledge prior to receipt of their officer endorsement. 
However, the Coast Guard recognizes that some training schools complete 
the training program ahead of time and the rest of the time is spent 
prepping for the exam. In order to facilitate the examination process 
while ensuring that the examinees have the knowledge for the exam, the 
Coast Guard has added an additional sentence to allow applicants to 
test earlier (a maximum of 6 months prior to the program end and 
graduation), provided they have completed all parts of the 
comprehensive program that pertain to maritime credentialing 
requirements.
    One commenter states that, in Table 11.910-2, the examination 
topics should make reference and include specific knowledge, 
understanding and proficiencies required in the STCW tables in the 
applicable deck or engine license category.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The exam subject tables in Sec.  
11.910 cover the general subjects and topics for each credential 
issued. Subjects, topics, and sub-topics related to STCW KUPs will be 
defined in guidance issued by the Coast Guard.
    One commenter asks how the Coast Guard will approve simulators 
discussed in Sec.  11.901(c).
    The Coast Guard does not approve individual simulators. The Coast 
Guard approves courses that use simulators and, as part of the approval 
process, evaluates whether the simulator is suitable for the proposed 
training.
    One commenter states that Tables 11.910-2, 11.930-2, and 12.950-2 
do not include security training requirements.
    Tables 11.910-2, 11.930-2, and 12.950-2 depict exam topics for 
endorsements requiring examinations. The security endorsements do not 
require examinations.
    One commenter suggests that, if the tables of examination topics 
(Sec. Sec.  11.910 and 11.950) were relocated to the ``Examination 
Guide,'' they could be more quickly updated as necessary. If strictly 
adhered to, these tables would provide essential direction to the 
testing mariner without compromising the integrity of the examination.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The tables need to remain in the 
regulations until such time as the Coast Guard replaces them in 
regulation or issues guidance. The tables are necessary to provide the 
mariners with the topics for the exams. The Coast Guard will consider 
issuing a task to MERPAC to develop suitable information on exam 
topics.
    The same commenter notes that, with regard to Sec.  10.219(a), the 
current regulations used ``Upper Level'' to apply specifically to 
unlimited master any gross tons (AGT), near-coastal/oceans chief mate 
AGT near-coastal or oceans, second mate AGT near-coastal or oceans, 
third mate AGT near-coastal or oceans, chief, first, second, and third 
engineers without tonnage or route restrictions. But in the reference 
beneath this SNPRM table, ``Upper Level'' is defined as AGT or 
unlimited horsepower. Is the master inland AGT considered ``unlimited'' 
here for fee purposes? The new Deck Examination Guide relies on the old 
Sec.  10.107 definitions, which included ``Upper Level'' as defined 
above and distinguishes two retesting procedures and two waiting 
periods for ``Upper and Lower Levels.''

[[Page 77851]]

    The same commenter also pointed out that ``Upper Level'' candidates 
who failed three sections of their examinations were required to retest 
on all sections. ``Lower Level'' candidates did not have to meet this 
threshold. ``Upper Level'' candidates had to wait 3 months before 
beginning a new exam cycle after having failed a previous go-round; 
``Lower Level'' candidates had to wait only 2 months. Will the 
procedures of the Deck Examination Guide remain in place or will the 
testing procedures and waits change to one system for all candidates as 
described in Sec.  10.219?
    The Coast Guard has changed the testing procedures and waiting 
periods for both deck and engine ``Upper and Lower'' level examinations 
to one system for all candidates as detailed in Sec.  11.217(a) of this 
final rule. The examination guide will be changed accordingly. 
Additionally, the Coast Guard has added a definition for ``unlimited'' 
in Sec.  10.107.
    The same commenter noted that Sec.  11.418(b) should be changed to 
provide for a limited examination instead of a full examination.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and provisions in the existing regulations 
calling for a limited examination remain unchanged. We will also retain 
the existing regulation specifying a limited examination in Sec. Sec.  
11.418(b), 11.429(a)(3), 11.446(b), 11.456(a)(3), and 11.467(f)(3).
    One commenter requests a near-term update to the tables of 
examination subjects in part 11 to reflect the 1995 and 2010 STCW 
amendments. Of great importance, the commenter believes, is the 
accuracy of the list of examination subjects, which enables maritime 
educators to determine more precisely what must be included in training 
and education programs to ensure their students can adequately prepare 
for the Coast Guard's exam.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the examination tables to 
include the general topics for the various examinations. The Coast 
Guard recognizes that additional information may be necessary to 
further develop these topics. The Coast Guard will consider issuing a 
task to MERPAC to develop suitable additional information on exam 
topics.
    The same commenter asks, as an example, if a mariner has an STCW 
endorsement as chief mate on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more, 
would the candidate, among other requirements, have to pass the chief 
mate unlimited near-coastal/ocean examination? And, having passed that 
examination, later on, would the candidate meet the service and tonnage 
requirements of the domestic chief mate any gross tons, and would he or 
she be required to take the unlimited master/chief examination again?
    A mariner as described in this comment would not be required to 
retake examinations previously and successfully completed at a lower 
level.
32. Dynamic Positioning
    One commenter expresses disappointment that the SNPRM does not 
include an endorsement for Dynamic Positioning Officers (DPO) under B-
V/f of the STCW Code. Issuing this endorsement, even if not required by 
the COI on U.S. flag vessels, would highlight the unique training and 
experience of DPOs and set a standard among other STCW signatory 
nations. The commenter urges the Coast Guard to consider creating such 
an endorsement.
    DP requirements are being addressed in a separate rulemaking. 
Additionally, Sec.  15.520 has been amended to clarify the status of a 
MODU on DP.
33. Fast Rescue Boats
    One commenter recommended that, since existing SOLAS and U.S. 
requirements mandate that the STCW competency of ``Operate Fast Rescue 
Boat Engine'' be accomplished at least once a month, the Coast Guard 
should add to the list of STCW competencies that it will accept as 
onboard training for the STCW competency ``Operate Fast Rescue Boat 
Engine.''
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  12.617 to include 
operating the fast rescue boat engine as a competency that can be 
completed onboard vessels.
34. Deck Officer Requirements
    Four commenters note that on page 45918 of the preamble the Coast 
Guard cites Sec.  11.401 as ``removing the requirement for deck 
officers to obtain a qualification as Able Seaman,'' which ``provides 
consistency with the STCW Convention.'' Although the requirement is 
absent from STCW endorsements, it is still found in Sec. Sec.  
11.407(a)(1), 11.414(a)(2), 11.416(a), and 11.421(a), which are the 
prerequisite credentials to obtain STCW authority. Moreover, the 
prerequisite to hold A/B is also found in Great Lakes and Inland 
Sec. Sec.  11.437, 11.444, and 11.448. The commenters recommend that 
the Coast Guard remove the prerequisite of holding an A/B endorsement 
from these sections.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec. Sec.  11.407(a)(1), 
11.414(a)(2), 11.416(a), 11.421(a), 11.437(a)(1), 11.444(a)(1), and 
11.448 to remove the requirement that applicants for these endorsements 
must hold an able seaman endorsement.
35. Ceremonial License
    Six commenters acknowledge and thank the Coast Guard for 
recognizing the importance of a mariner's credential by creating the 
``ceremonial license.'' The commenters added that this document 
demonstrates respect for the professionalism of the mariner and that a 
ceremonial license means a document that reflects a mariner's existing 
domestic officer endorsement and is suitable for framing, but is not 
valid for use as an MMC.
    One commenter states that, although he appreciates the Coast 
Guard's willingness to make the ceremonial license available, it would 
be nice to recognize the issue number which is a source of pride to 
experienced mariners as well as a valuable tool for potential 
employers.
    The Coast Guard appreciates the desirability of including an issue 
number on the ceremonial license. Because the MMC does not currently 
contain an issue number, though, the Coast Guard is unable to include 
such a number on the ceremonial license. The ceremonial license, 
however, would show the existing national officer or rating 
endorsement.
    One commenter states that a ceremonial license would fill the gap 
left by the current passport format license. The commenter adds that 
passengers have come to expect to see the master's license publicly 
displayed onboard with all the other documents.
    The Coast Guard agrees that passengers have come to expect to see 
the master's license publicly displayed onboard, and 46 U.S.C. 7110 
requires the posting of the master's MMC. However, the ceremonial 
license ``is not valid for use as a Merchant Mariner Credential'' (see 
Sec.  10.107), so its posting would not satisfy 46 U.S.C. 7110. The 
Coast Guard is unable to change this requirement without a revision of 
the statute.
36. Basic Training
    Two commenters state that, in current Sec. Sec.  11.301(b) and 
11.301(c)(3), the onboard assessments for STCW elementary first aid are 
not equal for officers and ratings.
    The Coast Guard did not propose onboard assessments for elementary 
first aid. The Coast Guard agrees that the requirements for officers 
and ratings should be the same and has revised those requirements 
accordingly. The requirements for BT, including elementary first aid, 
have been broken out into separate sections in Sec. Sec.  11.302

[[Page 77852]]

and 12.602. The Coast Guard has changed the term ``basic safety 
training'' to ``basic training'' to be consistent with the STCW 
Convention.
    One commenter expresses concern over the provision in Sec.  
11.201(h)(1) allowing mariners to demonstrate having maintained the 
standard of competence in basic and/or advanced firefighting and felt 
this posed an additional burden to inland mariners. The commenter 
recommends leaving in place acceptance of 1 year of sea service in the 
last 5 years as meeting the requirements for demonstrating competence 
in basic and advanced firefighting for domestic, inland credentials.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. There are no firefighting maintenance or 
renewal requirements for national endorsements in Sec.  11.201(h). The 
firefighting requirements in Sec.  11.201(h) apply to the original 
issue of one of the specified officer endorsements. It does not apply 
to the renewal of an endorsement, or to a raise of grade from one of 
the enumerated endorsements. However, the Coast Guard has revised this 
section to add new provisions specifically stating that the 
firefighting requirement only applies to a raise of grade if the 
applicant had not previously met the requirement.
    One commenter remarked that instructors in first aid and cardio-
pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be required to demonstrate their 
familiarity with the most recent techniques through certification by 
the American Heart Association and/or the American Red Cross.
    The Coast Guard agrees that instructors must be familiar with the 
most current techniques, but does not feel a change is needed. When 
courses are approved or renewed, the Coast Guard evaluates the 
qualifications of instructors to ensure they are qualified to teach the 
course. In addition, continued professional competence of instructors 
should be addressed in the school's QSS, and will be subject to 
periodic audit by the Coast Guard.
    Two commenters note that Sec.  11.301(b)(3) allows for certain 
areas of basic safety training (BST) to be satisfied with onboard 
experience. However, Sec.  12.601 does not list continued proficiency 
being granted for the same areas through onboard experience and drills.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has relocated the requirements for STCW 
ratings to accomplish BT to Sec.  12.602. The new section accepts sea 
service as demonstrating continued proficiency in elementary first aid 
and personal safety and social responsibilities.
    The same commenters state that first aid and CPR are dynamic, ever-
changing courses. They express concern about how maritime personnel 
will be properly trained, while onboard ship, in the most current/
updated procedure and by whom.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Because STCW does not require proof of 
continued competence in elementary first aid or personal safety and 
social responsibilities, we will accept onboard training and 
experience, through evidence of 1 year of sea service within the last 5 
years as meeting the requirements for these portions of BT.
    Two commenters state that, with regard to BST and advanced 
firefighting renewal requirements, it may be difficult to obtain 
shoreside assessment/competency as there are very few facilities that 
have the equipment for these training purposes.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. This final rule implements the 2010 
amendments, which are very explicit about which areas of the standard 
of competence can be accomplished onboard and which ones can be 
accomplished ashore. Initial BT and advanced firefighting training is 
accomplished ashore through Coast Guard approved courses that cover all 
aspects of knowledge, understanding and proficiency for all the 
competence areas. Consequently, we believe that there are sufficient 
courses with the equipment and teaching resources necessary to cover 
this training.
    One commenter recommends that BST standards and requirements be 
expanded by the Coast Guard to include all fishing vessels, fish tender 
vessels, and certain vessels operating inside the boundary line.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The STCW Convention applies to mariners 
serving on seagoing vessels, except pleasure craft, fishing vessels, 
and vessels entitled to sovereign immunity, such as warships. Article 
II of the Convention defines a seagoing ship as a ship other than one 
that ``navigates exclusively in inland waters or in waters within, or 
closely adjacent to, sheltered waters or areas where port regulations 
apply.'' The provisions in this final rule which would implement 
amendments to the STCW Convention only apply to commercial vessels 
operating seaward of the boundary line, as specified in 46 CFR part 7. 
The Coast Guard does not intend, and is not required by STCW, to apply 
international standards to our domestic mariners in this regard. 
Furthermore, 46 U.S.C. 8105 prohibits the application of the STCW 
Convention to fishing vessels.
    Two commenters ask what evidence must be produced by the vessel 
master to verify compliance with Sec. Sec.  11.1105(c)(1) and 
11.1105(c)(2), and whether all MMCs will now have an STCW endorsement 
for BST.
    The proof of compliance will be on the MMC in the form of an 
endorsement. The Coast Guard will place an endorsement for basic 
training, formerly known as BST, on the MMC.
    One commenter challenges the concept, as outlined in Sec. Sec.  
11.301(b)(3) and 12.601(b)(3), that time served aboard a vessel can in 
and of itself constitute an ongoing demonstration of competency with 
regard to the emergency response skills required by Table A-VI/1 of the 
STCW Code.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The 2010 amendments to the STCW 
Convention, specifically Section A-VI/1, paragraph 4, are very explicit 
about which areas of the standard of competence can be accomplished 
through training and experience onboard and which ones must be 
accomplished ashore. The allowance in the Convention to demonstrate 
competence onboard a vessel does not exempt mariners with vessel 
service from the requirement to demonstrate that they have maintained 
the standards of competency through onboard training and drills.
    The same commenter adds that, depending on their muster-list 
assignments, many mariners on vessels that are running realistic drills 
may never have the opportunity to perform certain emergency duties or 
demonstrate competence performing them, such as boarding a survival 
craft from the ship while wearing a lifejacket. If a mariner's sea time 
is served wholly aboard a vessel whose survival craft are inflatable 
liferafts, and the vessel does not launch and inflate a liferaft, how 
can it be said that individual has demonstrated the ability to board 
their survival craft from the ship?
    The Coast Guard has addressed this issue in Sec.  12.615. Seafarers 
holding an STCW endorsements for OICNW, OICEW, and able seafarer-deck 
are required to meet the requirements for proficiency in survival craft 
and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats, or proficiency in 
survival craft and rescue boats other than lifeboats and fast rescue 
boats. These requirements are consistent with the STCW 2010 amendments.
    Five commenters state that the proposed regulations pertaining to 
requirements for STCW officer and STCW rating endorsements in 
Sec. Sec.  11.301, 12.601, 12.615, and 12.617, respectively, are a 
change from current Coast Guard policy that recognizes at least 1 year 
of sea service in the last 5 years as meeting the BST, advanced 
firefighting, survival craft and fast rescue boat proficiency

[[Page 77853]]

standards. The commenter believes that this is an unnecessary and 
unwieldy change to the policy, and will significantly impact mariners 
who will be required to attend a shore-side school to complete these 
assessments when no other shore side assessment option is available. 
The STCW Convention does not allow all assessments to be conducted 
onboard. Therefore, the administration can only choose to accept 
onboard assessment for those permitted by the Convention.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. We have not changed the requirement for 
mariners to provide evidence of continued professional competence in 
BT, advanced firefighting, survival craft, and fast rescue boat through 
1 year of sea service within the last 5 years. Further, the 2010 
amendments to the STCW Convention require that seafarers provide 
evidence of continued professional competence in those areas every 5 
years. However, the new amendments also identify those areas from the 
standard of competence that must be assessed ashore. Implementation of 
shore-based training and assessment is required by the 2010 amendments 
and is not discretionary.
    One commenter believes that Sec.  11.301 is confusing as written 
because the commenter is unable to determine if mariners are required 
to retake the advanced firefighting and personal survival courses every 
5 years, or if shipboard drills, training and sea service will be 
sufficient to establish continued professional competence. In the 
commenter's view, the proficiency in these two areas can be maintained 
on the vessel through specific drills, training and testing aboard 
vessels.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The 2010 amendments to the STCW 
Convention require that seafarers provide evidence of continued 
professional competence in BT every 5 years. Continued professional 
competence may be achieved through a combination of ashore assessments, 
and onboard drills and training. Furthermore, the new amendments 
identify those areas from the standard of competence that can be 
maintained while sailing onboard vessels through drills and onboard 
training, and those areas that must be assessed ashore. If a mariner 
cannot complete competencies onboard, then he or she will have to re-
take the original courses, or refresher courses, as applicable. The 
Coast Guard has added new sections on this subject in Sec. Sec.  
11.302(e), 11.303(e), and 12.602(e). As the same issue would also apply 
to proficiency in survival craft and fast rescue boats, we have also 
added new Sec. Sec.  12.613(b)(4), 12.615(b)(4), and 12.617(b)(4).
    Three commenters expressed concern that the Coast Guard will be 
unable to track sea service dates that have a bearing on whether a 
mariner will meet certain re-qualifying requirements. More 
specifically, the commenters point out that Sec.  12.601(c) states that 
mariners may provide evidence of 1 year of sea service within the last 
5 years, as meeting the requirement for BT. The commenters feel that 
implementation of the new regulations will put a huge burden on the NMC 
that will require rigorous evaluator training and strict oversight.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard will track BT and will 
keep course completion certificates and sea service records needed to 
support issuance of the endorsement. A BT endorsement will be issued 
where the expiration will coincide with the expiration date of the MMC. 
The Coast Guard intends to implement the BT continued professional 
competence requirements by: (1) requiring the course completion 
certificate as proof that the mariner demonstrated the areas that must 
be refreshed ashore; and (2) requiring 1 year of sea service in the 
last 5 years as proof that the seafarer demonstrated the topics that 
can be demonstrated onboard the vessel.
37. MMC return
    Three commenters question the requirement in Sec.  10.209(g) that 
mariners must return all previously issued MMCs when a new MMC is 
issued.
    This is an existing requirement in Sec.  10.227(d)(4). The MMC is 
used as a mariner identification document and a previously issued MMC 
will need to be returned if it is still valid when a new MMC is issued. 
Computer verification is not always used and the potential misuse for 
the credential warrants returning valid credentials to the Coast Guard. 
We agree, however, that there is no need to return an expired 
credential and the text has been changed to reflect that.
38. Renewal requirements
    Two commenters recommend that the term ``Qualified Instructor,'' as 
defined in Sec.  10.107, be included in Sec. Sec.  10.227(e)(1)(iv) and 
10.232(f) to ensure that maritime academy instructors will be 
considered as meeting the ``closely related service'' professional 
standard for renewal of an MMC.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec. Sec.  10.227(e)(1)(iv) 
and 10.232(g) to include qualified instructors.
    One commenter states that the required 360 days of sea service in 
the last 5 years to renew/upgrade a license is excessive.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. With regard to STCW endorsements, the 
service requirements are as specified in the STCW Convention and the 
Coast Guard does not have discretion to modify them.
39. Safety and Suitability
    One commenter recommends that Coast Guard consider amending 
Sec. Sec.  10.225 and 11.201 to permit maritime academies or other 
institutions that submit applications on behalf of a cadet or mariner, 
to inform the Coast Guard, when necessary, of an applicant's 
``character and habits of life'', which may not be revealed by Coast 
Guard or Transportation Security Administration (TSA) background checks 
alone. Another commenter recommends that the Coast Guard add text 
allowing authorized vessel officers and company representatives to 
submit applications on behalf of applicants and be allowed to inform 
the Coast Guard, when necessary, of an applicant's ``character and 
habits of life'' that may not be revealed by Coast Guard or TSA 
background checks.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The focus on criminal convictions in 
Sec. Sec.  10.225 and 11.201 is important because the mariner has been 
provided significant constitutional protections in criminal trials, the 
facts of a particular incident have been fully investigated, and 
matters of contention have been fully adjudicated. Input from the 
mariner's educational institution or mariner's employers, while 
potentially valuable, may be problematic. The Coast Guard does not have 
the resources or the authority to investigate and adjudicate contested 
matters that occur at an Academy. The benefit of this information is 
outweighed by the possibility of abuse and privacy concerns. 
Information on convictions is readily available and already fully 
documented.
    Academies are free to report violations of law of which they are 
aware to the appropriate enforcement authorities at the time of the 
offense. Furthermore, matters that are significant enough to warrant 
denying a credential also probably involve violations of institutional 
codes of conduct, which are probably more properly dealt with by the 
institution's disciplinary system.
    Additionally, marine employers are required to report violations of 
law of which they are aware to the appropriate enforcement authorities 
at the time of the offense. For certain vessels, the

[[Page 77854]]

official logbook would provide sufficient documentation and a legal 
method for reporting the items in 46 U.S.C. 11301. Matters significant 
enough to prevent issuance of a credential probably warrant referral to 
the Coast Guard for action under 46 CFR part 5.
40. Sea Service
    Two commenters thanked the Coast Guard for reconsidering the issue 
of Great Lakes and inland sea service credit.
    One commenter wants to confirm the change in Sec.  11.402(a)(1) 
from the previous requirement that all service be on vessels of more 
than 200 GRT (Sec.  11.402(a)) to all service must be on vessels of 100 
GRT or more.
    Yes, the Coast Guard has made this change, accepting that many 
vessels of 100 GRT have characteristics that can be applied towards the 
unlimited tonnage vessel without endangering safety. Additionally, the 
requirement that half of the experience be gained on vessels of 1,600 
GRT or more ensures that mariners will have sufficient experience for 
these credentials.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend Sec.  10.232(f) 
to allow closely related service to be applied to the raise-of-grade to 
original management-level endorsements in the manner of the existing 
rule. In addition, this closely related service should be accepted as 
meeting the requirements for ``recency'' when applying for renewal or 
raise-of-grade.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The regulations already allow using this 
credit toward raise-of-grade. Such service would be inappropriate to 
grant an original management-level endorsement. Closely related service 
does not adequately prepare mariners to demonstrate the competencies 
required for a management level endorsement. Additionally, Sec.  
11.201(c) requires recent qualifying service on vessels.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend Sec.  
10.232(a)(1) by adding ``pilot association letter of attestation'' to 
the list of acceptable forms to document sea service. In addition, the 
commenter suggests Sec.  10.232(a)(2) be amended by inserting ``, as 
practicable,'' between the words ``must'' and ``contain.'' This latter 
change will allow for the reality that for full-time independent 
professional compulsory pilots, it is not necessary or practicable to 
include the precise number of vessels piloted and the specific vessel 
information for the hundreds of ships that may have been piloted during 
a particular reporting period.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. We recognize the burden placed on 
pilots and pilot associations to document pilotage sea service pursuant 
to Sec.  10.232. The Coast Guard has amended Sec.  10.232 to accept 
pilot association letters of attestation for renewals. However, the 
Coast Guard is unable to accept the same letter for original officer 
endorsements or raises in grade as there is not sufficient information 
with regard to the vessel tonnage, horsepower or propulsion mode. 
Without the specific vessel information, it is difficult to determine 
whether a pilot meets the specific requirements for credential 
transactions other than renewal.
    Two commenters request that instructors who teach Coast Guard-
approved courses be able to self-certify on those courses that they 
teach when those courses are required for license renewal.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has added Sec.  10.227(e)(1)(v) to 
recognize that qualified instructors who have taught a course, accepted 
or approved by the Coast Guard, at least twice within the past 5 years 
have met the standards needed to receive a course completion 
certificate for that course.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard delete Sec.  
11.407(b). The Great Lakes Maritime Academy intends to request a change 
to their approval letter to request their training programs be approved 
for oceans and/or near-coastal licenses based on sea service obtained 
on the Great Lakes.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The Coast Guard has amended Sec.  
11.407(b) to provide for an endorsement to be issued depending on the 
program completed. The distinction between the near-coastal and oceans 
programs at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy is based on several 
differences in route, assessment, and examination. The change is 
consistent with the revisions in Sec.  11.401 for oceans and near-
coastal endorsements.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend Sec.  10.232(g) 
by adding a paragraph (5) that says: ``On academy training ships where 
sea service is part of an approved training program, a day may be 
creditable as 1\1/2\ days of service.'' The commenter believes this is 
in keeping with the Coast Guard's existing practice of crediting 
academy training ship sea service as reported to IMO.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has revised this section accordingly. 
We have also made a similar revision to the definition of ``day'' in 
Sec.  10.107.
    Fourteen commenters recommend that Sec.  11.211 have language that 
allows service on inspected Ro/Ro passenger vessels to be credited day-
for-day for STCW endorsement, regardless of route. This is justified, 
the commenters believe, by the fact that Sec.  11.1005 requires that 
masters, chief engineers, mates, and engineers are required to have 
STCW endorsements. If required to carry the endorsement, the commenters 
believe credit should be given to those officers and ratings who work 
on inspected Ro/Ro passenger vessels.
    The Coast Guard agrees. Persons serving on vessels to which STCW 
applies will be credited day for day sea service credit, and Sec.  
10.232 has been amended accordingly.
    One commenter notes that Sec.  11.412(a) requires any seafarer who 
desires to upgrade to master 1,600 GRT to sail for 2 years aboard a 
towing vessel. The commenter believes this is an unreasonable 
requirement, since many seafarers will never sail aboard a towing 
vessel. For those who will, the requirement elsewhere to gain a TOAR 
will suffice to provide the necessary training and experience for 
towing. A similar requirement is contained in Sec.  11.414 for those 
desiring to get a mate 1,600 GRT endorsement (1 year on towing vessels 
required).
    The Coast Guard agrees that towing vessels are not the only way to 
earn sea service credit, and has amended Sec. Sec.  11.412 and 11.414. 
Mariners may upgrade to master on vessels of less than 1,600 GRT with 
service in a licensed position on any number of vessels, including, but 
not limited to, towing vessels.
    One commenter notes that Sec.  11.412(a) requires 4 years total 
service to upgrade from mate 1,600 GRT to master 1,600 GRT. The 
commenter also notes that Sec.  11.418(a)(1) requires 3 years total 
service to upgrade from mate 500 tons to master 500 tons. Over the past 
year, the commenter notes, there have been several successful appeals 
of this requirement, and several clarifying letters from the Coast that 
have effectively changed this requirement. The commenter believes this 
would seem to be the right time to correct this requirement in the CFR 
so as to prevent further confusion on this issue for the future.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec. Sec.  11.412 and 
11.418 accordingly.
    Two commenters recommend that the Coast Guard remove Sec. Sec.  
10.232(b)(1) and 10.232(b)(2), which specify the credit allowed for 
service on the Great Lakes and other inland navigable waters, as they 
have no useful purpose whatsoever and only serve to make professional 
advancement more difficult, thereby decreasing the availability of 
mariners for service on ocean-going ships.

[[Page 77855]]

    The Coast Guard disagrees. Service on Great Lakes and inland waters 
was not previously permitted to count toward an STCW endorsement. 
Inclusion of these sections will actually increase the availability of 
mariners for service on ocean-going vessels.
    One commenter states that, with regard to Sec.  12.605(a)(2)(i), 
leaving the proposed section as ``six months of seagoing service'' is 
overburdening the mariner for a simple bridge lookout/helmsman 
position. The commenter believes a minimum number of watches should be 
specified.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. This requirement is clearly specified in 
Regulation II/4.2.2.1 of the STCW Convention.
    One commenter suggests that the term ``full mission simulator'' be 
deleted from the proposed regulations as there are other simulation 
software that can be used that do not meet the requirements of a ``full 
mission'' simulator.
    The Coast Guard agrees that a full mission simulator is not 
required for all required training and assessment, but notes that we 
did not use this term in the proposed rule, or in this final rule. As 
used throughout this final rule, a simulator does not need be a full 
mission simulator, it need only be capable of supporting the training 
and assessment objectives for its proposed use.
    Two commenters do not support the proposal in Sec.  10.232, which 
states that, ``service on inland waters, other than Great Lakes, that 
are navigable waters of the United States, may be substituted for up to 
50 percent of the total required service toward an oceans, near-
coastal, or STCW endorsement.'' The commenters believe there are 
insufficient similarities in experience between inland and ocean 
service to justify crediting inland time toward full ocean service 
requirements. An exception, the commenter believes, should provide that 
inland service be credited for a limited STCW endorsement for ``service 
on vessels of any gross tons upon the sheltered waters of British 
Columbia as defined in the treaty between the United States and Canada 
signed 11 August 1934.''
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The STCW defines seagoing service as 
``service onboard a ship relevant to the issue or revalidation of a 
certificate or other qualification.'' The Coast Guard recognizes that 
some ``relevant'' experience can be gained on inland vessels creditable 
toward an STCW document. Accordingly, the Coast Guard is allowing day-
for-day credit for inland service for up to 50 percent of the total 
required service. The credit of service is justified because many of 
the inland navigable waters of the United States are of such length 
and/or breadth that they have the characteristics of ocean or near-
coastal waters.
    One commenter requests that, with regard to Sec.  11.211(b)(2), 
which sets out service requirements for national and STCW officer 
endorsements, consideration be given for service on inland vessels of 
1,600 GRT/3,000 GT and 4,000 HP that have equivalent equipment to ocean 
vessels. The commenter recommends that credit be given on a day-by-day 
basis for engine (OICEW) and engine ratings endorsements.
    Another commenter also requests the same change with regard to 
Sec.  11.301(d)(3), which sets out requirements for STCW officer 
endorsements. The commenter suggests consideration be given for service 
on inland vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT and 4,000 HP that have 
equivalent equipment to ocean vessels. The commenter requests that 
credit be given on a day-by-day basis for engine (OICEW) and engine 
ratings endorsements.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. Section 11.301(d)(3), which has 
been re-numbered as Sec.  11.301(b)(3), has been revised to provide 
day-for-day credit for service on inland waters. Although there are 
sufficient common skills and experience to justify allowing credit for 
service on inland waters, the differences between inland waters and 
ocean service prevent allowing use of this credit to meet 100 percent 
of the sea service requirement. Therefore, both Sec.  11.211(b)(2) and 
Sec.  11.301(b)(3) allow credit for inland service to be credited on a 
day-for-day basis for up to 50 percent of the total required service.
    One commenter recommends that, with regard to Sec.  11.329, the 
proposed reduction in the requirements to obtain endorsement as an 
OICEW be eliminated. Reducing the requirement to a mere 12 months of a 
combination of sea service and approved training program, the commenter 
believes, will not produce the quality of marine engineer that the U.S. 
is accustomed to.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The requirement is that the applicant 
must complete an approved training program. That program must include a 
combination of workshop skills and seagoing service of not less than 12 
months. Furthermore, the training program must satisfy the standards of 
competence in Section A-III/1 of the STCW Code, which typically takes 3 
years. The requirements mirror those for the officer endorsement of 
third assistant engineer which requires either 3 years of service, or 
completion of an approved program.
    Three commenters state that historically, almost all sea service 
has been creditable on a day-for-day basis for upgrading a mariner's 
credentials. In recent years, the commenters believe licensing for 
chief engineers became subject to geographic restrictions, although no 
reason was provided for this. Even once this practice was in place, 
however, most sea time was still creditable on a day-for-day basis for 
100 percent of the required time. The commenters believe the proposed 
language in Sec.  10.232(b) would reduce the creditable sea service to 
50 percent of what's actually earned and then limit it to a maximum of 
50 percent of the required time. The commenters believe the existing 
sea-service applicability should remain as it currently stands.
    The Coast Guard partially agrees. Section 10.232(b) allows mariners 
serving onboard vessels operating on inland waters or the Great Lakes 
to receive credit towards an oceans or STCW endorsement. It was not the 
Coast Guard's intent to reduce the creditable sea service for national 
credentials. In fact, this provision permits broader application of 
Great Lakes and Inland service towards both STCW and national ocean 
endorsements than is allowed under current regulations. To avoid 
confusion, the Coast Guard has also added a new paragraph Sec.  
10.232(c) that would ensure day-for-day credit for 100 percent of the 
required time when applying for Great Lakes or inland credentials. We 
have also re-designated existing paragraphs (c) through (h) as new 
paragraphs (d) through (i).
    Eighteen commenters support proposed section Sec.  11.211 
``Creditable service and equivalents for domestic and STCW officer 
endorsements'' as it will recognize time served on inland voyages for 
the issuance of STCW officer endorsements. However, the commenters are 
disappointed that inland service is to be substituted for only up to 50 
percent of the total required service. They recommend that the proposed 
language be amended so that inland time is credited on a day-for-day 
basis, as is service on the Great Lakes.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Although there are sufficient common 
skills and experience involved in service on inland waters and oceans 
to justify allowing credit for service on inland waters, the 
differences between inland waters and ocean service prevent allowing 
use of this credit to meet 100 percent of the service requirement for

[[Page 77856]]

near-coastal, oceans, or STCW endorsements.
    One commenter believes that the military/government service option 
is a step in the right direction to encourage an experienced but un-
certificated mariner to bring their experience to the merchant fleet. 
However, without a specific statement granting STCW support-level 
service credit for watchstanding petty officers, operational-level 
service credit for service as an underway officer on duty or engineer 
on watch, and management-level service credit for service as commanding 
officer/executive officer/engine officer, the intended benefit will be 
minimized or non-existent. The commenters also believe it is likely 
Sec. Sec.  11.301(f) and 11.305(a)(1) would block any applicant from 
getting an STCW endorsement at the management level directly following 
service in a management-level billet on a military/government vessel, 
despite table 11.305(d) creating this path. Perhaps additional 
elaboration in the final regulation on the intended interaction of 
Sec. Sec.  11.301 and 11.305 for military/government mariners would be 
helpful to allow and clarify the full benefit intended.
    The Coast Guard will provide additional guidance in the future to 
address how to implement assessments for STCW endorsements, including 
guidance for those in military or government service. Such guidance 
will address the methods by which a military/government seafarer may 
demonstrate satisfaction of service requirements, as well as the 
military/government assessments and training that may be accepted 
towards the credentials being sought.
    One commenter believes that Sec.  10.232(d) is a large step 
backward and will discourage mariners from beginning service or 
remaining on military or public vessels, and that the section is even 
more restrictive and inequitable than the current NMC Policy Letter 09-
01 addressing these atypical vessels. The proposed regulations, the 
commenter believes, treat mariners on a MODU, on a liftboat, or a 
shoreside port captain significantly differently, while all are 
``atypical'' service. The commenter recommends that Sec.  10.232(d) 
specifically state that it does not apply to liftboats when operating 
in the elevated mode. If this proposal is not acceptable, the commenter 
thinks at least the 180-day service cap should be removed.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. This requirement is not a change 
from current requirements and sea service limits. The Coast Guard will 
conduct an evaluation of vessel operations and determine whether 
additional credit should be allowed; however, the Coast Guard still 
firmly believes that a mariner must have experience operating a vessel 
in order to obtain an original endorsement or a raise in grade.
    One commenter is concerned with the provisions of Sec.  10.232 
regarding the crediting of sea service on vessels that may spend a 
significant amount of their time moored. Oil Spill Response Vessels 
(OSRVs) and their crews are in a constant state of readiness to 
respond. The commenter recommends that NMC Policy Letter 09-01 be 
reviewed with a view towards enhancement and then adopted in this final 
rule for sea time credit for personnel serving aboard OSRVs to 
recognize the important service of these mariners.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. This requirement is not a change 
from Sec.  10.232 and current sea service limits. The Coast Guard will 
conduct an evaluation of vessel operations and determine whether 
additional credit should be allowed; however, the Coast Guard still 
firmly believes that a mariner must have experience operating a vessel 
in order to obtain an original endorsement or a raise in grade. Where 
the Coast Guard conducts an evaluation of vessel operations and 
determines a need for change, NMC Policy Letter 09-01, or its 
successor, will be revised.
    Six commenters, with regard to Sec.  10.232, believe that mariners 
on vessels of less than 100 GRT should be credited 1\1/2\ days if 
working a 12-hour watch schedule. The size of the vessel does not 
reduce the experience gained. Although they appreciate the Coast Guard 
acknowledging and crediting the experience gained for service on the 
Great Lakes, they still feel service on inland waters should count day-
for-day as well. Navigating on inland waters requires just as much and 
in some instances much more navigating, piloting, training and drilling 
than service on oceans and the Great Lakes.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The definition of ``day'' provides that 
vessels allowed to work 12-hour days, as defined in the U.S. Code, will 
receive 1\1/2\ days sea service credit. However, changes to regulations 
on this subject are limited by statutory restrictions on the type and 
tonnage of vessels and the number of watches that may be run. Further, 
although there are sufficient common skills and experience to justify 
allowing credit for service on inland waters, the differences between 
inland waters and ocean service prevent allowing use of this credit to 
meet 100 percent of the service requirements for near-coastal, oceans, 
or STCW endorsements.
    One commenter notes that under domestic regulations, the time 
required to obtain a near-coastal mate on vessels of less than 200 GRT/
500 GT is and has always been 1 year. No change is proposed to this 
requirement. Under STCW, however, the same license for international 
voyages would require an endorsement as OICNW, which would require 3 
years of total time, and a further 2 years to obtain the endorsement. 
These voyages have been made safely and successfully for many years. 
Quintupling the time required to obtain a small-tonnage near-coastal 
mate's license will effectively eliminate foreign voyages of any kind 
for our vessels, resulting in substantial restraint of trade.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The time required to obtain a small-
tonnage near-coastal mate's license has not increased by 4 years. The 
minimum service required to qualify an applicant for an endorsement as 
mate of ocean self-propelled vessels of less than 200 GRT (Sec.  
11.427) is 12 months of total service in the deck department of ocean 
or near-coastal self-propelled, sail, or auxiliary sail vessels. The 
minimum service required to qualify an applicant for an endorsement as 
mate of near-coastal self-propelled vessels of less than 500 GRT (Sec.  
11.421) is 2 years of total service in the deck department of ocean or 
near-coastal self-propelled, sail, or auxiliary sail vessels. A mariner 
holding an oceans or near-coastal mate less than 200 GRT would need to 
complete the following additional service to obtain an appropriate STCW 
endorsement: (1) Twelve months under the authority of the endorsement, 
in order to obtain an OICNW endorsement for vessels less than 200 GRT/
500 GT; and (2) six months under the authority of the endorsement, in 
order to obtain an OICNW endorsement for vessels less than 200 GRT/500 
GT limited to near-coastal waters. These entry paths from mate of 
oceans or near-coastal to STCW endorsements as OICNW of vessels less 
than 200 GRT/500 GT are provided in table 1 of 11.319(d) for ocean 
waters and table 1 of 11.321(d) for near-coastal waters.
    Five commenters object to the Coast Guard proposing to grant 3-for-
1 sea service credit for liftboats when they are elevated, but the 
mariner on a supply boat gets 1-for-1 while the boat is dockside, at 
anchor or moored to a structure. The commenters note that mariners work 
under our COIs at all times, when elevated or not, and recommends day-
for-day credit at all times on a liftboat.

[[Page 77857]]

    The Coast Guard agrees in part. This requirement is not a change 
from current requirements in Sec.  10.232 and sea service limits. The 
Coast Guard will conduct an evaluation of vessel operations and 
determine whether additional credit should be allowed or sea service 
limits should be reduced. However, the Coast Guard still firmly 
believes that a mariner must have experience operating a vessel in 
order to obtain an original endorsement or a raise in grade.
    One commenter is concerned that, with the proposal to grant 3-for-1 
sea service credit for liftboats when they are elevated, mariners will 
not be able to renew their 1,600 GRT oceans license.
    The Coast Guard appreciates the commenter's concerns, and notes 
that Sec.  10.227(e)(1) of this final rule provides alternatives for 
mariners without sufficient or recent sea service to renew their 
credentials.
    One commenter notes that Sec.  12.403 for A/B-unlimited requires 
that all sea service be obtained on ocean waters. The commenter 
recommends that this should be modified to allow ocean or near-coastal 
service to be acceptable.
    The Coast Guard agrees, but a change is unnecessary. The definition 
for ``ocean'' in Sec.  10.107 includes near-coastal waters, so this 
service would be acceptable towards an A/B endorsement.
    One commenter suggested that the Coast Guard move the boundary line 
closer to the coast of portions of Alaska and Washington state to 
enable mariners to earn sea service creditable towards an STCW 
endorsement on voyages seaward of the new boundary line.
    The Coast Guard cannot include such a provision in this final rule 
because moving boundary lines is not within the scope of this 
rulemaking, and changes in this area would require a separate 
rulemaking. Additionally, boundary lines affect the application of 
several statutes and regulations beyond those in this final rule, 
including those governing the inspection of seagoing barges and 
vessels. However, the Coast Guard has amended Sec.  10.232 so that 
persons serving on vessels to which STCW applies will be credited day-
for-day sea service credit.
41. STCW Officer Endorsements
    One commenter notes that Sec.  11.301 does not clearly state that a 
mariner cannot apply for any STCW officer endorsement without holding a 
``domestic'' endorsement. The commenter recommends that the requirement 
be included, possibly as a blanket statement in this section or within 
each of the sections for STCW endorsements.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec.  11.201 to require 
that a national endorsement must be held that corresponds to the STCW 
endorsement being sought.
42. Tankerman
    Six commenters state that mariners who hold an endorsement as 
tankerman-PIC (barge) should be allowed to qualify for an STCW 
endorsement for advanced oil and/or chemical tanker operations.
    Additionally, four commenters noted that Sec.  15.860 should be 
revised to allow mariners who hold domestic tankerman-PIC (barge) 
endorsements to serve on tank barges.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has revised Sec.  15.860 accordingly. 
Personnel on non-tank vessels towing a barge will be required to meet 
the STCW requirements. For this reason, we provided a means in 
Sec. Sec.  13.603, 13.605, and 13.607 for mariners serving on tank 
barges to qualify for an STCW endorsement with a limitation to non-
self-propelled vessels.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard amend Sec.  13.107(d) 
by removing ``including the loading of fuel oil'' because, as the 
section currently reads, it implies that a tankerman-engineer 
endorsement is needed for bunkering.
    The Coast Guard agrees with the comment and has amended Sec.  
13.107(d) to ensure that it is not read to apply to the transfer of 
anything other than bulk liquid cargoes and that a tankerman 
endorsement is not needed for bunkering.
    One commenter notes that the STCW treats advanced oil and chemical 
tanker operations as separate endorsements, and recommended that the 
Coast Guard do the same, while another commenter recommended that these 
should be combined into a single endorsement for both cargoes.
    The Coast Guard agrees with the first commenter, and has separated 
qualification requirements for oil tankers and for chemical tankers 
into two sections, Sec. Sec.  13.603 and 13.605, consistent with the 
STCW. Nevertheless, it is possible for a single ``cargo course'' to be 
acceptable for both endorsements, and if the vessel the mariner serves 
on is certified to carry both oil and chemical cargoes, the mariner 
will be permitted under this final rule to use the same service to 
qualify for both endorsements.
    One commenter notes that it should be possible to renew tankerman 
endorsements via in-service experience.
    The Coast Guard agrees. Section 13.120 allows for the renewal of 
national tankerman endorsements with in-service experience and cargo 
transfers, or completion of an approved course. In addition, for STCW 
tankerman endorsements, the STCW Code allows for the use of in-service 
experience to renew the credential.
    Two commenters state that the service requirements for STCW 
endorsements for advanced oil and/or chemical tanker operations should 
be specifically stated.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has added the specific service 
requirements for these endorsements in Sec. Sec.  13.603 and 13.605.
    One commenter states that there should be reduced requirements for 
mariners who hold STCW tanker operations endorsements for one cargo 
(oil, chemical, or liquefied gases) to ``crossover'' to an endorsement 
for another cargo.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. Therefore, we are retaining the 
existing regulations in part 13, subpart F for a ``crossover'' for a 
national tankerman endorsement. The STCW does not provide for such a 
crossover, and mariners must meet the full service requirements 
applicable to each cargo.
    The same commenter recommends that a mariner should be able to 
qualify for an STCW endorsement for advanced oil and/or chemical tanker 
operations via a 28-day approved training program.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. Because the STCW Code allows for 
the use of a 30-day training program, we amended Sec. Sec.  13.603 and 
13.605 of this final rule to permit an approved training program as an 
alternative means to qualify for these endorsements. However, to be 
consistent with the requirements of STCW and the definition of 
``month'' in Sec.  10.107, the approved program must be at least 30 
days. A similar provision applicable to liquefied gas tankers has been 
added to Sec.  13.607.
    Two commenters note that engineers serving on tank vessels who hold 
or qualify for a tankerman-engineer endorsement should be allowed to 
qualify for an STCW endorsement for advanced oil and/or chemical tanker 
operations without having to meet the requirements for tankerman-PIC.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The STCW Convention requires that engineers 
onboard tank vessels to which STCW applies hold a tankerman 
endorsement. Therefore, part 13, subpart F of this final rule has 
provided a means for engineers to qualify for an STCW endorsement with 
a limitation to maintenance and repair of cargo equipment.

[[Page 77858]]

    Two commenters note that mariners should qualify for tankerman 
endorsements with a combination of sea service, shipboard experience, 
and classroom training.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has provided, in part 13, for 
qualification for endorsements with a combination of training, sea 
service, and practical experience aboard tank vessels.
43. Tonnage Limitations
    Two commenters do not agree with the placement of a tonnage 
limitation in Sec.  11.437(a)(3). If the Coast Guard closes this 
avenue, towing vessel operators can never reach the unlimited tonnage 
licenses without leaving the pilothouse and working as an A/B.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Mariners must have appropriate 
experience on vessels of appropriate tonnage for the credential being 
sought, including those for vessels of more than 1,600 GRT. The tonnage 
provisions in Sec.  11.437 have existed for many years, and the Coast 
Guard has not proposed to change them. The regulations also provide a 
path for a mariner receiving a tonnage limitation to remove such a 
limitation.
    One commenter asks the Coast Guard to address what tonnage 
limitations will be placed on officers with domestic credentials 
limited to vessels of not more than 500 GRT or 1,600 GRT when they use 
the paths enabling them to cross over to STCW endorsements. The 
crossover tables link the national endorsements with the STCW 
endorsements. Therefore, the commenter believes, any limitation for 
national should correspond to the appropriate STCW limitation.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and limitations on the national endorsement 
correspond to the appropriate STCW limitation, as shown in the 
crossover tables.
    Two commenters note that a domestic 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT master 
(Sec.  11.412) is not listed as qualifying for OICNW on vessels of less 
than 200 GRT/500 GT. Implicit in STCW is the recognition that you are 
qualified to serve both in your highest rated capacity and in lower-
level positions. The commenters believe this must be reflected in the 
domestic rules and that requiring time above 200 GRT/500 GT for STCW 
advancement for master and chief mate more than 200 GRT/500 GT and less 
than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT is incongruent with the recognition elsewhere 
in the SNPRM that tonnage should be relative to the size of license 
being sought. The commenters believe that this tonnage requirement 
should be reduced to more than 50 GRT.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The Coast Guard has removed the 
specific tonnage requirement from Sec. Sec.  11.311 and 11.313, and 
added the requirement for an applicant to hold an appropriate national 
officer endorsement. As a result, the service requirements for master 
1,600 GRT should be adequate to obtain the STCW endorsement as master 
less than 3,000 GT. The Coast Guard did not include the master 
endorsement in table 1 of 11.321(d) because that endorsement is 
associated with the corresponding STCW endorsement for master on 
vessels of 500 GT or more and less than 3,000 GT instead of the STCW 
endorsement for OICNW on vessels of less than 500 GT.
    The same commenters believe that tonnage requirements for 
respective licenses should also be brought into parity such that 
someone who has acquired all of their time on a vessel of more than 100 
GRT for a domestic unlimited ocean license according to proposed Sec.  
11.402(a)(1) is not rejected because they do not have time on vessels 
of more than 200 GRT/500 GT required for the STCW endorsement under 
Sec.  11.305.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. Service acquired to obtain the 
national endorsement will be credited towards the STCW endorsement. If 
specific service is required, it will be specified in the associated 
transition tables found in part 11, subpart C. Should a mariner fail to 
have sufficient tonnage and receive a tonnage limitation on their 
domestic endorsement, that same limitation will be placed on the STCW 
endorsement.
    One commenter notes that, in the past, Coast Guard licenses have 
been designated as ``not more than.'' For example, a mariner currently 
holds a master on steam or motor vessels of not more than 1,600 GRT. 
However, the STCW and domestic endorsements will now describe the 
tonnages on the approximate credentials as master on vessels of 1,600 
GRT/3,000 GT or more (STCW) and master of ocean or near-coastal vessels 
of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT (domestic). Where does the current 
master 1,600 oceans near-coastal fit? Given the floating one ton, is 
this mariner considered to hold both the STCW for vessels 1,600 GRT or 
more and the domestic for vessels 1,600 GRT or more, one but not the 
other, or neither?
    The Coast Guard changed domestic endorsements from ``not more 
than'' to ``less than'' to better align the national endorsements with 
the STCW endorsements. This will reduce the likelihood that a mariner 
could hold a national endorsement and an STCW endorsement and still not 
be able to operate the vessel due to the `floating ton'. In addition, 
we have included manning requirements to show both national and STCW 
provisions required to sail onboard.
    The same commenter notes that Sec.  11.414(a)(2) requires 3 years 
of service in the deck department on ocean or near-coastal voyages on 
vessels greater than 200 GRT/500 GT. This was modified from the 
original NPRM, which changed the requirement to service on vessels 
greater than 100 GRT. The commenter recommends that the Coast Guard 
revert back to what was in the NPRM and this service should be required 
only on vessels greater than 100 GRT.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec.  11.414 (a)(2) to use 
the current 100 GRT tonnage limit, which is consistent with Sec.  
11.402.
44. Fees
    Twenty-seven mariners object to the proposed requirement in Sec.  
10.219(d) that fee payments for MMCs and associated endorsements must 
be made by credit card or by electronic payment. They claim that it 
would be a hardship on mariners as they do not always have these means 
of payment available to them.
    The Coast Guard agrees and is withdrawing this proposed revision. 
The verbiage in the current section will be retained allowing for 
multiple forms of payment.
45. Post-Dating MMCs
    Eighteen commenters support the proposal in Sec.  10.205 to allow 
the post-dating of MMCs. The commenters add that this is a much-needed 
step in ensuring that a mariner receives the full 5 years on an MMC for 
which the mariner has paid. Fourteen of these commenters requested that 
the Coast Guard go further and adjust the proposed language to ensure 
that the post-dating is automatically completed by the Coast Guard for 
every renewal.
    The Coast Guard agrees with post-dating credential renewals with 
the option for a mariner to choose immediate issuance. The credentials 
will be post-dated to align with the expiration of the existing 
credential. The Coast Guard has amended Sec.  10.205(a) to require 
automatic post-dating with the option for immediate issuance.
46. Wages
    Two commenters object to the proposed language in Sec.  
14.309(a)(4), which would allow the master or individual responsible 
for paying the

[[Page 77859]]

mariner his wages at the conclusion of a voyage to forego the payment 
of wages due and instead issue a statement of when the wages due will 
be paid or deposited. The commenters continue by stating that the 
requirement for payment of wages due at the end of a voyage upon which 
shipping articles are required has been in place for many years. It 
recognizes the fact that the voyage may have been of significant 
duration and ensures that the interests of the mariner are represented 
in the area of timely compensation for work already provided.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and the current Sec.  14.309(a)(4) and (b) 
remain unchanged.
47. Advanced Firefighting
    One commenter objects to the Coast Guard's requirement in proposed 
Sec.  11.201(c)(4) that a mariner must show evidence of maintaining the 
standard of competence in advanced firefighting by completing certain 
assessments ashore.
    The Coast Guard disagrees that all knowledge, understanding, and 
proficiency under the competence ``control firefighting operations 
aboard ships'' should be done onboard vessels. The 2010 amendments are 
very explicit on the areas of the standard of competence that can be 
accomplished onboard and those that can be accomplished ashore.
    One commenter asks the Coast Guard to clarify the nature of the 
``evidence'' mariners are required to provide in proposed Sec.  
11.201(h)(1).
    Mariners will be required to provide a sea service letter and 
course completion certificate, as appropriate. This section remains 
unchanged from that proposed in the SNPRM.
    Two commenters state that, with reference to Sec. Sec.  11.301(c), 
12.613, and 12.617, there are no provisions containing specific 
statements as to how to re-qualify if unable to meet the continued 
professional competence in these areas.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and amended Sec. Sec.  11.301(c), 12.613, 
and 12.617 by adding a new paragraph clearly providing that a mariner 
who cannot demonstrate the required continued competency by sea service 
will need to do so in training ashore. This training may be the entire 
course, or an approved refresher course. If needed, the Coast Guard may 
issue additional guidance in the form of a NVIC on how this requirement 
may be met.
48. NMC Web Site
    Two commenters believe that the absence of information on the NMC 
Web site detailing the endorsement requirements satisfied by approved 
courses violates proposed Sec.  10.406. The commenters recommend the 
approvals information be returned to the Web site.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Section 10.406 requires the NMC to 
maintain on its Web site a list of training organizations and the 
approved courses they offer, and the NMC does so. Due to the sheer 
volume of approved courses and limited manpower assets at the NMC, the 
Coast Guard has not provided the information requested by the 
commenters on the NMC Web site since 2009. The public can use the 
search function on the NMC Web site for provider and course 
information. For more information, the public can communicate with the 
individual course providers. The NMC Web site contains links to 
provider's Web sites, which normally provide additional up-to-date 
information about specific approved training.
49. Offshore Supply Vessels
    Three commenters note that qualifications for the new OSV 
endorsements reflect the applicable requirements of the STCW Convention 
and Code. The commenters are of the view that certain deck and 
engineering equipment needed for crew to demonstrate competencies 
required by the STCW assessment tables are not always installed on 
OSVs. Similarly, it is impossible to get service as an OICEW to qualify 
as chief engineer when an OSV is not required to carry, and normally 
has no position for, an OICEW. Thus, it is impossible to comply with 
the deep-draft ship-oriented assessments and service requirements of 
the STCW without reasonable and realistic accommodations for OSVs and 
other small work boats, such as towing vessels and geophysical vessels, 
among others. Similarly, it is unclear why an OSV-limited endorsement 
that has the identical service and STCW assessment and training 
requirements as a deep-draft vessel crewmember endorsement was 
proposed. The general requirements for OSV endorsements, and 
particularly domestically limited OSV endorsements, should ``take 
account of the special characteristics, methods of operation, and 
nature of service of OSVs'' versus mandating the deep-draft STCW 
standards currently proposed.
    Additionally, two commenters note that the domestic license and 
STCW requirements are not separate, despite the preamble statements in 
the SNPRM to the contrary (see Sec. Sec.  11.493, 11.495, 11.497, 
11.553, and 11.555). The commenters recommend that the Coast Guard 
retain part of the existing regulatory language, which says, ``The 
Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any requirement under 
STCW that the Coast Guard determines to be inappropriate or unnecessary 
for service on an OSV, or that the applicant meets under the 
equivalency provisions of Article IX of STCW.'' The same commenters 
recommend placing such regulatory language in an appropriate location, 
such as Sec.  11.201, and amending Sec. Sec.  11.493, 11.495, 11.497, 
11.553 and 11.555.
    The Coast Guard has changed the OSV endorsements for both deck and 
engineer officers by separating the national and STCW endorsements to 
ensure consistency with other requirements. The exemption from meeting 
the STCW requirements included in existing Sec. Sec.  11.493, 11.495, 
11.497, 11.553, and 11.555 remains unchanged. The Coast Guard made 
additional changes to the OSV endorsements for both deck and engineer 
officers to include: (1) Sea service requirements comparable to other 
credentials; (2) the option to complete an approved course for a mate 
or assistant engineer to meet the sea service requirements; and (3) the 
progression from vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT to more than 
1,600 GRT/3,000 GT for chief mate and master. These changes also comply 
with Sec.  617 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, which 
removed the 500 GRT tonnage limits on OSVs. These amendments will 
ensure that mariners with existing licenses or MMCs can progress to 
higher credentials.
    Because of the separation of national and STCW requirements, the 
Coast Guard amended the crossover requirements from OSV mate (Sec.  
11.497) to OICNW (Sec.  11.309(e)) to give credit for the approved 
training program. The Coast Guard envisions that the approved training 
program in Sec. Sec.  11.497(a)(2) and 11.555(a)(2) will meet the 
requirements for the STCW approved training program in Sec. Sec.  
11.309(a)(1) and 11.329(a)(1).
    The same commenters recommend that the 200 GRT/500 GT criteria for 
an RFPNW or able seafarer, inter-alia, should be changed to read ``over 
200 GRT/500 GT on an international voyage or over 500 GRT on a domestic 
voyage. . . .''
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard amended Sec. Sec.  
15.403(c) and 15.404(a) by replacing ``200 GRT/500 GT or more'' with 
``500 GT or more'' consistent with the STCW requirements for RFPNW and 
able seafarer-deck. The STCW is a binding agreement with foreign 
countries, and these tonnage cutoffs are required by STCW.

[[Page 77860]]

50. Proficiency in Survival Craft
    One commenter recommends that, in Sec.  12.613(b)(2), the Coast 
Guard add to the list of STCW competencies that it will accept as 
onboard training the STCW competency ``Operate Survival Craft Engine''.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended both Sec. Sec.  12.615 and 
12.617 to include starting the lifeboat engine as part of the 
assessments done onboard the vessel.
51. Bridge Resource Management (BRM)
    One commenter supports the BRM, leadership and teamworking skills, 
and leadership and managerial skills proposal as written with a 
comment. BRM is the basis for mitigating marine casualties, breaking 
the error chain and conditioning the human element, and the commenter 
believes it is paramount that more emphasis is put towards building 
that team and getting participants out of the classrooms. The commenter 
believes a ``team'' must be built using skills gained through 
situational awareness and emergency situations while underway or at a 
training facility utilizing a full mission bridge simulator.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The requirements for BRM, engineroom 
resource management (ERM), leadership and teamworking skills, and 
leadership and managerial skills were included in the STCW Convention 
in response to a request from the United States maritime industry 
through MERPAC task statement 64. The required training and 
demonstrations of competence taken together should provide the 
following three skills commensurate with an officer's responsibilities: 
teamwork, leadership, and management. The Coast Guard would prefer that 
emergency situations for training purposes not be staged while 
underway, and that training for such emergencies be accomplished 
through simulator or other training while not underway.
    One commenter suggests that the benefits of BRM training should not 
be limited to international operators, and urges the Coast Guard to 
adopt similar rules for domestic operators as well.
    The Coast Guard does not possess sufficient casualty or other data 
to support expansion of STCW requirements for BRM/ERM, leadership and 
teamworking skills, and leadership and managerial skills to inland 
vessels in this rulemaking. The STCW Convention applies to mariners 
serving on seagoing vessels, except pleasure craft, fishing vessels, 
and vessels entitled to sovereign immunity such as warships. Article II 
of the STCW Convention defines a seagoing ship as a ship other than one 
that ``navigates exclusively in inland waters or in waters within, or 
closely adjacent to, sheltered waters or areas where port regulations 
apply.'' The provisions in this final rule, which would implement 
amendments to the STCW Convention, only apply to commercial vessels 
operating seaward of the boundary line, as specified in 46 CFR part 7. 
The Coast Guard does not intend to apply strict international standards 
to our domestic mariners in this regard.
    One commenter notes that his or her company has worked extensively 
to develop the skill sets of all of its mariners and particularly 
senior officers with regard to their leadership and management skills. 
The commenter believes these are vital skills that are not easy to 
learn and have a serious impact on the safe and efficient operation of 
any vessel. The commenter suggests that mariners who have participated 
in company training be allowed to present it for renewal/upgrade, even 
if the class was taken prior to the implementation of this rulemaking. 
Companies that can successfully demonstrate they have trained their 
senior officers on similar principles, the commenter states, should be 
allowed to renew/upgrade in the same fashion.
    The Coast Guard agrees, but a regulatory change is not required. 
The Coast Guard will evaluate training given prior to the effective 
date of this final rule, and will grant credit for training that meets 
the requirements of this final rule.
52. Engineroom Resource Management
    One commenter objects to the requirement in Sec. Sec.  11.305, 
11.307, and 11.325(b)(1) that applicants provide evidence of leadership 
and managerial skills. The commenter states that evidence of this is 
provided by completion of an approved bridge and engineroom resource 
management course. The commenter notes that most companies already 
evaluate their officers' leadership and management skills during a 
promotion and the assignment process. The commenter recommends that 
this requirement be accomplished by alternate means or be removed.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. In this final rule, we implement 
the proposals in the SNPRM that allow mariners to demonstrate meeting 
the applicable standards for leadership and managerial skills by 
alternative methods that include, but are not limited to, completing 
approved training.
53. Incorporation by Reference (IBR)
    Five commenters request that the Coast Guard either publish the 
pertinent text of the STCW Code and Convention in the CFR or provide 
the Code and Convention to the public online rather than incorporate 
them by reference.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. As background, IBR allows Federal 
agencies to comply with the requirement to publish rules in the Federal 
Register and the CFR by referring to materials already published 
elsewhere. The legal effect of IBR is that the material is treated as 
if it were published in the Federal Register and CFR. This material, 
like any other properly issued rule, has the force and effect of law. 
Congress authorized IBR in the Freedom of Information Act to reduce the 
volume of material published in the Federal Register and CFR. (5 U.S.C. 
552(a) and 1 CFR part 51).
    While the Coast Guard endeavors to promulgate references needed to 
implement these regulations, reproducing all of the relevant STCW text 
in this final rule would be impracticable because doing so would 
significantly increase the volume of the regulation. Instead, the Coast 
Guard has incorporated the Convention and Code by reference, and 
intends to publish NVICs with the relevant tables of competency from 
part A of the Code. These NVICs will be made available to the public 
online, which will enable the public to view relevant parts of the STCW 
Convention and Code as needed.
54. Identification Cards
    One commenter notes that a mariner who holds a resident alien card 
issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or a work 
authorization card issued by DHS, may use that card as valid 
identification to obtain a TWIC. The commenter, therefore, requests 
that the DHS work authorization card be accepted as valid proof of 
identification to obtain an MMC.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Application for an MMC with an officer 
endorsement requires that an applicant be a U.S. citizen (46 U.S.C. 
7102). Applications for all other MMCs require that an applicant be 
either a United States citizen or a resident alien, lawfully admitted 
into the United States for permanent residency (46 CFR 10.221(a)(2)). 
Because a DHS work authorization card may be obtained by someone who is 
neither a U.S. citizen nor a resident alien, lawfully admitted into the 
United States for permanent residency, it is an unacceptable form of 
identification for application for an

[[Page 77861]]

MMC. Changing this requirement is outside the scope of this rulemaking.
55. Economic Comments
    One commenter states that, with regard to Regulatory Analyses, 
Section B. Small Entities of the SNPRM preamble, the Coast Guard's 
discussion of the proposed rule includes audit and quality systems 
requirements for training providers. The commenter states the cost 
analysis that has been conducted by the Coast Guard is only for the 
costs to training providers to implement and maintain a QSS. What the 
analysis of this SNPRM does not include, the commenter notes, is the 
economic impact on many training providers via lost revenue if the 
SNPRM becomes regulation, but also from the impact of CG-CVC Policy 
Letter 11-07 of July 1, 2011. Both the SNPRM and CG-CVC Policy Letter 
11-07, the commenter believes, rescind the required approved training 
courses for an OICNW at the operational level on vessels of more than 
500 GT (ITC). The commenter believes the SNPRM also rescinds the chief 
mate and master (management level) approved training presently required 
by NMC Policy Letter 04-02. Numerous training providers have spent 
years engaged in curriculum and training course development to be able 
to provide Coast Guard approved STCW deck officer training courses at 
the operational and management levels. It should be obvious, the 
commenter believes, that training providers make substantial financial 
investment to be in the position to provide the myriad of required 
training courses to our mariners.
    This final rule does not rescind the STCW deck officer training 
courses at the operational and management levels. In fact, it will 
require mariners to complete the following STCW courses: BST refresher, 
advanced firefighting refresher, PSC refresher, fast rescue boat 
refresher, medical care provider, ERM, ECDIS, leadership and managerial 
skills, and IMO SMCP. In addition, the number of mariners who will need 
to complete some of these courses will significantly increase and 
should generate additional revenue to training facilities. The Coast 
Guard does not believe there would be revenue loss because this final 
rule requires STCW deck officer training courses at the operational and 
management levels that the commenter mentions.
    The Coast Guard has included some additional training in this final 
rule to address some of the concerns raised during the public comment 
period. The Coast Guard reviewed the tables of competences and 
identified the training topics that must be accomplished as part of 
structured training. These topics were part of the NPRM published in 
2010. Parts 11 and 12 of this final rule are amended to include a 
combination of training and service requirements (through assessments) 
to ensure that seafarers achieve the necessary level of competence.
    One commenter believes the costs to maintain a QSS as described in 
Sec.  10.410, to maintain training programs and courses in accordance 
with Sec.  10.402, and to maintain records for 5 years in accordance 
with Sec.  10.403 are significantly underestimated. Internal costs, the 
commenter notes, are not necessarily cheaper and the assumption that 
these costs will not be passed on is inaccurate. The analysis also does 
not take into account the annual costs to maintain these new 
requirements.
    Additionally, two other commenters believe that the Coast Guard has 
underestimated the burden of implementing a QSS, at least with regard 
to providers of maritime security training, many of which are small 
businesses that do not offer other types of maritime training.
    The commenters do not provide any specific data or estimates of 
their own regarding the QSS costs other than mentioning the QSS costs 
incurred by another training provider who already implemented QSS as 
part of ISO certification. The Coast Guard conducted a review of 
available data that support the estimated costs of QSS requirements, 
and disagrees with the commenters. As addressed in the SNPRM, the Coast 
Guard included a range of cost estimates to develop a QSS program 
between $4,320 and $12,240. This range of options includes the use of a 
professional outside consultant, a non-governmental entity QSS 
organization, or internal human resources to develop a QSS. Also, 
training providers have all the elements and procedures in place that 
are necessary to develop and write a QSS manual on their own without 
hiring a third-party company, which would potentially minimize their 
QSS costs.
    Six commenters state that it is crucial that Coast Guard take into 
account the cost and cumulative impact of this regulation on small 
business. The commenters note that small companies are doing everything 
they can to survive in this volatile economy, and are greatly concerned 
about the economic burdens imposed by the cumulative impact of numerous 
Federal laws and regulations including the SNPRM. In recent years, the 
commenters note, passenger vessel operators have had to absorb costs 
associated with Coast Guard maritime security mandates, higher 
assumptions about average passenger weight for purposes of calculating 
vessel stability, new rules for serving customers with disabilities and 
EPA permit requirements for discharges incidental to the normal 
operation of a vessel.
    Another commenter states that federal regulators must also take 
into account that many passenger vessel association operators have 
seasonal businesses, and that they frequently compete with land-based 
venues. Since the potential customer can often find similar services or 
attractions ashore, more burdensome rules placed on the vessel operator 
(such as hiring mariners with burdensome credentialing requirements) 
create a financial disadvantage, since the land-based competitor does 
not have to shoulder a similar regulatory burden.
    The Coast Guard acknowledges that Executive Order 13563 of January 
2011 (``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review'') asks Federal 
regulatory agencies to ``tailor regulations to impose the least burden 
on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives, taking 
into account, among other things, and to the extent practicable, the 
costs of cumulative regulations''. Therefore, the Coast Guard sought to 
minimize the cumulative impacts on industry by allowing alternative 
methods of proving competence that would be potentially less costly to 
the mariners and their employers.
    Please see Appendix D (Cumulative Programmatic Costs) of the 
Regulatory Analysis of this final rule for a detailed discussion of the 
cumulative impacts of STCW rulemakings since the 1997 interim rule. We 
estimate the cumulative annualized costs of STCW regulations to be 
about $37.2 million. This includes $32.6 million from this final rule 
and $4.6 million from the 1997 interim rule (estimates discounted at 7 
percent). As previously discussed, these estimates may overestimate 
costs due to unquantified cost savings from alternative methods of 
proving competence that the final rule allows.
56. Grandfathering
    One commenter notes that the SNPRM preamble on page 45912 states 
that the cutoff for grandfathering for domestic credentials is January 
1, 2012, which is significantly different from the grandfathering 
provisions for STCW endorsements and, in the commenter's view, 
highlights the vague and sometimes strained relationship between the 
two forms of authority. If a domestic endorsement is needed to get the 
STCW authority attached to it, the commenter states, the grandfathering 
provisions for both should be the same.

[[Page 77862]]

    The Coast Guard agrees. Domestic requirements provided in this 
final rule will be transitioned during a 5-year-period after the 
effective date of this final rule to coincide with the renewal of 
existing national endorsements. Individuals seeking an original 
credential or raise of grade to an existing credential during this 
period, and who begin training or service before the effective date of 
this final rule, need only meet the requirements in place before that 
date. Those individuals who start training or service on or after the 
effective date of this final rule, will be required to meet all 
provisions described in this final rule.
    Another commenter recommends combining the two different sections 
governing grandfathering (one for domestic and one for STCW) into one 
section.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The domestic grandfathering process and 
STCW grandfathering processes will need to be handled differently to 
avoid confusion and ensure public awareness, because of the mandatory 
compliance dates within the STCW Convention and Code. The 
grandfathering provisions are specific to the individual endorsement 
requirements. To avoid confusion, the Coast Guard included 
grandfathering provisions within the STCW requirements.
    One commenter states that Sec.  13.603(b), concerning 
grandfathering, is not clear and requests clarification.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the applicable sections in 
part 13 (Sec. Sec.  13.603(e) and 13.605(e)) to make it clear that 
seafarers applying for an original endorsement after March 24, 2014 
must meet the new requirements, which will ensure that all seafarers 
meet the STCW compliance date of January 1, 2017.
    One commenter asks if the grandfathering of approved courses will 
include applicable maritime security courses approved by Coast Guard 
QSS organizations.
    Any security course or program that is approved or accepted by the 
Coast Guard on the effective date of this final rule will be 
grandfathered for the term of its current approval or no later than 
January 1, 2017, whichever is sooner. After that date, all security 
courses or programs must meet the requirements of STCW. The course or 
program must include any additional, relevant competencies or KUPs that 
have been added by the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code 
before the student completes that course or program.
    One commenter recommends that mariners holding a DDE-unlimited 
license should be given an STCW endorsement as OICEW meeting the 
requirements of STCW III/1.
    The Coast Guard disagrees with the suggested language that mariners 
holding certain national endorsements be ``given'' an STCW endorsement. 
Most national credential holders qualify in some way for an STCW 
endorsement, but there are sea service requirements, training, and/or 
assessments attached. These mariners are able to apply for a particular 
STCW endorsement outlined in the relevant crossover table in the STCW 
sections of this final rule (part 11, subpart C, and part 12, subpart 
F).
    The same commenter recommends that mariners holding a DDE-unlimited 
license should qualify as a chief engineer (limited) to vessels less 
than 1,200 GT (III/2). In order to obtain an unlimited STCW endorsement 
as chief engineer, they would require evidence of meeting the 
additional sea service and training requirements.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. Because there is no basis for the 
500 GRT/1,200 GT equivalency, it has not been added in this final rule. 
However, upon satisfying the requirements for chief engineer set forth 
in Sec.  11.325 and Table 1 of 11.325(d), a DDE-unlimited will qualify 
for an STCW chief engineer endorsement limited to 500 GRT.
    Two commenters state that all grandfathering provisions should be 
in effect for any original application submitted prior to January 1, 
2013, and for any renewal prior to January 1, 2017.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Unless specified otherwise, STCW 
provisions in this final rule will be phased in beginning March 24, 
2014 with full compliance required by January 1, 2017. This is 
consistent with the STCW Convention transitional provisions.
    Two commenters state that mariners who hold an endorsement as 
tankerman-PIC (barge) should be ``grandfathered'' in Sec.  13.603 for 
an STCW endorsement for advanced oil and/or chemical tanker operations.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. In this final rule, we allow for 
grandfathering to an STCW endorsement, but do not agree to extend 
grandfathering to self-propelled vessels because the requirements for 
tankerman-PIC are different than the requirements for tankerman-PIC 
(barge).
    Three commenters state that there must be provisions to accommodate 
mariners who are using the current system to advance in their careers. 
The SNPRM preamble implies a domestic credential phase-in period but 
the actual regulations are silent on this point and must clarify the 
phase-in scheme. Additionally the phase-in should allow a mariner the 
option to apply under either the existing system requirements or the 
new requirements.
    The Coast Guard agrees that the grandfathering provisions are an 
important part of this final rule. The grandfathering provisions in 
Sec.  11.301(g)(3) permit mariners who commenced service or training 
before March 24, 2014, to use the existing requirements until January 
1, 2017. The changes to the national credentials will be phased in over 
a 5-year period starting with the effective date of this final rule, 
consistent with the Coast Guard's normal approach to implementing 
credentialing rules.
    Four commenters note that Sec. Sec.  11.301(f)(2) and (3) require 
applicants for management-level STCW endorsements who hold domestic 
management-level endorsements to provide evidence of operational-level 
training and assessments. In the past, the Coast Guard considered that 
holding a qualifying endorsement was evidence that the individual had 
experience and competence equivalent or superior to that required at 
the operational level. Also, this would negate the grandfather 
provisions in both the 1995 and 2010 STCW amendments, as those mariners 
cannot show this evidence. Moreover, the crossover tables (Table 1 to 
11.305(e), Table 1 to 11.307(e), etc.) require only management-level 
assessments and training. The commenters recommend continuing the 
previous grandfathering policy and following the crossover tables as 
written. To avoid confusion, the reference to operational-level 
training and assessment should be dropped or specifically excluded for 
applicants using the crossover tables.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has added a new paragraph Sec.  
11.301(g)(4) so that persons who hold or have held an STCW operational-
level endorsement issued prior to the effective date of this final 
rule, and are seeking to upgrade to an STCW management-level 
endorsement, will not be required to do the assessments for STCW 
operational-level endorsements as required in paragraph (f)(2) of that 
section.
    Three commenters note that Sec.  11.301(i)(3) states that mariners 
with service prior to July 1, 2013, ``will be required to comply with 
the requirements of this part existing before the publication of these 
regulations . . . .'' Although it is laudable to allow mariners to 
follow the rules on which they based decisions relating to their 
careers, these commenters say, it would also be unfair to deny them the 
improved provisions the Coast Guard has worked so hard to implement. 
They

[[Page 77863]]

recommend changing ``will be required'' to ``may qualify under the 
requirements existing either before or after [EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS 
RULE] at the applicants choice . . . .''
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  11.301(g)(3) to 
provide the mariner with the opportunity to use the new requirements 
when applying for credentials. Some of the new requirements provide 
additional flexibilities that were not available to mariners before. 
Taking this into account, the Coast Guard is also adding a new 
paragraph Sec.  11.301(g)(4) in order to extend the grandfathering 
provisions to persons with an operational-level endorsement upgrading 
to a management-level endorsement, who should not be required to do 
assessments for STCW operational-level endorsements, as they would be 
deemed to have completed them.
    One commenter notes that, in Table 11.465(a), there is new language 
which ``requires completion of a TOAR within 5 years.'' The commenter 
is concerned about current mariners who have been sailing on an 
inspected license and a TOAR that was completed more than 5 years ago, 
because they're not required to put that on their license endorsement 
at this time. Therefore, the commenter recommends that it be made clear 
in policy or CFR language that mariners be allowed to obtain the mate 
towing endorsement at their next renewal over the next 5 years 
regardless of when they completed their TOAR.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The proposed 5-year time limit has been 
removed from this final rule. It is the Coast Guard's intent to allow 
mariners to attain these competencies as they are able and as they have 
time in their current position. Furthermore, the Coast Guard, when 
initially implementing the rules for licensing and manning for officers 
of towing vessels, did not require that mariners add these 
endorsements. For this reason, we will allow the addition of these 
towing endorsements for those who currently hold master or mate of 
inspected self-propelled vessels greater than 200 GRT with evidence 
that the mariner has completed the TOAR, regardless of the length of 
time since they achieved it.
    One commenter notes that Sec.  12.603(c)(2) requires a higher level 
of Proficiency in Survival Craft for those being grandfathered than is 
required for an original able seafarer-deck endorsement. Section 
12.603(a)(5) allows for providing evidence of completing either a PSC 
or PSC-limited training, while Sec.  12.603(c)(2) only allows 
grandfathering for those with a full PSC. The commenter recommends that 
Sec.  12.603(c)(2) be modified to contain the same language as Sec.  
12.603(a)(5).
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  12.603(c)(2) as 
recommended.
    One commenter notes that the SNPRM requires any seafarer who holds 
an STCW endorsement prior to January 1, 2012, to provide evidence of 
meeting the appropriate standard of competence for the applicable STCW 
endorsement by January 1, 2017. The commenter asks if he is correct to 
interpret this as meaning that a seafarer seeking to renew their MMC 
prior to July 1, 2013, will be bound by the present rules, whereas a 
seafarer seeking to renew their MMC after that time will be bound by 
the new rules.
    Mariners who hold an STCW endorsement issued prior to March 24, 
2014, seeking to renew their endorsements prior to July 1, 2017, will 
be governed by existing regulations. However, in order for them to sail 
on or after January 1, 2017, mariners with certain endorsements must 
meet some additional requirements as specified in individual provisions 
for endorsements found in parts 11 and 12.
    Mariners seeking an STCW endorsement who start service or training 
after March 24, 2014 will be required to meet the requirements in this 
final rule.
57. Miscellaneous Comments
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard take full advantage 
of the flexibilities incorporated into the STCW Convention and of the 
robustness of an existing licensing scheme, without compromising 
safety, security and protection of mariners or of the marine 
environment. The commenter also recommends that the Coast Guard 
interpret the STCW Convention in a manner which will not compromise the 
ability of the U.S. flag merchant fleet to compete in the international 
trades.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The regulatory text in this final rule 
incorporates some of the flexibilities provided by the STCW Convention 
with regard to sea service, training, and assessment. However, in some 
instances, the U.S. system provides a higher standard than the STCW 
Convention.
    The same commenter recommends that the Coast Guard adopt guiding 
principles for the interpretation of the STCW Convention/Code that will 
ensure consistency in its interpretation as Coast Guard administrations 
change and future comprehensive reviews occur. In the commenter's view, 
such interpretations should be preserved in a manner consistent with 
international and national laws, regulations, and policies.
    The Coast Guard agrees that guiding principles can be helpful. 
Accordingly, we followed the principles below in the development of 
this final rule, and will continue to do so during implementation:
    (1) The Coast Guard will implement the STCW Convention and Code 
within its constraints, taking advantage of its flexibilities to the 
extent possible without compromising safety, security, and protection 
of the marine environment;
    (2) Requirements should not place any unnecessary burdens on the 
industry and the mariners;
    (3) Because the STCW Convention is competence-based and not 
training-based, training will only be required if it is specifically 
required by the Convention or if it is demonstrated that the competence 
can only be obtained via structured training; and
    (4) Assessments will be required for all STCW standards of 
competence.
    It is worth noting that these guiding principles were also followed 
during the development of the 1997 IR.
    One commenter asks the Coast Guard to provide the analysis used to 
determine that Regulations I/6, I/8, II/1, II/2, and II/3 do not apply 
to the table of competencies listed in Chapter II, Part A of the STCW 
Code.
    Because the Coast Guard has determined that those regulations apply 
to all tables of competencies throughout the STCW Convention, no such 
analysis exists. The Tables in part A of the STCW Code establish the 
standards of competence, which provide ways and means to demonstrate 
the knowledge, understanding, and proficiencies needed to meet each 
standard. The Convention is very specific about which standards of 
competence require training. Basic training, Electronic Chart Display 
and Information System, and Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA) are 
examples of such required training.
    In most instances, however, the STCW Convention does not specify 
whether structured training is required to meet the standards of 
competence. It is up to each administration to establish the training 
and experience necessary to achieve the level of competence, and when 
structured training should be obtained.
    Regulations II/1, II/2, II/3, III/1, III/2, III/3, and III/6 
require that candidates complete education and training and meet the 
standard of competence specified in the appropriate sections of the 
STCW Code. Regulation I/6 requires that the training and assessment

[[Page 77864]]

specified under the STCW Convention be administered and supervised by 
the administration in accordance with Section A-I/6 of the STCW Code 
for certification. The administration must also ensure that all 
instructors and assessors are appropriately qualified for the types and 
levels of training or assessment of competence of seafarers, either 
onboard a vessel, at shore-side facilities, or by use of simulators. 
Those involved in training and/or assessment must be qualified for the 
competence for which the training/assessment is being conducted, and 
must also have the required training in instructional techniques and 
assessment methods, as appropriate.
    In accordance with Regulation I/8, all training and assessment of 
competence, certification, endorsement and revalidation activities 
should be continuously monitored by a quality standards system.
    One commenter notes that Sec.  10.225(a)(2) states that an 
applicant must apply as an original if the MMC sought is the first 
credential issued to applicants after their previous credential has 
expired and they do not hold a Document of Continuity under Sec.  
10.227(g) of this part or an equivalent unexpired continuity 
endorsement on their license. The commenter believes that this section 
conflicts with Sec. Sec.  10.227 (b) and 10.227(i).
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec.  10.225(a)(2) to 
include the words ``beyond the grace period'' after the words ``after 
their previous credential has expired.'' That section is no longer in 
conflict with Sec.  10.227(b) and (i).
    One commenter recommended that the rule clarify the roles of Coast 
Guard offices to better facilitate a smooth transition to 
implementation of the new requirements.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec. Sec.  1.01-
10(b)(ii)(A), 1.01-10(b)(ii)(D), and 1.01-15(d) of this final rule to 
clarify the roles of the Director of Prevention Policy (CG-5P), the 
Office of Vessel Activities (CG-CVC), and the National Maritime Center.
58. Administrative
    One commenter disagrees with the last paragraph of Section V of the 
SNPRM preamble, which states that if U.S. regulations are non-compliant 
with the STCW Convention and Code, there is a risk that U.S. ships will 
be detained in foreign ports by member nations and that U.S. mariners 
would not be able to seek employment on foreign flag vessels. The 
commenter states that the threat of detention is overstated in the 
SNPRM, and that a proposed rulemaking based on such a threat due to 
some minor non-conformity with the STCW Code or Convention is 
inappropriate.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The 2010 amendments to the STCW 
Convention, specifically Regulation I/7 and Section A-I/7, require that 
the Parties submit a report on the steps taken to implement the 2010 
amendments as part of the independent evaluation report (I/8 report). 
Furthermore, Section A-I/8 requires that the 5-year independent 
evaluation includes all applicable provisions of the STCW Convention 
and Code, including the amendments. The independent evaluation report 
is subject to review by a panel of competent persons. Failure to report 
implementation of the changes could potentially result in the removal 
from the ``List of Parties giving the Convention full and complete 
effect'' (the so-called ``White List''). In turn, removal from the so-
called ``White List'' could result in potential detentions and delays.
59. Editorial
    One commenter states that Sec.  10.209(d) lists eight items of 
application paperwork that can be supplied by fax or electronic means, 
but item four says that the applicants for a radar observer endorsement 
must submit either the certificate or a certified copy, making it sound 
like a paper document is required. The commenter recommends allowing 
electronic versions of that document as well. Given the fact that a 
``certificate of training'' is acceptable documentation under Sec.  
15.815, the commenter also recommends using the phrase ``certificate of 
training required by Sec.  15.815'' in place of ``radar-observer 
certificate.''
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  10.209(d)(4) to 
clarify that copies of all course-completion certificates, including 
those for radar, are accepted. The Coast Guard also has amended Sec.  
11.480(d) to maintain consistency with Sec.  15.815.
    The same commenter recommends that, in Sec.  10.402(a)(1), ``sea 
service'' might be better than ``service experience'' for consistency.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec.  10.402(a)(1) to read 
``sea service'' for consistency.
    The same commenter notes that Sec.  11.201(b) provides an exception 
in Sec.  11.467(h), which should be (i).
    The Coast Guard agrees and has made this change in Sec.  11.201(b).
    The same commenter notes that Sec.  11.301(b) says that mariners 
qualified under paragraph (e) of this section must document continued 
competence. It appears the management level, (f), is not included in 
the requirement. The commenter recommends including the management 
level.
    The Coast Guard agrees. Basic training has been re-located to Sec.  
11.302, and the recommended changes have been made there.
    The same commenter believes that, in both Sec. Sec.  11.426 and 
11.427, the correct section to cite in paragraph (a) should be Sec.  
15.105.
    The Coast Guard agrees that the citation should have been to Sec.  
15.105. The citation has been removed from Sec. Sec.  11.426, 11.427, 
11.428, and 11.429, and has been corrected in Sec.  11.323.
    The same commenter notes that, in Sec.  11.1003, the citation of 
Sec.  11.1105 in paragraph (d) should be Sec.  11.1005.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the cited reference in Sec.  
11.1003(d) to Sec.  11.1005.
    The same commenter recommends that, in Sec.  12.409(b)(3), the word 
``lifeboatman'' should be ``lifeboatman-limited.''
    The Coast Guard agrees and has made the suggested change in Sec.  
12.409(b)(3).The same commenter notes that, in Sec.  12.621, the 
terminology for the approved course should be consistent with the 
requirements for training in ``management of medical care'' found in 
deck management-level qualification standards. The commenter recommends 
using that phrase in Sec.  12.621(a)(1).
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  12.621(a)(1) to 
include the appropriate course name.
    One commenter notes that an error in the change list on page 45916 
should be corrected--the reference to Sec.  10.205(h) should be Sec.  
10.205(i).
    The Coast Guard agrees. Although the comment relates to the 
preamble of the SNPRM, it is in the Table of Changes, parts of which 
have been carried over to this final rule. We have amended Sec.  
10.205(h) to read Sec.  10.205(i).
    The same commenter notes that, in table 10.302(a), the able 
seafarer-engine vision test reference should be Sec.  10.305(b), not 
Sec.  10.305(a).
    The Coast Guard agrees. We have changed the reference in table 1 to 
10.302(a) to Sec.  10.305(b).
    Two commenters suggest that Sec.  11.317(a) should read ``to 
qualify for an STCW endorsement as master.''
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec.  11.317 as suggested.
    One commenter believes that in Sec.  15.610(a), the last sentence 
was superseded by the recent change to 46 U.S.C. 8905 and should be 
deleted.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has deleted the last sentence of Sec.  
15.610(a).

[[Page 77865]]

This is a housekeeping issue to address a change in statute and does 
not pose a burden to the public. The deletion is consistent with the 
change in 46 U.S.C. 8905 exempting vessels of less than 200 gross tons 
engaged in the offshore mineral and oil industry if the vessel has 
offshore mineral and oil industry sites or equipment as its ultimate 
destination or place of departure, from the requirement that the vessel 
must be operated by an individual licensed by the DHS Secretary.
    Two commenters note that to receive an STCW endorsement as master 
of vessels less than 200 GRT/500 GT (Sec.  11.315), service of 36 
months is required as OICNW with no tonnage requirement. It goes on to 
state that this period of service may be reduced to 24 months if 12 
months are served as OICNW.
    The Coast Guard agrees that, under STCW, the 12 months should be 
served as chief mate, and has amended Sec.  11.315(a)(1) accordingly.
    The same commenters note that, in Sec.  11.317, the requirements 
listed for qualification as master less than 200 GRT/500 GT near-
coastal are those for chief mate 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  11.317(a). One 
commenter recommends that the Coast Guard move Sec.  11.811, 
requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as VSO, to subpart C.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has transferred the requirements for 
VSO, currently in Sec.  11.811 to Sec.  11.337. The appropriate 
sections in 33 CFR 104.215 will be amended accordingly.
    One commenter notes that Sec.  11.903(a) does not contain all of 
the MODU officer endorsements.
    The Coast Guard agrees. Offshore Installation Manager, barge 
supervisor, and ballast control operator examination subjects are 
described in Sec.  11.920-2. However, these endorsements should be 
listed in Sec.  11.903, and the Coast Guard has amended it to do so.
    Three commenters state that, in proposed Sec.  11.201(h)(1), the 
Coast Guard mistakenly said that ``mariners who completed a 
firefighting course within the previous 5 years . . .'' but that this 
was a typographical error that should read, ``mariners who completed a 
firefighting course more than 5 years ago . . .''
    The Coast Guard agrees and has revised this section as recommended.
60. Comments Outside the Scope of This Rulemaking
    This section describes comments requesting changes that are outside 
the scope of this rulemaking. Although the Coast Guard is unable to 
include these suggested changes in this final rule, the Coast Guard may 
consider them if and when the Coast Guard conducts an additional 
rulemaking on these subjects.
    One commenter claims that, with regard to proposed Sec.  11.910 and 
table 11.910-2, the public has a right to free access to the latest 
version of every question and answer, and the Coast Guard must keep 
that database up-to-date.
    The commenter's suggestion is outside the scope of this rulemaking. 
The Coast Guard did not propose any regulatory changes concerning 
access to examination questions and answers.
    One commenter states that, given the already complex STCW 
requirements and regulations, plain-language guidance is critical for 
mariners.
    The issuance of guidance is outside the scope of this rulemaking. 
However, the Coast Guard will consider issuing guidance in the future.
    One commenter recommends that the Coast Guard work with MERPAC and 
other industry stakeholders to develop a plain-language guidance 
document that will help mariners subject to STCW to understand readily 
which STCW endorsement they require and what they must do to obtain it. 
This is outside the scope of this rulemaking. However, the Coast will 
consider issuing plain-language guidance.
    One commenter noted that he or she submitted correspondence to the 
Coast Guard several months ago concerning NVIC 11-07.
    This is outside the scope of this rulemaking. NVIC 11-07 is not 
part of this rulemaking.
61. MERPAC Comments
    Below, the Coast Guard responds to comments received from MERPAC. 
Several of MERPAC's comments noted non-substantive, editorial errors in 
the SNPRM. The Coast Guard has incorporated these comments where 
appropriate, without further discussion.
    MERPAC believes that any persons serving as an assessor need to be 
qualified with training in the skills required to assess competency and 
approved by the Coast Guard, whether as a QA or as a DE. Therefore, a 
definition of Qualified Assessor should be added as follows: 
``Qualified assessor or QA means a person who is qualified to evaluate, 
for STCW endorsements, whether an applicant has demonstrated the level 
of competence in the task for which the assessment is being made. This 
person must be approved by the Coast Guard or successfully complete a 
CG approved or accepted program of training.''
    As previously discussed, the Coast Guard has amended the definition 
of ``Qualified Assessor'' in Sec.  10.107 to require Coast Guard 
approval and to clarify this person's role and professional 
development.
    MERPAC recommends that Coast Guard work with MERPAC to develop the 
standards for a QA, including developing an approval process and an 
auditing and oversight program. A task statement should be developed 
for MERPAC.
    The Coast Guard agrees. Section 10.405 includes requirements for 
qualified assessors. The Coast Guard will consider developing a task 
statement for MERPAC to address in the future.
    MERPAC recommends that a definition for ``Certificate of Registry'' 
be added.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Certificate of Registry is included 
under the MMC definition in 46 U.S.C. Subtitle II, Part E, with the 
definitions of the other credentialing documentation that the MMC 
replaced.
    MERPAC says that the definition of a ``domestic'' officer 
endorsement is confusing, and recommends striking ``domestic'' and 
replacing with ``National'' globally.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has changed ``domestic endorsement'' to 
``national endorsement'' to eliminate confusion.
    MERPAC recommends the Coast Guard change the definition of 
``disabled vessel'' by removing the last sentence of the proposed 
definition, and revert to the original definition. As proposed, MERPAC 
believes this definition would mean that any time a vessel maneuvers to 
and from the dock with an assist tug, or a vessel takes an assist/
escort tug, that vessel would be deemed to be a disabled vessel, which 
would be incorrect in many instances.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has deleted the sentence. The intent was 
not to change the definition, and the Coast Guard is only making 
editorial changes to the original definition of ``disabled vessel'' in 
Sec.  10.107.
    MERPAC notes the absence of a definition for ``direct supervision'' 
and recommends that one be added.
    The Coast Guard agrees and is using the definition of ``directly 
supervised'' to also address ``direct supervision''.
    MERPAC recommends that the definition of ``drug test'' be amended 
to broaden the testing procedure to be in line with 49 CFR 40.195.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. MERPAC's recommended change to the 
definition of ``drug test'' is outside the scope of this rulemaking. 
The Coast

[[Page 77866]]

Guard did not propose any changes to the definition of ``drug test''.
    MERPAC recommends that the term ``STCW endorsement'' include 
additional language clarifying that the underlying domestic endorsement 
must be held by the applicant for an STCW endorsement.
    The Coast Guard agrees because the requested change clarifies the 
requirement for mariners to hold national endorsements as a 
prerequisite to an applicable STCW endorsement unless otherwise 
specified. The Coast Guard has amended Sec. Sec.  11.201 and 12.601 
accordingly.
    MERPAC recommends that a definition for ``medical certificate'' be 
added.
    The Coast Guard agrees. To ensure consistency with other terms, a 
definition for ``medical certificate'' has been added to Sec.  10.107.
    MERPAC recommends that the ``coastwise voyage'' definition 
encompass voyages to nations in which we have a treaty or other 
arrangements between nations that allow coastwise transit. Furthermore, 
MERPAC recommends that the definition of ``domestic voyage'' should not 
include the phrase ``without entering waters under the jurisdiction of 
another country.''
    The Coast Guard partially agrees. This definition is consistent 
with STCW, which requires that each Administration ensure that all 
mariners serving on foreign vessels working in their waters meet the 
full STCW requirements or the near coastal provisions in the Convention 
as implemented by the Administration. The Convention allows for the 
entry into informal agreements between countries. Section 10.107 was 
amended so that the definition for ``domestic voyage'' includes voyages 
beginning and ending at a U.S. port and passing through the waters of 
another country if the U.S. has entered into a treaty or agreement with 
that country.
    MERPAC recommends adding the definition of ``ILO'', because the 
term is used in part 14.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The ILO is referenced within Subchapter B 
and should be defined. Section 10.107 has been amended accordingly.
    MERPAC recommends that the definition of ``limited'' include 
horsepower.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. For purposes of this final rule, the 
term ``limited'' is intended to be given its normal meaning, and the 
definition has been removed from Sec.  10.107.
    Where used, it is explained within the regulation how it will be 
applied. For example, Sec.  11.463(c) explains that for national 
endorsement as master, mate (pilot) and apprentice mate (steersman) of 
towing vessels, ``limited'' means an endorsement to operate a towing 
vessel of less than 200 GRT only within a local area within the Great 
Lakes, inland waters, or Western Rivers designated by the OCMI.
    MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard review the definitions of a 
``self propelled tank vessel'' and ``tankship'' to ensure inclusion of 
all vessels.
    The Coast Guard has reviewed these definitions for consistency and 
the inclusion of all vessels. It has been determined that the current 
definitions do not need revision. To address new requirements for STCW 
endorsements on tank vessels, we have added definitions for ``oil 
tanker,'' ``chemical tanker'' and ``liquefied gas tanker.''
    MERPAC recommends correction of the definition of ``utility 
towing.'' MERPAC believes it conflicts with the proposed definition for 
``disabled vessel.''
    Because the Coast Guard is not including the requirements for 
utility towing credentials in this final rule, we have deleted the 
definition of ``utility towing'' from Sec.  10.107.
    MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard amend the definition of 
``restricted'' to read ``. . . endorsement, for example, specific.''
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The Coast Guard recognizes that the 
terms ``restricted'' and ``limited'' have been used interchangeably in 
the past and that there is no consistency in the use of the terms in 
relation to the title of the credential. The Coast Guard is of the 
opinion that all limited endorsements or credentials have inherent in 
their qualifications some sort of constraint that reduces the authority 
of the credential. Therefore, to avoid confusion, the Coast Guard 
deleted the two definitions because the terms have the same meaning in 
standard English language usage.
    MERPAC recommends that the definition of ``safe and suitable 
person'' needs to include ``safety and security of life or property.''
    The Coast Guard agrees that this addition will clarify the 
definition and has amended Sec.  10.107 as suggested.
    MERPAC recommends that the definition of ``support level'' should 
coincide with STCW Code (A-I/1)--management level and operational 
level.
    The Coast Guard agrees that the definition should be consistent 
with the STCW definition and has amended Sec.  10.107 accordingly.
    MERPAC recommends that the definition ``vessel personnel with 
security duties'' be revised. Currently, it does not accurately capture 
security duties and it should be changed to harmonize with text from B-
VI/6 in STCW.
    The Coast Guard agrees. As previously discussed, the Coast Guard 
has revised the definition of ``vessel personnel with designated 
security duties'' to harmonize it with the guidance in Section B-VI/6 
of the STCW Code and to ensure consistency with the requirements in 33 
CFR 104.220 and 104.225.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  10.225 be amended to allow postdating 
of endorsements for up to 12 months unless the applicant makes a 
written request to the contrary.
    The Coast Guard agrees. As previously discussed, the Coast Guard 
has amended Sec.  10.205 to allow for the post-dating of credentials 
for up to 8 months with the option for a mariner to choose immediate 
issuance.
    MERPAC recommends that a copy of a radar course certificate should 
not have to be certified, as proposed in Sec.  10.209(d)(4).
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  11.480 to maintain 
consistency with Sec.  15.815. Section 10.209(d)(4) was amended in 
response to another comment and no longer specifically applies to radar 
course certificates.
    MERPAC recommends that all references linking the TWIC to the MMC 
be modified to reflect changes in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 
2010.
    The Coast Guard agrees. However, as discussed previously, this 
issue is being addressed in a separate rulemaking.
    MERPAC does not support limiting payment of fees to only electronic 
means. Mariners should not be forced to pay via credit card, because 
not all mariners have a credit card. The Coast Guard should allow for 
payments to be accepted in cash, certified/cashier's check, or money 
order.
    The Coast Guard agrees and will continue to accept cash, checks, 
and money orders, as well as credit cards and electronic payments for 
MMCs and associated endorsements. Section 10.219 has been amended 
accordingly.
    MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard add a new paragraph to Sec.  
10.221 to address means of proving citizenship since a TWIC is no 
longer required for all MMCs.
    The Coast Guard agrees. However, as discussed previously, TWIC-
related changes from the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 are 
being addressed separately.
    MERPAC recommends that, if there is going to be a national medical 
certificate, the Coast Guard de-link the

[[Page 77867]]

medical certificate from the MMC and issue a separate medical 
certificate. Coast Guard needs to check for consistency with other 
regulations (e.g., Sec.  10.302) and consider a Legislative Change 
Proposal if necessary to assure that credentials are issued after 
evaluating a mariner's professional qualifications alone.
    The Coast Guard agrees. As previously discussed, under Sec.  10.301 
of this rulemaking, the Coast Guard will issue a separate medical 
certificate through the NMC.
    MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard insert a new paragraph in 
Sec.  10.232(b) that would allow the issuance of an STCW restricted 
certificate based on seagoing service on the waters of British Columbia 
and the inland passage (as day-for-day service on inland waters) to 
ensure continued service credit for seafarers working in this area.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  10.232(b) to: (1) 
Allow day-for-day STCW sea service credit on Great Lakes vessels and 
aboard inland vessels that maintain STCW standards, especially those 
inland vessels, that by the nature of their service must occasionally 
go outside the boundary line; and (2) allow day-for-day service on 
vessels to which STCW applies, whether inland or coastwise. Service on 
the waters of the Inside Passage between Puget Sound and Cape Spencer, 
Alaska, will be credited toward near-coastal and STCW endorsements.
    MERPAC is concerned that the change to the medical review process 
requiring the implied issuance of a medical certificate will exceed the 
capabilities of the NMC because of the increase in the number of 
reviews necessitated by the proposed 1- and 2-year cycle of 
certificates, and an unacceptable backlog will be created. Therefore, 
mariner's jobs would be jeopardized. MERPAC suggests the Coast Guard 
replace Sec.  10.301(a) ``operational limitations'' with ``limitations 
and/or other conditions'' (to assure consistency with NVIC).
    As previously discussed, the Coast Guard has no discretion over the 
issuance of 2-year medical certificates in compliance with the STCW 
Convention. However, the Coast Guard is taking actions in this final 
rule to minimize the numbers of mariners who will require more frequent 
medical evaluation, including the removal of the 1-year certificate for 
pilots. This change should decrease the workload on the medical 
evaluation staff and help to reduce the possibility of unreasonable 
time delays. Additionally, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 
provides the Coast Guard with authority to grant limited extensions for 
national endorsements when the Coast Guard experiences a backlog. 
Furthermore, the Coast Guard will be working to develop the DME program 
to reduce workload issues.
    MERPAC recommends that every person holding a license or MMC 
endorsement as first-class pilot must have a thorough physical 
examination each year, to be completed by the first day of the month 
following the anniversary of the individual's most recently completed 
Coast Guard required physical examination. Every fifth year, in 
accordance with the medical certificate/endorsement requirements in 
Sec.  10.301(b), the results of the physical examination must be 
recorded on a CG-719K form and submitted to the Coast Guard no later 
than 30 calendar days after completion of the physical examination. 
MERPAC strongly prefers the above recommendation. However, as a ``Plan 
B'' in the event the Coast Guard does not accept MERPAC's 
recommendations that first-class pilots and mariners merely ``serving 
as'' a pilot be required to have 5-year medical certificates, MERPAC 
recommends that first-class pilots and ``serving as'' pilots be 
required to have 2-year medical certificates. Under ``Plan B'', 
Sec. Sec.  11.709(b) and (d) should be amended as follows: Every person 
holding a license or MMC endorsement as first-class pilot must have a 
thorough physical examination each year, to be completed by the first 
day of the month following the anniversary of the individual's most 
recently completed Coast Guard required physical examination. Every 
other year, in accordance with the medical certificate/endorsement 
requirements in Sec.  10.301(b), the results of the physical 
examination must be recorded on a CG-719K form and submitted to the 
Coast Guard no later than thirty (30) calendar days after completion of 
the physical examination. Finally, if the Coast Guard moves forward 
with a certificate for National mariners, pilots should be included in 
Sec.  10.301(b)(3).
    The Coast Guard agrees with MERPAC's plan B and has amended 
Sec. Sec.  10.301(b)(2), 10.709(b) and 10.709(d) so that first-class 
pilots will continue to be subject to annual physical examinations, but 
will only be issued the biennial medical certificate. Annual physicals 
for first-class pilots are required by 46 U.S.C. 7101. The 2-year 
medical certificate requirement is consistent with the STCW Convention 
requirement for oceangoing mariners, and strikes an appropriate balance 
between maritime safety and the administrative processing burden.
    MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard define communicable disease 
and define exactly what the concerns are. Mariners who have only a 
food-handler credential are receiving extensive, potentially 
unnecessary medical testing. Clarification needs to be provided in 
guidance as there currently is no standard for ``communicable.''
    The Coast Guard agrees and amended Sec.  10.107 to provide a 
definition of ``communicable disease.'' The Coast Guard will clarify 
these requirements in future guidance in an effort to balance the 
impact on the individual mariner and the potential risks to public 
safety and health.
    MERPAC recommends that the demonstration of physical ability in 
Sec.  10.304(d)(2) remain in guidance and be struck from the text.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. There is a need to provide minimum 
requirements and standards for a medical examination.
    MERPAC recommended amending Sec.  10.403(a)(7) by adding the word 
``significant'' before ``change'', to reduce the load on course 
providers and the NMC by not requiring that every minor change be 
handled as an original submission for course approval.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec.  10.403(a)(7) as 
recommended. Additionally, the Coast Guard will issue guidance in the 
future because any changes to a finite or time-based curriculum will 
have an effect on the delivery of the entire curriculum and, hence, 
require approval.
    MERPAC recommends amending Sec.  10.404(a)(3) by adding 
``substitution of required service as a result of . . .'' to avoid 
requiring individuals to take the same class twice to maintain an 
endorsement when upgrading.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. This is an existing requirement 
that applies to national endorsements where the training is used in 
``lieu'' of ``service'' or ``exam.'' This requirement is normally not 
applicable to STCW provisions, since the Convention allows for the 
attainment of training and assessment for management level at the 
operational level. In some specific instances, however, it is 
applicable to STCW, as it is in the case for tanker refresher training. 
The Coast Guard has amended Sec.  10.404(a)(3) so that an applicant who 
has taken a required course prior to upgrading from a lower level, can 
retain the credit for that course when upgrading to the level for which 
the course was intended.
    MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard amend Sec.  10.410 to 
include a

[[Page 77868]]

requirement that if company training is included under the ISM, Coast 
Guard should accept ISM to the extent that it meets the QSS 
requirements.
    The Coast Guard agrees. This section of the SNPRM was broad and did 
not apply only to training institutions and schools. However, the Coast 
Guard recognizes that other management systems should be included as a 
means to comply with the QSS requirement. Therefore, the Coast Guard 
has amended Sec.  10.410 by adding a new paragraph (g) to include ISM 
as an alternate means of compliance for the QSS provision.
    MERPAC is concerned that the incorporation by reference provision 
in Sec.  11.102(a) is not helpful and recommends that the Coast Guard 
somehow make STCW available to the general public. It is not sufficient 
to incorporate by reference, since the document is only available by 
purchase.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part and will be making relevant portions 
of STCW available to the public. Please see the incorporation by 
reference section in the discussion of comments above.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  11.201(j)(1)(iii) be amended to allow 
applicants attending approved programs to test up to 6 months prior to 
graduation.
    The Coast Guard recognizes that some training schools complete the 
training program ahead of time and the rest of the time is spent 
prepping for the exam. If an applicant completes all parts of a 
comprehensive program that pertain to maritime credentialing 
requirements, including all sea service and required courses and 
assessments of competency, a maximum of 6 months prior to completion of 
the program, an examination will be authorized. This provision is 
necessary to facilitate the examination process while ensuring that new 
officers have the required knowledge prior to receipt of their officer 
endorsement.
    MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard should extend grandfathering 
provisions found in Sec.  11.301(i) so that persons with an operational 
level endorsement upgrading to management level should not be required 
to do the assessments for operational level, because they were already 
completed.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has added a new paragraph Sec.  
11.301(i)(4) so that persons who hold or have held an STCW operational 
level endorsement issued prior to the effective date of this rulemaking 
and are seeking to upgrade to an STCW management level will not be 
required to complete the assessments for STCW operational level 
endorsements as required in subparagraph (f)(2) of that section.
    MERPAC recommends in Sec.  11.307(b)(1), but also globally, that 
the Coast Guard define leadership competency and how is it achieved by 
amending regulations or policy concerning what kind of evidence will be 
used.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  11.307(b) and other 
regulations to require leadership training. This change is necessary to 
implement requirements in the STCW Code for mariners to demonstrate 
leadership competence at both the management and operational levels. In 
addition, the Coast Guard is developing guidance with sample 
assessments to be used by QAs in their development of assessments to be 
used onboard vessels.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  11.325(c) be amended so an applicant 
who holds an STCW endorsement as OICEW, second engineer officer, or 
chief engineer officer will be allowed to receive the ETO endorsements 
upon completion of the requirements in Section A-III/6 of the STCW 
Code.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has corrected Sec.  11.335(c) 
accordingly. The STCW Convention provides for the issuance of ETO 
endorsements to OICEW, second engineer officer, or chief engineer 
officer.
    MERPAC is concerned that, based upon Sec.  11.404 (et seq.), Great 
Lakes time is linked with inland time and needs to be broken out, 12 
months for Great Lakes and 24 months for inland all the way through, 
even in uninspected fishing vessels and towing vessels. The new policy 
recognizing Great Lakes time as equivalent to ocean is not carried 
through part 11.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Inland and Great Lakes service time for 
the advancement of inland and Great Lakes endorsements continues to be 
on a 1-for-1 basis. Therefore, the Great Lakes and inland service time 
does not need to be separated. However, they have been separated when 
this service time is being used for oceans and STCW endorsements in 
this rulemaking. This was done so mariners can use Great Lakes service 
time on a 1-for-1 basis, up to 100 percent of the required sea service, 
and inland service time on a 1-for-1 basis, up to 50 percent of the 
required sea service. The Coast Guard has also reviewed and amended 
Sec.  11.404 to clarify this.
    MERPAC recommends using the following table to replace or modify 
Table 11.505(a). The effect is to eliminate the chief engineer, 
limited-near coastal endorsement. Taking into account that STCW applies 
to all vessels operating outside of the boundary line, there is a need 
to provide crossovers between national and STCW endorsements. MERPAC 
recommends that the regulations need to better explain the crossover 
from unlimited DDE to OICEW. Furthermore, MERPAC recommends that the 
Coast Guard negotiate the development of assessments for chief engineer 
(limited) at the 43rd session of the IMO subcommittee on standards of 
training and watchkeeping.

[[Page 77869]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR24DE13.000

    The Coast Guard partially agrees. We have amended Figure 11.505(a) 
as suggested, except chief engineer (limited) remains at 5 years sea 
service, and crossovers to STCW endorsements are not part of the figure 
due to space limitations but are contained in separate tables in part 
11, subpart C.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  11.516(a)(3) be amended by replacing 
``graduation from'' with ``completion of an Engineering Officer 
Qualification Course.'' An engineering officer of the watch (EOOW) 
letter from the Army, Coast Guard, or Navy should be prima facie 
evidence of competence.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Section 11.516(a)(3) provides for 
specific 4-year academic programs which require graduation in order to 
receive credit for the training and experience requirements for an STCW 
and national endorsement. The completion of an EOOW course does not 
meet all of the STCW competency requirements.
    MERPAC recommends that a different term than ``invalid'' be used in 
Sec.  11.709(d) and Sec.  11.713(a).
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The term is appropriate and is further 
supported by the last sentence in the same paragraph, which states 
``the individual may not operate under the authority of that 
endorsement until a physical examination has been satisfactorily 
completed.''
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  11.821 be amended. This standard was 
extracted from a different HSC code and is confusing and inappropriate. 
At a minimum, add clarification about the HSC code (reference the code) 
and to what vessels it applies.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec.  11.821 to ensure that 
it is only applicable to seafarers operating vessels to which the HSC 
code applies.
    MERPAC is concerned that tables 11.910-2 and 11.950-2 are pre-STCW 
95. MERPAC recommends that the tables be separated by operational and 
management levels. A small working group should be formed to discuss 
and locate any differences between national and STCW endorsements that 
occur in this table. As far as this rulemaking is concerned, the 
following should be considered: (1) Completely remove tables 11.910-2 
and 11.950-2 from the SNPRM; (2) in lieu of the table, the Coast Guard 
should issue documentation with considerable detail as to what is 
contained in each exam for each license level; (3) MERPAC should assist 
in the development of this documentation, which might take the form of 
a module description as has been used in the past; and (4) MERPAC Task 
71 regarding license exam questions cannot logically proceed until

[[Page 77870]]

implementation of recommendations 1-3 are well underway.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The tables need to remain in the 
regulations until the Coast Guard replaces them in regulation or issues 
guidance. The tables are necessary to provide the mariners with the 
topics for the exams. The Coast Guard will consider issuing a task 
statement to MERPAC to develop suitable information about endorsement 
examination topics.
    MERPAC recommends that a footnote be added to Table 12.603(e) to 
allow for the reduction of the 6-month sea service requirement by 
taking an approved course for able-seafarer-deck.
    The Coast Guard agrees that completion of an approved course for 
able seafarer-deck justifies the requested reduction in sea service, 
and has amended Table 1 to 12.603(e).
    MERPAC recommends that a footnote be added to Table 12.605(c) to 
allow for the reduction of sea service (4 months) by taking an approved 
course for RFPNW.
    The Coast Guard agrees that completion of an approved course for 
RFPNW justifies the requested reduction in sea service, and has amended 
Table 1 to 12.605(c).
    MERPAC recommends that Sec. Sec.  12.625 and 12.627 be amended to 
ensure that it provides all of the transitional provisions from STCW 
and to check Sec.  15.1113 for consistency.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec. Sec.  12.625, 12.627, 
and 15.1113 by adding implementation deadlines for security training 
requirements. These changes are required by the STCW Convention.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  13.107(d) be amended as follows: (1) 
Remove ``and for maintaining and operating the bunker systems including 
the fuel oil'' (tankerman engineer is specifically for cargo 
operations. Delete everything after the semicolon.); and (2) add 
``liquid cargo in bulk.'' MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard ensure 
that text does not apply to the transfer of other than bulk liquid 
cargoes and a tankerman endorsement is not needed.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  13.107(d) to ensure it 
does not apply to the transfer of other than bulk liquid cargoes and a 
tankerman endorsement is not needed.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  13.117 be revised to allow the 
applicant to complete an approved course for renewal of a tankerman 
endorsement that expired more than 12 months (see Sec.  13.120(a)(3)). 
Many mariners are not aware that taking a course counts toward renewal 
of tankerman endorsements. This would allow mariners the ability to 
maintain their tankerman endorsement following expiration of greater 
than 12 months. Furthermore, MERPAC recommends changing the reference 
from ``tankerman rating'' to ``tankerman endorsement''.
    The Coast Guard disagrees with the recommendation to amend Sec.  
13.117. The requirement in that section is consistent with situations 
where a credential has expired beyond the grace period.
    The Coast Guard agrees with the recommendation to change the 
reference from ``tankerman rating'' to ``tankerman endorsement.'' This 
change is consistent with the classification of endorsements in Sec.  
10.109.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  13.120(a)(1) be amended by inserting 
''including service aboard a barge, as appropriate'' after the words 
``tank vessel.'' This is to enable mariners serving on towing vessels, 
with tankerman credentials, the ability to renew those credentials.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. We agree that certain service on 
tank barges should receive credit. However, we do not believe a change 
to the regulations is required because the term ``tank vessel'' 
includes tank ships and tank barges.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  13.203 be amended to give mariners 
serving on ATBs full credit for sea time and experience (loads/
discharges) towards full tankerman-PIC endorsement. Many new ATBs have 
identical cargo-handling equipment as tankships.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The Coast Guard has amended Sec.  13.127 to 
accept service onboard some ATBs toward the national and STCW tankerman 
endorsements (including tankerman-PIC), provided the ATB equipment is 
equivalent to comparable tankship equipment. This change is necessary 
to ensure career paths and to facilitate the use of new ATBs as 
qualifying platforms for tankerman endorsements. In addition, the Coast 
Guard has provided a means for mariners serving on tank barges to 
qualify for an STCW endorsement with a limitation to non-self-propelled 
vessels.
    MERPAC recommends that the regulations include a crossover program 
from different types of tankers. Seafarers would already have tanker 
experience. A shorter course consistent with the STCW could be 
appropriate.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. We are retaining the existing 
provisions for a ``crossover'' for a domestic tankerman endorsement. 
The STCW does not provide for such a crossover, and mariners must meet 
the full service requirements applicable to each cargo.
    MERPAC recommends that the regulations split oil and chemical 
tanker requirements into separate sections and incorporate the STCW 
code properly and include fast track language in Regulation V/I-1. 
Seafarers serving onboard tankers certified to carry both oil and 
chemicals should receive sea credit for both oil and chemicals.
    The Coast Guard agrees that the STCW has separate qualification 
requirements for oil tankers and for chemical tankers, and has 
separated these two endorsements into their own sections, Sec. Sec.  
13.603 and 13.605. Nevertheless, it is possible for a single ``cargo 
course'' to be acceptable for both endorsements, and if the vessel the 
mariner serves on is certified to carry both oil and chemical cargoes, 
to use the same service to qualify for both endorsements.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  13.603 be amended to allow tankerman-
engineers to obtain an STCW endorsement for advanced oil tanker cargo 
operations and advanced chemical tanker cargo operations so chief 
engineers and first assistant engineers don't have to get tankerman-PIC 
endorsements. Under this proposed text, chief engineers and first 
assistant engineers will be unable to do the loading and discharges. 
This section should include language that allows mariners with STCW 
management-level engine endorsements and tankerman-engineer national 
endorsement to receive an STCW advanced tanker cargo operations 
endorsement if they complete the STCW assessments. Changes may be 
accomplished by amending the domestic requirements (in Sec.  13.201) 
and the STCW requirements.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has added Sec.  13.603(c) as a means for 
engineers to qualify for an STCW endorsement as the appropriate 
advanced tanker cargo operations with a limitation to maintenance and 
repair of cargo equipment.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec. Sec.  13.603 and 13.605 be amended to 
include an STCW endorsement for appropriate advanced tanker cargo 
operations with a limitation to non-self-propelled vessels.
    The Coast Guard agrees. As previously discussed, personnel on non-
tank vessels towing a barge outside the boundary line will be required 
to meet the STCW requirements. Consequently, we provided a means in 
Sec.  13.603(b) and 13.605(b) for mariners serving on tank barges to 
qualify for an STCW endorsement with a limitation to non-self-propelled 
vessels.

[[Page 77871]]

    MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard amend part 15 by adding a 
section about manning documents and COIs that separately specify the 
STCW endorsements that must be carried onboard for international 
voyages.
    COIs will list both national and STCW endorsements. The Coast Guard 
will be revising safe manning documents to be consistent with the 
changes in this final rule.
    MERPAC recommends that the Coast Guard issue a notice to all ship 
owners explaining the implementation of the U.S. medical certificate to 
facilitate port state control inspections.
    The Coast Guard agrees and will be issuing a notice to IMO and all 
port state control organizations worldwide. The Coast Guard will 
publish this notice on the NMC Web site.
    MERPAC recommends that part 15 be amended. The text should honor 
the original agreement with DOT that the STCW application in domestic 
trade would start at 500 GRT. MERPAC recommends the Coast Guard amend 
part 15 as follows: (1) Global change in part 15--add ``or 500 GRT on a 
domestic voyage'' wherever 200/500 tonnages are used. This is pursuant 
to the DOT agreement to use 500 GRT on the application of the STCW; (2) 
Global change- add ``seagoing vessel'' wherever horsepower is 
mentioned. The tonnage should be also mentioned (200 GRT/500 GT). For 
example, ``seagoing vessel of 200 GRT/500 GT or more driven by main 
propulsion machinery of 1,000 HP/750 kW propulsion power or more . . 
.''
    The Coast Guard recognizes that the regulations and policies 
implementing the STCW requirements have been the subject of different 
interpretations, and is therefore issuing this final rule to ensure 
clarity of interpretations and applicability of the STCW Convention. 
STCW-related provisions in part 15 have been amended to incorporate the 
500 GT threshold consistent with the STCW requirements. Therefore, STCW 
tonnage thresholds were not inserted in the engineering requirements. 
The Coast Guard has added the phrase ``seagoing vessel of 500 GT or 
more driven by main propulsion machinery of 1,000 HP/750 kW propulsion 
power or more or on an international voyage'' to Sec.  15.1103(a) in 
response to this comment.
    MERPAC recommends that a new paragraph (g)(3) of Sec.  15.105 be 
added as follows: ``Pilot vessels are not considered seagoing ships 
because they operate within, or closely adjacent to, sheltered waters 
or areas where port regulations apply.''
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended Sec. Sec.  15.105(f)(5) and 
15.1101(a)(1)(v) to exempt pilot vessels engaged in pilotage duty from 
STCW requirements in those sections. This change is appropriate because 
STCW applies only to seagoing vessels that operate outside the boundary 
line, but generally does not apply to pilot vessels.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  15.404(d)(3) be deleted. That section 
requires that ratings, including wipers, must possess an endorsement as 
able seafarer-engine instead of QMEDs. The Coast Guard needs to 
categorize which QMED categories should be RFPEW (watchstanding) 
(Fireman/Watertender (FWT), oiler) and which QMED categories should be 
able seafarer-engine (non-watchstanding) (all others) to reflect the 
rating who stands a watch and who does not. Requirements should reflect 
that all watchstander A/Bs and QMEDS are required to hold a RFPNW or 
RFPEW. QMEDs serving on vessels in a non-watchstanding position, 
excluding wipers, oilers and FWT, must hold able seafarer-engine 
endorsements.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The number of QMEDs and able seamen are 
specified in the COI, and those serving in such positions must also 
hold an STCW endorsement. In addition, the Coast Guard has amended 
Sec.  15.404 to specify the correlation of national rating endorsements 
and STCW rating endorsements based upon the SNPRM's grandfathering 
provisions and the usual, customary duties of each rating.
    MERPAC is concerned that Sec.  15.515(b), concerning requirements 
for crew to be aboard when passengers are embarked on a passenger 
vessel, is overly restrictive and impossible during normal vessel 
operations and recommends that the text be amended.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. It is essential for the safety of the 
passengers to ensure there are sufficient personnel to respond to 
emergencies and passenger needs. This is an existing requirement, and 
this final rule adds explanatory detail for clarification purposes.
    MERPAC noted that there are no guidelines for GMDSS maintainer 
courses in the United States. These need to be developed and provided 
to industry.
    The Coast Guard agrees. Until such time as the Coast Guard 
establishes criteria for and approves such ``GMDSS at sea maintainer 
courses,'' Sec.  12.623(a)(2)(ii) will not be a viable option to 
demonstrate competency. Nonetheless, the Coast Guard has included this 
option because it intends to soon begin the process of promulgating 
guidelines for GMDSS course content and approval.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  15.1105(c)(1) be changed from ``BST or 
safety familiarization'' to ``BT and safety familiarization specific to 
that vessel.''
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The term ``BST or safety 
familiarization'' does not appear in Sec.  15.1105(c)(1) of the SNPRM. 
The text in Sec.  15.1105(c)(1) refers to basic training or instruction 
and not familiarization training. We have made a global change in this 
final rule, changing ``basic safety training'' to ``basic training'' to 
be consistent with the STCW Convention. The Coast Guard does not agree 
to change Sec.  15.1105(c)(1) as suggested because basic training or 
basic instruction refers to the four numbered items under paragraph 
(c), which are more extensive than safety familiarization. This text is 
consistent with the STCW requirements in Regulation VI/1 and Section A-
VI/1.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  15.1109 be amended by adding ``serving 
on seagoing vessels, except those vessels listed in 15.1101 of this 
part.''
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  15.1109 as recommended 
for clarity. That section refers to Sec.  15.105(f) and (g), which 
contains the same exemptions as Sec.  15.1101. This change is 
appropriate because STCW watchkeeping requirements apply only to 
seagoing vessels.
    MERPAC states Sec.  15.1113 should be amended to ensure (a), (b), 
and (c) apply only to vessels over 500 GT.
    The Coast Guard agrees with the recommendation to ensure that the 
requirements in Sec.  15.1113 apply only to vessels of more than 500 
GT. In accordance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention, the 
security requirements are meant to support the requirements of the ISPS 
Code which applies to vessels of 500 GT or more. Therefore, the Coast 
Guard has amended Sec.  15.1113 to ensure that the application of the 
security requirements is only to vessels of 500 GT or more.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  15.1113 be amended to include all 
transitional provisions from STCW.
    The Coast Guard agrees. As previously discussed, the Coast Guard 
has amended Sec.  15.1113 to include all transitional provisions from 
the STCW Convention applicable to vessel personnel with designated 
security duties and security awareness.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  15.1113 be amended to account for 
existing mariner compliance by 2012, and to account for new mariners 
compliance by 2014. The Coast Guard agrees. As previously discussed, 
the Coast Guard has amended Sec.  15.1113 to include all transitional 
provisions from the STCW

[[Page 77872]]

Convention applicable to existing and new mariners.
    MERPAC recommends Sec.  15.1113 be amended to address contractors 
and other personnel who should not be required to obtain an 
endorsement.
    The 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention (Section A-VI/6) require 
all persons employed or engaged on a seagoing vessel to have received 
security familiarization. The term ``all persons'' includes seafarers 
and other personnel, including contractors, whether part-time, full-
time, temporary, or permanent. At this time, the Coast Guard intends to 
meet the STCW 2010 amendments through the regulations in 33 CFR 
104.225, which requires that all contractors, whether part-time, full-
time, temporary, or permanent, must have knowledge on a number of 
topics, through training or equivalent job experience. The Coast Guard 
has also amended Sec.  15.1113 to ensure that all contractors have 
knowledge of the requirements in 33 CFR 104.225 through training or 
equivalent job experience.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  15.1113 be amended to provide that 
individuals who have completed a USCG accepted VSO course, or have been 
designated as VSO are considered to have met the requirements of 
training for personnel with or without security duties.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and has amended the requirements in Sec.  
15.1113 to ensure persons meeting the VSO requirements are considered 
to have met the requirements of training for personnel with or without 
security duties. The Coast Guard is revising the definition ``vessel 
personnel with designated security duties'' to harmonize it with the 
guidance in Section B-VI/6 of the STCW Code and to ensure consistency 
with the requirements in 33 CFR subchapter H. The expression ``with 
designated security duties'' denotes those having specific security 
duties and responsibilities in accordance with the vessel security 
plan. The Coast Guard amended the requirements in Sec. Sec.  12.625 and 
15.113 to ensure that the term ``vessel personnel with designated 
security duties'' is used throughout.
    MERPAC recommends that Sec.  15.1113 be amended to ensure that 
requirements take into account STCW Circ 7(16) providing a compliance 
waiver until 2017.
    The STCW Convention requires that mariners who commenced service 
after January 1, 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 
January 1, 2012. Recognizing that the implementation date was 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 amendments to the STCW Convention and 
Code, the IMO issued Circular STCW.7/Circ.17 providing advice for port 
state control officers on transitional arrangements leading up to full 
implementation of the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code 
on January 1, 2017. The Circular recommends that Administrations should 
inform their port state control authorities that, until January 1, 
2014, even if a seafarer's documentation with regard to the security-
related training in regulation VI/6 is not in accordance with the 2010 
amendments to the STCW Convention and Code, it would be sufficient to 
accept compliance with section 13 of the ISPS. Taking the information 
in the Circular into account, the Coast Guard has amended Sec.  15.1113 
to implement the requirements for ``vessel personnel with designated 
security duties'' and for ``security awareness.'' The requirements in 
33 CFR 104.220 and 104.225 meet the requirements of Section 13 of the 
ISPS Code.
    MERPAC notes the lack of training requirements within the SNPRM as 
follows: (1) Generally, the officers do not have the time to perform 
training and assessment onboard due to minimal manning, higher workload 
and operational constraints; (2) under STCW mandatory rest period 
rules, the time available for training is limited; (3) The officers may 
not have the requisite knowledge to teach and assess the needed 
subjects effectively; (4) training is not part of a ship's officers job 
description; (5) most officers have not been exposed to ``train the 
trainer'' techniques; (6) most officers are reluctant to assume the 
legal liability of training; (7) some subjects can be better conducted 
ashore due to safety and economic reasons; and (8) if a company wants 
to address the above issues, then the company must provide the 
resources to conduct approved onboard training. Therefore, MERPAC 
recommends that additional formal classroom training be required.
    The STCW Convention is a competence-based Convention, and not a 
training-based Convention. The Coast Guard does not believe that 
training is the only means of imparting knowledge, and recognizes that 
some knowledge, understanding, and proficiency is better acquired 
through experience.
    The Tables in part A of the STCW Code establish the standards of 
competence, which provide ways and means to demonstrate the knowledge, 
understanding, and proficiencies needed to meet each standard. The 
Convention is very specific about which standards of competence require 
training. Basic training, Electronic Chart Display and Information 
System, and Automatic Radar Plotting Aids are examples of such required 
training.
    In most instances, however, the STCW Convention does not specify 
whether structured training is required to meet the standards of 
competence. It is up to each Administration to establish the training 
and experience necessary to achieve the level of competence, and when 
structured training should be obtained.
    The Coast Guard recognizes concerns raised by comments that 
shipboard factors, including reduced manning, higher mariner workload, 
and mariner fatigue issues, could make it a challenge for seafarers 
onboard vessels to train others. The Coast Guard also recognizes that 
not all STCW competencies, individual knowledge, understanding and 
proficiencies must be accomplished as part of structured training 
because there are areas where in-service experience may fulfill the 
competency requirement. For these reasons, the Coast Guard reviewed the 
tables of competencies and identified the training topics that must be 
accomplished as part of approved formal training. The training topics 
in the final rule were part of the extensive list of topics proposed in 
the NPRM, as well as those listed in the SNPRM.
    Accordingly, parts 11 and 12 of this final rule have been amended 
to include a combination of training and in-service requirements, which 
will be validated through assessments, to ensure that seafarers achieve 
the necessary level of competence.
    MERPAC also recommends that the content of the training should be 
appropriate to the tonnage, route and/or type of vessel. For example, 
advanced and emergency ship handling can be performed onboard OSVs, 
tugs, and ferries, rather than in a full mission simulator.
    The Coast Guard partially agrees. The text in part 11, subpart C 
has been amended in each appropriate section for each STCW endorsement 
to indicate which courses will be required. The Coast Guard also agrees 
with the comment that the content of training should be appropriate to 
the tonnage, route and/or type of vessel. The

[[Page 77873]]

regulatory text also includes a provision to allow for the modification 
of KUPs based on the characteristics and size of vessels, and for the 
issuance of the appropriate limitations and restrictions.
    MERPAC recommends amending Sec.  11.480 to ensure the current 
practice of not putting radar endorsements on MMCs is stated.
    The Coast Guard did not propose any changes in this area. The 
requested change is outside the scope of this rulemaking.
    MERPAC recommends that a working group be formed with Coast Guard 
Headquarters, NMC, and industry to clarify and define the certification 
process for single or limited size engineroom staffing. In addition, 
this working group should also develop the same for deck staffing on 
vessels of limited size.
    Although this suggestion is beyond the scope of this rulemaking, 
the Coast Guard will consider issuing a task on this subject to MERPAC 
in the future.
    MERPAC recommends that the NMC process refocus the medical review 
of mariners so that the process is risk-based.
    The Coast Guard agrees that the focus should be reviewed for 
possible improvement, but this is outside the scope of this rulemaking. 
The Coast Guard is considering plans for the development of a DME 
program. The Coast Guard will develop guidance on the DME program in 
the future.
    MERPAC recommends that the government pursue creating methods of 
funding for maritime education due to the impact of the regulatory 
training and education requirements. (46 U.S.C. 51103).
    Although this suggestion is outside the scope of this rulemaking, 
the Coast Guard will continue to promote maritime education.
62. MEDMAC Comments
    Below, the Coast Guard responds to recommendations received from 
MEDMAC.
    MEDMAC recommends replacing the term ``medical certificate/
endorsement'' with ``medical certificate'' throughout the document.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has made this change throughout the 
document. This change is appropriate because the Coast Guard will be 
issuing separate medical certificates rather than endorsements to 
existing MMCs.
    MEDMAC recommends removing the last sentence of Sec.  10.301(a) and 
replacing it with the text from NVIC 04-08, Enclosure (6), Paragraph 7.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has replaced the last paragraph of Sec.  
10.301(a) with the recommended text. This change is appropriate because 
it continues and codifies established Coast Guard policy on the 
evaluation of physical examinations.
    MEDMAC recommends that Sec. Sec.  10.301(b)(1) and (2) be amended 
to allow pilots to be issued 2-year medical certificates but not change 
the statutory requirement for pilots to undergo annual physicals.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended Sec.  10.301(b)(2) to allow 
pilots to be issued 2-year medical certificates to ensure consistency 
with the statute and to avoid any ambiguity.
    MEDMAC recommends in Sec.  10.303(b) removing the text ``for 
medical conditions and medications when'' and replacing it with ``when 
an applicant does not meet the applicable medical standards, but''.
    The Coast Guard agrees that the suggested language is more 
accurate, and has made this change in Sec.  10.303(b).
    MEDMAC recommends removing the last sentence of Sec.  10.304(a) and 
replacing it with the content of paragraph Sec.  10.304(c), and then 
removing Sec.  10.304(c).
    The Coast Guard agrees that issuing future guidance on 
disqualifying medical conditions is preferable to the incomplete list 
in the last sentence of Sec.  10.304(a) of the SNPRM. Accordingly, we 
have amended Sec.  10.304(a) and have removed Sec.  10.304(c).
    MEDMAC requests clarification of guidance on food handlers found in 
Sec.  10.304(b) that relates to NVIC 04-08 Enclosure 1 ``food handler'' 
link to Homeport.
    The requested guidance is beyond the scope of this rulemaking. 
However, the Coast Guard has provided in this rulemaking a definition 
for ``communicable disease,'' which should have direct impact on 
MEDMAC's concerns. The Coast Guard also will be revising policies 
associated with this rulemaking and publishing them as required to 
ensure broadest notification.
    MEDMAC recommends that all food handlers be required to submit a 
general medical exam.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Our requirements must be consistent with 
the underlying statutes. At present, the Coast Guard does not have 
authority to require entry-level food handlers to complete the general 
medical exam.
    MEDMAC requests clarification from the Coast Guard on how 
practitioners shall perform each of the listed demonstrations in Sec.  
10.304(d)(2). If the Coast Guard does not have clarification, working 
group 11-03 recommends a task statement be developed to address this 
section.
    The information regarding demonstrations should be addressed in the 
revision of NVIC 04-08 which is already a task statement provided to 
the MEDMAC (MEDMAC Task Statement 1).

C. Discussion of Public Comments in Response to the Merchant Marine 
Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) and the Merchant Mariner Medical 
Advisory Committee (MEDMAC) Recommendations

    On November 3, 2011, the Coast Guard announced the availability of 
recommendations from MERPAC in response to Task Statement 75, in which 
the Coast Guard requested review of the SNPRM (76 FR 68202). The Coast 
Guard also announced the availability of recommendations from MEDMAC 
after its review of the SNPRM. The recommendations from both committees 
were made available to the public for comment. The public comments to 
these recommendations and the Coast Guard response to the comments 
received are detailed below.
    One commenter supports MERPAC's recommendation that Qualified 
Assessors should be approved by the Coast Guard.
    The Coast Guard agrees. As previously discussed, we have amended 
the definition of ``Qualified Assessor'' in Sec.  10.107 to add 
clarification of this person's role and professional development.
    The same commenter supports the MERPAC recommendations regarding 
Listing of Training Elements for 46 CFR part 11 (Deck Competencies with 
Formal Training Requirements) in its entirety. The commenter states 
that interpreting the Code to require an approved education and 
training system for deck officer competencies is in keeping with the 
generally accepted view of the international maritime community and 
Coast Guard policy for nearly 10 years. That system would be operated 
under a QSS and is described in Tables A-II/1, A-II/2 et al. of the 
STCW Code.
    The Coast Guard partially agrees. The Coast Guard reviewed the 
tables of competencies and identified the training topics that must be 
accomplished as part of approved formal training. These topics were 
part of the NPRM published in 2010. Parts 11 and 12 of this final rule 
are amended to include a combination of training and in-service 
requirements, validated through assessments, to ensure that the 
seafarers achieve the necessary level of competence.
    One commenter disagrees with MERPAC's recommendation that

[[Page 77874]]

mariners should not be able to obtain an STCW endorsement without 
meeting the service requirements for the associated national 
endorsement. MERPAC adds that its recommendation is about progression 
requirements rather than qualification requirements. The commenter 
states that this MERPAC recommendation would reverse the Coast Guard's 
stated intent to separate STCW and domestic endorsements. By 
recombining domestic and STCW sea-service requirements, irrespective of 
possible conflicts between the two, the Coast Guard would undermine 
another of its stated intentions, that the new regulations will be 
easier for mariners to read and understand the requirements for each 
MMC endorsement.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. One of the underlying principles used in 
the development of this rulemaking is that the STCW endorsement is an 
international, independent overlay of the national endorsement. 
Therefore, the mariner cannot have any STCW endorsement unless that 
mariner possesses the equivalent national endorsement.
    One commenter disagrees with MERPAC's recommendation that the Coast 
Guard amend its definition of ``disabled vessel'' by removing the last 
sentence of the proposed definition, and by reverting to the definition 
currently found in the regulations. The commenter states that if the 
Coast Guard agrees to this recommendation, the continued financial 
wellbeing of many assistance companies whose livelihood depends on 
towing and assistance jobs allowed by the inclusion of the last 
sentence of the definition of ``disabled vessel'' in the SNPRM will be 
severely threatened. Many marine assistance companies have no other 
means of income, and for them this amendment will be disastrous.
    The Coast Guard disagrees and has only retained non-substantive 
editorial changes to the original definition of ``disabled vessel'' in 
Sec.  10.107. The expansion of the definition proposed in the SNPRM 
would have granted authority beyond the intended scope of the meaning 
of ``disabled vessel,'' and the final rule is substantially the same as 
the current regulation. The Coast Guard may consider possible changes 
to this definition after public notice and comment in a future 
rulemaking.
    There were several comments received in the docket that were not 
related to MERPAC or MEDMAC recommendations. Those comments are 
summarized below.
    One commenter states that the Coast Guard is placing mariners in 
peril in Sec.  11.402(c)(1), by allowing a mariner with only 6 months' 
experience as master of a 1,600 GRT vessel to become a domestic master 
of an unlimited-tonnage vessel. The commenter states that you need 
experience as a chief mate on a large vessel in order to understand how 
to do the captain's job on such a vessel.
    Because this final rule makes no changes to the current regulations 
in Sec.  11.402(c)(1), this comment is outside the scope of this 
rulemaking.
    The same commenter states that the Coast Guard is again placing 
mariners in peril in Sec.  11.404(a)(2)(ii), by allowing a mariner to 
become a domestic master of an unlimited-tonnage vessel after 3 years 
of sea time, without ever having sailed as chief mate. The commenter 
states that you need experience as a chief mate on a large vessel in 
order to understand how to do the captain's job on such a vessel.
    The Coast Guard disagrees that there is no requirement for 
experience as a chief mate on large vessels to qualify as master of 
such a vessel. Section 11.404(a)(2)(i) requires that, in addition to 
the requirements discussed in Sec.  11.404(a)(2)(ii), mariners must 
provide evidence of 6 months' service as chief mate on vessels of 
unlimited tonnage.
    One commenter asks why chief engineer (limited-near coastal) is 
listed above chief engineer (limited-oceans) hierarchically in Table 
11.325(d). The same commenter asks if the required service is 
cumulative (12 months of service to get from chief engineer (limited-
oceans) to chief engineer (limited-near coastal), then an additional 12 
months of service to get to chief engineer on vessels of unlimited 
horsepower).
    The order of endorsements listed in the table is not meant to be 
hierarchical. Further, in response to several other comments to the 
SNPRM docket, the Coast Guard is eliminating the endorsement for chief 
engineer (limited-near-coastal). An additional 12 months of service is 
required to cross over to first assistant engineer (unlimited), and an 
additional year to qualify for chief engineer (unlimited).
    The same commenter asks if the proposed regulations eliminate STCW 
endorsements for chief engineer (limited-oceans) and chief engineer 
(limited-near coastal), or rather limit them to domestic service. The 
commenter recommends that the Coast Guard revise the SNPRM to maintain 
the current scope of authority for chief engineer (limited oceans and 
near-coastal).
    As stated above, the Coast Guard is eliminating the chief engineer 
(limited-near-coastal) endorsement, leaving only the assistant engineer 
(limited) and chief engineer (limited) endorsements. Both endorsements 
authorize service on oceangoing vessels of any horsepower, but restrict 
service to vessels of less than 1,600 GRT (hence the ``limited'' 
title).
    The same commenter states that the progression paths listed in the 
NPRM have been changed in the SNPRM. He asks if a path remains for a 
chief engineer (limited-oceans) to become either a chief engineer or 
first assistant engineer (second engineer officer) on vessels of 
unlimited horsepower.
    As discussed in the SNPRM, there is a path for the endorsements the 
commenter cites. For changes to the limited engineers' officer 
endorsements, including crossover points, see Figure 11.505(a).
    One commenter states that an unspecified section, figure or table 
does not appear to be a path to STCW chief engineering officer for 
vessels of more than 4,000 HP. In the commenter's view, the 
credentialing system contains ``confusion,'' again without specifying 
what the particular uncertainty might be. The commenter further takes 
exception to the amount of sea service proposed in the SNPRM for a 
chief engineer (limited) to obtain an STCW endorsement as chief 
engineer officer.
    As discussed above, the SNPRM established the national and STCW 
credentials as separate entities. Figure 11.505(a) graphically displays 
the progression and crossover provisions for the national engineering 
officer endorsements only. All national limitations and restrictions 
apply. It is recognized that the holder of a national endorsement might 
also be required to hold an STCW endorsement to sail beyond the 
boundary line and into foreign ports. Since the applicant for an STCW 
endorsement must first hold an appropriate national endorsement, the 
purpose of the tables in Sec.  11.325 is to list those national 
endorsements that might enable the holder to obtain a relevant STCW 
endorsement, and to indicate if additional assessment and training are 
required.
    A common misconception is that if a mariner holds a particular 
national credential (e.g., chief engineer (limited)), that he/she 
automatically has the right to an ``equivalent'' STCW endorsement as 
chief engineer officer (e.g., more than 3,000 kW (4,000 HP)). This is 
not the case, as the STCW endorsement usually requires additional 
practical assessment, examination and/or training. The tables in part 
11, subpart C are guides for mariners to obtain STCW endorsements. 
Another factor in the equation is that once obtained, the STCW 
endorsement is

[[Page 77875]]

dependent on any restrictions on the face of the national endorsement. 
For example, engineers (limited) may serve on vessels of any 
horsepower, but are restricted to vessels of less than 1,600 GRT. The 
DDEs are restricted to vessels of less than 500 GRT, and some have 
further horsepower limitations and/or route restrictions placed on 
their credentials.

D. Additional Request for Comments

    In the ``Additional Request for Comments'' section of the SNPRM, 
the Coast Guard sought specific comments from the public on six issues. 
These issues and the Coast Guard response to the comments received are 
outlined below. Detailed Coast Guard responses to specific comments are 
located above in subsection A of this section, entitled ``Public 
comments on the SNPRM.''
    1. The Coast Guard asked about the value of tonnage and route 
restrictions for engineering endorsements.
    The Coast Guard removed route restrictions and the endorsement for 
chief engineer (limited near-coastal) in this final rule, but retained 
the 1,600 GRT limitation for the engineer (limited) series of 
endorsements. Likewise, the Coast Guard retained both route and tonnage 
restrictions for the DDE series of engineer endorsements.
    2. The Coast Guard asked about alternative or additional 
requirements for limiting engineer authority, such as maintaining 
current horsepower restrictions, or any other alternative requirements.
    The responses from the public ranged from a suggestion to remove 
the endorsement of chief engineer (limited near-coastal) to an 
elaborate 13-page plan for the complete revision of the national and 
STCW endorsement scheme. The Coast Guard has made several changes 
including the removal of the chief engineer (limited near-coastal) 
endorsement and expanded the structure of assistant engineer-OSV, as 
discussed previously.
    3. The Coast Guard asked about potential changes to the 
qualification requirements for a DE for TOARs to allow mariners to 
serve as DEs by virtue of their endorsements without any further 
approval process.
    The commenters believe that the current system for a DE to apply 
for recognition and approval through the NMC is appropriate. The Coast 
Guard will continue to approve the DEs through the current process.
    4. The Coast Guard asked about who, within the mariner population, 
will take advantage of the alternatives to formal training provided to 
meet the standards of competence for an STCW endorsement.
    Some commenters object to allowing competency to be demonstrated by 
alternative methods and not exclusively through approved formal 
training. In their view, the language of the STCW Convention and Code 
places a strong emphasis on formal training and assessment, and 
requires education and training for all categories of STCW 
certification. Other commenters support the concept of onboard training 
as an alternative to formal classroom training but believe that there 
are professional knowledge and development areas where in-service 
experience alone will not fill the need for professional training.
    The Coast Guard has added training courses for STCW endorsements 
that must be accomplished as part of approved formal training. These 
courses were part of the NPRM. Parts 11 and 12 of this final rule are 
amended to include a combination of training and in-service 
requirements (validated through assessments) to ensure that the 
seafarers achieve the level of competence required for STCW 
endorsements.
    5. The Coast Guard asked about the extent to which changes to sea 
service requirements, particularly in Sec.  10.232, will increase the 
availability of mariners for service on oceangoing vessels.
    Three commenters recommended that the Coast Guard remove Sec. Sec.  
10.232(b)(1) and 10.232(b)(2) in their entirety in regard to sea 
service credit for mariners serving on the Great Lakes and on inland 
waters. They believe there is no useful purpose for these provisions, 
and their inclusion would make professional advancement more difficult, 
thereby decreasing the availability of mariners for service on 
oceangoing vessels.
    The Coast Guard has retained the proposed provisions in Sec.  
10.232(b)(1) (providing day-for-day credit on the Great Lakes), and 
Sec.  10.232(b)(2) (providing credit up to 50 percent of total service 
required). These new requirements were not previously available for 
those mariners seeking an STCW endorsement. Further, the Coast Guard 
believes that the inclusion of these sections will actually increase 
the number of mariners with credentials necessary to make them 
available for service on ocean-going vessels by expanding the 
opportunity to earn sea service credit.
    6. The Coast Guard asked about the possible changes to fee payment 
options, as proposed in Sec.  10.219, which would eliminate the ability 
to pay by cash or check. The commenters objected to the proposed 
requirement in Sec.  10.219(d) that fee payments for MMCs and 
associated endorsements must be made by credit card or by electronic 
payment. They claimed that it would be a hardship on mariners as they 
do not always have these means of payment available to them.
    The Coast Guard is withdrawing this proposed revision. The current 
Sec.  10.219(d) will be retained, allowing for multiple forms of 
payment.

VII. Incorporation by Reference

    The Director of the Federal Register has approved the material 
listed in Sec. Sec.  10.103, 11.102, 12.103, 13.103, and 15.103 for 
incorporation by reference under 5 U.S.C. 552 and 1 CFR part 51. Copies 
of the material are available from the sources listed in those 
sections.

VIII. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this final rule after considering numerous statutes 
and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our 
analyses based on 14 of these statutes or executive orders.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 (``Regulatory Planning and Review'') and 
13563 (``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review'') direct agencies 
to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives 
and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that 
maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, 
public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). 
Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both 
costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of 
promoting flexibility. This final rule has been designated a 
``significant regulatory action'' although not economically 
significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, 
this final rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget. A combined ``Regulatory Analysis and Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis'' report is available in the docket as indicated 
under the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. A summary of the report 
follows:
    This final rule will ensure that U.S. mariners comply with the 
standards set forth in the STCW Convention and Code. This final rule 
will implement all amendments under the Convention, including the 2010 
amendments previously discussed. In addition, the Coast Guard is 
responding to the comments, feedback, and concerns received from the 
public as a result of the SNPRM. In order to address those comments and 
concerns, this final rule

[[Page 77876]]

will simplify national licensing requirements and separate them from 
STCW requirements; provide alternative means for demonstrating 
competence; clarify oversight requirements for approved courses; amend 
lifeboatmen requirements; and allow for acceptance of sea service on 
vessels serving the Great Lakes and inland waters to meet STCW 
requirements (see ``Discussion of Final Rule'' for additional details).
    The changes in this final rule from the current regulations that 
result in additional impacts involve the following categories of 
provisions:
1. Medical Examinations and Endorsements
    The medical certificate will be reduced from a maximum period of 
validity of 5 years to 2 years for mariners serving onboard STCW 
vessels in accordance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention.
2. Leadership and Managerial Skills
    This final rule will require leadership and managerial skills for 
the management-level credential in accordance with the 2010 amendments 
to the STCW Convention.
3. Engineroom Resource Management
    This final rule will require ERM training for engineers seeking 
operational-level credential, and leadership and managerial skills for 
the management-level credential in accordance with the 2010 amendments 
to the STCW Convention.
4. Tankerman Endorsements
    This final rule will add new STCW endorsements for basic and 
advanced oil and chemical tanker cargo operations, and for basic and 
advanced liquefied gas tanker cargo operations, in accordance with the 
STCW 2010 amendments.
5. Safety Refresher Training Requirements
    This final rule will require safety refresher training every 5 
years for all STCW-endorsed mariners holding a credential in basic 
training (BT), advanced firefighting, proficiency in survival craft and 
rescue boats other than fast rescue boats, or proficiency in fast 
rescue boats, in accordance with the 2010 amendments to the STCW 
Convention and Code.
6. Able Seafarer Deck and Engine
    This final rule will require that personnel serving on STCW vessels 
as able seafarers meet the requirements for certification in order to 
comply with the STCW 2010 amendments.
    In order to address the comments received on the SNPRM, the Coast 
Guard made several changes to the SNPRM in this final rule. Part A of 
the Discussion of Comments and Explanation of Changes section 
summarizes the changes between this final rule and the SNPRM and the 
``Tables of Changes'' in section V of the preamble provides a detailed 
explanation for each change. None of the changes between the SNPRM and 
this final rule, however, will result in additional impacts to the 
maritime industry. However, in response to comments from the public, 
the Coast Guard has added a transitional provision for the 
implementation of the QSS requirements by January 1, 2017. This will 
delay the cost impact of QSS requirements to training providers and 
provide additional time for compliance.
Costs
    We estimate that this final rule will affect approximately 60,000 
U.S. mariners \8\ and 316 owners and operators of 1,044 vessels by 
imposing additional costs. This rule also affects U.S. mariners 
operating inside the boundary line by imposing new requirements. 
However, we do not anticipate the new requirements for national 
endorsements will impose additional costs. Each of the requirements 
will affect a different subset of these mariner and owner/operator 
populations. We used Coast Guard's data on mariners, publicly available 
information on training costs and mariner wages, and other available 
industry information to develop the estimates of potential costs to 
affected mariners and to the owners and operators employing affected 
mariners for each requirement. We did not find additional data or 
receive public comments in response to the analysis presented in the 
SNPRM that would result in changing these estimates for affected 
mariners or vessel owners and operators.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Includes all mariners to which STCW applies, which is 
limited to voyages beyond the boundary line.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This final rule will also affect approximately 141 STCW training 
providers by requiring them to implement a quality standards system and 
write and maintain a QSS manual; subjecting them to internal and 
external audit requirements of each Coast Guard-approved course, and 
extending the time period for which they must keep a paper or 
electronic record on each student completing a course. Similarly, we 
did not find additional data or receive public comments that would 
result in changing our estimates for affected STCW training providers 
other than delaying the cost impact of QSS requirements to training 
providers by 3 years and providing additional time for compliance.
    The costs of this final rule are presented in Table 1. We estimate 
the total present value cost over the 10-year period of analysis to be 
$228.9 million at a 7-percent discount rate ($272.6 million at a 3-
percent discount rate). Over the same 10-year period of analysis, we 
estimate the annualized costs to be about $32.6 million at a 7-percent 
discount rate ($32.0 million at a 3-percent discount rate).

          Table 1--Summary of Present Value Costs of Final Rule
                              [$ Millions]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Discount rate
                     Year                      -------------------------
                                                 7 percent    3 percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.............................................        $17.0        $17.7
2.............................................         38.5         41.5
3.............................................         36.0         40.3
4.............................................         35.0         40.8
5.............................................         31.8         38.5
6.............................................         29.7         37.4
7.............................................         11.3         14.7
8.............................................         10.5         14.3
9.............................................          9.8         13.9
10............................................          9.2         13.5
                                               -------------------------
    Total*....................................        228.9        272.6
                                               -------------------------
Annualized....................................         32.6         32.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Totals may not sum due to rounding.

    We estimate the mariner training requirements are the primary cost 
driver throughout the 10-year period of analysis. See Table 2 for a 
summary of annualized costs by requirement category.

       Table 2--Summary of the Annualized Costs of the Final Rule
                              [$ Millions]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         Annualized*
                     Category                      ---------------------
                                                    7 percent  3 percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mariner Training**................................     $27.06     $26.40
2-Year Medical....................................       3.99       3.99
Examination.......................................
Sea Service.......................................       1.04       1.04
Training Providers................................       0.50       0.51
                                                   ---------------------
    Total.........................................      32.60      31.96
------------------------------------------------------------------------
** Includes changes for officer, engineer and rating endorsements.

    The changes to mariner training make up about 83 percent of the 
costs throughout the 10-year period of analysis. Table 3 below presents 
a

[[Page 77877]]

summary of the costs by requirement as a percentage of the total 
annualized costs of this final rule.

    Table 3--Summary of Costs by Requirement of the Final Rule (as a
                     percentage of annualized cost)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Annualized
                        Requirements                             cost
                                                               percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mariner Training...........................................           83
2-Year Medical Examination.................................           12
Sea Service................................................            3
Training Providers.........................................            2
                                                            ------------
    Total..................................................          100
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We believe that the training costs discussed above would likely be 
high estimates, as this final rule provides flexibility in choosing 
alternative methods if these are more cost effective to the mariners, 
owners and operators.
    In the absence of additional information, such as the choice of 
alternative methods by company size and time differences to complete 
one alternative compared to another, we estimate potential regulatory 
compliance costs by assuming that mariners and their employers would 
fulfill these requirements through classroom training. This results in 
upper-bound monetized costs for these training provisions.
Benefits \9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ The Coast Guard did not receive any comments from the public 
on the benefits analysis for the SNPRM. The changes between the 
SNPRM and this final rule did not result in any modifications to 
benefits estimated in this section.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This final rule will implement all amendments to the STCW and 
ensure that the U.S. is meeting its obligations under the STCW 
Convention. The STCW Convention sets the standards of competence for 
mariners internationally, bringing U.S. mariners in line with training, 
certification and medical standards developed by the International 
Maritime Organization (IMO). In addition to the benefit of improving 
marine safety and decreasing the risk of shipping accidents, additional 
benefits of this final rule are expected to accrue to the U.S. economy 
in the form of: (1) Preventing and mitigating accidents on STCW 
Convention-compliant foreign vessels in U.S. waters due to the Coast 
Guard's increased ability to enforce requirements; (2) Maintaining U.S. 
status on the ``White List'' and avoiding the detention of U.S. vessels 
in foreign ports due to non-compliance with the STCW Convention; (3) 
Ensuring U.S. mariners can compete in the global workforce market; and, 
(4) Ensuring that U.S. regulations are consistent with international 
performance standards based on international consensus and IMO 
convention, which minimizes variation in standards of training and 
watchkeeping.
    One benefit of this final rule is an increase in vessel safety and 
a resulting decrease in the risk of shipping casualties. According to 
one study on the Review and Analysis of Accident Databases by the 
American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the human element is involved in 80 
percent of shipping casualties, with 45 percent of those casualties 
primarily due to human error, and another 35 percent attributable to a 
failure to adequately respond.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ Clifford C. Baker and Denise B. McCafferty. 2004. ABS 
Review and Analysis of Accident Databases. American Bureau of 
Shipping. Accessed at http://www.slc.ca.gov/Division_Pages/MFD/Prevention_First/Documents/2004/Human%20and%20Organizational%20Factors/McCafferty%20paper.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The final rule seeks to decrease human error and improve 
responsiveness through a three-pronged approach--increased training and 
service requirements, improved consistency of training, and enhanced 
medical evaluation and reporting.
    Lack of mariner competence in situational awareness and assessment 
are primary causes of human error. The enhanced competency and service 
requirements of the STCW Convention are expected to increase mariners' 
situational awareness and situational assessment, and improve their 
ability to respond to potential hazards.
    The requirements for training providers to develop and follow a 
quality standard system help to ensure that the STCW training given to 
mariners is of consistent quality.
    Unidentified medical conditions can also impair a mariner's ability 
to perform tasks and respond, thus contributing to the human element of 
casualties. This final rule will require more frequent medical exams 
for STCW mariners, thus reducing the potential contribution of medical 
conditions to human error.\11\ In combination, the provisions of this 
final rule are expected to reduce potential for vessel accidents, 
including those with small and large consequences.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ Examples of major accidents that resulted in deaths, 
injuries, environmental contamination or property damage in which an 
unidentified medical condition was a causal factor include: the 
allision of the M/V Cosco Busan with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay 
Bridge, the allision of the passenger ferry Andrew J. Barberi, and 
Towboat Robert Y. Love allision with Interstate 40 Highway Bridge. 
Although these did not directly involve STCW mariners, the same risk 
from unidentified medical conditions applies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on data and information from the Coast Guard's Marine 
Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) database system, 
between 2002 and 2009, there were an average of 11 fatalities and 126 
injuries (ranging in severity) per year on U.S. flag SOLAS vessels that 
could be prevented or mitigated by this rulemaking. These form the 
baseline for this final rule. Likewise, pollution from incidents 
involving U.S. flag SOLAS vessels resulted in an annual average of 
285,152 gallons of oil spilled per year that are also part of the 
baseline damages that could be prevented or otherwise mitigated by this 
rulemaking. Table 4 summarizes the annual damages associated with 
fatalities, injuries, and oil spills for U.S. flag SOLAS vessels.
    These estimates do not include quantified measures of secondary 
impacts that result from vessel accidents.

   Table 4--Annual Baseline of Fatalities, Industries, Oil Spills, and
                       Property Damage (2002-2009)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Impact                               SOLAS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fatalities.............................  11.
Injuries...............................  126.
Oil Spills.............................  169.
Amount of Oil Spilled..................  285,152 gallons.
Property Damage........................  $25.7 million.
Congestion and Delays..................  Not quantified.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The training, sea service and QSS provisions of the final rule 
would most likely reduce the risk of accident-related consequences such 
as fatalities, injuries, and pollution. Estimating the precise 
reduction in risk from improved training and sea service requirements 
is difficult given existing information. We found limited information 
on how STCW, or other competency-based marine transportation training, 
quantitatively increases marine safety by reducing the risk of 
accidents.
    We did find research conducted for other industries on the impact 
of training programs on outcomes and behaviors. This research found a 
wide range of potential reductions in risk: from a low of no impact to 
a high of approximately 87 percent. See the ``Regulatory Analysis and 
Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis'' report available in the docket 
for more information. No additional data or updates to estimates were 
received as part of public comments.
    If the annual costs of $28.1 million we estimate for the cost of 
training and sea

[[Page 77878]]

service requirements (exclusive of the QSS training provider and the 
medical examination requirements) are compared against the accident-
related baseline damages for SOLAS vessels including fatalities, 
injuries, property damage and oil spilled, this final rule would have 
to reduce damages by 23 percent to reach break even. Using the cost of 
training and sea service requirements, if only fatalities are 
considered, the final rule would need to prevent approximately 4.5 
fatalities per year to break even, out of about 11 total fatalities per 
year on SOLAS vessels. Accident-related fatalities represent 
approximately 20 percent of the total baseline damages.
    The annualized cost of the training and sea service requirements 
(exclusive of the QSS training provider and the medical examination 
requirements) is approximately $28.1 million per year at a 7-percent 
discount rate (See Table 2 for a summary of annualized costs by 
requirement category). Based on the distribution of potential risk 
reduction derived from the studies described above applied to the 
baseline consequences of accident-related damages for U.S. flag, SOLAS 
vessels, we estimate the discounted, annualized benefits of this final 
rule could be about $24.3 million, with a range of $23.7 million to 
$29.4 million.
    The medical examination requirements will also reduce risk, both 
for fatalities due to medical conditions and for accident-related 
fatalities and oil spills. The incapacitation of mariners on vessels 
due to undiagnosed and untreated medical and/or physical conditions 
could contribute to vessel mishaps and associated public safety risks. 
Data from the trucking industry indicate that certain medical 
conditions can increase the risk of accidents. For example, truck 
drivers with diabetes have a 19 percent higher risk of causing an 
accident. Similarly, drivers with cardio-vascular disease have a 43 
percent greater risk of causing an accident.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ Source: Final Rule Regulatory Evaluation, ``Medical 
Certification Requirements as Part of the Commercial Driver's 
License,'' Final Rule, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 
July 2008 (FMCSA-1997-2210-0211.1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    More frequent medical exams can help ensure that medical conditions 
that could impair performance and increase the risk of an incident are 
identified earlier, thus increasing opportunities to treat the 
condition and reducing the chances that uncontrolled symptoms and side-
effects could cause decreased performance and increased risk of 
accidents.
    The annual costs of the medical-related requirements are 
approximately $3.99 million at a 7-percent discount rate. If we compare 
this cost with the damages associated with the five fatalities related 
to medical conditions, this final rule would need to result in a 12.7 
percent reduction in risk to break even.
    To summarize, we estimate the monetized annualized costs of this 
final rule to be about $32.6 million (at a 7-percent discount rate). 
However, we believe that this may likely be a high cost estimate as 
this final rule provides flexibility in choosing alternative methods of 
demonstrating competency if these are more cost effective to the 
mariners, owners and operators.
    We considered five alternatives to this final rule:
     Alternative 1: Maintain the current STCW Convention 
interim rule.
     Alternative 2: Implement the NPRM-proposed requirements.
     Alternative 3: Implement the SNPRM STCW-related proposed 
requirements only.
     Alternative 4: Implement NPRM with a separate rulemaking 
for 2010 STCW amendments.
     Alternative 5: Implement the SNPRM.
    The first alternative is not feasible as it would not meet all U.S. 
responsibilities as a party to the Convention. The second alternative 
would partially meet U.S. responsibility, but would not implement the 
2010 STCW amendments. The third alternative would meet the U.S. 
responsibilities under the STCW Convention, but would not provide 
clarifications and modification to national endorsements for which 
costs are minimal. The fourth alternative would not have met U.S. STCW 
responsibilities. The fifth alternative would not incorporate any 
comments, feedback, and concerns received from the public as a result 
of the SNPRM. Public comments helped the Coast Guard reorganize and 
clarify certain STCW and non-STCW provisions of the SNPRM and led this 
final rule to be more efficient.
    The ``Regulatory Analysis and Final Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis'' report available on the docket provides additional detail on 
the alternatives, costs, and benefits of this rulemaking.
    At this time, based on available information, we expect that this 
rulemaking will not be economically significant under Executive Order 
12866 (e.g., have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or 
more).

B. Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have 
considered whether this final rule will have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. The term ``small 
entities'' comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations 
that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their 
fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 
50,000.
    A Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis discussing the impact of 
this final rule on small entities is available in the docket where 
indicated under ADDRESSES.
    This final rule will directly regulate mariners and training 
providers. Individuals, such as the mariners regulated by this final 
rule are not small entities under the definition of a small entity in 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).
    This final rule includes audit and quality system requirements for 
training providers. Based on Coast Guard data, approximately 84 percent 
of the STCW training providers that are affected by this final rule are 
small by the (SBA) size standards.
    While we do not expect training providers to offer new training 
programs unless it is beneficial to their business model, we have 
estimated the impact of this final rule to training providers as if 
they would not pass any of their costs to mariners. Therefore, the 
revenue impacts to the small training providers discussed below may be 
overestimates.
    We found that this final rule will have a significant economic 
impact (more than 1 percent impact on revenue) on 62 percent of small 
training providers in the first year they implement QSS requirements. 
After the first year of implementation, we found that this final rule 
will have a significant economic impact on 29 percent of small training 
providers.
    In response to comments from the public, the Coast Guard has 
delayed implementation of the QSS requirements to January 1, 2017. This 
will delay the cost impact of QSS requirements to training providers 
and provide additional time for compliance. The impacts discussed above 
are not based on discounted present value costs and do not account for 
the additional time for compliance.
    This final rule does not directly require companies or maritime 
employers to pay for the final training requirements for affected 
mariners. However, we acknowledge that some marine employers fund 
training and

[[Page 77879]]

might be indirectly impacted. In recognition of this possibility, we 
analyzed impacts on small entities to include a sensitivity analysis 
showing the impact of additional training costs on employers of 
mariners. We provided this analysis in the Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis for the SNPRM and summarized it in Final 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for this rule.
    Based on this sensitivity analysis, we found that about 80 percent 
of the vessel owners and operators affected by this final rule will be 
small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Small 
Business Administration (SBA) size standards. We estimate that this 
final rule will have a more than 1 percent cost impact on annual 
revenue for 69 to 83 percent of the small vessel owners and operators 
affected by this rulemaking, depending on the year.
    However, under this final rule, the Coast Guard will accept 
various, flexible methods for demonstrating competence that will reduce 
the costs of training requirements, a potential cost relief to maritime 
employers that fund training.

C. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement 
Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small 
entities in understanding this final rule so that they can better 
evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If this 
final rule would affect your small business, organization, or 
governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its 
provisions or options for compliance, please consult Ms. Zoe Goss, 
Maritime Personnel Qualifications Division, Coast Guard; telephone 202-
372-1425. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities 
that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of 
the Coast Guard.
    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal 
employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal 
regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory 
Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory 
Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and 
rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to 
comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR 
(1-888-734-3247).

D. Collection of Information

    This final rule calls for modifications to collections of 
information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-
3520). It modifies two existing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
Collections of Information: OMB Control Number 1625-0028, ``Course 
Approvals for Merchant Marine Training Schools;'' and OMB Control 
Number 1625-0079, ``Standards of Training, Certification and 
Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1995 and 1997 Amendments to the 
International Convention.''
    As defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(c), ``collection of information'' 
comprises reporting, recordkeeping, monitoring, posting, labeling, and 
other, similar actions. The title and description of the information 
collections, a description of those who must collect the information, 
and an estimate of the total annual burden follow. The estimate covers 
the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing sources of 
data, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and 
reviewing the collection.
    This final rule adds to recordkeeping requirements of training 
providers and credentialed merchant mariners.
    Title: Course Approval and Records for Merchant Mariner Training 
Schools.
    OMB Control Number: 1625-0028.
    Title 46 United States Code (U.S.C.) 7315 authorizes a license or 
document applicant to substitute the completion of an approved course 
for a portion of the required sea service. 46 CFR 10.402 specifies the 
information that must be submitted for the Coast Guard to evaluate and 
approve each course. 46 CFR 10.403 specifies recordkeeping requirements 
that a school teaching approved courses must meet for each student 
taking each course.
    Under this final rule, training providers who teach STCW Convention 
courses will: (1) Develop and maintain a QSS, including writing and 
maintaining a QSS manual; (2) Undergo an internal audit and undergo an 
external audit every 5 years and keep the audit records for Coast Guard 
inspection as needed; and (3) Store student course records for an 
additional 4 years.
    Since training providers are currently required to store student 
records for 1 year and many of them store records for several years 
more, the burden of the new requirement that will extend recordkeeping 
from 1 year to 5 years is small.
    Summary of the Collection of Information: A licensed mariner is 
authorized to substitute the completion of an approved course for a 
portion of the required sea service. Training providers must submit 
specific information to the Coast Guard to evaluate and approve each 
course.
    This final rule will require training providers to write and 
maintain a QSS manual and arrange two internal audits of STCW 
Convention courses within 5 years.
    Need for Information: The information is necessary to show evidence 
that training providers meet the minimum quality standards and 
recordkeeping requirements for each course established by the IMO.
    Proposed Use of Information: The Coast Guard will use this 
information to document that the training level of mariners meets 
international requirements.
    Description of the Respondents: The respondents are the mariner 
training schools that will be required to complete form CG-719B.
    Number of Respondents: According to the Coast Guard National 
Maritime Center (NMC), there are approximately 285 training schools. 
However, only 141 training providers teach STCW courses. The number of 
respondents is 141 STCW training providers in the first year and 
recurring annually.
    Frequency of Response: Respondents are required to write a QSS 
manual in the first year and modify it as needed. They will also 
arrange internal audits on their STCW courses every two and a half 
years.
    Burden of Response: Writing a QSS manual will take a training 
provider approximately 206 hours in the first year (205 hours for 
reporting and 1 hour for recordkeeping), and modifying it will take 9 
hours every year (8 hours for reporting and 1 hour recordkeeping). We 
estimate that it will take 10 hours for each respondent to complete an 
internal audit twice every 5 years (9 hours for reporting and 1 hour 
for recordkeeping) or approximately 4 hours per year.
    Estimate of Total Annual Burden: The existing OMB-approved total 
annual burden, as adjusted in May 2012, is 97,260 hours. This rule will 
increase the burden for 141 training providers by approximately 225 
hours each. The total additional hours requested for this rulemaking is 
30,879 [141 x (206 + 9 + 4)]. The new annual burden for the first year 
is 29,046 hours and about 1,833 hours each year after the first year.
    Title: Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for 
Seafarers (STCW), 1995 and 1997 Amendments to the International 
Convention.
    OMB Control Number: 1625-0079.
    The International Convention for Standards of Training, 
Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) sets qualifications 
for masters, officers and watchkeeping personnel on seagoing merchant 
ships. The United States is a signatory to these conventions, which

[[Page 77880]]

define standards of competence necessary to protect safety of life at 
sea and the marine environment and address the responsibilities of all 
State-Parties to ensure seafarers meet defined standards of competence 
and quality. The information collection requirements are necessary to 
implement the amendments to this important international convention.
    This final rule makes three changes that impact this collection. 
This final regulation will: (1) Change the medical exam requirements 
for STCW credentialed mariners from once every 5 years to once every 2 
years; (2) require documented evidence of security training or 
awareness for 2 groups of mariners--personnel with security duties 
(except vessel security officers) and all other mariners working aboard 
a vessel; and (3) recognize STCW endorsements issued by foreign 
governments.
    To comply with changes in medical examination requirements, 
mariners will be required to submit a CG-719K form as filled out by a 
physician. To comply with security training or awareness for personnel, 
vessel owners/operators will need to provide documentary evidence that 
personnel with security duties other than VSOs meet requirements set 
forth in 33 CFR 104.220, and provide documentary evidence of meeting 
the requirements of 33 CFR 104.225 for all other personnel working on a 
vessel. Additionally, this final rule allows for the recognition of 
STCW endorsements issued by foreign governments if proper documentation 
is submitted by a vessel owner/operator.
    Summary of the Collection of Information: The STCW Convention sets 
qualifications for mariners on seagoing merchant ships. As a signatory 
party, the United States must collect information to document that 
requirements described in this important international treaty are being 
met.
    This final rule, which adopts 2010 amendments to the STCW 
convention, requires STCW mariners to provide documentation of a 
medical exam occurring once every two years; establishes the need for 
documentary evidence certifying security training or awareness for 
personnel; and provides the means to recognize STCW endorsements issued 
by foreign governments.
    Need for Information: The collection of information is needed to 
ensure that mariners have completed training and medical assessment 
necessary to receive STCW certification or endorsement. Collection of 
information is also needed to demonstrate to the International Maritime 
Organization that the United States has in place certain specific 
regulations that implement the international requirements and related 
amendments to the STCW convention.
    Proposed Use of Information: The information collected will help to 
ensure compliance with international requirements and to maintain 
acceptable quality in activities associated with training and 
assessment of merchant mariners.
    Description of the Respondents: The respondents will be merchant 
mariners holding STCW endorsements who need to update their medical 
records with the NMC, and the vessel owner/operators employing STCW 
endorsed mariners.
    Number of Respondents: According to Coast Guard NMC data, an 
estimated 60,000 merchant mariners hold STCW endorsements. Of those 
mariners, approximately 12,000 submit medical examination forms each 
year. Since this final rule requires medical exams every 2 years, 
approximately 18,000 additional mariners will need to respond each 
year.
    This final rule will also require employers of STCW endorsed 
mariners to submit documentary evidence of security training or 
awareness. Approximately 316 employers will need to submit this one-
time requirement for 23,413 mariners--12,020 mariners who fall under 33 
CFR 104.220 and 11,393 mariners who fall under 33 CFR 104.225.
    Additionally, approximately 105 owner/operators and approximately 
1,800 mariners holding STCW endorsements issued by foreign governments 
will need to respond.
    Frequency of Response: For medical examination requirements, 
mariners will need to respond every two years. We will assume half of 
the mariner population would respond annually. For security training or 
knowledge, mariners will need to make a one-time response that includes 
the proof of meeting the requirement. Credentials for mariners holding 
foreign-issue STCW endorsements are valid for 5 years and response will 
be once every 5 years.
    Burden of Response: For medical examinations, the mariner will take 
approximately 20 minutes to complete form CG-719K and another 5 minutes 
to submit that form. Total response burden will be approximately 25 
minutes.
    For personnel with security training, we estimate it will take 
employers 15 minutes per mariner to provide documentary evidence of 
security training or awareness.
    For mariners with STCW endorsements issued by foreign governments, 
filling out form CG-719B takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.
    Estimate of Total Annual Burden: For medical examinations, existing 
OMB-approved total annual burden, as adjusted in January 2013, is 
17,927 hours. This rule will increase the annual burden by 7,950 hours 
(7,500 hours for medical exams plus 450 hours for foreign-issued STCW 
endorsements). Additionally, this final rule will impose a one-time 
burden of 5,853 hours on owner/operators to provide documentary 
evidence of training.
    This final rule will increase the annual burden on 18,000 
respondents submitting medical examination forms by approximately 25 
minutes each. A total of 7,500 additional hours is requested for this 
rulemaking [18,000 x (25/60)]. For the approximately 1,800 mariners 
holding STCW endorsements issued by foreign governments, this final 
rule will increase the annual burden by approximately 15 minutes each. 
The total additional hours requested for this rulemaking is 450 [1,800 
x (15/60)]. For other personnel with security training or awareness, 
this one-time requirement will impose a burden on 316 respondents of 15 
minutes each, or approximately 5,853 hours [23,413 mariners x (15/60)].
    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3507(d)), we submitted a copy of this final rule to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for its review of the collection of 
information.
    You are not required to respond to a collection of information 
unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

E. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, 
Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the 
relationship between the national government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government. We have analyzed this final rule under that Order and have 
determined that it does not have implications for federalism.
    It is well settled that States may not regulate in categories 
reserved for regulation by the Coast Guard. It is also well settled 
that all of the categories covered in 46 U.S.C. 3306, 3703, 7101, and 
8101 (design, construction, alteration, repair, maintenance, operation, 
equipping, personnel qualification, and manning of vessels), as well as 
the reporting of casualties and any other category in which Congress 
intended the Coast Guard to be the sole source of a vessel's 
obligations, are

[[Page 77881]]

within the field foreclosed from regulation by the States. (See the 
decision of the Supreme Court in the consolidated cases of United 
States v. Locke and Intertanko v. Locke, 529 U.S. 89, 120 S.Ct. 1135 
(March 6, 2000).)
    In United States v. Locke, the Supreme Court referenced the STCW 
Convention as evidence that such areas are exclusively Federal, 
stating: ``That training is a field reserved to the Federal Government 
is further confirmed by the circumstance that the STCW Convention 
addresses crew `training' and `qualification' requirements, and that 
the United States has enacted crew training regulations.'' United 
States v. Locke and Intertanko v. Locke, 529 U.S. 89, 120 S.Ct. 1135 
(March 6, 2000). This rule addresses the training and credentialing of 
mariners and would impact manning of vessels, areas reserved for 
regulation by the Coast Guard. Because the States may not regulate 
within these categories, this rule does not affect the relationship 
between the national government and the States, or the distribution of 
power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    This rule would not extend Federal jurisdiction into those areas of 
pilotage that are reserved to the States in 46 U.S.C. 8501. Section 
8501 provides for State regulation of pilots in the bays, rivers, 
harbors, and ports of the U.S. unless the law specifies otherwise.

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) 
requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary 
regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may 
result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for 
inflation) or more in any one year. This final rule will not result in 
such an expenditure; however, we discuss the economic effects of this 
final rule elsewhere in this preamble.

G. Taking of Private Property

    This final rule will not cause a taking of private property or 
otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, 
Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected 
Property Rights.

H. Civil Justice Reform

    This final rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 
3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize 
litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

I. Protection of Children

    We have analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13045, 
Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety 
Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and does not 
create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might 
disproportionately affect children.

J. Indian Tribal Governments

    This final rule does not have tribal implications under Executive 
Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal 
Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on 
one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal 
Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

K. Energy Effects

    We have analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13211, 
Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a ``significant 
energy action'' under that order. Though it is a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, it is not likely to 
have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use 
of energy. The Administrator of the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy 
action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects 
under Executive Order 13211.

L. Technical Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 
U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards 
in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, 
through the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why 
using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or 
otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or 
operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management 
systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus 
standards bodies.
    This final rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did 
not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

M. Environment

    We have analyzed this final rule under Department of Homeland 
Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction 
M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and have 
concluded that this action is one of a category of actions that do not 
individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human 
environment. This rule is categorically excluded under section 2.B.2, 
figure 2-1, paragraph (34) (a) and (c) of the Instruction. This rule 
involves the credentialing of mariners to meet IMO standards. An 
environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion 
determination are available in the docket where indicated under 
ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects

46 CFR Part 1

    Administrative practice and procedure, Organization and functions 
(Government agencies), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

46 CFR Part 10

    Incorporation by reference, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Schools, Seamen.

46 CFR Part 11

    Incorporation by reference, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Schools, Seamen, Transportation Worker Identification 
Card.

46 CFR Part 12

    Incorporation by reference, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Seamen.

46 CFR Part 13

    Incorporation by reference, Cargo vessels, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Seamen.

46 CFR Part 14

    Oceanographic research vessels, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Seamen.

46 CFR Part 15

    Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Seamen, Vessels.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 
46 CFR parts 1, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 as follows:

[[Page 77882]]

PART 1--ORGANIZATION, GENERAL COURSE AND METHODS GOVERNING MARINE 
SAFETY FUNCTIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 552; 14 U.S.C. 633; 46 U.S.C. 7701; 46 
U.S.C. Chapter 93; Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135; Department of 
Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1; Sec.  1.01-35 also issued 
under the authority of 44 U.S.C. 3507.


Sec.  1.01-10  [Amended]

0
2. In Sec.  1.01-10(d)(1)(ii)(D), after the words ``under technical 
control of the'', remove the words ``Director of Inspections and 
Compliance (CG-5PC),'' and add, in their place, the words ``Director of 
Prevention Policy (CG-5P), and subject to the policy and guidance of 
the Office of Vessel Activities (CG-CVC),''.


Sec.  1.01-15  [Amended]

0
3. In Sec.  1.01-15(d), after the words ``same authority as an OCMI'', 
add the words ``, subject to the policy and guidance of the Office of 
Vessel Activities (CG-CVC),''.


Sec.  1.03-40  [Amended]

0
4. In Sec.  1.03-40, after the words ``make a formal appeal of that 
decision or action'', remove the text ``, via the NMC,''.

PART 10--MERCHANT MARINER CREDENTIAL

0
5. Revise the authority citation for part 10 to read as follows:

    Authority:  14 U.S.C. 633; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 46 U.S.C. 2101, 2103, 
2110; 46 U.S.C. chapter 71; 46 U.S.C. chapter 73; 46 U.S.C. chapter 
75; 46 U.S.C. 2104; 46 U.S.C. 7701, 8903, 8904, and 70105; Executive 
Order 10173; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.


0
6. Amend Sec.  10.101 as follows:
0
a. Revise the heading of Sec.  10.101 to read as set forth below;
0
b. In paragraph (b), remove the word ``their'' and add, in its place, 
the words ``his or her''; and
0
c. In paragraph (d), remove the words ``holder of'' and add, in their 
place, the words ``applicant for''.


Sec.  10.101  Purpose.

* * * * *


Sec.  10.103  [Amended]

0
7. Amend Sec.  10.103 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (b)(1), remove ``STCW--'' and the year ``1995''; after 
the word ``amended'' add ``, 2011''; and after the words 
``incorporation by reference approved for Sec. Sec.  10.107, 10.109,'' 
remove the section number ``and10.231'' and add, in its place, the 
section numbers ``10.201, and 10.410''; and
0
b. In paragraph (b)(2), after the word ``amended'' remove the year 
``1995'' and add, in its place, ``, 2011''; and after the words 
``incorporation by reference approved for Sec. Sec.  10.107, 10.109,'' 
remove the section numbers ``10.227, and 10.231'' and add, in their 
place, the section numbers ``10.201, 10.404, 10.411, and 10.412''.

0
8. Revise Sec.  10.107 to read as follows:


Sec.  10.107  Definitions in subchapter B.

    (a) With respect to part 16 of this subchapter only, if the 
definitions in paragraph (b) of this section differ from those set 
forth in Sec.  16.105, the definition set forth in Sec.  16.105 
applies.
    (b) As used in this subchapter, the following terms apply only to 
merchant marine personnel credentialing and the manning of vessels 
subject to the manning provisions in the navigation and shipping laws 
of the United States:
    Able seafarer-deck means a rating qualified in accordance with the 
provisions of Regulation II/5 of the STCW Convention.
    Able seafarer-engine means a rating qualified in accordance with 
the provisions of Regulation III/5 of the STCW Convention.
    Apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels means a credentialed 
mariner in training to perform bridge watchkeeping duties onboard a 
towing vessel, who must be under the direct supervision and in the 
continuous presence of a master or mate (pilot) of towing vessels.
    Approved means approved by the Coast Guard.
    Approved training means training that is approved by the Coast 
Guard or meets the requirements of Sec.  10.408 of this part.
    Articulated tug barge or ATB means any tug-barge combination which, 
through the use of an articulated or ``hinged'' connection system 
between the tug and barge, allows independent movement in the critical 
area of fore and aft pitch.
    Assistance towing means towing a disabled vessel for consideration.
    Assistant engineer, for national endorsements, means a qualified 
officer in the engine department other than the chief engineer.
    Authorized official includes, but is not limited to, a Federal, 
State or local law enforcement officer.
    Ballast control operator or BCO means an officer restricted to 
service on mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) whose duties involve 
the operation of the complex ballast system found on many MODUs. When 
assigned to a MODU, a ballast control operator is equivalent to a mate 
on a conventional vessel.
    Barge means a non-self propelled vessel as defined in 46 U.S.C 102.
    Barge supervisor or BS means an officer restricted to service on 
MODUs whose duties involve support to the offshore installation manager 
(OIM) in marine-related matters including, but not limited to, 
maintaining watertight integrity, inspecting and maintaining mooring 
and towing components, and maintaining emergency and other marine-
related equipment. A barge supervisor, when assigned to a MODU, is 
equivalent to a mate on a conventional vessel.
    Boatswain means the leading seaman and immediate supervisor of deck 
crew who supervises the maintenance of deck gear.
    Boundary line marks the dividing point between internal and 
offshore waters for the purposes of several U.S. statutes and, with 
exceptions, generally follows the trend of the seaward, highwater 
shorelines. See 46 CFR part 7.
    Cargo engineer means a person holding an officer endorsement on a 
dangerous-liquid tankship or a liquefied-gas tankship whose primary 
responsibility is maintaining the cargo system and cargo-handling 
equipment.
    Ceremonial license means a document that reflects a mariner's 
existing national officer endorsement and is suitable for framing, but 
is not valid for use as a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC).
    Chemical tanker means a tank vessel that is certificated to carry 
or carries chemicals in bulk as cargo or cargo residue. For the 
purposes of qualifying for an STCW endorsement for advanced chemical 
tanker cargo operations, this includes tank barges.
    Chief engineer means the senior engineer responsible for the 
mechanical propulsion and the operation and maintenance of the 
mechanical and electrical installations of the vessel.
    Chief mate means the deck officer next in rank to the master and 
upon whom the command of the vessel will fall in the event of 
incapacity of the master.
    Coast Guard-accepted means--
    (1) That the Coast Guard has officially acknowledged in writing 
that the material or process at issue meets the applicable 
requirements;
    (2) That the Coast Guard has issued an official policy statement 
listing or describing the material or process as meeting the applicable 
requirements; or
    (3) That an entity acting on behalf of the Coast Guard under a 
Memorandum of Agreement has determined that the

[[Page 77883]]

material or process meets the applicable requirements.
    Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization means an entity that has been 
approved by the Coast Guard to accept and monitor training on behalf of 
the Coast Guard.
    Coastwise seagoing vessel means a vessel that is authorized by its 
Certificate of Inspection to proceed beyond the Boundary Line 
established in part 7 of this chapter.
    Coastwise voyage is a domestic voyage and means a voyage in which a 
vessel proceeds--
    (1) From one port or place in the United States to another port or 
place in the United States;
    (2) From a port or place in a United States possession to another 
port or place in the same possession, and passes outside the line 
dividing inland waters from the high seas; or
    (3) From a port or place in the United States or its possessions 
and passes outside the line dividing inland waters from the high seas 
and navigates on the high seas, and then returns to the same port or 
place.
    Communicable disease means any disease capable of being transmitted 
from one person to another directly, by contact with excreta or other 
discharges from the body; or indirectly, via substances or inanimate 
objects contaminated with excreta or other discharges from an infected 
person. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 12113, the Department of Health and Human 
Services periodically publishes in the Federal Register a list of 
infectious and communicable diseases that are transmissible through the 
food supply, and that list provides examples of communicable diseases 
for purposes of Sec.  10.304 of this title.
    Conviction means that the applicant for a merchant mariner 
credential has been found guilty, by judgment or plea by a court of 
record of the United States, the District of Columbia, any State, 
territory, or possession of the United States, a foreign country, or 
any military court, of a criminal felony or misdemeanor or of an 
offense described in section 205 of the National Driver Register Act of 
1982, as amended (49 U.S.C. 30304). If an applicant pleads guilty or no 
contest, is granted deferred adjudication, or is required by the court 
to attend classes, make contributions of time or money, receive 
treatment, submit to any manner of probation or supervision, or forgo 
appeal of a trial court's conviction, then the Coast Guard will 
consider the applicant to have received a conviction. A later 
expungement of the conviction will not negate a conviction unless the 
Coast Guard is satisfied that the expungement is based upon a showing 
that the court's earlier conviction was in error.
    Credential means any or all of the following:
    (1) Merchant mariner's document.
    (2) License.
    (3) STCW endorsement.
    (4) Certificate of registry.
    (5) Merchant Mariner Credential.
    Criminal record review means the process or action taken by the 
Coast Guard to determine whether an applicant for, or holder of, a 
credential is a safe and suitable person to be issued such a credential 
or to be employed on a vessel under the authority of such a credential.
    Dangerous drug means a narcotic drug, a controlled substance, or a 
controlled-substance analogue (as defined in section 102 of the 
Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act of 1970 (21 U.S.C. 802)).
    Dangerous liquid or DL means a liquid listed in 46 CFR 153.40 of 
this chapter that is not a liquefied gas as defined in this part. 
Liquid cargoes in bulk listed in 46 CFR part 153, Table 2, of this 
chapter are not dangerous-liquid cargoes when carried by non-oceangoing 
barges.
    Day means, for the purpose of complying with the service 
requirements of this subchapter, 8 hours of watchstanding or day-
working not to include overtime. On vessels authorized by 46 U.S.C. 
8104 and 46 CFR 15.705, to operate a two-watch system, a 12-hour 
working day may be creditable as 1 1/2 days of service. On vessels of 
less than 100 GRT, a day is considered as 8 hours unless the Coast 
Guard determines that the vessel's operating schedule makes this 
criteria inappropriate; in no case will this period be less than 4 
hours. When computing service on MODUs for any endorsement, a day of 
MODU service must be a minimum of 4 hours, and no additional credit is 
received for periods served over 8 hours. For cadet service on a 
training ship furnished by the Maritime Administration under 46 CFR 
310.4, a day may be creditable as 1\1/2\ days of service.
    Deck crew (excluding individuals serving under their officer 
endorsement) means, as used in 46 U.S.C. 8702, only the following 
members of the deck department: able seamen, boatswains, and ordinary 
seamen.
    Deck department means the department aboard a ship responsible for 
navigation, cargo, command, and control functions.
    Designated areas means those areas within pilotage waters for which 
first-class pilot's endorsements are issued under part 11, subpart G, 
of this chapter, by the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI). 
The areas for which first-class pilot's endorsements are issued within 
a particular Marine Inspection Zone and the specific requirements to 
obtain them may be obtained from the OCMI concerned.
    Designated duty engineer or DDE means a qualified engineer, who may 
be the sole engineer on vessels with a periodically unmanned engine 
room.
    Designated examiner or DE means a person who has been trained or 
instructed in techniques of training or assessment on towing vessels 
and is otherwise qualified to evaluate whether an applicant has 
achieved the level of proficiency required to hold a towing vessel 
endorsement on a merchant mariner credential (MMC). This person must be 
approved by the Coast Guard.
    Designated medical examiner means a licensed physician, licensed 
physician's assistant, or licensed nurse practitioner who has been 
trained and approved to conduct medical and physical examinations of 
merchant mariners on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard and may be 
delegated limited authority to grant waivers and approve physical/
medical suitability for service.
    Directly supervised/direct supervision (only when referring to 
issues related to tankermen) means being in the direct line of sight of 
the person-in-charge or maintaining direct, two-way communications by a 
convenient, reliable means, such as a predetermined working frequency 
over a handheld radio.
    Disabled vessel means a vessel that needs assistance, whether 
docked, moored, anchored, aground, adrift, or underway. This does not 
mean a barge or any other vessel not regularly operated under its own 
power.
    Document of Continuity means a document issued by the Coast Guard 
to seafarers who are unwilling or otherwise unable to meet the 
requirements of Sec.  10.227, for the sole purpose of maintaining an 
individual's eligibility for renewal of an endorsement.
    Domestic voyage means a voyage from one United States port to 
another United States port, without entering waters under the 
jurisdiction of another country unless the United States has entered 
into a treaty or an agreement with that country respecting mutual 
recognition of national mariner qualifications. This includes a voyage 
to nowhere that returns to the originating port.
    Drug test means a chemical test of an individual's urine for 
evidence of dangerous drug use.

[[Page 77884]]

    Dual-mode integrated tug barge means an integrated tug barge (ITB) 
involving an articulated (flexible) coupling system where the towing 
unit rolls and heaves (articulates) about a horizontal pivot point. 
Dual mode units resemble a conventional tug and are capable of towing 
in other configurations (astern or alongside).
    Electro-technical officer means an officer qualified in accordance 
with the provisions of Regulation III/6 of the STCW Convention.
    Electro-technical rating means a rating qualified in accordance 
with the provisions of Regulation III/7 of the STCW Convention.
    Employment assigned to means the total period of time a person is 
assigned to work on MODUs, including time spent ashore as part of 
normal crew rotation.
    Endorsement is a statement of a mariner's qualifications and, for 
the purposes of this chapter, includes only those endorsements listed 
in Sec.  10.109 of this part.
    Engine department means the department aboard a ship responsible 
for the main propulsion and auxiliary systems, and other mechanical, 
electrical, hydraulic, and refrigeration systems, including deck 
machinery and cargo-handling equipment.
    Entry-level mariner means a mariner holding no rating other than 
ordinary seaman, wiper, steward's department, or steward's department 
food handler (F.H.).
    Evaluation means processing an application, from the point of 
receipt to approval or denial of the application, including review of 
all documents and records submitted with an application as well as 
those obtained from public records and databases.
    Fails a chemical test for dangerous drugs means that the result of 
a chemical test conducted under 49 CFR part 40 was reported as 
``positive'' by a Medical Review Officer because the chemical test 
indicated the presence of a dangerous drug at a level equal to or 
exceeding the levels established in 49 CFR part 40.
    First assistant engineer means the engineer officer next in rank to 
the chief engineer and upon whom the responsibility for the mechanical 
propulsion and the operation and maintenance of the mechanical and 
electrical installations of the vessel will fall in the event of the 
incapacity of the chief engineer.
    Great Lakes, for the purpose of calculating service requirements 
for an endorsement, means the Great Lakes and their connecting and 
tributary waters, including the Calumet River as far as the Thomas J. 
O'Brien Lock and Controlling Works (between miles 326 and 327), the 
Chicago River as far as the east side of the Ashland Avenue Bridge 
(between miles 321 and 322), and the Saint Lawrence River as far east 
as the lower exit of Saint Lambert Lock. For purposes of requiring MMCs 
with rating endorsements, the connecting and tributary waters are not 
part of the Great Lakes.
    Gross register tons or GRT means the gross ton measurement of the 
vessel under 46 U.S.C. chapter 145, Regulatory Measurement.
    Gross tonnage or GT means the gross tonnage measurement of the 
vessel under 46 U.S.C. chapter 143, Convention Measurement.
    Harbor assist means the use of a towing vessel during maneuvers to 
dock, undock, moor, or unmoor a vessel, or to escort a vessel with 
limited maneuverability.
    High-speed craft type rating (HSC) means an endorsement for 
specific duty on a particular type and model of high-speed craft 
(compliant with the high-speed craft code).
    Horsepower or HP means, for the purpose of this subchapter, the 
total maximum continuous shaft horsepower of the entire vessel's main 
propulsion machinery as determined by the manufacturer. This term is 
used when describing a vessel's propulsion power and also when placing 
limitations on an engineer officer license or endorsement. One 
horsepower equals 0.75 kW.
    ILO means the International Labour Organization.
    IMO means the International Maritime Organization.
    Increase in scope means additional authority added to an existing 
credential, such as adding a new route or increasing the authorized 
horsepower or tonnage.
    Inland waters means the navigable waters of the United States 
shoreward of the Boundary Lines as described in part 7 of this chapter, 
excluding the Great Lakes, and, for towing vessels, excluding the 
Western Rivers.
    Integrated tug barge or ITB means any tug barge combination which, 
through the use of special design features or a specially designed 
connection system, has increased seakeeping capabilities relative to a 
tug and barge in the conventional pushing mode. An ITB can be divided 
into either a dual-mode ITB or a push-mode ITB. The definitions for 
those categories can be found elsewhere in this section.
    Invalid credential means an MMC, MMD, license, STCW endorsement, or 
Certificate of Registry that has been suspended or revoked, has 
expired, has been tampered with, has not been signed, or has been 
superseded in accordance with Sec.  10.205 of this part.
    ISM means the International Safety Management Code.
    Kilowatt or kW means 1\1/3\ horsepower. This term is used when 
describing a vessel's propulsion power and also when placing 
limitations on an engineer officer license or endorsement.
    Large passenger vessel, for the purposes of subpart H of part 12, 
and part 15, means a vessel of more than 70,000 gross tons, as measured 
under 46 U.S.C. 14302 and documented under the laws of the United 
States, with capacity for at least 2,000 passengers and a coastwise 
endorsement under 46 U.S.C. chapter 121.
    Lifeboatman means a mariner who is qualified to take charge of, 
lower, and operate survival craft and related survival equipment on a 
vessel.
    Lifeboatman-Limited means a mariner who is qualified to take charge 
of, lower, and operate liferafts, rescue boats, and other survival 
equipment on vessels where lifeboats are not installed.
    Liquefied gas or LG means a cargo that has a vapor pressure of 172 
kPa (25 psia) or more at 37.8[deg]C (100[emsp14][deg]F).
    Liquefied gas tanker means a tank vessel that is certificated to 
carry or carries liquefied gases in bulk as cargo or cargo residue. For 
the purposes of qualifying for an STCW endorsement for advanced 
liquefied gas tanker cargo operations, this includes tank barges.
    Liquid cargo in bulk means a liquid or liquefied gas listed in 
Sec.  153.40 of this chapter and carried as a liquid cargo or liquid-
cargo residue in integral, fixed, or portable tanks, except a liquid 
cargo carried in a portable tank actually loaded and discharged from a 
vessel with the contents intact.
    Management level means the level of responsibility associated 
with--
    (1) Serving as master, chief mate, chief engineer officer or second 
engineer officer onboard a seagoing ship; and
    (2) Ensuring that all functions within the designated area of 
responsibility are properly performed.
    Marine chemist means a person certificated by the National Fire 
Protection Association as a marine chemist.
    Master means the officer having command of a vessel.
    Mate means a qualified officer in the deck department other than 
the master.
    Medical Certificate means a certificate issued by the Coast Guard 
under 46 CFR part 10, subpart C that serves as proof that the seafarer 
meets the medical and physical standards for merchant mariners.
    Merchant Mariner Credential or MMC means a credential issued by the 
Coast

[[Page 77885]]

Guard under 46 CFR part 10. It combines the individual merchant 
mariner's document, license, and certificate of registry enumerated in 
46 U.S.C. subtitle II part E as well as the STCW endorsement into a 
single credential that serves as the mariner's qualification document, 
certificate of identification, and certificate of service.
    MMC application means the application for the MMC, as well as the 
application for any endorsement on an MMC.
    Mobile offshore drilling unit or MODU means a vessel capable of 
engaging in drilling operations for the exploration for or exploitation 
of subsea resources. MODU designs include the following:
    (1) Bottom bearing units, which include--
    (i) Self-elevating (or jack-up) units with moveable, bottom bearing 
legs capable of raising the hull above the surface of the sea; and
    (ii) Submersible units of ship-shape, barge-type, or novel hull 
design, other than a self-elevating unit, intended for operating while 
bottom bearing.
    (2) Surface units with a ship-shape or barge-type displacement hull 
of single or multiple hull construction intended for operating in a 
floating condition, including semi-submersibles and drill ships.
    Month means 30 days, for the purpose of complying with the service 
requirements of this subchapter.
    National Driver Register or NDR means the nationwide repository of 
information on drivers maintained by the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration under 49 U.S.C. chapter 303.
    National officer endorsement means an annotation on an MMC that 
allows a mariner to serve in the capacities listed in Sec.  10.109(a) 
of this part. The officer endorsement serves as the license and/or 
certificate of registry pursuant to 46 U.S.C. subtitle II part E.
    National rating endorsement means an annotation on an MMC that 
allows a mariner to serve in those capacities set out in Sec.  
10.109(b) and (c) of this part. The rating endorsement serves as the 
merchant mariner's document pursuant to 46 U.S.C. subtitle II part E.
    NDR-listed convictions means a conviction of any of the following 
motor vehicle-related offenses or comparable offenses:
    (1) Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of, or 
impaired by, alcohol or a controlled substance; or
    (2) A traffic violation arising in connection with a fatal traffic 
accident, reckless driving, or racing on the highways.
    Near-coastal means ocean waters not more than 200 miles offshore 
from the U.S. and its possessions, except for MMCs endorsed as Operator 
of Uninspected Passenger Vessel for which near-coastal is limited to 
waters not more than 100 miles offshore from the U.S. and its 
possessions. This would also include those near-coastal waters 
identified by another Administration when the U.S. has entered into a 
treaty or an agreement with that country respecting the recognition of 
the U.S. near-coastal endorsement.
    Non-resident alien, for the purposes of subchapter H of part 12, 
and part 15, means an individual who is not a citizen or alien lawfully 
admitted to the United States for permanent residence, but who is 
employable in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality 
Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), including an alien crewman described in 
section 101(a)(15)(D)(i) of that Act who meets the requirements of 46 
U.S.C. 8103(k)(3)(A).
    Oceans means the waters seaward of the Boundary Lines as described 
in 46 CFR part 7. For the purposes of establishing sea service credit, 
the waters of the Inside Passage between Puget Sound and Cape Spencer, 
Alaska, and the inland waters of another country are not considered 
oceans.
    Officer endorsement means an annotation on an MMC that allows a 
mariner to serve in the capacities listed in Sec.  10.109 of this part.
    Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection, or OCMI means, for the 
purposes of this subchapter, the commanding officer of the National 
Maritime Center, or any person designated as such by the Commandant, in 
accordance with 46 CFR 1.01-5(b).
    Officer in charge of an engineering watch in a manned engine room 
or designated duty engineer in a periodically unmanned engine room 
(OICEW) means an engineering officer qualified at the operational 
level.
    Officer in charge of a navigational watch (OICNW) means a deck 
officer qualified at the operational level.
    Offshore installation manager or OIM means an officer restricted to 
service on MODUs. An assigned offshore installation manager is 
equivalent to a master on a conventional vessel and is the person 
designated by the owner or operator to be in complete and ultimate 
command of the unit.
    Oil tanker means a tank vessel that is certificated to carry or 
carries oil in bulk as cargo or cargo residue. For the purposes of 
qualifying for an STCW endorsement for advanced oil tanker cargo 
operations, this includes tank barges.
    On location means that a mobile offshore drilling unit is bottom 
bearing or moored with anchors placed in the drilling configuration.
    Operate, operating, or operation (as applied to the manning 
requirements of vessels carrying passengers) refers to a vessel any 
time passengers are embarked whether the vessel is underway, at anchor, 
made fast to shore, or aground.
    Operational level means the level of responsibility associated 
with--
    (1) Serving as officer in charge of a navigational or engineering 
watch, or as designated duty engineer for periodically unmanned 
machinery spaces, or as radio operator onboard a seagoing ship; and
    (2) Maintaining direct control over the performance of all 
functions within the designated area of responsibility in accordance 
with proper procedures and under the direction of an individual serving 
in the management level for that area of responsibility.
    Orally assisted examination means an examination as described in 46 
CFR, part 11, subpart I of this subchapter administered orally and 
documented by a Coast Guard examiner.
    Overriding operational condition means circumstances in which 
essential shipboard work cannot be delayed due to safety or 
environmental reasons, or could not have reasonably been anticipated at 
the commencement of the voyage.
    Participation, when used with regard to the service on transfers 
required for tankerman by Sec. Sec.  13.120, 13.203, or 13.303 of this 
chapter, means either actual participation in the transfers or close 
observation of how the transfers are conducted and supervised.
    Passes a chemical test for dangerous drugs means that the result of 
a chemical test conducted according to 49 CFR part 40 is reported as 
``negative'' by a Medical Review Officer according to that part.
    Periodically unattended engine room means a space containing main 
propulsion and associated machinery and all sources of main electrical 
supply which is not at all times manned under all operating conditions, 
including maneuvering.
    PIC means a person in charge.
    Pilot of towing vessels means a qualified officer of a towing 
vessel operated only on inland routes.
    Pilotage waters means the navigable waters of the United States, 
including all inland waters and offshore waters to a distance of 3 
nautical miles from the baseline from which the Territorial Sea is 
measured.

[[Page 77886]]

    Practical demonstration means the performance of an activity under 
the direct observation of a designated examiner or qualified assessor 
for the purpose of establishing that the performer is sufficiently 
proficient in a practical skill to meet a specified standard of 
competence or other objective criterion.
    Propulsion power means the total maximum continuous-rated output 
power of the main propulsion machinery of a vessel determined by the 
manufacturer, in either kilowatts or horsepower, which appears on the 
ship's Certificate of Registry or other official document and excludes 
thrusters and other auxiliary machinery.
    Public vessel means a vessel that--
    (1) Is owned, or demise chartered, and operated by the United 
States Government or a government of a foreign country; and
    (2) Is not engaged in commercial service.
    Push-mode ITBs means those ITBs that involve a rigid coupling 
system and, when not coupled to the barge, are incapable of conducting 
towing in any other configuration (such as astern or alongside) 
because, by themselves, they have very limited seakeeping capability. 
The propelling unit moves as one with the barge unit.
    Qualified Assessor or QA means a person who is qualified to 
evaluate, for STCW endorsements, whether an applicant has demonstrated 
the necessary level of competence in the task for which the assessment 
is being made. This person must be individually approved by the Coast 
Guard.
    Qualified instructor means a person who has been trained in 
instructional techniques and is otherwise qualified to provide required 
training to candidates for an MMC endorsement. A faculty member 
employed at a State maritime academy or the U.S. Merchant Marine 
Academy operated under 46 CFR part 310 and instructing a course on 
merchant marine officer or rating knowledge, understanding, or 
proficiency requirements is qualified to serve as a qualified 
instructor in his or her area of specialization without individual 
evaluation by the Coast Guard.
    Qualified rating means various categories of able seaman, qualified 
member of the engine department, or tankerman endorsements issued on 
MMCs.
    Quality Standard System or QSS means a set of policies, procedures, 
processes, and data required to establish and fulfill the 
organization's objectives.
    Raise of grade means an increase in the level of authority and 
responsibility associated with an officer or rating endorsement, such 
as from mate to master or second assistant engineer to first assistant 
engineer.
    Rating endorsement is an annotation on an MMC that allows a mariner 
to serve in those capacities set out in Sec.  10.109 of this part.
    Regional examination center or REC means a field office of the 
National Maritime Center that receives and screens credential 
applications, conducts approved course oversight, and administers Coast 
Guard examinations as required by this subchapter.
    Rest means a period of time during which the person concerned is 
off duty, is not performing work (which includes administrative tasks 
such as chart correction or preparation of port-entry documents), and 
is allowed to sleep without interruption.
    Restricted tankerman endorsement means a valid tankerman 
endorsement on a merchant mariner credential restricting its holder as 
the Coast Guard deems appropriate. For instance, the endorsement may 
restrict the holder to one or a combination of the following: A 
specific cargo or cargoes; a specific vessel or vessels; a specific 
facility or facilities; a specific employer or employers; a specific 
activity or activities (such as loading or unloading in a cargo 
transfer); or a particular area of water.
    Rivers means a river, canal, or other similar body of water 
designated as such by the Coast Guard.
    Safe and suitable person means a person whose prior record, 
including but not limited to criminal record and/or NDR record, 
provides no information indicating that his or her character and habits 
of life would support the belief that permitting such a person to serve 
under the MMC and/or endorsement sought would clearly be a threat to 
the safety and security of life or property, detrimental to good 
discipline, or adverse to the interests of the United States. See 46 
CFR 10.211 and 10.213 for the regulations associated with this 
definition.
    Seagoing service means service onboard a ship/vessel relevant to 
the issue of a credential or other qualification.
    Seagoing vessel means a ship that operates beyond the boundary line 
specified in 46 CFR part 7.
    Second engineer officer means an engineer officer next in rank to 
the chief engineer officer and upon whom the responsibility for the 
mechanical propulsion and the operation and maintenance of the 
mechanical and electrical installations of the ship will fall in the 
event of the incapacity of the chief engineer officer.
    Self propelled has the same meaning as the terms ``propelled by 
machinery'' and ``mechanically propelled.'' This term includes vessels 
fitted with both sails and mechanical propulsion.
    Senior company official means the president, vice president, vice 
president for personnel, personnel director, or similarly titled or 
responsible individual, or another employee designated in writing by 
one of these individuals for the purpose of certifying employment.
    Service (as used when computing the required service for 
endorsements) means the time period, in days, a person is assigned to 
work. On MODUs, this excludes time spent ashore as part of crew 
rotation.
    Ship means a vessel using any mode of propulsion, including sail 
and auxiliary sail.
    Simulated transfer means a transfer practiced in a course meeting 
the requirements of Sec.  13.121 of this subchapter that uses 
simulation to meet part of the service on transfers required for 
tankerman by Sec. Sec.  13.203 or 13.303 of this subchapter.
    Staff officer means a person who holds an MMC with an officer 
endorsement listed in Sec.  10.109(a)(36) through (a)(43) of this part.
    Standard of competence means the level of proficiency to be 
achieved for the proper performance of duties onboard vessels according 
to national and international criteria.
    Steward's department means the department that includes 
entertainment personnel and all service personnel, including wait 
staff, housekeeping staff, and galley workers, as defined in the vessel 
security plan approved by the Secretary under 46 U.S.C. 70103(c). These 
personnel may also be referred to as members of the hotel department on 
a large passenger vessel.
    STCW means the International Convention on Standards of Training, 
Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  10.103 of this subpart).
    STCW Code means the Seafarers' Training, Certification and 
Watchkeeping Code (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  10.103 of this 
subpart).
    STCW endorsement means an annotation on an MMC that allows a 
mariner to serve in those capacities under Sec.  10.109(d) of this 
subpart. The STCW endorsement serves as evidence that a mariner has met 
the requirements of the STCW Convention.
    Support level means the level of responsibility associated with

[[Page 77887]]

performing assigned tasks, duties, or responsibilities onboard a 
seagoing ship under the direction of an individual serving in the 
operational or management level.
    Tank barge means a non-self-propelled tank vessel.
    Tank vessel means a vessel that is constructed or adapted to carry, 
or that carries, oil or hazardous material in bulk as cargo or cargo 
residue, and that--
    (1) Is a vessel of the United States;
    (2) Operates on the navigable waters of the United States; or
    (3) Transfers oil or hazardous material in a port or place subject 
to the jurisdiction of the United States.
    Tankerman assistant means a person holding a valid ``Tankerman-
Assistant'' endorsement on his or her MMC. See 46 CFR, part 13, subpart 
D.
    Tankerman engineer means a person holding a valid ``Tankerman-
Engineer'' endorsement on his or her MMC. See 46 CFR part 13, subpart 
E.
    Tankerman PIC means a person holding a valid ``Tankerman-PIC'' 
endorsement on his or her MMC. See 46 CFR part 13, subpart B.
    Tankerman PIC (Barge) means a person holding a valid ``Tankerman-
PIC (Barge)'' endorsement on his or her MMC. See 46 CFR part 13, 
subpart C.
    Tankship means any self-propelled tank vessel constructed or 
adapted primarily to carry oil or hazardous material in bulk as cargo 
or as cargo residue.
    Training program means a combination of training, practical 
assessment, and service which provides an individual with all or part 
of the necessary knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required for 
a specific qualification.
    Transfer means any movement of fuel, dangerous liquid, or liquefied 
gas as cargo in bulk or as cargo residue to or from a vessel by means 
of pumping, gravitation, or displacement.
    Transportation Worker Identification Credential or TWIC means an 
identification credential issued by the Transportation Security 
Administration under 49 CFR part 1572.
    Underway means that a vessel is not at anchor, made fast to the 
shore, or aground. When referring to a mobile offshore drilling unit 
(MODU), underway means that the MODU is not in an on-location or laid-
up status and includes that period of time when the MODU is deploying 
or recovering its mooring system.
    Undocumented vessel means a vessel not required to have a 
certificate of documentation issued under the laws of the United 
States.
    Unlimited means an annotation on an MMC authorizing service on 
vessels of any tonnage or any propulsion power.
    Vessel personnel with designated security duties means a person, 
excluding the designated security officer (e.g., Company Security 
Officer (CSO), as defined in 33 CFR chapter I, subchapter H, and Vessel 
Security Officer (VSO)), having specific security duties and 
responsibilities in accordance with the ship security plan.
    Vessel Security Officer (VSO) means a person onboard the vessel 
accountable to the Master and designated by the Company as responsible 
for security of the vessel, including implementation and maintenance of 
the Vessel's Security Plan, and for liaison with the Facility Security 
Officer and the vessel's Company Security Officer.
    Western Rivers means--
    (1) The Mississippi River;
    (2) The Mississippi River's tributaries, South Pass, and Southwest 
Pass, to the navigational demarcation lines dividing the high seas from 
harbors, rivers, and other inland waters of the United States;
    (3) The Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route;
    (4) That part of the Atchafalaya River above its junction with the 
Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route including the Old River and the 
Red River; and
    (5) Those waters specified in 33 CFR 89.25.
    Year means 360 days for the purpose of complying with the service 
requirements of this subchapter.


0
9. Revise Sec.  10.109 to read as follows:


Sec.  10.109  Classification of endorsements.

    (a) National officer endorsements. The following national officer 
endorsements are established in part 11 of this subchapter. The 
endorsements indicate that an individual holding a valid MMC with this 
endorsement is qualified to serve in that capacity and the endorsement 
has been issued under the requirements contained in part 11 of this 
subchapter:
    (1) Master.
    (2) Chief mate.
    (3) Second mate.
    (4) Third mate.
    (5) Mate.
    (6) Master of towing vessels.
    (7) Master of towing vessels, limited.
    (8) Mate (pilot) of towing vessels.
    (9) Apprentice mate (Steersman).
    (10) Apprentice mate (Steersman), limited.
    (11) Assistance towing.
    (12) Offshore installation manager (OIM).
    (13) Barge supervisor (BS).
    (14) Ballast control operator (BCO).
    (15) Operator of uninspected passenger vessels (OUPV).
    (16) Master of uninspected fishing industry vessels.
    (17) Mate of uninspected fishing industry vessels.
    (18) Master (OSV).
    (19) Chief mate (OSV).
    (20) Mate (OSV).
    (21) Chief engineer.
    (22) Chief engineer (limited).
    (23) First assistant engineer.
    (24) Second assistant engineer.
    (25) Third assistant engineer.
    (26) Assistant engineer (limited).
    (27) Designated duty engineer (DDE).
    (28) Chief engineer (OSV).
    (29) Assistant engineer (OSV).
    (30) Chief engineer MODU.
    (31) Assistant engineer MODU.
    (32) Chief engineer uninspected fishing industry vessels.
    (33) Assistant engineer uninspected fishing industry vessels.
    (34) Radio officer.
    (35) First-class pilot.
    (36) Chief purser.
    (37) Purser.
    (38) Senior assistant purser.
    (39) Junior assistant purser.
    (40) Medical doctor.
    (41) Professional nurse.
    (42) Marine physician assistant.
    (43) Hospital corpsman.
    (44) High-speed craft type rating.
    (45) Radar observer.
    (b) National rating endorsements. The following national rating 
endorsements are established in part 12 of this subchapter. The 
endorsements indicate that an individual holding a valid MMC with this 
endorsement is qualified to serve in that capacity and the endorsement 
has been issued under the requirements contained in part 12 of this 
subchapter:
    (1) Able seaman:
    (i) Unlimited;
    (ii) Limited;
    (iii) Special;
    (iv) Special (OSV);
    (v) Sail; and
    (vi) Fishing industry.
    (2) Ordinary seaman.
    (3) Qualified member of the engine department (QMED), including the 
following specialty endorsements:
    (i) Oiler;
    (ii) Fireman/Watertender;
    (iii) Junior engineer;
    (iv) Pumpman/Machinist; and
    (v) Electrician/Refrigerating engineer.
    (4) Lifeboatman.
    (5) Lifeboatman-Limited.
    (6) Wiper.
    (7) Steward's department.
    (8) Steward's department (F.H.).
    (9) Cadet (deck or engine).
    (10) Student observer.

[[Page 77888]]

    (11) Apprentice engineer.
    (12) Apprentice mate.
    (c) The following ratings are established in part 13 of this 
subchapter. The national endorsements indicate that an individual 
holding a valid MMC with this endorsement is qualified to serve in that 
capacity and the endorsement has been issued under the requirements 
contained in part 13 of this subchapter:
    (1) Tankerman-PIC.
    (2) Tankerman-PIC (Barge).
    (3) Restricted Tankerman-PIC.
    (4) Restricted Tankerman-PIC (Barge).
    (5) Tankerman assistant.
    (6) Tankerman engineer.
    (d) STCW endorsements. The following STCW endorsements are issued 
according to the STCW Convention, the STCW Code, and parts 11, 12, and 
13 of this subchapter. The endorsements indicate that an individual 
holding a valid MMC with this endorsement is qualified to serve in that 
capacity and the endorsement has been issued under the requirements 
contained in parts 11, 12 or 13 of this subchapter as well as the STCW 
Convention and STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  10.103 
of this subpart):
    (1) Master.
    (2) Chief mate.
    (3) Officer in charge of a navigational watch (OICNW).
    (4) Chief engineer officer.
    (5) Second engineer officer.
    (6) Officer in charge of an engineering watch in a manned 
engineroom or designated duty engineer in a periodically unmanned 
engineroom (OICEW).
    (7) Electro-technical officer (ETO).
    (8) Rating forming part of a navigational watch (RFPNW).
    (9) Able seafarer-deck.
    (10) Rating forming part of an engineering watch in a manned 
engineroom or designated to perform duties in a periodically unmanned 
engineroom (RFPEW).
    (11) Able seafarer-engine.
    (12) Electro-technical rating.
    (13) Basic training (BT).
    (14) Advanced firefighting.
    (15) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast 
rescue boats (PSC).
    (16) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast 
rescue boats--limited (PSC--limited).
    (17) Proficiency in fast rescue boats.
    (18) Person in charge of medical care.
    (19) Medical first-aid provider.
    (20) GMDSS at-sea maintainer.
    (21) GMDSS operator.
    (22) Advanced oil tanker cargo operation.
    (23) Advanced chemical tanker cargo operation.
    (24) Advanced liquefied gas tanker cargo operation.
    (25) Basic oil and chemical tanker cargo operation.
    (26) Basic liquefied gas tanker cargo operation.
    (27) Vessel Security Officer.
    (28) Vessel personnel with designated security duties.
    (29) Security awareness.
    (30) High-speed craft (HSC) type rating certificate.

Sec.  10.201  [Amended]

0
10. Amend Sec.  10.201 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a), remove the words ``incorporated by reference in 
Sec.  10.103'' and add, in their place, the words ``(incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  10.103 of this part)''; and
0
b. In paragraph (c), remove the words ``National Maritime Center or at 
any Regional Examination Center during usual business hours, or through 
the mail'' and add, in their place, the words ``Coast Guard''.

Sec.  10.205  [Amended]

0
11. Amend Sec.  10.205 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraph (a) to read as set forth below;
0
b. In paragraph (b), after the words ``All endorsements'', add the 
words ``, unless otherwise noted,'';
0
c. In paragraph (c), remove the word ``one'' and add, in its place, the 
numeral ``1'' and remove the text ``Sec.  10.227(f)'' and add, in its 
place, the text ``Sec.  10.227(h)'';
0
d. In paragraph (d), after the words ``in accordance with Sec.  
10.227'', add the words ``of this part''; and after the words ``becomes 
invalid'', add the words ``unless otherwise noted in paragraph (a) of 
this section''.
0
e. Remove paragraph (f), and redesignate paragraphs (g) and (h) as 
paragraphs (f) and (g), respectively; and
0
f. Add new paragraph (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  10.205  Validity of a merchant mariner credential.

    (a) An MMC is valid for a term of 5 years from the date of 
issuance. Except upon the written request for the immediate issuance by 
the applicant, the Coast Guard will post-date the issuance of an MMC 
renewal that includes no other transactions up to 8 months from the 
date that the Coast Guard accepts a complete application as required in 
this part. If the expiration date of the mariner's active credential is 
beyond 8 months of the date that the Coast Guard accepts a complete 
application as required in this part, the new credential issue date 
will be 8 months from the date of application acceptance at which time 
the currently active credential will become invalid in accordance with 
paragraph (d) of this section. Otherwise, the new credential issue 
validity date will coincide with the expiration date of the active 
credential held by the mariner. All other MMC transactions will be 
processed for immediate issuance.
* * * * *
    (h) When a Document of Continuity is replaced with an MMC re-issued 
in accordance with Sec.  10.227 of this part, the Document of 
Continuity that has been replaced becomes invalid. In the event that 
not all endorsements on a Document of Continuity are activated, a new 
Document of Continuity will be issued for the remaining endorsements.

Sec.  10.207  [Amended]

0
12. In Sec.  10.207, after the words ``a unique serial number,'', add 
the words ``called the mariner reference number,''.

0
13. Revise Sec.  10.209 to read as follows:


Sec.  10.209  General application procedures.

    (a) The applicant for an MMC, whether for an original, renewal, 
duplicate, raise of grade, or a new endorsement on a previously issued 
MMC, must establish that he or she satisfies all the requirements for 
the MMC and endorsement(s) sought before the Coast Guard will issue the 
MMC. This section contains the general requirements for all applicants. 
Additional requirements for duplicates, renewals, new endorsements, and 
raises of grade appear later in this part.
    (b) The Coast Guard may refuse to process an incomplete MMC 
application. The requirements for a complete application for an 
original MMC are contained in Sec.  10.225 of this part, the 
requirements for a renewal MMC application are contained in Sec.  
10.227 of this part, the requirements for a duplicate MMC application 
are contained in Sec.  10.229 of this part, and the requirements for an 
application for a new endorsement or raise of grade are contained in 
Sec.  10.231 of this part.
    (c) Applications are valid for 12 months from the date that the 
Coast Guard approves the application.
    (d) The application may be submitted in person, by mail, fax, or 
other electronic means. A complete MMC application, which is described 
in Sec. Sec.  10.225, 10.227, 10.229, and 10.231 may include--
    (1) The application, consent for National Driver Register (NDR) 
check, and notarized oath on Coast Guard-furnished forms, and the 
evaluation fee required by Sec.  10.219 of this part;
    (2) The applicant's continuous discharge book, certificate of

[[Page 77889]]

identification, MMD, MMC, license, STCW endorsement, Certificate of 
Registry (COR), or, if it has not expired, a photocopy of the 
credential, including the back and all attachments;
    (3) Proof, documented on CG-719K or CG-719K/E, as appropriate, that 
the applicant passed the applicable vision, hearing, medical, or 
physical exam as required by subpart C of this part, or an unexpired 
medical certificate issued by the Coast Guard;
    (4) Copies of course completion certificates or other evidence of 
course completion;
    (5) Evidence of sea service, or an accepted substitute for sea 
service, if required;
    (6) For an endorsement as a medical doctor or professional nurse as 
required in Sec.  11.807 of this subchapter, evidence that the 
applicant holds a currently valid, appropriate license as physician, 
surgeon, or registered nurse, issued under the authority of a state or 
territory of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the 
District of Columbia. Any MMC issued will retain any limitation 
associated with the medical license;
    (7) Any certificates or other supplementary materials required to 
show that the mariner meets the mandatory requirements for the specific 
endorsement sought, as established in parts 11, 12 or 13 of this 
subchapter; and
    (8) An open-book exercise, in accordance with Sec.  10.227(e)(1) of 
this part.
    (e) The following requirements must be satisfied before an original 
or renewal MMC, or new endorsement or a raise of grade added to a 
previously issued MMC, will be issued. These materials will be added to 
the individual's record by the Coast Guard:
    (1) Determination of safety and suitability. No MMC will be issued 
as an original or reissued with a new expiration date, and no new 
officer endorsement will be issued if the applicant fails the criminal 
record review as set forth in Sec.  10.211 of this part.
    (2) NDR review. No MMC will be issued as an original or reissued 
with a new expiration date, and no new officer endorsement will be 
issued if the applicant fails the NDR review as set forth in Sec.  
10.213 of this part.
    (3) Information supplied by the Transportation Security 
Administration (TSA). No MMC or endorsement will be issued until the 
Coast Guard receives the following information from the applicant's 
TWIC enrollment: the applicant's fingerprints, FBI number and criminal 
record (if applicable), photograph, proof of citizenship, or 
Nationality with proof of legal resident status (if applicable). If the 
information is not available from TSA, the mariner may be required to 
visit a Regional Exam Center or a TWIC enrollment center to provide 
this information.
    (f) Upon determining that the applicant satisfactorily meets all 
requirements for an MMC or an endorsement thereon, the Coast Guard will 
issue the properly endorsed MMC to the applicant. The Coast Guard will 
not issue an MMC until it has received proof that the mariner holds a 
valid TWIC.
    (g) When a new MMC is issued, the mariner must return any 
previously issued and unexpired MMC, license, MMD, COR, or STCW 
endorsement to the Coast Guard, unless the new MMC is being issued to 
replace a lost or stolen credential.
    (h) No MMC will be issued if the applicant fails a chemical test 
for dangerous drugs as required in Sec. Sec.  10.225(b)(5), 
10.227(d)(5), and 10.231(c)(6).
    (i) Ceremonial licenses. A mariner may obtain a ceremonial license 
when applying for his or her credential or Document of Continuity.


Sec.  10.211  [Amended]

0
14. Amend Sec.  10.211 as follows:
0
a. Remove the words ``table 10.211(g)'' wherever they appear and add, 
in their place, the words ``table 1 to Sec.  10.211'';
0
b. In paragraph (a)(1), after the words ``written disclosure of all'', 
add the word ``prior'';
0
c. In paragraph (d), remove the word ``disapproved'' and add, in its 
place, the word ``denied'';
0
d. In paragraph (e), remove the word ``disapproved'' and add, in its 
place, the word ``denied''; and remove the word ``disapproval'' and 
add, in its place, the word ``denial'';
0
e. In paragraph (g), after the words ``The Coast Guard will use table 
10.211(g)'', add the words ``of this section'';
0
f. In paragraphs (h) and (i), after the words ``table 10.211(g)'' 
wherever they appear, add the words ``of this section'';
0
g. In paragraph (j), remove the word ``their'' in the first sentence 
and add, in its place, the words ``his or her''; and remove the word 
``disapprove'' in the last sentence and add, in its place, the word 
``deny''; and
0
h. In paragraph (k), remove the word ``their'' in the first sentence 
and add, in its place, the words ``his or her''; and after the words 
``in table 10.211(g)'' wherever they appear, add the words ``of this 
section''.
0
15. Revise Sec.  10.213 to read as follows:


Sec.  10.213  National Driver Register.

    (a) No MMC will be issued as an original or reissued with a new 
expiration date, and no new officer endorsement will be issued, unless 
the applicant consents to a check of the NDR for offenses described in 
section 205(a)(3)(A) or (B) of the NDR Act (i.e., operation of a motor 
vehicle while under the influence of, or impaired by, alcohol or a 
controlled substance; and any traffic violations arising in connection 
with a fatal traffic accident, reckless driving, or racing on the 
highways).
    (b) The Coast Guard will not consider NDR-listed civil convictions 
that are more than 3 years old from the date of request unless that 
information relates to a current suspension or revocation of the 
applicant's license to operate a motor vehicle. The Coast Guard may 
determine minimum and maximum assessment periods for NDR-listed 
criminal convictions using table 10.213(c) of this section. An 
applicant conducting simultaneous MMC transactions is subject to only 
one NDR check.
    (c) The guidelines in table 1 to paragraph (c) will be used by the 
Coast Guard in evaluating applicants who have drug or alcohol related 
NDR-listed convictions. Non-drug or alcohol related NDR-listed 
convictions will be evaluated by the Coast Guard under table 1 to Sec.  
10.211 of this part as applicable. The Coast Guard may consider non-
drug or alcohol related NDR-listed convictions that are more than 3 
years old from the date of the request when the information relates to 
a current suspension or revocation of the applicant's license to 
operate a motor vehicle.

[[Page 77890]]



  Table 1 to Sec.   10.213(c)--Guidelines for Evaluating Applicants for
MMCs Who Have NDR Motor Vehicle Convictions Involving Dangerous Drugs or
                               Alcohol \1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Number of convictions      Date of conviction     Assessment period
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.........................  Less than 1 year.....  1 year from date of
                                                    conviction.
1.........................  More than 1, less      Application will be
                             than 3 years.          processed, unless
                                                    suspension, or
                                                    revocation \2\ is
                                                    still in effect.
                                                    Applicant will be
                                                    advised that
                                                    additional
                                                    conviction(s) may
                                                    jeopardize merchant
                                                    mariner credentials.
1.........................  More than 3 years old  Application will be
                                                    processed.
2 or more.................  Any less than 3 years  1 year since last
                             old.                   conviction and at
                                                    least 3 years from
                                                    2nd most recent
                                                    conviction, unless
                                                    suspension or
                                                    revocation is still
                                                    in effect.
2 or more.................  All more than 3 years  Application will be
                             old.                   processed unless
                                                    suspension or
                                                    revocation is still
                                                    in effect.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Any applicant who has ever been the user of, or addicted to the use
  of, a dangerous drug must meet the requirements of paragraph (f) of
  this section.
\2\ Suspension or revocation, when referred to in table 10.213, means a
  State suspension or revocation of a motor vehicle operator's license.

    (d) Any application may be denied if information from the NDR check 
leads the Coast Guard to determine that the applicant cannot be 
entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of the endorsement for 
which the application is made. If an application is denied, the Coast 
Guard will notify the applicant in writing of the reason(s) for denial 
and advise the applicant that the appeal procedures in subpart 1.03 of 
part 1 of this chapter apply. No examination will be given pending 
decision on appeal.
    (e) Before denying an application because of information received 
from the NDR, the Coast Guard will make the information available to 
the applicant for review and written comment. The applicant may submit 
records from the applicable State concerning driving record and 
convictions to the Coast Guard processing the application. The Coast 
Guard will hold an application with NDR-listed convictions pending the 
completion of the evaluation and delivery by the individual of the 
underlying State records.
    (f) If an applicant has one or more alcohol or dangerous drug-
related criminal or NDR-listed convictions, if the applicant has ever 
been the user of, or addicted to the use of, a dangerous drug, or if 
the applicant applies before the minimum assessment period for his or 
her conviction has elapsed, the Coast Guard may consider the following 
factors, as applicable, in assessing the applicant's suitability to 
hold an MMC. This list is intended as a guide for the Coast Guard. The 
Coast Guard may consider other factors which it judges appropriate to a 
particular applicant, such as--
    (1) Proof of completion of an accredited alcohol or drug abuse 
rehabilitation program;
    (2) Active membership in a rehabilitation or counseling group, such 
as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous;
    (3) Character references from persons who can attest to the 
applicant's sobriety, reliability, and suitability for employment in 
the merchant marine, including parole or probation officers;
    (4) Steady employment; and
    (5) Successful completion of all conditions of parole or probation.


Sec.  10.215  [Removed]

0
16. Remove Sec.  10.215
0
17. Revise Sec.  10.217 to read as follows:


Sec.  10.217  Merchant mariner credential application and examination 
locations.

    (a) Applicants for an MMC may apply to any of the Regional 
Examination Centers (RECs) or any other location designated by the 
Coast Guard. Applicants may contact the National Maritime Center at 100 
Forbes Drive, Martinsburg, WV 25404, by telephone 1-888-427-5662 or 
304-433-3400, or by email at IASKNMC@uscg.mil. A list of locations 
approved for application submittal is available through the Coast Guard 
Web site at http://www.uscg.mil/nmc.
    (b) Exam Locations. (1) Coast Guard units abroad may conduct exams 
for ratings at locations other than the RECs, but are not prepared to 
conduct practical examinations.
    (2) The Coast Guard may designate additional exam facilities/
locations to provide services to applicants for MMCs.


0
18. Revise Sec.  10.219 to read as follows:


Sec.  10.219  Fees.

    (a) Use table 1 to Sec.  10.219(a) to calculate the mandatory fees 
for MMCs and associated endorsements.

                                        Table 1 to Sec.   10.219(a)--Fees
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                And you need
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                     If you apply for                                         Examination then
                                                             Evaluation then  the fee is . . .    Issuance then
                                                            the fee is . . .                    the fee is . . .
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MMC with officer endorsement:
Original:
    Upper level \1\.......................................              $100              $110               $45
    Lower level \2\.......................................               100                95                45
    Renewal...............................................                50                45                45
    Raise of grade........................................               100                45                45
    Modification or removal of limitation or scope........                50                45                45
Radio officer endorsement:
    Original..............................................                50                45                45
    Renewal...............................................                50               n/a                45
Staff officer endorsements:
    Original..............................................                90               n/a                45
    Renewal...............................................                50               n/a                45
MMC with rating endorsement:

[[Page 77891]]

 
    Original endorsement for ratings other than qualified                 95               n/a                45
     ratings..............................................
    Original endorsement for qualified rating.............                95               140                45
    Upgrade or raise of Grade.............................                95               140                45
    Renewal endorsement for ratings other than qualified                  50               n/a                45
     ratings..............................................
    Renewal endorsement for qualified rating..............                50                45                45
    Modification or removal of limitation or scope........                50                45                45
STCW endorsement:
    Original..............................................             (\4\)             (\4\)             (\4\)
    Renewal...............................................             (\4\)             (\4\)             (\4\)
    Reissue, replacement, and duplicate...................               n/a               n/a            \3\ 45
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Upper level means credentials authorizing service on vessels of any gross tons/unlimited tonnage or
  unlimited propulsion power.
\2\ Lower level means credentials authorizing service on vessels of less than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT.
\3\ Duplicate for MMC lost as result of marine casualty--No Fee.
\4\ No Fee.

    (b) Fee payment procedures. Applicants may pay--
    (1) All fees required by this section at the time the application 
is submitted; or
    (2) A fee for each phase as follows:
    (i) An evaluation fee when the application is submitted.
    (ii) An examination fee before the first examination section is 
taken.
    (iii) An issuance fee before issuance of the MMC.
    (c) If the examination is administered at a place other than a 
Regional Examination Center (REC), the examination fee must be paid to 
the REC at least one week before the scheduled examination date.
    (d) Unless the Coast Guard provides additional payment options, 
fees must be paid as follows:
    (1) Fee payments must be for the exact amount.
    (2) Fee payments may be made by electronic payment in a manner 
specified by the Coast Guard. For information regarding current forms 
of electronic payment, go to the National Maritime Center's (NMC) Web 
site, www.uscg.mil/nmc. To assist with the automation of mariner 
credential applications, applicants are encouraged to pay the fees 
electronically.
    (3) Payments may be made by cash, check, money order, or credit 
card.
    (4) Payments submitted by mail may not be made in cash. Mailed 
payments should specify the type of credential sought and the type of 
fee (e.g., evaluation, examination, issuance) being paid. The address 
for sending payment by mail can be found at the NMC Web site, 
www.uscg.mil/nmc.
    (5) Checks or money orders must be made payable to the U.S. Coast 
Guard, and the full legal name and last four digits of applicant's 
social security number must appear on the front of each check or money 
order.
    (e) Unless otherwise specified in this part, when two or more 
endorsements are processed on the same application the fees will be as 
follows:
    (1) Evaluation fees. If an applicant simultaneously applies for a 
rating endorsement and a deck or engineer officer's endorsement, only 
the evaluation fee for the officer's endorsement will be charged. If an 
applicant simultaneously applies for a staff officer or radio officer 
endorsement along with the deck or engineer officer endorsement, only 
the evaluation fee for the deck or engineer officer's endorsement will 
be charged. No evaluation fee is charged for an STCW endorsement.
    (2) Examination fees. One examination fee will be charged for each 
exam or series of exams for an original, raise of grade, or renewal of 
an endorsement on an MMC taken within 1 year from the date of the 
application approval. An examination fee will also be charged to 
process an open-book exercise used to renew an MMC. If an officer 
endorsement examination under part 11 of this chapter also fulfills the 
examination requirements in part 12 of this chapter for rating 
endorsements, only the fee for the officer endorsement examination is 
charged.
    (3) Issuance fees. Only one issuance fee will be charged for each 
MMC issued, regardless of the number of endorsements placed on the 
credential. There is no fee for a Document of Continuity.
    (f) The Coast Guard may assess additional charges to anyone to 
recover collection and enforcement costs associated with delinquent 
payments or failure to pay a fee. The Coast Guard will not provide 
credentialing services to a mariner who owes money for credentialing 
services previously provided.
    (g) Anyone who fails to pay a fee or charge established under this 
section is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty 
of not more than $6,500 for each violation.
    (h) No-fee MMC for certain applicants. For the purpose of this 
section, a no-fee MMC applicant is a person who is a volunteer or a 
part- or full-time employee of an organization that is--
    (1) Charitable in nature;
    (2) Not for profit; and
    (3) Youth oriented.
    (i) Determination of eligibility. (1) An organization may submit a 
written request to U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center, 100 
Forbes Drive, Martinsburg, WV 25404, in order to be considered an 
eligible organization under the criteria set forth in paragraph (h) of 
this section. With the written request, the organization must provide 
evidence of its status as a youth-oriented, not-for-profit, charitable 
organization.
    (2) The following organizations are accepted by the Coast Guard as 
meeting the requirements of paragraph (h) of this section and need not 
submit evidence of their status: Boy Scouts of America, Sea Explorer 
Association, Girl Scouts of the United States of America, and Young 
Men's Christian Association of the United States of America.
    (j) A letter from an organization determined eligible under 
paragraph (h) of this section must also accompany the person's MMC 
application to the Coast Guard. The letter must state that the purpose 
of the person's application is solely to further the conduct of the 
organization's maritime activities. The applicant will then be eligible 
under this section to obtain a no-fee MMC if other requirements for the 
MMC are met.

[[Page 77892]]

    (k) An MMC issued to a person under paragraph (h) of this section 
will be endorsed restricting its use to vessels owned or operated by 
the sponsoring organization.
    (l) The holder of a no-fee MMC issued under paragraph (h) of this 
section may have the restriction removed by paying the appropriate 
evaluation, examination, and issuance fees that would have otherwise 
applied.


Sec.  10.221  [Amended]

0
19. Amend Sec.  10.221 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a)(1), remove the word ``part'' and add, in its place, 
the word ``subchapter''; and
0
b. In paragraph (a)(2), remove the section number ``Sec.  12.40-11'' 
and add, in its place, the section number ``Sec.  12.809''.


0
20. Amend Sec.  10.223 as follows:
0
a. In paragraphs (c)(3)(i), (c)(3)(ii), and (c)(3)(iii), remove the 
word ``chapter'' and add, in its place, the word ``subchapter''; and
0
b. Revise paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(3)(iv) to read as set forth below.


Sec.  10.223  Modification or removal of limitations or scope.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (2) Proof that the mariner either holds a valid TWIC or has applied 
for a TWIC.
    (3) * * *
    (iv) The mandatory requirements for STCW endorsements are contained 
in parts 11, 12, and 13 of this subchapter.
* * * * *

0
21. Revise Sec.  10.225 to read as follows:


Sec.  10.225  Requirements for original merchant mariner credentials.

    (a) An applicant must apply as an original if the MMC sought is--
    (1) The first credential issued to the applicant;
    (2) The first credential issued to applicants after their previous 
credential has expired beyond the grace period and they do not hold a 
Document of Continuity under Sec.  10.227(g) of this part or an 
equivalent unexpired continuity endorsement on their license or MMD; or
    (3) The first credential issued to applicants after their previous 
credential was revoked pursuant to Sec.  10.235 of this part.
    (b) A complete application for an original MMC must contain the 
following, except as otherwise noted in Sec.  10.227(i) of this 
subpart:
    (1) A completed, signed application.
    (2) Proof that the mariner either holds a valid TWIC or has applied 
for a TWIC.
    (3) All supplementary materials required to show that the mariner 
meets the mandatory requirements for all endorsements sought as 
follows:
    (i) The mandatory requirements for officer endorsements are 
contained in part 11 of this subchapter.
    (ii) The mandatory requirements for rating endorsements are 
contained in part 12 of this subchapter.
    (iii) The mandatory requirements for tanker rating endorsements are 
contained in part 13 of this subchapter.
    (iv) The mandatory requirements for STCW endorsements are contained 
in parts 11, 12, and 13 of this subchapter.
    (4) The appropriate fee as set forth in Sec.  10.219 of this part.
    (5) Evidence of having passed a chemical test for dangerous drugs 
or of qualifying for an exemption from testing in Sec.  16.220 of this 
subchapter.
    (6) Where sea service is required, documentary evidence in 
accordance with Sec.  10.232 of this part.
    (7) Proof, documented on CG-719-K or CG-719-K/E, as appropriate, 
that the applicant passed all applicable vision, hearing, medical, and/
or physical exams as required by subpart C of this part or a valid 
medical certificate issued by the Coast Guard.
    (8) Consent to a Coast Guard check of the NDR for offenses 
described in section 205(a)(3)(A) or (B) of the National Driver 
Register Act of 1982, as amended.
    (9) The oath as required in paragraph (c) of this section.
    (c) Oath. Every person who receives an original MMC must first take 
an oath, before an official authorized to give such an oath, that he or 
she will faithfully and honestly, according to his or her best skill 
and judgment, without concealment or reservation, perform all the 
duties required by law and obey all lawful orders of superior officers. 
An oath may be administered by any Coast Guard-designated individual or 
any person legally permitted to administer oaths in the jurisdiction 
where the person taking the oath resides. An oath administered at a 
location other than the Coast Guard must be verified in writing by the 
administering official and submitted to the same Regional Examination 
Center (REC) where the applicant applied for his or her MMC. This oath 
remains binding for any subsequently issued MMC and endorsements added 
to the MMC, unless specifically renounced in writing.


0
22. Revise Sec.  10.227 to read as follows:


Sec.  10.227  Requirements for renewal.

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, an 
applicant for renewal of a credential must establish possession of all 
of the necessary qualifications before the MMC will be renewed.
    (b) A credential may be renewed at any time during its validity and 
for 1 year after expiration.
    (c) No credential will be renewed if it has been suspended without 
probation or revoked as a result of action under part 5 of this chapter 
or if facts that would render a renewal improper have come to the 
attention of the Coast Guard.
    (d) Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, a complete 
application for renewal must contain the following:
    (1) A completed, signed application.
    (2) Proof that the mariner either holds a valid TWIC or has applied 
for a TWIC.
    (3)The appropriate fee as set forth in Sec.  10.219 of this part.
    (4) Any uncanceled MMD, MMC, license, STCW endorsement, Certificate 
of Registry (COR), or Document of Continuity held by the applicant. If 
one or more of these credentials are still valid at the time of 
application, a photocopy--front, back, and all attachments--will 
satisfy this requirement.
    (5) Evidence of having passed a chemical test for dangerous drugs 
or of qualifying for an exemption from testing in Sec.  16.220 of this 
subchapter.
    (6) Applicants seeking a national endorsement must either hold an 
unexpired medical certificate or submit a medical certificate 
application.
    (7) Consent to a Coast Guard check of the NDR for offenses 
described in section 205(a)(3)(A) or (B) of the National Driver 
Register Act of 1982, as amended.
    (e) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(8) of this section and 46 
CFR 13.120, the applicant must meet the following professional 
requirements for renewal:
    (1) The applicant must either--
    (i) Present evidence of at least 1 year of sea service during the 
past 5 years;
    (ii) Pass a comprehensive, open-book exercise covering the general 
subject matter contained in appropriate sections of subpart (I) of this 
part;
    (iii) Complete an approved refresher training course;
    (iv) Provide evidence of employment as a qualified instructor or in 
a position closely related to the operation, construction, or repair of 
vessels (either deck or engineer as appropriate) for at least 3 years 
during the past 5 years. An applicant for a deck license or officer 
endorsement with this type of employment must also demonstrate 
knowledge on an applicable Rules of the Road open-book exercise; or
    (v) Provide evidence of being a qualified instructor who has taught 
a

[[Page 77893]]

Coast Guard-approved or -accepted course relevant to the endorsement or 
credential being applied for, at least twice within the past 5 years, 
therefore meeting the standards needed to receive a course completion 
certificate for that course.
    (2) The qualification requirements for renewal of radar observer 
endorsement as contained in Sec.  11.480 of this subchapter.
    (3) Additional qualification requirements for renewal of an officer 
endorsement as first-class pilot as contained in Sec.  11.713 of this 
subchapter.
    (4) An applicant for renewal of a radio officer's endorsement must, 
in addition to meeting the requirements of this section, present a copy 
of a currently valid license as first- or second-class radiotelegraph 
operator issued by the Federal Communications Commission.
    (5) An applicant for renewal of an endorsement as medical doctor or 
professional nurse must, in addition to meeting the requirements of 
this section, present evidence that he or she holds a currently valid, 
appropriate license as physician, surgeon, or registered nurse issued 
under the authority of a State or territory of the United States, the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia. Any such 
renewal will retain the limitations placed upon the medical license by 
the issuing body. There are no professional requirements for renewal of 
an endorsement as marine physician assistant or hospital corpsman.
    (6) An applicant for renewal of an endorsement as master or mate 
(pilot) of towing vessels, in addition to the other requirements in 
this paragraph, must also submit satisfactory evidence of--
    (i) Having completed a practical demonstration of maneuvering and 
handling a towing vessel to the satisfaction of a designated examiner; 
or
    (ii) Ongoing participation in training and drills during the 
validity of the license or MMC being renewed.
    (7) An applicant seeking to renew a tankerman endorsement must meet 
the additional requirements listed in Sec.  13.120 of this subchapter.
    (8) There are no professional requirements for renewal for the 
following endorsements:
    (i) Staff officers (all types).
    (ii) Ordinary seaman.
    (iii) Wiper.
    (iv) Steward's department.
    (v) Steward's department (F.H.).
    (vi) Cadet.
    (vii) Student observer.
    (viii) Apprentice engineer.
    (ix) Apprentice mate (issued under part 12 of this subchapter).
    (x) Person in charge of medical care.
    (xi) Medical first-aid provider.
    (xii) GMDSS at-sea maintainer.
    (xiii) GMDSS operator.
    (f) Except as otherwise provided, each candidate for a renewal of 
an STCW endorsement must meet the applicable requirements of part 11, 
subpart C, and/or part 12, subpart F.
    (g) Document of Continuity. (1) Applicants for renewal of national 
endorsements, who are unwilling or otherwise unable to meet the 
requirements of paragraph (d) of this section, including but not 
limited to the medical and physical standards of subpart C of this 
part, suitability standards of Sec.  10.211 of this part, drug tests, 
professional requirements, and TWIC, may apply for a Document of 
Continuity issued by the Coast Guard. Documents of Continuity do not 
expire and are issued solely to maintain an individual's eligibility 
for renewal. A Document of Continuity does not entitle an individual to 
serve as a merchant mariner. A holder of a Document of Continuity may 
obtain a properly endorsed, valid MMC at any time by satisfying the 
requirements for renewal as provided in paragraphs (d), (e), or (f) of 
this section as applicable. When a valid MMC is issued to replace a 
previously held Document of Continuity, the previously issued Document 
of Continuity becomes void.
    (2) Applications for a Document of Continuity must include the 
following:
    (i) The endorsements to be placed into continuity.
    (ii) An application including a signed statement from the applicant 
attesting to an awareness of the limited purpose of the Document of 
Continuity, his or her inability to serve, and the requirements to 
obtain an MMC.
    (3) If not all MMC endorsements are to be converted into a Document 
of Continuity, a new MMC will be issued with the active endorsements. 
Once the new MMC and/or Document of Continuity is issued the previous 
MMC is no longer valid and must be returned to the Coast Guard.
    (4) STCW endorsements may not be placed in continuity. If an 
individual continues to maintain a valid MMC while placing specific 
national endorsements into continuity, those STCW endorsements 
associated with the national endorsements that were placed in 
continuity are no longer valid.
    (5) No credential expired beyond the 12-month administrative grace 
period in paragraph (h) of this section can be converted into a 
Document of Continuity.
    (6) A holder of a Document of Continuity may obtain a properly 
endorsed, valid MMC, including STCW endorsements, at any time by 
satisfying the requirements for renewal as provided in paragraphs (d) 
and (f) of this section.
    (h) Administrative grace period. A credential may be renewed up to 
12 months after expiration. For a credential to be re-issued by the 
Coast Guard more than 12 months after its expiration, an applicant must 
comply with the requirements of paragraph (i) of this section. When an 
applicant's credential expires during a time of service with the Armed 
Forces and there is no reasonable opportunity for renewal, including by 
mail, this period may be extended. The period of military service 
following the date of expiration which precluded renewal may be added 
to the 12-month grace period. The 12-month grace period and any 
extensions do not affect the expiration date of the credential. A 
license, MMD, COR, STCW endorsement, MMC, and any endorsements thereon, 
are not valid for use after the expiration date.
    (i) Re-issuance of expired credentials. (1) If an applicant applies 
for re-issuance of an endorsement as deck officer, engineer officer, or 
qualified rating more than 12 months after its expiration, instead of 
the requirements of paragraph (e) of this section, the applicant must 
demonstrate continued professional knowledge by completing a course 
approved for this purpose, or by passing the complete examination for 
original issue of the endorsement. The examination may be oral-assisted 
if the expired credential was awarded based on the results of an oral 
exam. The fees set forth in Sec.  10.219 of this part apply to these 
examinations. In the case of an expired radio officer's endorsement, 
the endorsement may be issued upon presentation of a valid first- or 
second-class radiotelegraph operator license issued by the Federal 
Communications Commission.
    (2) An endorsement for chief purser, purser, senior assistant 
purser, junior assistant purser, hospital corpsman, marine physician 
assistant, medical doctor, or professional nurse that has been expired 
for more than 12 months must be renewed in the same way as a current 
endorsement of that type. There are no additional requirements for re-
issuing endorsements for chief purser, purser, senior assistant purser, 
junior assistant purser, hospital corpsman, marine physician assistant, 
medical doctor, or professional nurse that have been expired for more 
than 12 months.
    (3) Applicants applying for re-issuance of an endorsement as master 
or mate (pilot) of towing vessels more than 12 months after expiration 
of the

[[Page 77894]]

previous endorsement must complete the practical demonstration of 
maneuvering and handling a towing vessel required under (e)(6)(i) of 
this section.
    (4) Applicants applying for re-issuance of an endorsement as any 
tankerman rating more than 12 months after expiration of the previous 
endorsement must meet the requirements in Sec.  13.117 of this 
subchapter.

0
23. Amend Sec.  10.229 as follows:
0
a. Revise the section heading to read as set forth below;
0
b. Revise paragraph (a) to read as set forth below;
0
c. In paragraph (b), in the first sentence, after the words ``The 
duplicate'', add the word ``credential'' and remove the second 
sentence;
0
d. In paragraph (c), after the words ``a duplicate'', add the word 
``credential''; and
0
e. In paragraph (d), after the words ``the appropriate fees set out in 
Sec.  10.219'', add the words ``of this part''.


Sec.  10.229  Replacement of lost merchant mariner credentials.

    (a) Upon request and without examination, a mariner may be issued a 
duplicate credential and medical certificate after submitting an 
application with an affidavit describing the circumstances of the loss. 
The Coast Guard will only issue the duplicate credential, MMC and/or 
medical certificate, after confirming the validity of the mariner's 
credentials and the validity of the mariner's TWIC.
* * * * *

0
24. Revise Sec.  10.231 to read as follows:


Sec.  10.231  Requirements for raises of grade or new endorsements.

    (a) This section applies to applicants who already hold a valid 
credential and want to make either of the following transactions:
    (1) Add a new endorsement.
    (2) Obtain a raise of grade of an existing endorsement.
    (b) If an applicant for new endorsement or raise of grade meets the 
renewal requirements under Sec.  10.227 of this subpart for every 
endorsement listed on the MMC and requests renewal, the applicant will 
receive a credential valid for 5 years. When an applicant does not meet 
the renewal requirements for every endorsement held, the applicant's 
new endorsement will be issued with the expiration date that is the 
same as the current MMC.
    (c) A complete application for a new endorsement or raise of grade 
must contain the following:
    (1) A completed, signed application.
    (2) Proof that the mariner either holds a valid TWIC or has applied 
for a TWIC.
    (3) All supplementary materials required to show that the mariner 
meets the mandatory requirements for the new endorsements sought as 
follows:
    (i) The mandatory requirements for officer endorsements as 
contained in part 11 of this subchapter and paragraph (d) of this 
section.
    (ii) The mandatory requirements for rating endorsements as 
contained in part 12 of this subchapter.
    (iii) The mandatory requirements for tankerman rating endorsements 
are contained in part 13 of this subchapter.
    (iv) The mandatory requirements for STCW endorsements as contained 
in parts 11, 12, and 13 of this subchapter.
    (4) The appropriate fee as contained in Sec.  10.219 of this part.
    (5) Any uncanceled MMD, MMC, license, STCW endorsement, or COR held 
by the applicant. If one or more of these credentials are still valid 
at the time of application, a photocopy--front, back, and all 
attachments--will satisfy this requirement.
    (6) Applicants for the following endorsements must produce evidence 
of having passed a chemical test for dangerous drugs or of qualifying 
for an exemption from testing in Sec.  16.220 of this subchapter:
    (i) Any officer endorsement.
    (ii) The first endorsement as able seaman, lifeboatman, 
lifeboatman-limited, qualified member of the engine department, or 
tankerman.
    (7) Where sea service is required, documentary evidence in 
accordance with Sec.  10.232 of this part.
    (8) Applicants seeking a new endorsement must either hold an 
unexpired medical certificate or submit a medical certificate 
application.
    (9) Consent to a Coast Guard check for offenses described in 
section 205(a)(3)(A) or (B) of the National Driver Register Act of 
1982, as amended.
    (d) Additional requirements for an applicant seeking a raise of 
grade of an officer endorsement are as follows:
    (1) Sea service acquired before the issuance of an officer 
endorsement is generally not accepted as any part of the service 
required for a raise of grade of that endorsement. However, service 
acquired before issuance of an officer endorsement will be accepted for 
certain crossovers, endorsements, or increases in scope of an MMC, as 
appropriate. In the limited tonnage categories for deck officers, total 
accumulated service is a necessary criterion for most raises of grade; 
therefore, service acquired before the issuance of such officer 
endorsements will be accepted.
    (2) An applicant remains eligible for a raise of grade while on 
probation as a result of action under part 5 of this chapter. A raise 
of grade issued to a person on probation will be subject to the same 
probationary conditions imposed against his or her other credentials. 
The offense for which he or she was placed on probation will be 
considered on the merits of the case in determining fitness to hold the 
endorsement applied for. No applicant will be examined for a raise of 
grade during any period when a suspension without probation or a 
revocation imposed under part 5 of this chapter is effective against 
his or her credential or while an appeal from these actions is pending.
    (3) Professional examination. (i) When the Coast Guard finds an 
applicant's experience and training for raise of grade is satisfactory, 
and the applicant is eligible in all other respects, the Coast Guard 
will authorize a professional examination.
    (ii) Oral-assisted examinations may be administered in accordance 
with Sec.  11.201(j) of this subchapter.
    (iii) The general instructions for administration of examinations 
and the lists of subjects for all endorsements are found in part 11, 
subpart I; part 12, subpart E; and part 13, subpart A of this 
subchapter.

0
25. Add Sec.  10.232 to read as follows:


Sec.  10.232  Sea service.

    (a) Documenting sea service. (1) Sea service may be documented in 
various forms such as certificates of discharge, pilotage service and 
billing forms, and service letters or other official documents from 
marine companies signed by the owner, operator, master, or chief 
engineer of the vessel. The Coast Guard must be satisfied as to the 
authenticity and acceptability of all evidence of experience or 
training presented.
    (2) Documentary evidence produced by the applicant, unless in the 
form of a Certificate of Discharge conforming to Sec.  14.307 of this 
subchapter, must contain all of the following information:
    (i) Vessel name(s) and official numbers listed on the registration, 
certificate, or document issued.
    (ii) Gross tonnage of the vessel.
    (iii) Propulsion power and mode of propulsion of the vessel.
    (iv) The amount and nature (e.g. chief mate, assistant engineer, 
etc.) of the applicant's experience.
    (v) Applicable dates of service for each vessel, and the ports or 
terminals if applicable.
    (vi) The routes upon which the experience was acquired.

[[Page 77895]]

    (vii) For those seeking service credit on towing vessels in 
accordance with Sec.  11.211(e) of this subchapter, the aggregate 
tonnage of the tug and barges during the mariner's service.
    (viii) Any other information necessary to determine the 
applicability of STCW to the vessel.
    (ix) Whether the vessel is manned and equipped in accordance with 
SOLAS.
    (x) Where required for an officer endorsement, time served as 
bridge watchkeeping or engine watchkeeping duties under the supervision 
of a qualified officer.
    (3) An MMC endorsement, in certain cases, may be considered as 
satisfactory evidence of any qualifying experience for obtaining other 
endorsements.
    (4) For service on vessels of less than 200 GRT, owners of vessels 
may attest to their own service and provide proof of ownership. Those 
who do not own a vessel must obtain letters or other evidence from 
licensed personnel or the owners of the vessels listed.
    (5) If the required sea service is associated with watchkeeping 
functions and the performance of duties, as required in Sec. Sec.  
11.323, 11.329, and 11.333, the service must be documented as having 
been carried out under the direct supervision of the appropriate 
person. If the required sea service is associated with the performance 
of duties, as required in Sec. Sec.  11.470, 11.472, and 11.474, the 
service must be documented as having been carried out under the 
supervision of the appropriate person.
    (6) An applicant who has been acting as a pilot may submit a letter 
from a pilot's association attesting to the applicant's sea service. 
Pilots not part of an association may submit other relevant records 
indicating service, such as billing forms. For a raise-of-grade, pilots 
must comply with the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section.
    (b) Service toward an oceans, near-coastal, or STCW endorsement 
will be credited as follows:
    (1) Service on the Great Lakes will be credited on a day-for-day 
basis up to 100 percent of the total required service.
    (2) Service on inland waters, other than Great Lakes, that are 
navigable waters of the United States, will be credited on a day-for-
day basis for up to 50 percent of the total required service.
    (3) Service on vessels to which STCW applies, whether inland or 
coastwise, will be credited on a day-for-day basis. For establishing 
credit for sea service, the waters of the Inside Passage between Puget 
Sound and Cape Spencer, Alaska will be credited for a near-coastal and 
STCW endorsement.
    (c) Service toward a near-coastal or a Great Lakes endorsement will 
be credited on a day-for-day basis and in accordance with the 
individual requirements for the specific credential.
    (d) Sea service as a member of the Armed Forces of the United 
States and civilian service on vessels owned by the United States as 
required experience. (1) Sea service as a member of the Armed Forces of 
the United States will be accepted as required experience for an 
original, raise of grade, renewal, or increase in scope of all 
endorsements. In most cases, military sea service will have been 
performed upon ocean waters; however, inland service, as may be the 
case on smaller vessels, will be credited in the same manner as 
conventional evaluations. The applicant must submit an official 
transcript of sea service or history of assignments as verification of 
the service claimed when the application is submitted. A DD-214 is not 
acceptable evidence of sea service. The applicant must also provide the 
Coast Guard with other necessary information as to tonnage, routes, 
propulsion power, percentage of time underway, and assigned duties upon 
the vessels on which he or she served. Such service will be evaluated 
by the Coast Guard for a determination of its equivalence to sea 
service acquired on merchant vessels and the appropriate grade, class, 
and limit of endorsement for which the applicant is eligible. Normally, 
60 percent of the total time onboard is considered equivalent underway 
service; however, the periods of operation of each vessel may be 
evaluated separately. In order to be eligible for a master's or chief 
engineer's unlimited endorsement, the applicant must have acquired 
military service in the capacity of commanding officer or engineer 
officer, respectively.
    (2) Applicants for management-level, operational-level or support-
level STCW endorsements must demonstrate competence in accordance with 
part 11, subpart C; part 12, subpart F; and part 13, subpart F of this 
subchapter.
    (3) Service in deck ratings on military vessels such as seaman 
apprentice, seaman, boatswain's mate, quartermaster, or Radarman/
Operations Specialist are considered deck service for the purposes of 
this part. Service in other ratings may be considered if the applicant 
establishes that his or her duties required a watchstanding presence on 
or about the bridge of a vessel. Service in engineer ratings on 
military vessels such as fireman apprentice, fireman, engineman, 
machinists mate, machinery technician, or boiler tender are considered 
engineer service for the purposes of this part. There are also other 
ratings such as electrician, hull technician, or damage controlman, 
which may be credited when the applicant establishes that his or her 
duties required watchstanding duties in an operating engine room.
    (4) In addition to service on vessels that get underway regularly, 
members of the Armed Forces may obtain creditable service for 
assignment to vessels that get underway infrequently, such as tenders 
and repair vessels. Normally, a 25-percent factor is applied to these 
time periods. This experience can be equated with general shipboard 
familiarity, training, ship's business, and other related duties.
    (5) Sea service obtained on submarines is creditable, as if it were 
surface vessel service, for deck and engineer officer and qualified 
ratings endorsements under the provision of paragraph (a) of this 
section. For application for deck officer and qualified ratings 
endorsements, submarine service may be creditable if at least 25 
percent of all service submitted for the endorsement was obtained on 
surface vessels (e.g. if 4 years' total service were submitted for an 
original officer endorsement, at least 1 year must have been obtained 
on surface craft in order for the submarine service to be eligible for 
evaluation).
    (6) Service gained in a civilian capacity as commanding officer, 
master, mate, engineer, or pilot, etc., of any vessel owned and 
operated by the United States, in any service in which a license or 
officer endorsement as master, mate, engineer, or pilot was not 
required at the time of such service, will be evaluated by the Coast 
Guard for a determination of equivalence.
    (e) Sea service on vessels that do not get underway. This 
requirement applies to service obtained on vessels mandated by the 
Certificate of Inspection (COI) which are in operation but do not get 
underway or occasionally get underway for short voyages. Service while 
the vessel is not underway must be credited as follows:
    (1) Engineering department. Service may be credited day-for-day for 
up to 50 percent of the service credit for renewal, raise in grade, and 
original issue for each day the engineering plant is operational.
    (2) Deck department. Service may be credited as follows:
    (i) Original issue and raise in grade. Service is creditable on a 
3-for-1 basis (12 months of experience equals 4 months of creditable 
service) for up to 6 months of service credit.
    (ii) Renewal. Service in any capacity in the deck department is 
creditable as closely related service under

[[Page 77896]]

Sec.  10.227(e)(1)(iv). When submitted in combination with underway 
service, service is creditable on a 3-for-1 basis (12 months of 
experience equals 4 months of creditable service) for up to 6 months of 
service credit.
    (f) Foreign sea service. (1) Experience and service acquired on 
foreign vessels is creditable for establishing eligibility for an 
original or renewal of an officer, rating, or STCW endorsement, subject 
to evaluation by the Coast Guard to determine that it is a fair and 
reasonable equivalent to service acquired on merchant vessels of the 
United States with respect to grade, tonnage, horsepower, waters, and 
operating conditions. This experience and service is also creditable to 
meet recency requirements.
    (2) Experience and service acquired on foreign vessels while 
holding a valid U.S. endorsement is creditable for establishing 
eligibility for a raise of grade of an officer, rating, or STCW 
endorsement, subject to evaluation as specified in paragraph (d)(1) of 
this section. This experience and service is also creditable to meet 
recency requirements.
    (3) An applicant who has obtained qualifying experience on foreign 
vessels must submit satisfactory documentary evidence of such service 
(including any necessary official translation to the English language) 
in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section.
    (g) Closely related service. The Coast Guard may accept evidence of 
employment in a position closely related to the operation, 
construction, or repair of vessels (either deck or engineer as 
appropriate) as meeting the sea service requirements for renewal under 
Sec.  10.227(e)(1)(iv). Service as port engineer, port captain, 
shipyard superintendent, qualified instructor, or similar related 
service may be creditable for service for raise of grade of an engineer 
or deck officer endorsement; however, it may not be used for obtaining 
an original management-level endorsement. The service is creditable as 
follows:
    (1) Port engineer, port captain or shipyard superintendent 
experience is creditable on a 3-for-1 basis for a raise of grade (e.g., 
12 months of experience equals 4 months of creditable service). For a 
raise-of-grade, this credit is limited to 6 months of service.
    (2) Service as a qualified instructor in a Coast Guard approved 
course or a training program is creditable on a 2-for-1 basis for a 
raise of grade (e.g., 12 months of experience equals 6 months of 
creditable service). For a raise-of-grade, this credit is limited to 6 
months of service.
    (h) Day. (1) Except as noted otherwise, for the purpose of 
calculating service in this subchapter, a day is equal to 8 hours of 
watchstanding or day-working not to include overtime.
    (2) On vessels authorized by 46 U.S.C. 8104 and 46 CFR 15.705, to 
operate a two-watch system, a 12-hour working day may be creditable as 
1\1/2\ days of service.
    (3) On vessels of less than 100 GRT, a day is considered as 8 hours 
unless the Coast Guard determines that the vessel's operating schedule 
makes this criterion inappropriate; in no case will this period be less 
than 4 hours.
    (4) When computing service on MODUs for any endorsement, a day of 
MODU service must be a minimum of 4 hours, and no additional credit is 
received for periods served over 8 hours.
    (5) For cadet service on a training ship furnished by the Maritime 
Administration under 46 CFR 310.4, a day may be creditable as 1\1/2\ 
days of service.
    (i) Tonnage equivalency. For the purpose of parts 10, 11 and 12, 
200 GRT will be considered equivalent to 500 GT, and 1,600 GRT will be 
considered equivalent to 3,000 GT.

0
26. Amend Sec.  10.235 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (d), after the words ``of those endorsements are 
suspended or revoked,'', remove the words ``the mariner'' and add, in 
their place, the words ``he or she'', and after the words ``will be 
issued'', add the words ``, without payment of a fee,'';
0
b. In paragraph (e), after the words ``has been suspended'', add the 
words ``without probation'';
0
c. Redesignate paragraphs (f) through (h) as paragraphs (g) through 
(i);
0
d. Add new paragraph (f) to read as set forth below;
0
e. In redesignated paragraph (g), remove the text ``Sec.  
10.227(d)(8)(vi)(A)'' and add, in its place, the words ``Sec.  
10.227(e)(6)(i) of this subpart'';
0
f. In redesignated paragraph (h), remove the words ``Beginning April 
15, 2009, if'' and add, in their place, the word ``If''; and
0
g. In redesignated paragraph (i), remove the words ``Beginning April 
15, 2009, a'' and add, in their place, the letter ``A''.


Sec.  10.235  Suspension or revocation of merchant mariner credentials.

* * * * *
    (f) When applying for an original endorsement on an MMC, pursuant 
to paragraph (d) of this section, an individual's existing service and 
training may be considered by the Coast Guard when determining the 
grade of the endorsement to be issued.
* * * * *


Sec.  10.237  [Amended]

0
27. In Sec.  10.237(a), after the words ``an MMC'', add the words ``, 
medical certificate,''; after the word ``endorsement,'', add the words, 
``it will provide''; and after the words ``listing the reason(s) for 
denial'', remove the words ``will be provided to the applicant''.

0
28. Revise Sec.  10.239 to read as follows:


Sec.  10.239  Quick reference table for MMC requirements.

    Table 1 to Sec.  10.239 provides a guide to the requirements for 
officer endorsements. Provisions in the reference section are 
controlling.

[[Page 77897]]



                                                                                  Table 1 to Sec.   10.239: Quick Reference Table for MMC Requirements
                                                                                       [For tankerman endorsements, see table 1 to Sec.   13.129.]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                    Recommendations                                            Demonstration of
      Endorsement category            Minimum age         Citizenship         Medical and         Experience         and character       Firefighting      Professional exam     professional     Recency of service   First aid and CPR
                                                                             physical exam                               check                                                      ability
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Master, mates...................  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  46 CFR Part 11--    N/A: Note           Sec.   11.201(h)..  Sec.   11.201(j);   N/A...............  original Sec.       Sec.   11.201(i)
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1) Sec.                       Subpart D.          exceptions in                           Sec.   11.903;                          11.201 (c)(2).      Note: exceptions.
                                                         11.201(d).                                                Sec.   11.201(g)                        Sec.   11.910.                         renewal Sec.
                                                                                                                   for original                           Note: Sec.                               10.227(e).
                                                                                                                   national or STCW                        11.903(b).
                                                                                                                   endorsements.
Operator of Uninspected           Sec.   11.201(e)..  Sec.                Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.   11.467(c);   N/A: Note           N/A...............  Sec.  Sec.          N/A...............  original Sec.       Sec.  Sec.
 Passenger Vessels (OUPV).        Note: exceptions     10.221(a)(1).                           (d); (e); (f);      exceptions in                           11.201(j);                              11.201 (c)(2).      11.201(i): Note
                                   here and in Sec.   Sec.   11.201(d)..                       (g).                Sec.   11.201(g)                        11.903; Sec.                           renewal Sec.         exceptions.
                                    11.201(l).                                                                     for original                            11.910.                                 10.227(e).
                                                                                                                   national or STCW
                                                                                                                   endorsements.
STCW Deck Officer endorsements..  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  46 CFR Part 11--    N/A: Note           Sec.   11.303.....  N/A...............  Master Sec.         original Sec.       Sec.   11.201(i).
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1).                           Subpart C.          exceptions in      Renewal: Sec.                            11.305; .311;       11.201 (c)(2).
                                                      Sec.   11.201(d)..                                           Sec.   11.201(g)    11.303(b) and (c).                      .315; .317.        renewal Sec.
                                                                                                                   for original                                               Chief Mate Sec.      10.227(e).
                                                                                                                   national or STCW                                            11.307; .313;.
                                                                                                                   endorsements.                                              OICNW Sec.
                                                                                                                                                                               11.309; 11.319;
                                                                                                                                                                               11.321.
Officer on a passenger ship when  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Sec.   11.1105(c).  N/A.
 on an international voyage.                                                                                                                                                   11.1105(a)(1);
                                                                                                                                                                               (2).
Engineers (original)............  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          10.302(a).........  46 CFR Part 11--    N/A: Note           Sec.   11.201(h)..  Sec.   11.201(j);   N/A...............  original Sec.       Sec.   11.201(i).
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1) Sec.                       Subpart E.          exceptions in                           11.903; Sec.                            11.201 (c)(2).
                                                         11.201(d).                                                Sec.   11.201(g)                        11.950.                                renewal Sec.
                                                                                                                   for original                           Note: Sec.                               10.227(e).
                                                                                                                   national or STCW                        11.903(b).
                                                                                                                   endorsements.
STCW Engineering Officer          Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  46 CFR Part 11--    N/A: Note           Sec.   11.303.....  N/A...............  Chief Sec.          original Sec.       Sec.   11.201(i).
 endorsements.                    Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1) Sec.                       Subpart C.          exceptions in      Renewal: Sec.                            11.325; Sec.        11.201 (c)(2).
                                                         11.201(d).                                                Sec.   11.201(g)    11.303(b) and (c).                      11.331;.           renewal Sec.
                                                                                                                   for original                                               2nd engineer         10.227(e).
                                                                                                                   national or STCW                                            officer; Sec.
                                                                                                                   endorsements.                                               11.327; Sec.
                                                                                                                                                                               11.333.
                                                                                                                                                                              OICEW/DDE Sec.
                                                                                                                                                                               11.329.
National Designated Duty          Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  11.524(b).........  N/A: Note           Sec.                Sec.   11.903.....  N/A...............  original Sec.       Sec.   11.201(i).
 Engineer (DDE).                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1).                                               exceptions in       11.201(h)(1)(iv).                                           11.201 (c)(2).
                                                      Sec.   11.201(d)..                                           Sec.   11.201(g)                                                               renewal Sec.
                                                                                                                   for original                                                                    10.227(e).
                                                                                                                   national or STCW
                                                                                                                   endorsements.
Electro-technical officer.......  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.                N/A: Note           Sec.                N/A...............  Sec.                ..................  Sec.
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1).                           11.335(a)(1).       exceptions in       11.335(a)(3)(ii).                       11.335(a)(2), (3).                      11.335(a)(3)(i).
                                                      Sec.   11.201(d)..                      note exception in    Sec.   11.201(g)                                           note exception in
                                                                                               Sec.   11.335(b)    for original                                                Sec.   11.335(b)
                                                                                               & Sec.   11.33      national or STCW                                            & (c).
                                                                                               5(c).               endorsements.
Pilot...........................  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a);   Sec.   11.703;      N/A: Note           N/A...............  Sec.   11.707;      Sec.   11.705.....  Sec.   11.705(e),   Sec.   11.201(i).
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1) Sec.   Sec.   11.709.      Sec.   11.705.      exceptions in                           Sec.   11.903;                          Sec.   11.713.
                                                         11.201(d).                                                Sec.   11.201(g)                        Sec.   11.910.
                                                                                                                   for original
                                                                                                                   national or STCW
                                                                                                                   endorsements.
Towing vessels..................  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  46 CFR Part 11--    N/A: Note           Sec.                Sec.   11.201(j);   Sec.   11.464;      original Sec.       Sec.   11.201(i).
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1) Sec.                       Subpart D.          exceptions in       11.201(h)(1)(ii)    Sec.   11.903;      Sec.   11.465.      11.201 (c)(2).
                                                         11.201(d).                                                Sec.   11.201(g)    Sec.                Sec.   11.910.                         renewal Sec.
                                                                                                                   for original        11.201(h)(2)(ii).                                           10.227(e).
                                                                                                                   national or STCW   Note: exceptions..
                                                                                                                   endorsements.

[[Page 77898]]

 
Offshore Supply Vessels.........  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  Master Sec.         N/A: Note           Sec.   11.201(h)..  Sec.   11.201(j);.  Master Sec.         original Sec.       Sec.   11.201(i).
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1) Sec.                       11.493.             exceptions in                          Master Sec.          11.493.             11.201 (c)(2).
                                                         11.201(d).                           Chief Mate Sec.      Sec.   11.201(g)                        11.493.            Chief Mate Sec.     renewal Sec.
                                                                                               11.495.             for original                           Chief Mate Sec.      11.495.             10.227(e)..
                                                                                              Mate Sec.   11.497   national or STCW                        11.495.            Mate Sec.   11.497
                                                                                              C/E Sec.   11.553.   endorsements.                          Mate Sec.   11.497  C/E Sec.   11.553.
                                                                                              Engineer Sec.                                               C/E Sec.   11.553;  Engineer..........
                                                                                               11.555.                                                     Sec.   11.903.     Sec.   11.555.....
                                                                                                                                                          Eng Sec.   11.555;
                                                                                                                                                           Sec.   11.903.
MODU licenses...................  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  OIM: Sec.   11.470  N/A: Note           Sec.   11.201(h):   Sec.   11.201(j);   N/A...............  original Sec.       Sec.   11.201(i).
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1).                          B.S.: Sec.           exceptions in       note exceptions.    Sec.   11.903;                          11.201 (c)(2).
                                                      Sec.   11.201(d)..                       11.472.             Sec.   11.201(g)                        Sec.   11.920.                         renewal Sec.
                                                                                              BCO: Sec.   11.474   for original                                                                    10.227(e)..
                                                                                              ChEng: Sec.          national or STCW
                                                                                               11.542.             endorsements.
                                                                                              Asst. Eng: Sec.
                                                                                               11.544.
Uninspected fishing industry      Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  Deck: Sec.          N/A: Note           Sec.   11.201(h)..  Sec.   11.201(j);   N/A...............  original Sec.       Sec.   11.201(i).
 vessels.                         Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1).                           11.462(c); (d);.    exceptions in      Note: exceptions..   Sec.   11.903;                          11.201 (c)(2).
                                                      Sec.   11.201(d)..                      Engine: Sec.         Sec.   11.201(g)                        Sec.   11.910.                         renewal Sec.
                                                                                               11.530(c); (d);     for original                                                                    10.227(e)..
                                                                                               (e).                national or STCW
                                                                                                                   endorsements.
Radio officer...................  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  N/A...............  N/A: Note           N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.   11.603.....  N/A...............  Sec.   11.201(i).
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1).                                               exceptions in
                                                      Sec.   11.201(d)..                                           Sec.   11.201(g)
                                                                                                                   for original
                                                                                                                   national or STCW
                                                                                                                   endorsements.
GMDSS Operator..................  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  11.604............  N/A...............  N/A.
Officer raises of grade.........  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.   10.231(c);   N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.   10.231(d);   Part 11, subparts   3 months in past 3  N/A.
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1).                           Part 11, subparts                                           Sec.   11.903;      D and E.            years, Sec.
                                                      Sec.   11.201(d)..                       D and E.                                                    Sec.   11.910;                          11.201 (c)(2).
                                                                                                                                                           Sec.   11.920;
                                                                                                                                                           Sec.   11.950.
Officer renewals................  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.   10.227(d)    N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Towing officers,    1 year in past 5,   N/A.
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1).                           and (e).                                                                        Sec.   10.227(d)    Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                      Sec.   11.201(d)..                      Note: exceptions..                                                               and (e).            and (f).
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Note: alternative.
Staff officer...................  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.   11.807.....  N/A: Note           N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.   11.807.....  N/A...............  Sec.   11.201(i).
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1).                                               exceptions in
                                                      Sec.   11.201(d)..                                           Sec.   11.201(g)
                                                                                                                   for original
                                                                                                                   national or STCW
                                                                                                                   endorsements.
Staff officer renewals..........  Sec.   11.201(e)..  U.S., Sec.          Sec.   10.302(a)..  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A.
                                  Note: exceptions..   10.221(a)(1).
                                                      Sec.   11.201(d)..
Able seaman.....................  Sec.                U.S. or alien       Sec.   10.302(a),   Sec.   12.403.....  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Sec.                Renewal only, 1     N/A.
                                   12.401(c)(1).       admitted for        Sec.                                                                            12.401(c)(5).       12.401(c)(6) Sec.   year in past 5,
                                                       permanent           12.401(c)(2).                                                                                         12.405.           Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                                             and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2).                                                                                                                              Note: alternative.
Able-seafarer deck..............  Sec.                U.S. or alien       Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.                N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Renewal only, 1     Sec.   12.601(c).
                                   12.603(a)(1)).      admitted for                            12.603(a)(3).                                                                   12.603(a)(2) Sec.   year in past 5,
                                                       permanent                                                                                                                 12.603(a)(4)      Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                         Sec.                and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2).                                                                                                           12.603(a)(5).      Note: alternative.
Ratings for forming a             Sec.                U.S. or alien       Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.                N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Renewal only, 1     Sec.   12.601(c).
 navigational watch.               12.605(a)(1).       admitted for                            12.605(a)(2).                                                                   12.605(a)(3).       year in past 5,
                                                       permanent                                                                                                                                   Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                                             and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2).                                                                                                                              Note: alternative.
Qualified members of engine       Sec.                U.S. or alien       Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.   12.503.....  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.   12.505.....  N/A...............  Renewal only, 1     N/A.
 department.                       12.501(c)(1).       admitted for                                                                                                                                year in past 5,
                                                       permanent                                                                                                                                   Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                                             and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2).                                                                                                                              Note: alternative.

[[Page 77899]]

 
Able-seafarer engine............  Sec.                U.S. or alien       Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.                N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Renewal only, 1     Sec.   12.601(c).
                                   12.607(a)(1).       admitted for                            12.607(a)(3).                                                                   12.607(a)(2); (4)   year in past 5,
                                                       permanent                                                                                                               Sec.   12.607(b);   Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                         (c).                and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2).                                                                                                                              Note: alternative.
Ratings for forming an            Sec.                U.S. or alien       Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.                N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Renewal only, 1     Sec.   12.601(c).
 engineering watch.                12.609(a)(1).       admitted for                            12.609(a)(2).                                                                   12.609(a)(3).       year in past 5,
                                                       permanent                                                                                                                                   Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                                             and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2).                                                                                                                              Note: alternative.
Electro-technical rating........  Sec.                U.S. or alien       Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.                N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Renewal only, 1     Sec.   12.601(c).
                                   12.611(a)(1).       admitted for                            12.611(a)(2).                                                                   12.611(a)(3);       year in past 5,
                                                       permanent                                                                                                               Sec.   12.611(b).   Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                                             and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2).                                                                                                                              Note: alternative.
Entry level ratings.............  N/A...............  U.S. or alien       N/A; note           N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A.
                                                       admitted for        exception in Sec.
                                                       permanent             12.811(a)(2).
                                                       residence, Sec.    Note: Food Handler
                                                       10.221(a)(2)Sec.    (F.H.)
                                                         12.803; Sec.      requirements in
                                                       12.809.             Table Sec.
                                                                           10.302(a).
                                                                          (xiii) Sec.
                                                                           10.302(a) (xiv).
Lifeboatman.....................  N/A...............  U.S. or alien       Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.                N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Sec.                Renewal only, 1     N/A.
                                                       admitted for                            12.407(b)(1).                                               12.407(b)(2); (4).  12.407(b)(2); (3).  year in past 5,
                                                       permanent                                                                                                                                   Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                                             and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2).                                                                                                                              Note: alternative.
Lifeboatman-Limited.............  N/A...............  U.S. or alien       Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.                N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Sec.                Renewal only, 1     N/A.
                                                       admitted for                            12.409(b)(1).                                               12.409(b)(2); (4).  12.409(b)(2); (3).  year in past 5,
                                                       permanent                                                                                                                                   Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                                             and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2).                                                                                                                              Note: alternative.
Proficiency in fast rescue boats  Sec.                U.S. or alien       N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Renewal only, 1     Sec.   12.601(c).
                                   12.617(a)(1).       admitted for                                                                                                            12.617(a)(2);       year in past 5,
                                                       permanent                                                                                                               (3); (4).           Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                                             and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2).                                                                                                                              Note: alternative.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Renewal Sec.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   12.617(b)(2).
Proficiency in survival craft     Sec.                U.S. or alien       N/A...............  Sec.                N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Renewal only, 1     Sec.   12.601(c).
 and rescue boats other than       12.613(a)(1).       admitted for                            12.613(a)(2).                                                                   12.613(a)(3).       year in past 5,
 fast rescue boats.                                    permanent                                                                                                                                   Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                                             and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2).                                                                                                                              Note: alternative.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Renewal: Sec.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   12.613(b)(2).
Proficiency in survival craft     Sec.                U.S. or alien       N/A...............  Sec.                N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Renewal only, 1     Sec.   12.601(c).
 and rescue boats other than       12.615(a)(1).       admitted for                            12.615(a)(2).                                                                   12.615(a)(3).       year in past 5,
 lifeboats and fast rescue boats-                      permanent                                                                                                                                   Sec.   10.227(e)
 limited.                                              residence, Sec.                                                                                                                             and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2).                                                                                                                              Note: alternative.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Renewal: Sec.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   12.615(b)(2).
Assistance Towing endorsement...  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.   11.482.....  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.   11.482.....  Sec.   11.482.....  original Sec.       N/A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   11.201(c)(2).
Radar Observer endorsement......  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.   11.480(d);   N/A...............  N/A.
                                                                                                                                                                               (h).
Vessel Security Officer.........  Sec.   11.337(a)..  U.S. or alien       Sec.   10.302(a)..  Sec.   11.337(a)..  N/A: Note           N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.   11.337(a)..  original Sec.       Sec.   11.201(i).
                                                       admitted for                                                exceptions in                                                                   11.201 (c)(2).
                                                       permanent                                                   Sec.   11.201(g)                                                               renewal Sec.
                                                       residence, Sec.                                             for original                                                                    10.227(e)..
                                                       10.221(a)(1) Sec.                                           national or STCW
                                                         10.221(a)(2.                                              endorsements.
High Speed Craft................  N/A...............  U.S. Sec.           N/A...............  Sec.                N/A: Note           N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Renewal: Sec.       N/A.
                                                       10.221(a)(1).                           11.821(b)(1) Sec.   exceptions in                                               11.821(b)(2).       11.821(e).
                                                                                                 11.821(c).        Sec.   11.201(g)
                                                                                                                   for original
                                                                                                                   national or STCW
                                                                                                                   endorsements.
GMDSS at sea maintainer.........  Sec.   12.623(a)..  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.   12.623(b)..  N/A...............  N/A.
Medical first-aid provider......  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.   12.619(b)..  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                N/A...............  Sec.
                                                                                                                                                                               12.619(a)(1); (2).                      12.619(a)(1).

[[Page 77900]]

 
Person in charge of medical care  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.   12.621(b)..  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                N/A...............  Sec.
                                                                                                                                                                               12.621(a)(1); (2).                      12.621(a)(1).
Vessel personnel with designated  Sec.                U.S. or alien       Sec.                Sec.                N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Renewal only, 1     N/A.
 security duties.                  12.625(a)(1).       admitted for        12.625(a)(2).       12.625(a)(1).                                                                   12.625(a)(1).       year in past 5,
                                                       permanent                                                                                                                                   Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                                             and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2)Sec.                                                                                                                           Note: alternative.
                                                         12.803.
Security awareness..............  Sec.                U.S. or alien       Sec.                Sec.                N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.                Renewal only, 1     N/A.
                                   12.627(a)(1).       admitted for        12.627(a)(2).       12.627(a)(1).                                                                   12.627(a)(1).       year in past 5,
                                                       permanent                                                                                                                                   Sec.   10.227(e)
                                                       residence, Sec.                                                                                                                             and (f).
                                                       10.221(a)(2)Sec.                                                                                                                           Note: alternative.
                                                         12.803.
Ratings serving on passenger      N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Sec.   12.905(a);   Renewal Sec.        N/A.
 ships on international voyages.                                                                                                                                               (b).                12.905(d).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 77901]]


0
29. Add subpart C, consisting of Sec. Sec.  10.301 through 10.306, to 
read as follows:
Subpart C--Medical Certification
Sec.
10.301 General requirements.
10.302 Medical and physical requirements.
10.303 Medical waivers, limitations, and restrictions.
10.304 General medical exam.
10.305 Vision requirements.
10.306 Hearing requirements.

Subpart C--Medical Certification


Sec.  10.301  General requirements.

    (a) The Coast Guard will issue a medical certificate to a mariner 
meeting the medical and physical standards for merchant mariners. The 
medical certificate will be issued for various periods of time based 
upon the endorsements the mariner holds. The Coast Guard will review 
all information provided and will determine whether--
    (1) The applicant is physically and medically qualified for the 
medical certificate without any limitations, waivers and/or other 
conditions;
    (2) The applicant is physically and medically qualified for the 
medical certificate with limitations and/or other conditions as 
specified by the Coast Guard;
    (3) For an applicant who does not possess the vision, hearing, or 
general physical condition necessary, a medical certificate may be 
issued with appropriate limitations, waivers and/or other conditions as 
specified by the Coast Guard;
    (4) Additional information is necessary to determine if the 
applicant is physically and/or medically qualified for the medical 
certificate. The Coast Guard will request additional information from 
the applicant. The Coast Guard may hold the package pending receipt of 
that information before the package and/or application is denied; or
    (5) The applicant is not physically and/or medically qualified for 
the medical certificate. The application for a medical certificate will 
be denied by the Coast Guard.
    (b) Except as otherwise noted, medical certificates will be issued 
for the following periods of time:
    (1) All persons employed or engaged onboard vessels to which STCW 
applies will be issued a medical certificate valid for 2 years unless 
the mariner is under the age of 18, in which case the maximum period of 
validity will be 1 year.
    (2) Medical certificates issued to a mariner who is serving as a 
first-class pilot, or acting as a pilot under Sec.  15.812 of this 
subchapter, will be issued for a maximum period of 2 years.
    (3) Medical certificates issued to all other mariners will be 
issued for a maximum period of 5 years.
    (4) Applicants seeking additional MMC endorsements holding a 
current medical certificate are not required to submit a new medical 
physical exam if their existing medical certification meets all of the 
requirements of this section for the endorsement sought.
    (c) Applicants holding no endorsement other than a staff officer 
endorsement need not meet the medical and physical requirements of this 
section.


Sec.  10.302  Medical and physical requirements.

    (a) To qualify for a medical certificate, a mariner must provide 
evidence of meeting the medical and physical standards in this section 
on a CG-719-K or CG-719-K/E, as appropriate. The Coast Guard retains 
final authority for determining whether a mariner is medically and 
physically qualified. Columns 2 through 5 of Table 1 to paragraph (a) 
of this section provide the specific exam, test, or demonstrations 
required to obtain the corresponding credential listed in column 1. 
Further clarifications of the requirements contained in the table are 
found throughout this subpart.
    (b) Any required test, exam, or demonstration must have been 
performed, witnessed, or reviewed by a licensed medical doctor, 
licensed physician assistant, licensed nurse practitioner, or a 
designated medical examiner. All licensed medical practitioners must 
hold a valid license issued in the United States. Medical examinations 
for Great Lakes Pilots must be conducted by a licensed medical doctor 
in accordance with the physical exam requirements in 46 CFR 402.210.

             Table 1 to Sec.   10.302(a)--Medical and Physical Requirements for Mariner Endorsements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                         5
                                                                                     4 General     Demonstration
                  1 Credential                     2 Vision test  3 Hearing test   medical exam     of physical
                                                                                                      ability
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) Deck officer, including pilot...............            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(a)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(2) Engineering officer.........................            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(b)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(3) Radio officer...............................            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(b)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(4) Offshore installation manager, barge                    Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
 supervisor, or ballast control operator........       10.305(b)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(5) Able seaman.................................            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(a)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(6) QMED........................................            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(b)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(7) Able seafarer deck..........................            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(a)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(8) RFPNW.......................................            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(a)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(9) Able seafarer engine........................            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(b)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(10) RFPEW......................................            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(b)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(11) Electro-technical rating...................            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(b)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(12) Tankerman..................................            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(b)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(13) Lifeboatman and Proficiency in survival                Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
 craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue         10.305(b)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
 boats (PSC)....................................
(14) Lifeboatman-Limited and Proficiency in                 Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
 survival craft and rescue boats other than fast       10.305(b)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
 rescue boats--limited (PSC--limited)...........
(15) Fast Rescue Boat...........................            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(b)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
(16) Food handler serving on vessels to which     ..............  ..............            Sec.  ..............
 STCW does not apply............................                                       10.304(b)
(17) Food handler serving on vessels to which     ..............  ..............            Sec.            Sec.
 STCW applies...................................                                       10.304(b)       10.304(c)
(18) Ratings, including entry level, serving on   ..............  ..............  ..............            Sec.
 vessels to which STCW applies, other than those                                                       10.304(c)
 listed above...................................

[[Page 77902]]

 
(19) Ratings, including entry level, serving on   ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............
 vessels to which STCW does not apply, other
 than those listed above........................
(20) Vessel security officer....................            Sec.   Sec.   10.306            Sec.            Sec.
                                                       10.305(a)                       10.304(a)       10.304(c)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec.  10.303  Medical waivers, limitations, and restrictions.

    (a) The Coast Guard may grant a waiver if, after review of all 
relevant supporting medical documents and consultation with the 
examining physician, as needed, an applicant does not possess the 
vision, hearing, or general physical condition necessary; and 
extenuating circumstances warrant special consideration. An applicant 
may submit to the Coast Guard additional correspondence, records, and 
reports in support of a waiver. In this regard, recommendations from 
agencies of the Federal Government operating government vessels, as 
well as owners and operators of private vessels, made on behalf of 
their employees, will be given full consideration.
    (b) In general, medical waivers are approved when an applicant does 
not meet the applicable medical standards, but objective medical 
evidence indicates that the condition is sufficiently controlled and 
the effects of medication pose no significant risk to maritime and 
public safety. The Coast Guard retains final authority for the issuance 
of medical waivers.
    (c) Medical waivers may be granted with specific conditions to 
which the applicant must adhere, such as more frequent monitoring of 
the medical conditions, submission of medical exams and/or tests at 
varying intervals to track the ongoing status of the medical condition, 
or operational limitations in the manner the mariner may serve under 
the MMC.
    (d) The Coast Guard may place an operational limitation on medical 
and physical conditions. Any operational limitations will be reflected 
in the medical certificate.
    (e) The Coast Guard may place a restriction on a medical 
certificate based upon medical and physical conditions of an applicant. 
Any restriction will be reflected on the medical certificate and may 
include restriction of route or trade.


Sec.  10.304  General medical exam.

    (a) The general medical exam must be documented and of such scope 
to ensure that there are no conditions that pose significant risk of 
sudden incapacitation or debilitating complication. This exam must also 
document any condition requiring medication that impairs cognitive 
ability, judgment, or reaction time. The Coast Guard will provide 
guidance on the conduct of general medical exams. Examiners should be 
familiar with the content and recommended medical evaluation data 
compiled in the medical guidelines.
    (b) Food handlers are not required to submit to a general medical 
exam, but must obtain a statement from a licensed physician, physician 
assistant, or nurse practitioner attesting that they are free of 
communicable diseases that pose a direct threat to the health or safety 
of other individuals in the workplace.
    (c) Demonstration of physical ability. (1) A demonstration of 
physical ability is required only if--
    (i) The medical practitioner conducting the general medical exam is 
concerned that an applicant's physical ability may impact maritime 
safety; or
    (ii) Table 1 to Sec.  10.302(a) of this subpart shows that the 
mariner must pass a demonstration of physical ability.
    (2) For an applicant to satisfactorily pass a demonstration of 
physical ability, the examiner must be satisfied that the applicant--
    (i) Has no disturbance in the sense of balance;
    (ii) Is able, without assistance, to climb up and down vertical 
ladders and inclined stairs;
    (iii) Is able, without assistance, to step over a door sill or 
coaming;
    (iv) Is able to move through a restricted opening of 24-by-24 
inches (61-by-61 centimeters);
    (v) Is able to grasp, lift, and manipulate various common shipboard 
tools, move hands and arms to open and close valve wheels in vertical 
and horizontal directions, and rotate wrists to turn handles;
    (vi) Does not have any impairment or disease that could prevent 
normal movement and physical activities;
    (vii) Is able to stand and walk for extended periods of time;
    (viii) Does not have any impairment or disease that could prevent 
response to a visual or audible alarm; and
    (ix) Is capable of normal conversation.
    (3) Guidance on demonstration of physical ability is contained in 
the relevant Coast Guard guidance for the conduct of general medical 
exams.
    (d) Reports of medical and physical exams, demonstrations, and 
tests. These reports must be submitted within 12 months from the date 
signed by the licensed medical professional. When submitted with a 
complete application package, these reports remain valid for 12 months 
from the date the Coast Guard accepts a complete application.


Sec.  10.305  Vision requirements.

    (a) Deck standard. (1) A mariner must have correctable vision to at 
least 20/40 in one eye and uncorrected vision of at least 20/200 in the 
same eye. The color sense must be determined to be satisfactory when 
tested by any of the following methods or an alternative test 
acceptable to the Coast Guard, without the use of color-sensing lenses:
    (i) Pseudoisochromatic Plates (Dvorine, 2nd Edition; AOC; revised 
edition or AOC-HRR; Ishihara 14-, 24- , or 38-;plate editions).
    (ii) Farnsworth Lantern.
    (iii) Titmus Vision Tester/OPTEC 2000.
    (iv) Optec 900.
    (v) Richmond Test, 2nd and 4th edition.
    (2) After January 1, 2017, applicants for an STCW endorsement must 
have correctable vision to at least 20/40 in both eyes and uncorrected 
vision of at least 20/200 in both eyes. A mariner who meets these 
requirements and who suffers loss of vision in one eye after being 
issued an MMC is subject to the requirements of paragraphs (c), (d), 
and (e) of this section, as applicable. A mariner holding an MMC prior 
to January 1, 2017, must continue to meet the requirements of paragraph 
(a)(1) of this section.
    (b) Engineering, radio officer, tankerman, and MODU standard. A 
mariner must have correctable vision to

[[Page 77903]]

at least 20/50 in one eye and uncorrected vision of at least 20/200 in 
the same eye and need only the ability to distinguish the colors red, 
green, blue, and yellow. The color sense must be determined to be 
satisfactory when tested by any color-vision test listed in paragraph 
(a) of this section, or an alternative test acceptable to the Coast 
Guard, without the use of color-sensing lenses. The Coast Guard will 
accept Farnsworth D-15 Hue Test as a color vision test to meet the 
requirements of this paragraph.
    (c) Vision waiver. Any applicant whose uncorrected vision does not 
meet the 20/200 standard and is correctable to listed standards above 
may be granted a medical waiver in accordance with Sec.  10.303 of this 
subpart. If a vision waiver is granted, a limitation will be placed on 
his or her MMC indicating the mariner may not serve under the authority 
of the endorsement unless corrective lenses are worn and spare lenses 
are carried onboard a vessel. Waivers are not normally granted to an 
applicant whose corrected vision in the better eye is not at least 20/
40 for deck officers or 20/50 for engineer officers.
    (d) Vision operational limitation. If corrective lenses are 
required in order to meet the vision standards above, a mariner may not 
serve under the authority of the endorsement unless corrective lenses 
are worn and spare lenses are carried onboard a vessel. This 
operational limitation will be placed on his or her medical 
certificate.
    (e) Loss of vision. A mariner having lost vision in one eye must 
wait 6 months from the date of the vision loss before submitting any 
application, and must provide a statement of demonstrated ability on 
his or her medical examination.


Sec.  10.306  Hearing requirements.

    (a) If the medical practitioner conducting the general medical exam 
has concerns that an applicant's ability to hear may impact maritime 
safety, the examining medical practitioner must refer the applicant to 
an audiologist or other hearing specialist to conduct an audiometer 
test and a speech discrimination test, as appropriate.
    (b) The audiometer test must include testing at the following 
thresholds: 500 Hz; 1,000 Hz; 2,000 Hz; and 3,000 Hz. The frequency 
responses for each ear must be averaged to determine the measure of an 
applicant's hearing ability. Applicants must demonstrate an unaided 
threshold of 30 decibels or less in at least one ear.
    (c) The functional speech discrimination test must be carried out 
at a level of 65 decibels. For issuance of an original MMC or 
endorsement the applicant must demonstrate functional speech 
discrimination of at least 90 percent. For renewal or raise of grade, 
the applicant must demonstrate functional speech discrimination of at 
least 80 percent.
    (d) Hearing waivers. An applicant who is unable to meet the hearing 
standards of the audiometer test, but who can pass the functional 
speech discrimination test; or who requires hearing aids to meet the 
hearing standards, may be eligible for a medical waiver in accordance 
with Sec.  10.303 of this subpart.
    (e) Hearing operational limitation. If hearing aids are required in 
order to meet the hearing standards above, a mariner may not serve 
under the authority of the endorsement unless hearing aids are worn in 
the operational mode, and spare batteries are carried onboard a vessel. 
This operational limitation will be placed on his or her medical 
certificate.
    30. Add subpart D, consisting of Sec. Sec.  10.401 through 10.412, 
to read as follows:
Subpart D--Training Courses and Programs
Sec.
10.401 Applicability.
10.402 Approval of training courses.
10.403 General standards.
10.404 Substitution of training for required service, use of 
training-record books (TRBs), and use of towing officer assessment 
records (TOARs).
10.405 Qualification as qualified assessor (QA) and designated 
examiner (DE).
10.406 Approved courses.
10.407 Approval of training programs.
10.408 Coast Guard-accepted training other than approved courses and 
programs.
10.409 Coast Guard-accepted Quality Standard System (QSS) 
organizations.
10.410 Quality Standard System (QSS) requirements.
10.411 Simulator performance standards.
10.412 Distance and e-learning.


Sec.  10.401  Applicability.

    This subpart prescribes the general requirements applicable to 
offerors of all approved courses and training programs which may be 
accepted instead of sea service, examination required by the Coast 
Guard, or STCW assessments, or which satisfy course completion 
requirements.


Sec.  10.402  Approval of training courses.

    (a) Categories. The Coast Guard may approve courses designed to 
substitute for or fulfill any or all of the following:
    (1) A portion of sea service requirement.
    (2) Examinations required by the Coast Guard.
    (3) Professional competency requirements.
    (4) Regulatory requirements.
    (b) Request for approval. Organizations desiring course approval by 
the Coast Guard must submit a written request and a complete curriculum 
package to the National Maritime Center, either by mail or 
electronically. The curriculum package must be provided in a format 
specified by the Office of Vessel Activities (CG-CVC) and include:
    (1) A cover letter. The cover letter must contain--
    (i) The name of the organization providing the instruction and the 
course name;
    (ii) The locations where the course will be held;
    (iii) A general description and overview of the course;
    (iv) The category of acceptance being sought, as listed in 
paragraph (a) of this section; and
    (v) Reference to regulatory requirements met by the training.
    (2) Part A: Course framework. The course framework must contain--
    (i) The following specific course intentions:
    (A) Course scope.
    (B) Course objective;
    (ii) The following conditions relative to students:
    (A) Student entry standards.
    (B) Class-size limitations.
    (C) Student/teacher ratio;
    (iii) Documentary evidence that each instructor and/or assessor--
    (A) Has either experience, training, or evidence of instruction in 
effective instructional techniques and/or effective assessment 
techniques;
    (B) Is qualified in the task for which the training is being 
conducted and have relevant experience; and
    (C) Has attained a level of experience and qualification equal or 
superior to the relevant level of knowledge, skills, and abilities 
described in the performance objective;
    (iv) Site information, which must include--
    (A) A description of the facility, measurements of the 
instructional space, pictures showing multiple views of the space, and 
a description of the instruction or assessment being performed; and
    (B) A request, if applicable, to teach at an alternative site. This 
requires contact with the local Regional Exam Center and approval by 
the National Maritime Center; and
    (v) A description of the following materials used for development, 
instruction, and performance measurement:
    (A) Equipment.
    (B) Teaching aids.

[[Page 77904]]

    (C) Textbooks and presentations.
    (D) Reference bibliography.
    (3) Part B: Course outline. The course outline must contain--
    (i) Course subjects/topics; and
    (ii) Course schedule, including the duration and order of lessons, 
and an indication as to whether each lesson is--
    (A) A classroom lecture;
    (B) A practical demonstration;
    (C) A simulator exercise;
    (D) An examination; or
    (E) Another method of instructional reinforcement.
    (4) Part C: Detailed teaching syllabus. The detailed teaching 
syllabus must be written in a learning objective format in which the 
objectives describe what the student must do to demonstrate that the 
specific knowledge has been transferred. The detailed teaching syllabus 
must contain--
    (i) The learning objectives as related to the subjects/topics;
    (ii) The specific references from which the instruction was 
developed; and
    (iii) Reference to the specific teaching aids, textbooks, or 
technical materials used for instruction and performance measurement.
    (5) Part D-1: Lesson plans. The lesson plans must contain the 
following specific instructional contents of the individual course 
lessons:
    (i) The main element learning objective.
    (ii) Student assignments.
    (iii) Training outcomes, which are statements that identify the 
specific knowledge, skill, or ability that students must gain and 
display as a result of the training or instructional activity. A 
training outcome is made up of three elements: expected student 
performance, condition, and criterion.
    (6) Part D-2: Instructor notes. The instructor notes must contain--
    (i) The specific instructional methodologies utilized in the 
particular lesson; and
    (ii) The instructional materials, including instructional 
directions containing the following:
    (A) Pre-instructional activities.
    (B) Content presentation.
    (C) Student participation.
    (D) Assessment process.
    (E) Other instructional activities, such as homework and reading 
assignments.
    (7) Part E: Evaluations. The evaluations section must contain--
    (i) Any methodology that is used to measure a student's knowledge, 
performance, or level of achievement, including--
    (A) Homework;
    (B) Quizzes;
    (C) Exams;
    (D) Laboratory projects;
    (E) Competency assessments;
    (F) Remediation; and
    (G) Testing strategies;
    (ii) Assessment instruments, which are any tools used to determine 
whether the student has achieved the desired level of knowledge, 
understanding, or proficiency; and
    (iii) Any methodology that is used to measure the effectiveness of 
the training or instructor, including--
    (A) Instructor evaluations;
    (B) Course evaluations/surveys; and
    (C) Other feedback.
    (8) Course completion certificate. A sample course completion 
certificate that allows for the following information to be entered:
    (i) Course provider number.
    (ii) Course number.
    (iii) Terms of approval.
    (c) Approval notification. The Coast Guard will notify each 
applicant for course approval when an approval is granted or denied. If 
the Coast Guard denies a request for approval, the Coast Guard will 
inform the applicant of the reasons for the denial and describe the 
corrections required for granting an approval.
    (d) Validity of course approval. Unless surrendered, suspended, or 
withdrawn, an approval for a course is valid for up to a maximum of 5 
years after issuance, unless--
    (1) The school ceases operation;
    (2) The school gives notice that it will no longer offer the 
course;
    (3) The owner or operator fails to submit any required information; 
or
    (4) Any change occurs in the ownership of the school to which the 
approval was issued.
    (e) Significant changes to the course approval. (1) Any significant 
changes to the course approval or the content of the course will be 
handled as a request for renewal of an approval (as specified in 
paragraph (f) of this section), or as a request for an original 
approval (as specified in paragraph (b) of this section), depending on 
the nature and scope of the change.
    (2) The Coast Guard may not accept course completion certificates 
if the course does not follow the conditions of the course approval.
    (f) Renewal of course approval. (1) If the owner or operator of a 
training school desires to have a course's approval renewed, the owner 
or operator must submit a request to the NMC accompanied by the 
information from paragraph b of this section.
    (2) If satisfied that the content and quality of instruction remain 
satisfactory, the Coast Guard will approve the request.
    (3) The renewed approval is valid as detailed in paragraph (d) of 
this section.
    (g) Suspension of approval. (1) The Coast Guard may suspend the 
approval, require the holder to surrender the certificate of approval, 
and may direct the holder to cease claiming the course is Coast Guard-
approved, if it determines that a specific course does not comply with 
the--
    (i) Applicable provisions of 46 CFR parts 10, 11, 12, or 13;
    (ii) Requirements specified in the course's approval; or
    (iii) Course's curriculum package as submitted for approval.
    (2) The Coast Guard will notify the approval holder in writing of 
the intent to suspend course approval and the reasons for suspension. 
If the approval holder fails to correct the conditions leading to 
suspension, the course will be suspended. The Coast Guard will notify 
the approval holder that the specific course fails to meet applicable 
requirements and explain how the deficiencies can be corrected.
    (3) The Coast Guard may grant the approval holder up to 90 days to 
correct the deficiency.
    (4) Course completion certificates will not be accepted for 
training provided during a period of suspension or expiration.
    (h) Withdrawal of approval. The Coast Guard may withdraw approval 
for any course--
    (1) When the approval holder fails to correct the deficiency of a 
suspended course within 90 days; or
    (2) Upon determining that the approval holder has demonstrated a 
pattern or history of any of the following:
    (i) Failing to comply with the applicable regulations or the course 
approval requirements.
    (ii) Deviating from approved course curricula.
    (iii) Presenting courses in a manner that does not achieve the 
learning objectives.
    (iv) Falsifying any document required and integral to the conduct 
of the course, including, but not limited to, attendance records, 
written test grades, course completion grades, or assessment of 
practical demonstrations.
    (i) Appeals of suspension or withdrawal of approval. Anyone 
directly affected by a decision to suspend or withdraw an approval may 
appeal the decision to the Commandant as provided in Sec.  1.03-40 of 
this chapter.


Sec.  10.403  General standards.

    (a) Each school with an approved course must--
    (1) Have a well-maintained facility that accommodates the students 
in a

[[Page 77905]]

safe and comfortable environment conducive to learning;
    (2) Have the necessary equipment, including simulators where 
appropriate, sufficient for the number of students to be accommodated, 
and support the objectives of the course;
    (3) Administer training entirely in the English language unless 
specifically approved to be presented in another language;
    (4) Administer written examinations to each student appropriate for 
the course material and the knowledge requirements of the position or 
endorsement for which the student is being trained. For a course 
approved to substitute for a Coast Guard-administered examination, the 
courses must be of such a degree of difficulty that a student who 
successfully completes them would most likely pass, on the first 
attempt, an examination prepared by the Coast Guard;
    (5) Require each student to successfully demonstrate practical 
skills appropriate for the course material and equal to the level of 
endorsement for which the course is approved;
    (6) Effective March 24, 2014, keep physical or electronic copies of 
the following records for at least 5 years after the end of each 
student's completion or disenrollment from a course or program:
    (i) A copy of each student's examination scores.
    (ii) A copy of each examination or, in the case of a practical 
test, a report of such test.
    (iii) A record of each student's classroom attendance.
    (iv) A copy of each student's course completion certificate or 
program completion certificate, as appropriate.
    (v) A summary of changes or modification to the last course 
submittal.
    (vi) A list of all locations at which the training course was 
presented and the number of times it was presented at each location.
    (vii) The name(s) of the instructor(s) who taught the course, which 
does not include lab assistants or other non-teaching assistants.
    (viii) The number of students who began the training.
    (ix) The number of students who successfully completed the 
training.
    (x) The number of students who were required to retest.
    (xi) The number of students who were required to retake the entire 
course.
    (xii) The number of students who were required to retake a portion 
of the course;
    (7) Not significantly change its approved curriculum without 
approval from the NMC as specified in Sec.  10.402(e) of this subpart;
    (8) Conduct an internal audit midway through the term of the 
course's approval and maintain the results of the audit for a period of 
not less than 5 years. The audit will evaluate whether--
    (i) Records are being maintained according to these regulations;
    (ii) The course is being presented in accordance with the approval 
letter; and
    (iii) Surveys from students indicate that the course is meeting 
their needs; and
    (9) At any time, allow the Coast Guard to--
    (i) Inspect its facilities, equipment, and records, including 
scholastic records;
    (ii) Conduct interviews and surveys of students to aid in course 
evaluation and improvement;
    (iii) Assign personnel to observe or participate in the course of 
instruction; and
    (iv) Supervise or administer the required examinations or practical 
demonstrations, including the substitution of an applicable Coast Guard 
examination in a course approved to substitute for a Coast Guard 
administered examination.
    (b) [Reserved]


Sec.  10.404  Substitution of training for required service, use of 
training-record books (TRBs), and use of towing officer assessment 
records (TOARs).

    (a) Substitution of training for required service. (1) Satisfactory 
completion of an approved training course may be substituted for a 
portion of the required service on deck or in the engine department for 
national deck or engineer endorsements. Satisfactory completion of an 
approved training program which includes sea service may be substituted 
for a portion of or all of the required service on deck or in the 
engine department, except as limited by law for ratings. The list of 
all currently approved courses and programs, including the equivalent 
service and applicable endorsements, is maintained by the NMC.
    (2) Unless otherwise allowed, recency requirements may not be 
achieved by service granted as a result of successful completion of 
approved training or by training on a simulator; however, underway 
service obtained as a portion of an approved course or program may be 
used for this purpose.
    (3) Unless otherwise allowed, training obtained before receiving an 
endorsement may not be used for service credit for subsequent raises of 
grade, increases in scope, or renewals.
    (4) This provision for crediting service for training is not 
applicable to STCW endorsements unless provided otherwise.
    (b) Use of training-record books (TRBs). (1) Approved training 
programs for STCW endorsements for OICNW and OICEW must maintain a TRB 
for each student where training and/or assessments of competence are 
conducted onboard the ship. The TRB must contain at least the following 
information:
    (i) The name of the applicant.
    (ii) The tasks to be performed or the skills to be demonstrated, 
with reference to the standards of competence set forth in the tables 
of the appropriate sections in part A of the STCW Code (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  10.103 of this part).
    (iii) The method for demonstrating competence to be used in 
determining that the tasks or skills have been performed properly, with 
reference to the standards of competence set forth in the tables of 
competence in the appropriate sections in part A of the STCW Code 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  10.103 of this part).
    (iv) A place for a qualified instructor to indicate by his or her 
initials that the applicant has received training in the proper 
performance of the task or skill.
    (v) A place for a qualified assessor (QA) to indicate by his or her 
initials that the applicant has successfully completed a practical 
demonstration and has proved competent in the task or skill under the 
criteria, when assessment of competence is to be documented in the 
record books.
    (vi) The printed name of each qualified instructor, including any 
MMC endorsements held, and the instructor's signature.
    (vii) The printed name of each qualified assessor, when any 
assessment of competence is recorded, including any MMC endorsement, 
license, or document held by the assessor, and the assessor's signature 
confirming that his or her initials certify that he or she has 
witnessed the practical demonstration of a particular task or skill by 
the applicant.
    (2) The TRB referred to in paragraph (b) of this section may be 
maintained electronically, provided the electronic record meets Coast 
Guard-accepted standards for accuracy, integrity, and availability.
    (3) The Coast Guard may accept other forms of documentation as 
meeting the requirements to maintain the training-record book.
    (c) Use of towing officer assessment records (TOARs). Each 
applicant for an endorsement as master or mate (pilot) of towing 
vessels, and each master or mate of self-propelled vessels of 200 GRT 
or

[[Page 77906]]

more, seeking an endorsement for towing vessels, must complete a TOAR 
approved by the Coast Guard that contains at least the following:
    (1) Identification of the applicant, including his or her full 
name, and reference number.
    (2) Objectives of the training and assessment.
    (3) Tasks to perform or skills to demonstrate.
    (4) Criteria to use in determining that the tasks or skills have 
been performed properly.
    (5) A means for a designated examiner (DE) to attest that the 
applicant has successfully completed a practical demonstration and has 
proved proficient in the task or skill under the criteria.
    (6) Identification of each DE by his or her full name and reference 
number, job title, ship name and official number, and serial number of 
the MMC, license, or document held, and printed name and signature 
confirming that his or her initials certify that he or she has 
witnessed the practical demonstration of a particular task or skill by 
the applicant.


Sec.  10.405  Qualification as qualified assessor (QA) and designated 
examiner (DE).

    (a) To become a QA, an applicant must have documentary evidence to 
establish--
    (1) Experience, training, or instruction in assessment techniques;
    (2) Qualifications in the task for which the assessment is being 
conducted; and
    (3) Possession of the level of endorsement, or other professional 
credential, which provides proof that he or she has attained a level of 
experience and qualification equal or superior to the relevant level of 
knowledge, skills, and abilities to be assessed.
    (b) To become a DE for towing officer assessment records (TOARs), 
an applicant must have documentary evidence to establish--
    (1) Experience, training, or instruction in assessment techniques 
on towing vessels;
    (2) Qualifications on towing vessels in the task for which the 
assessment is being conducted; and
    (3) Possession of the level of endorsement on towing vessels, or 
other professional credential, which provides proof that he or she has 
attained a level of qualification equal or superior to the relevant 
level of knowledge, skills, and abilities described in the training 
objectives.
    (c) Documentary evidence may be in the form of performance 
evaluations, which include an evaluation of effectiveness in on-the-job 
organization and delivery of training, or a certificate of successful 
completion from an ``assessor training'' course.
    (d) In order to renew his or her qualifications, each QA and DE 
must have either experience, training, or evidence of instruction in 
effective assessment within the past 5 years.


Sec.  10.406  Approved courses.

    The NMC maintains the list of training organizations and the 
approvals given to the training they offer. This information is 
available online at www.uscg.mil/nmc.


Sec.  10.407  Approval of training programs.

    (a) Training programs approved to qualify a mariner to hold an STCW 
or national endorsement must meet the standards in this section or the 
requirements in Sec.  10.402 of this subpart. All such programs must 
also meet the same standards as those found in Sec.  10.403 of this 
subpart. The Coast Guard will accept information submitted by training 
providers to state, regional, and/or national accrediting bodies as 
evidence such providers satisfy one or more of the requirements of this 
section.
    (b) Categories. The Coast Guard may approve programs designed to 
substitute for or fulfill any or all of the following:
    (1) A portion of sea service requirements.
    (2) Examinations required by the Coast Guard.
    (3) Professional competency requirements.
    (4) Regulatory requirements.
    (c) Request for approval. Organizations desiring program approval 
by the Coast Guard must submit a written request and a complete 
curriculum package to the National Maritime Center (NMC), either by 
mail or electronically. The curriculum package must include the 
following information:
    (1) A cover letter. The cover letter must contain--
    (i) The name of the organization providing the instruction;
    (ii) The location(s) where it will be held;
    (iii) A general description and overview of the program, including 
the individual courses that are part of the program;
    (iv) The category of acceptance being sought as listed in paragraph 
(b) of this section; and
    (v) Reference to regulatory requirements met by the training.
    (2) A goal statement(s). The goal statement should describe--
    (i) The specific performance behaviors to be measured;
    (ii) The conditions under which the performance behavior(s) will be 
exhibited; and
    (iii) The level of performance behavior(s) that is to be achieved.
    (3) Performance objectives. Performance objectives are statements, 
which identify the specific knowledge, skill, or ability the student 
should gain and display as a result of the training or instructional 
activity. A performance objective is made up of three elements: 
Expected student performance, condition, and criterion.
    (4) Assessment instruments. Assessment instruments are any tools 
used to determine whether the student has achieved the desired level of 
knowledge, understanding, or proficiency.
    (5) Instructor information. Documentary evidence that each 
instructor and assessor--
    (i) Has either experience, training, or evidence of instruction in 
effective instructional techniques and/or in effective assessment 
techniques;
    (ii) Is qualified in the task for which the training is being 
conducted and have relevant experience; and
    (iii) Has attained a level of experience and qualification equal or 
superior to the relevant level of knowledge, skills, and abilities 
described in the performance objective.
    (6) Site information. Site information must include a description 
of the facility or facilities at which the training will be held. 
Authority to teach at an alternative site requires approval by the NMC.
    (7) A teaching syllabus. A detailed teaching syllabus providing the 
following information:
    (i) Instructional strategy. Aspects of instructional strategies 
should include--
    (A) The order of presentation;
    (B) The level of interaction, including the student-to-teacher 
ratio;
    (C) Feedback;
    (D) Remediation;
    (E) Testing strategies; and
    (F) Media used to present information.
    (ii) Instructional materials, including lesson plans containing--
    (A) Pre-instructional activities;
    (B) Content presentation;
    (C) Student participation;
    (D) Assessment processes; and
    (E) Other instructional activities, such as homework and reading 
assignments.
    (iii) Course surveys on the relevance and effectiveness of the 
training completed by students.
    (iv) Course schedule, including the duration and order of lessons, 
and an

[[Page 77907]]

indication as to whether each lesson is--
    (A) A classroom lecture;
    (B) A practical demonstration;
    (C) A simulator exercise;
    (D) An examination; or
    (E) Another method of instructional reinforcement.
    (8) Program completion certificate. A sample program completion 
certificate.
    (d) Approval notification. The Coast Guard will notify each 
applicant for program approval when an approval is granted or denied. 
If the Coast Guard denies a request for approval, the Coast Guard will 
inform the applicant of the reasons for the denial and describe the 
corrections required for granting an approval.
    (e) Validity of program approval. Unless surrendered, suspended, or 
withdrawn, an approval for a program is valid for up to a maximum of 5 
years after issuance, unless--
    (1) The school ceases operation;
    (2) The school gives notice that it will no longer offer the 
program;
    (3) The owner or operator fails to submit any required report; or
    (4) Any change occurs in the ownership of the school to which the 
approval was issued.
    (f) Significant changes to the course program approval. (1) Any 
significant changes to the program approval or the content of the 
program will be handled as a request for renewal of an approval (as 
specified in paragraph (f) of this section), or as a request for an 
original approval (as specified in paragraph (b) of this section), 
depending on the nature and scope of the change.
    (2) The Coast Guard may not accept program completion certificates 
if the program does not follow the conditions of its approval.
    (g) Renewal of program approval. (1) If the owner or operator of a 
training school desires to have a program's approval renewed, the owner 
or operator must submit a request to the NMC accompanied by the 
information from paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(5), (c)(6), and (c)(7) of this 
section.
    (2) If satisfied that the content and quality of instruction remain 
satisfactory, the Coast Guard will approve the request.
    (3) The renewed approval is valid as detailed in paragraph (d) of 
this section.
    (h) Suspension of approval. (1) The Coast Guard may suspend the 
approval, require the holder to surrender the certificate of approval, 
and may direct the holder to cease claiming the program is Coast Guard-
approved, if it determines that a specific program does not comply with 
the--
    (i) Applicable provisions of 46 CFR parts 10, 11, 12, or 13;
    (ii) Requirements specified in the program's approval; or
    (iii) Program's curriculum package as submitted for approval.
    (2) The Coast Guard will notify the approval holder in writing of 
the intent to suspend program approval and the reasons for suspension. 
If the approval holder fails to correct the reasons for suspension, the 
program will be suspended. The Coast Guard will notify the approval 
holder that the specific program fails to meet applicable requirements 
and explain how the deficiency can be corrected.
    (3) The Coast Guard may grant the approval holder up to 90 days to 
correct the deficiency.
    (4) Program completion certificates will not be accepted for 
training provided during a period of suspension or expiration.
    (i) Withdrawal of approval. The Coast Guard may withdraw approval 
for any program--
    (1) When the approval holder fails to correct the deficiency of a 
suspended program within 90 days; or
    (2) Upon determining that the approval holder has demonstrated a 
pattern or history of any of the following:
    (i) Failing to comply with the applicable regulations or the 
program approval requirements.
    (ii) Deviating from approved program curricula.
    (iii) Presenting instructional material in a manner that does not 
achieve the learning objectives.
    (iv) Falsifying any document required and integral to the conduct 
of the program, including, but not limited to, attendance records, 
written test grades, course completion grades, or assessment of 
practical demonstrations.
    (j) Appeals of suspension or withdrawal of approval. Anyone 
directly affected by a decision to suspend or withdraw an approval may 
appeal the decision to the Commandant as provided in Sec.  1.03-40 of 
this chapter.


Sec.  10.408  Coast Guard-accepted training other than approved courses 
and programs.

    (a) When the training and assessment of competence required by this 
part are not subject to Coast Guard approval under Sec. Sec.  10.402 
and 10.407 of this subpart, but are used to qualify a mariner to hold 
an endorsement, the offeror of the course or program must ensure that 
such training and assessment meets the same standards as those found in 
Sec. Sec.  10.402 and 10.403 of this subpart.
    (b) The Coast Guard will accept courses approved and monitored by a 
Coast Guard-accepted Quality Standard System (QSS) organization. The 
Coast Guard maintains a list of training organizations conducting 
accepted training that are independently monitored by a Coast Guard-
accepted QSS organization. The Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization 
must comply with the following requirements:
    (1) Submit a certificate of acceptance of training to the Coast 
Guard.
    (2) Submit an updated certificate of acceptance to the Coast Guard 
if the terms of acceptance have been changed.
    (3) Sign each certificate to the training organization owner or 
operator, or its authorized representative(s), stating that the 
training fully complies with the requirements of this section, and 
identifying the Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization being used for 
independent monitoring.
    (c) The training must be audited periodically in accordance with 
the requirements of Sec.  10.409(e)(7) of this subpart. If the Coast 
Guard determines, on the basis of its own observations or conclusions 
or those of the Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization, that the 
particular training does not satisfy one or more of the conditions 
described in paragraph (a) of this section--
    (1) The Coast Guard or Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization will 
so notify the offeror of the training by letter, enclosing a report of 
the observations and conclusions;
    (2) The offeror may, within a period of time specified in the 
notice, either appeal the observations or conclusions to the Commandant 
(CG-CVC) or bring the training into compliance; and
    (3) If the appeal is denied--or if the deficiency is not corrected 
in the allotted time, or within any additional time period judged by 
the Coast Guard to be appropriate, considering progress toward 
compliance--the Coast Guard will remove the training from the list 
maintained under paragraph (b) of this section until it can verify full 
compliance. The Coast Guard may deny applications for endorsements 
based, in whole or in part, on training not on the list, until 
additional training or assessment is documented.


Sec.  10.409  Coast Guard-accepted Quality Standard System (QSS) 
organizations.

    (a) Organizations wishing to serve as a Coast Guard-accepted QSS 
organization, to accept and monitor training on behalf of the Coast 
Guard, should apply to the National Maritime Center. An organization 
submitting an application may not act as a Coast Guard-accepted QSS 
organization until it has received its letter of acceptance.
    (b) Validity of acceptance. Organizations meeting the requirements

[[Page 77908]]

in paragraph (e) of this section will be issued a letter of acceptance 
valid for a maximum period of 5 years from the date of issuance.
    (c) An organization wishing to become a Coast Guard-accepted QSS 
organization must have processes for reviewing, accepting, and 
monitoring training that are equal to the Coast Guard's course approval 
and oversight processes in Sec. Sec.  10.402 through 10.410 of this 
subpart.
    (d) Each person conducting evaluation and monitoring of the 
training must be knowledgeable about the subjects being evaluated or 
monitored and about the national and international requirements that 
apply to the training, and must not be involved in the training and 
assessment of students.
    (e) The documentation submitted to the Coast Guard must contain the 
information listed below. An organization approved as a recognized 
classification society in accordance with 46 CFR part 8, subpart B, 
need not present evidence of compliance with paragraphs (e)(1) and 
(e)(8) of this section.
    (1) Identification of the organization: Name of the organization, 
address, contact information, and organizational structure (including 
the QSS department).
    (2) Scope of approval: Training and assessment the organization 
wishes to accept and monitor.
    (3) Background of the organization: Historical information 
outlining the organization's experience reviewing and accepting 
training and/or assessment activities.
    (4) Staffing and support infrastructure, including--
    (i) Names and qualifications of the individuals who will be 
involved in the review, acceptance, and monitoring of training and 
assessment;
    (ii) Description of the training given to individuals who will be 
conducting review, acceptance, and monitoring activities; and
    (iii) Technical and support resources within the organization that 
support the review, acceptance and monitoring activities.
    (5) Submission guidelines: Information for client organizations to 
submit courses for review and acceptance, including criteria for course 
design, instructor/assessor qualifications, syllabi, equipment, and 
facilities.
    (6) Review and acceptance procedures. (i) Descriptions of the 
methods of evaluation of the physical, administrative, and 
infrastructure support aspects of client organizations;
    (ii) Descriptions of the methods of evaluation of the instructors 
or qualified assessors of a client organization and the maintenance of 
their records;
    (iii) Descriptions of format for accepting training material;
    (iv) Descriptions of the methods by which the course acceptance 
process responds to the client organization modifications to the 
training curriculum, changes to instructors or examiners, changes to 
the infrastructure support; and
    (v) Descriptions of the renewal procedures.
    (7) Audit procedures: Description of the methods for auditing 
accepted courses. Client organizations must be audited once in a 5-year 
period.
    (8) Quality commitment: Provide evidence of having a quality 
management system that includes the following elements:
    (i) A documented statement of a quality policy and quality 
objectives.
    (ii) A quality manual.
    (iii) Documented procedures and records.
    (iv) Documents, including records, determined by the organization 
to be necessary to ensure the effective planning, operation, and 
control of its processes.
    (f) Coast Guard-accepted QSS organizations must notify the NMC of 
the training they have accepted within 14 days of the acceptance date. 
The notification must include the name and address of the institution, 
the course title and the requirement the course meets, and a one-
paragraph description of the course's content.
    (g) Audits. (1) A Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization must 
conduct internal audits at least once in 5 years with a minimum of 2 
years between reviews. Results of the internal audits must be available 
upon request to the Coast Guard within 60 days of completion.
    (2) Each Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization may be audited by 
the Coast Guard at least once every 5 years. The results of the audit 
will be available to the Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization within 
60 days of completion of the audit.
    (3) Results of Coast Guard-accepted QSS organizations' audits to 
client organizations must be available upon request to the Coast Guard 
within 60 days of completion.
    (h) Disenrollment. (1) A Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization must 
give each client organization it serves a 180-day notice of its 
intention to cease to function as a Coast Guard-accepted QSS 
organization.
    (2) If the Coast Guard determines that a Coast Guard-accepted QSS 
organization is not meeting its obligations to review, accept, and 
monitor training and assessment, the NMC will notify the organization 
in writing and will enclose information about the events that led to 
this determination. The organization will then have a specified period 
of time to correct the deficiency or appeal the conclusions to the 
Commandant (CG-5P). If the organization appeals, and the appeal is 
denied, or the deficiencies are not corrected within the allotted time, 
the NMC will withdraw the acceptance of the Coast Guard-accepted QSS 
organization. The NMC will notify all client organizations affected by 
this decision so that they may make arrangements to transfer to another 
Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization or seek NMC approval for their 
training.
    (i) A Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization may not approve courses 
provided by subsidiary organizations.


Sec.  10.410  Quality Standard System (QSS) requirements.

    (a) Providers of Coast Guard-approved courses, programs, training, 
and Coast Guard-accepted training creditable towards an STCW 
endorsement must establish and maintain a Quality Standard System 
(QSS), in accordance with Regulation I/8 of the STCW Convention 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  10.103 of this part).
    (b) The QSS must be monitored by the Coast Guard or monitored 
through a third party that is designated as a Coast Guard-accepted QSS 
organization.
    (c) The Coast Guard-monitored QSS must--
    (1) Have a documented quality policy and quality objectives that 
align with the commitment by the training institution to achieve its 
missions and goals;
    (2) Maintain a manual that documents the objectives, authorities, 
and responsibilities that are essential controls for the implementation 
of the QSS, including--
    (i) The core procedures required to meet the missions and goals of 
the institution;
    (ii) The documents necessary for effective design, planning, 
operation, and control for the delivery of courses meeting the 
regulatory requirements;
    (iii) The filing and archiving of records so they are retrievable 
and legible;
    (iv) Action taken to stop recurrence of system, process, and 
product nonconformity; and
    (v) Auditing, reviewing, and improving the performance of the 
training management system.
    (d) Documentation from a nationally recognized academic 
accreditation body

[[Page 77909]]

may be accepted by the Coast Guard as meeting one or more of the 
requirements listed in paragraph (c) of this section. The documentation 
must be readily available for inspection upon request.
    (e) The Coast Guard will accept documentation from a training 
institution certified under a national or international Quality 
Management System Standard as meeting one or more of the requirements 
listed in paragraph (c) of this section. The documentation must be 
readily available for inspection upon request.
    (f) Coast Guard-approved courses, programs, and training creditable 
towards an STCW endorsement must meet the requirements of this section 
by January 1, 2017.
    (g) The Coast Guard will accept company ISM documentation as 
meeting one or more of the requirements listed in paragraph (c) of this 
section.
    (h) Organizations are subject to audits at least twice in a 5-year 
period. Organizations must cooperate with Coast Guard audits.


Sec.  10.411  Simulator performance standards.

    Simulators used in assessment of competence must meet the 
appropriate performance standards set out in Section A-I/12 of the STCW 
Code (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  10.103 of this part). 
However, a simulator installed or brought into use before February 1, 
2002, need not meet those standards if it fulfills the objectives of 
the assessment of competence or demonstration of proficiency.


Sec.  10.412  Distance and e-learning.

    The Coast Guard may allow the training of mariners by means of 
distance learning and e-learning in accordance with the standards of 
training and assessment set forth in section B-I/6 (Training and 
assessment) of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  
10.103 of this part).

0
31. Revise part 11 to read as follows:

PART 11--REQUIREMENTS FOR OFFICER ENDORSEMENTS

Subpart A--General
Sec.
11.101 Purpose of regulations.
11.102 Incorporation by reference.
11.103-11.105 [Reserved]
11.107 Paperwork approval.
11.109-11.113 [Reserved]
Subpart B--General Requirements for Officer Endorsements
11.201 General requirements for national and STCW officer 
endorsements.
11.203-11.210 [Reserved]
11.211 Creditable service and equivalents for national and STCW 
officer endorsements.
11.212-11.216 [Reserved]
11.217 Examination procedures and denial of officer endorsements.
11.219-11.223 [Reserved]
Subpart C--STCW Officer Endorsements
11.301 Requirements for STCW officer endorsements.
11.302 Basic training.
11.303 Advanced firefighting.
11.304 STCW deck officer endorsements.
11.305 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master on 
vessels of 3,000 GT or more (management level).
11.307 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief mate 
on vessels of 3,000 GT or more (management level).
11.309 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as officer in 
charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) on vessels of 500 GT or more 
(operational level).
11.311 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master on 
vessels of 500 GT or more and less than 3,000 GT (management level).
11.313 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief mate 
on vessels of 500 GT or more and less than 3,000 GT (management 
level).
11.315 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master on 
vessels of less than 500 GT (management level).
11.317 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master on 
vessels of less than 500 GT limited to near-coastal waters 
(management level).
11.319 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as Officer in 
Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) on vessels of less than 500 
GT (operational level).
11.321 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as Officer in 
Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) on vessels of less than 500 
GT limited to near-coastal waters (operational level).
11.323 STCW engineer officer endorsements.
11.325 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief 
engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 
3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power or more (management level).
11.327 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as second 
engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 
3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power or more (management level).
11.329 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as Officer in 
Charge on an Engineering Watch (OICEW) in a manned engineroom, or as 
a designated duty engineer in a periodically unmanned engineroom, on 
vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP 
propulsion power or more (operational level).
11.331 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief 
engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 
750 kW/1,000 HP or more and less than 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion 
power (management level).
11.333 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as second 
engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 
750 kW/1,000 HP or more and less than 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion 
power (management level).
11.335 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as an 
electro-technical officer on vessels powered by main propulsion 
machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP or more (operational level).
11.337 Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as vessel 
security officer.
Subpart D--Professional Requirements for National Deck Officer 
Endorsements
11.401 Ocean and near-coastal national officer endorsements.
11.402 Tonnage requirements for national ocean or near-coastal 
endorsements for vessels of 1,600 GRT or more.
11.403 Structure of national deck officer endorsements.
11.404 Service requirements for master of ocean or near-coastal 
self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
11.405 Service requirements for chief mate of ocean or near-coastal 
self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
11.406 Service requirements for second mate of ocean or near-coastal 
self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
11.407 Service requirements for third mate of ocean or near-coastal 
self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
11.410 Requirements for deck officer endorsements for vessels of 
less than 1,600 GRT.
11.412 Service requirements for master on ocean or near-coastal 
self-propelled vessels of less than 1,600 GRT.
11.414 Service requirements for mate on ocean self-propelled vessels 
of less than 1,600 GRT.
11.416 Service requirements for mate on near-coastal self-propelled 
vessels of less than 1,600 GRT.
11.418 Service requirements for master on ocean or near-coastal 
self-propelled vessels of less than 500 GRT.
11.420 Service requirements for mate on ocean self-propelled vessels 
of less than 500 GRT.
11.421 Service requirements for mate on near-coastal self-propelled 
vessels of less than 500 GRT.
11.422 Tonnage limitations and qualifying requirements for 
endorsements as master or mate on vessels of less than 200 GRT.
11.424 Requirements for master on ocean self-propelled vessels of 
less than 200 GRT.
11.425 Requirements for mate on ocean self-propelled vessels of less 
than 200 GRT.
11.426 Requirements for master on near-coastal self-propelled 
vessels of less than 200 GRT.

[[Page 77910]]

11.427 Requirements for mate on near-coastal self-propelled vessels 
of less than 200 GRT.
11.428 Requirements for master on near-coastal self-propelled 
vessels of less than 100 GRT.
11.429 Requirements for a limited master on near-coastal self-
propelled vessels of less than 100 GRT.
11.430 Endorsements for the Great Lakes and inland waters.
11.431 Tonnage requirements for Great Lakes and inland endorsements 
for vessels of 1,600 GT or more.
11.433 Requirements for master of Great Lakes and inland self-
propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
11.435 Requirements for master of inland self-propelled vessels of 
unlimited tonnage.
11.437 Requirements for mate of Great Lakes and inland self-
propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
11.442 Requirements for master of Great Lakes and inland self-
propelled vessels of less than 1,600 GRT.
11.444 Requirements for mate of Great lakes and inland self-
propelled vessels of less than 1,600 GRT.
11.446 Requirements for master of Great Lakes and inland self-
propelled vessels of less than 500 GRT.
11.448 Requirements for mate of Great Lakes and inland self-
propelled vessels of less than 500 GRT.
11.450 Tonnage limitations and qualifying requirements for 
endorsements as master or mate of Great Lakes and inland vessels of 
less than 200 GRT.
11.452 Requirements for master of Great Lakes and inland self-
propelled vessels of less than 200 GRT.
11.454 Requirements for mate of Great Lakes and inland self-
propelled vessels of less than 200 GRT.
11.455 Requirements for master of Great Lakes and inland self-
propelled vessels of less than 100 GRT.
11.456 Requirements for limited master of Great Lakes and inland 
self-propelled vessels of less than 100 GRT.
11.457 Requirements for master of inland self-propelled vessels of 
less than 100 GRT.
11.459 Requirements for national endorsement as master or mate of 
rivers.
11.462 Requirements for national endorsement as master or mate of 
uninspected fishing industry vessels.
11.463 General requirements for national endorsements as master, 
mate (pilot), and apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels.
11.464 Requirements for national endorsements as master of towing 
vessels.
11.465 Requirements for national endorsements as mate (pilot) of 
towing vessels.
11.466 Requirements for national endorsements as apprentice mate 
(steersman) of towing vessels.
11.467 Requirements for a national endorsement as operator of 
uninspected passenger vessels of less than 100 GRT.
11.468 National officer endorsements for mobile offshore drilling 
units (MODUs).
11.470 National officer endorsements as offshore installation 
manager.
11.472 National officer endorsements as barge supervisor.
11.474 National officer endorsements as ballast control operator.
11.480 Radar observer.
11.482 Assistance towing.
11.491 National officer endorsements for service on offshore supply 
vessels.
11.493 Master (OSV).
11.495 Chief mate (OSV).
11.497 Mate (OSV).
Subpart E--Professional Requirements for National Engineer Officer 
Endorsements
11.501 Grades and types of national engineer endorsements issued.
11.502 General requirements for national engineer endorsements.
11.503 Propulsion power limitations for national endorsements.
11.504 Application of deck service for national limited engineer 
endorsements.
11.505 National engineer officer endorsements.
11.510 Service requirements for national endorsement as chief 
engineer on steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled vessels.
11.512 Service requirements for national endorsement as first 
assistant engineer of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled 
vessels.
11.514 Service requirements for national endorsement as second 
assistant engineer of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled 
vessels.
11.516 Service requirements for national endorsement as third 
assistant engineer of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled 
vessels.
11.518 Service requirements for national endorsement as chief 
engineer (limited) of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled 
vessels.
11.522 Service requirements for national endorsement as assistant 
engineer (limited) of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled 
vessels.
11.524 Service requirements for national endorsement as designated 
duty engineer (DDE) of steam, motor, and/or gas turbine-propelled 
vessels.
11.530 Endorsements as engineers of uninspected fishing industry 
vessels.
11.540 Endorsements as engineers of mobile offshore drilling units 
(MODUs).
11.542 Endorsement as chief engineer (MODU).
11.544 Endorsement as assistant engineer (MODU).
11.551 Endorsements for service on offshore supply vessels.
11.553 Chief engineer (OSV).
11.555 Assistant engineer (OSV).
Subpart F--Credentialing of Radio Officers
11.601 Applicability.
11.603 Requirements for radio officers' endorsements.
11.604 Requirements for an STCW endorsement for Global Maritime 
Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) radio operators.
Subpart G--Professional Requirements for Pilots
11.701 Scope of pilot endorsements.
11.703 Service requirements.
11.705 Route familiarization requirements.
11.707 Examination requirements.
11.709 Annual physical examination requirements.
11.711 Tonnage requirements.
11.713 Requirements for maintaining current knowledge of waters to 
be navigated.
Subpart H--Registration of Staff Officers and Miscellaneous 
Endorsements
11.801 Applicability.
11.803 Staff departments.
11.805 General requirements.
11.807 Experience requirements for registry.
11.821 High-speed craft-type rating.
Subpart I--Subjects of Examinations
11.901 General provisions.
11.903 Officer endorsements requiring examinations.
11.910 Subjects for deck officer endorsements.
11.920 Subjects for MODU endorsements.
11.950 Examination subjects for engineer officer endorsements.
Subpart J--Recognition of Other Parties' STCW Certificates
11.1001 Purpose of rules.
11.1003 General requirements.
11.1005 Employer application requirements.
11.1007 Basis for denial.
11.1009 Restrictions.
Subpart K--Officers on a Passenger Ship When on an International Voyage
11.1101 Purpose of rules.
11.1103 Definitions.
11.1105 General requirements for officer endorsements.

    Authority:  14 U.S.C. 633; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 46 U.S.C. 2101, 2103, 
and 2110; 46 U.S.C. chapter 71; 46 U.S.C. 7502, 7505, 7701, 8906, 
and 70105; Executive Order 10173; Department of Homeland Security 
Delegation No. 0170.1. Section 11.107 is also issued under the 
authority of 44 U.S.C. 3507.

Subpart A--General


Sec.  11.101  Purpose of regulations.

    (a) The purpose of this part is to provide--
    (1) A means of determining the qualifications an applicant must 
possess to be eligible for an officer endorsement as a staff officer, 
deck officer, engineer officer, pilot, or radio officer on merchant 
vessels, or for an endorsement to operate uninspected passenger 
vessels; and
    (2) A means of determining that an applicant is competent to serve 
as a master, chief mate, officer in charge of a navigational watch, 
chief engineer officer, second engineer officer (first assistant 
engineer), officer in charge of

[[Page 77911]]

an engineering watch, designated duty engineer, or Global Maritime 
Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) radio operator, in accordance with 
the provisions of the International Convention on Standards of 
Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as 
amended (the STCW Convention or STCW), and other laws, and to receive 
the appropriate endorsement as required by STCW.
    (b) With few exceptions, these regulations do not specify or 
restrict officer endorsements to particular types of service such as 
tankships, freight vessels, or passenger vessels. However, each officer 
credentialed under this part must become familiar with the relevant 
characteristics of a vessel prior to assuming his or her duties as 
required in the provisions of Sec.  15.405 of this subchapter.
    (c) The regulations previously found in subpart C of this part that 
prescribe the requirements applicable to approved training courses, 
training for a particular officer endorsement, and training and 
assessment associated with meeting the standards of competence 
established by the STCW Convention have been moved to 46 CFR part 10, 
subpart C.


Sec.  11.102  Incorporation by reference.

    (a) Certain material is incorporated by reference into this part 
with the approval of the Director of the Federal Register under 5 
U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. To enforce any edition other than that 
specified in this section, the Coast Guard must publish a notice of 
change in the Federal Register and the material must be available to 
the public. All approved material is available for inspection at the 
Coast Guard, Office of Operating and Environmental Standards (CG-CG-
OES), 2100 2nd St. SW., Stop 7126, Washington, DC 20593-7126, 202-372-
1405 and is available from the sources listed below. It is also 
available for inspection at the National Archives and Records 
Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this 
material at NARA, call 202-741-6030 or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.
    (b) International Maritime Organization (IMO), 4 Albert Embankment, 
London SE1 7SR, England:
    (1) The International Convention on Standards of Training, 
Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended, 2011 
(the STCW Convention or the STCW), incorporation by reference approved 
for Sec. Sec.  11.201, 11.426, 11.427, 11.428, 11.429, 11.493, 11.495, 
11.497, 11.553, 11.555, 11.1001, 11.1003, 11.1009, and 11.1105.
    (2) The Seafarers' Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code, 
as amended, 2011 (the STCW Code), incorporation by reference approved 
for Sec. Sec.  11.201, 11.301, 11.302, 11.303, 11.305, 11.307, 11.309, 
11.311, 11.313, 11.315, 11.317, 11.319, 11.321, 11.325, 11.327, 11.329, 
11.331, 11.333, 11.335, 11.604, 11.901, and 11.1105.
    (3) The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 
1974 (SOLAS), incorporation by reference approved for Sec.  11.601.


Sec. Sec.  11.103-11.105  [Reserved]


Sec.  11.107  Paperwork approval.

    (a) This section lists the control numbers assigned by the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1980 (Pub. L. 96-511) for the reporting and recordkeeping requirements 
in this part.
    (b) The following control numbers have been assigned to the 
sections indicated:
    (1) OMB 1625-0040-46 CFR 11.201, 11.202, 11.205, 11.470, 11.472, 
11.474, 11.542, and 11.544.
    (2) OMB 1625-028-46 CFR 11.480.


Sec. Sec.  11.109-11.113  [Reserved]

Subpart B--General Requirements for Officer Endorsements


Sec.  11.201  General requirements for national and STCW officer 
endorsements.

    (a) General. In addition to the requirements of part 10 of this 
subchapter, the applicant for an officer endorsement, whether original, 
renewal, duplicate, or raise of grade, must establish to the 
satisfaction of the Coast Guard that he or she possesses all the 
qualifications necessary (including but not limited to age, experience, 
character, physical health, citizenship, approved training, 
professional competence, and a test for dangerous drugs) before the 
Coast Guard will issue to him or her a merchant mariner credential 
(MMC). An applicant for any STCW endorsement must hold the appropriate 
national endorsement unless otherwise specified.
    (b) English language requirements. Except as provided in Sec.  
11.467(i) of this part, an applicant for an officer endorsement must 
demonstrate an ability to speak and understand English as found in the 
navigation rules, aids to navigation publications, emergency equipment 
instructions, machinery instructions, and radiotelephone communications 
instructions.
    (c) Experience and service. (1) Applicants for officer endorsements 
should refer to Sec.  10.232 of this subchapter for information 
regarding requirements for documentation and proof of sea service.
    (2) An applicant for a national officer endorsement must have at 
least 3 months of required service on vessels of appropriate tonnage or 
horsepower within the 3 years immediately preceding the date of 
application.
    (3) No original officer endorsement may be issued to any 
naturalized citizen based on less experience in any grade or capacity 
than would have been required of a citizen of the United States by 
birth.
    (4) Experience and service acquired on foreign vessels is 
creditable for establishing eligibility for an officer endorsement, 
subject to evaluation by the Coast Guard to determine that it is a fair 
and reasonable equivalent to service acquired on merchant vessels of 
the United States, with respect to grade, tonnage, horsepower, waters, 
and operating conditions. An applicant who has obtained qualifying 
experience on foreign vessels must submit satisfactory documentary 
evidence of such service (including any necessary translation into 
English) in accordance with Sec.  10.232 of this subchapter.
    (5) No applicant for an original officer endorsement who is a 
naturalized citizen and who has obtained experience on foreign vessels 
will be given an original officer endorsement in a grade higher than 
that upon which he or she has actually served while acting under the 
authority of a foreign credential.
    (6) Experience acquired while the applicant was less than 16 years 
of age is generally not creditable. Compelling circumstances and unique 
experiences acquired before the applicant reaches 16 years of age will 
be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
    (d) Citizenship. No officer endorsement may be issued to any person 
who is not a citizen of the United States with the exception of 
operators of uninspected passenger vessels that are not documented 
under the laws of the United States.
    (e) Age. Except as specified in this paragraph, no officer 
endorsement may be issued to a person who has not attained the age of 
21 years. The required evidence of age may be established using any of 
the items submitted to establish citizenship set out in 49 CFR 1572.17.
    (1) An endorsement may be granted to an applicant who has reached 
the age of 19 years as--
    (i) Master of near-coastal, Great Lakes and inland, or river 
vessels of 25-200 GRT;
    (ii) Third mate;
    (iii) Third assistant engineer;

[[Page 77912]]

    (iv) Mate of vessels of between 200 GRT and 1,600 GRT;
    (v) Ballast control operator (BCO);
    (vi) Assistant engineer (MODU);
    (vii) Assistant engineer of fishing industry vessels;
    (viii) Mate (pilot) of towing vessels;
    (ix) Radio officer;
    (x) Assistant engineer (limited); or
    (xi) Designated duty engineer of vessels of less than 4,000 HP/
3,000 kW.
    (2) An endorsement may be granted to an applicant who has reached 
the age of 18 years as--
    (i) Limited master of near-coastal vessels of less than 100 GRT;
    (ii) Limited master of Great Lakes and inland vessels of less than 
100 GRT;
    (iii) Mate of Great Lakes and inland vessels of 25-200 GRT;
    (iv) Mate of near-coastal vessels of 25-200 GRT;
    (v) Operator of uninspected passenger vessels (OUPV);
    (vi) Designated duty engineer of vessels of less than 1,000 HP/750 
kW;
    (vii) Apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels;
    (viii) Officer in charge of a navigational watch (OICNW);
    (ix) Officer in charge of an engineering watch (OICEW); and
    (x) Electro-technical officer (ETO).
    (f) Physical examination. (1) Persons serving or intending to serve 
in the merchant marine service are encouraged to take the earliest 
opportunity to ascertain, through examination, whether their visual 
acuity, color vision, hearing, and general physical condition, are such 
as to qualify them for service in that profession. Any physical 
impairment or medical condition that would render an applicant 
incompetent to perform the ordinary duties required of an officer is 
cause for denial of an officer endorsement.
    (2) Applications for an original officer endorsement, raises of 
grade, and extensions of route, must be current and up to date with 
respect to service and the physical examination, as appropriate. 
Physical examinations and applications are valid for 12 months from the 
date the application is approved.
    (g) Character check. (1) An individual may apply for an original 
officer endorsement, or officer or STCW endorsement of a different 
type, while on probation as a result of administrative action under 
part 5 of this chapter. The offense for which the applicant was placed 
on probation will be considered in determining his or her fitness to 
hold the endorsement applied for. An officer or STCW endorsement issued 
to an applicant on probation will be subject to the same probationary 
conditions as were imposed against the applicant's other credential. An 
applicant may not take an examination for an officer or STCW 
endorsement during any period of time when a suspension without 
probation or a revocation is effective against the applicant's 
currently held license, merchant mariner document (MMD), or MMC, or 
while an appeal from these actions is pending.
    (2) If information about the applicant's habits of life and 
character is brought to the attention of the Coast Guard after an 
original license, certificate of registry, or officer endorsement has 
been issued, and if such information reasonably supports the conclusion 
that the applicant cannot be entrusted with the duties and 
responsibilities of the license, certificate of registry, or officer 
endorsement issued, or indicates that the application for the license, 
certificate of registry, or officer endorsement was false or 
incomplete, the Coast Guard may notify the holder in writing that the 
license, certificate of registry, or officer endorsement is considered 
null and void, direct the holder to return the credential to the Coast 
Guard, and advise the holder that, upon return of the credential, the 
appeal procedures of Sec.  10.237 of this subchapter apply.
    (h) Firefighting certificate. (1) Applicants for an original 
officer endorsement in the following categories must present a 
certificate of completion from a firefighting course of instruction 
that has been approved by the Coast Guard. (1) The firefighting course 
must have been completed within the past 5 years, or if it was 
completed more than 5 years before the date of application, the 
applicant must provide evidence of maintaining the standard of 
competence in accordance with the firefighting requirements for the 
credential sought.
    (2) The following categories must meet the requirements for basic 
and advanced firefighting in Regulations VI/1 and VI/3 of the STCW 
Convention and Tables A-VI/1-2 and A-VI/3 of the STCW Code (both 
incorporated by reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part):
    (i) National officer endorsements as master or mate on seagoing 
vessels of 200 GRT or more.
    (ii) All national officer endorsements for master or mate (pilot) 
of towing vessels, except apprentice mate (steersman) of the vessels, 
on oceans.
    (iii) All national officer endorsements for MODUs.
    (iv) All national officer endorsements for engineers.
    (v) All national officer endorsements for OSVs.
    (vi) All STCW officer endorsements except GMDSS radio operator.
    (3) The following categories must meet the requirements for basic 
firefighting in Regulation VI/1 of the STCW Convention and Table A-VI/
1-2 of the STCW Code:
    (i) Officer endorsement as master on vessels of less than 500 GT in 
ocean service.
    (ii) All officer endorsements for master or mate (pilot) of towing 
vessels, except apprentice mate (steersman) of towing vessels, in all 
services except oceans.
    (4) Applicants for a raise of grade of an officer endorsement who 
have not previously met the requirements of paragraph (h) of this 
section must do so.
    (i) First-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course 
certificates. All applicants for an original officer endorsement, 
except as provided in Sec. Sec.  11.429, 11.456, and 11.467 of this 
part, must present to the Coast Guard--
    (1) Evidence of continued competency in STCW basic training in 
accordance with Sec.  11.302 of this part or a certificate indicating 
completion not more than 1 year from the date of application of --
    (i) The American National Red Cross Standard First Aid course or 
American National Red Cross Community First Aid & Safety course; or
    (ii) A Coast Guard-approved first-aid course; and
    (2) A currently valid certificate of completion of a CPR course 
from either--
    (i) The American National Red Cross;
    (ii) The American Heart Association; or
    (iii) A Coast Guard-approved CPR course.
    (j) Professional examination. (1) When the Coast Guard finds the 
applicant's experience and training to be satisfactory, and the 
applicant is eligible in all other respects, the Coast Guard will 
authorize examination in accordance with the following requirements:
    (i) Except for an endorsement required by the STCW Convention, any 
applicant for a deck or engineer officer endorsement limited to vessels 
less than 200 GRT, or an officer endorsement limited to uninspected 
fishing industry vessels, may request an orally assisted examination 
instead of any written or other textual examination. If there are 
textual questions that the applicant has difficulty reading and 
understanding, the Coast Guard will offer the orally assisted 
examination. Each officer endorsement based on an orally assisted 
examination is limited to the specific route and type of vessel upon 
which the

[[Page 77913]]

applicant obtained the majority of service.
    (ii) The general instructions for administration of examinations 
and the lists of subjects for all officer endorsements appear in 
subpart I of this part. The Coast Guard will place in the applicant's 
file a record indicating the subjects covered.
    (iii) An applicant enrolled in an approved comprehensive program of 
training, service, and assessment will be authorized for an examination 
not more than 6 months prior to completion of the comprehensive 
program, provided all sea service and assessments of competency are 
completed prior to the examination.
    (iv) The examination, whether administered orally or by other 
means, must be conducted only in the English language.
    (2) When the application has been approved for examination, the 
approval is valid for 1 year.
    (3) An examination is not required for a staff officer or radio 
officer endorsement.
    (k) Radar observer. Applicants for an endorsement as radar observer 
must present a certificate of completion from a radar observer course 
as required by Sec.  11.480 of this part.
    (l) Restrictions. The Coast Guard may modify the service and 
examination requirements in this part to satisfy the unique 
qualification requirements of an applicant or distinct group of 
mariners. The Coast Guard may also lower the age requirement for OUPV 
applicants. The authority granted by an officer endorsement will be 
restricted to reflect any modifications made under the authority of 
this paragraph.


Sec. Sec.  11.202-11.210  [Reserved]


Sec.  11.211  Creditable service and equivalents for national and STCW 
officer endorsements.

    (a) Applicants for officer endorsements should refer to Sec.  
10.232 of this subchapter for information regarding requirements for 
documentation and proof of sea service.
    (b) Service toward an oceans, near-coastal, or STCW endorsement 
will be credited as follows:
    (1) Service on the Great Lakes will be credited on a day-for-day 
basis up to 100 percent of the total required service.
    (2) Service on inland waters, other than Great Lakes, that are 
navigable waters of the United States, will be credited on a day-for-
day basis for up to 50 percent of the total required service.
    (c) Service on mobile offshore drilling units. (1) MODU service is 
creditable for raise of grade of an officer endorsement. Evidence of 1 
year of service on MODUs as mate or equivalent while holding an officer 
endorsement or license as third mate, or as engineering officer of the 
watch or equivalent while holding an officer endorsement or license as 
third assistant engineer, is acceptable for a raise of grade to second 
mate or second assistant engineer, respectively. However, any 
subsequent raises of grade of unlimited, non-restricted officer 
licenses or endorsements must include a minimum of 6 months of service 
on conventional vessels.
    (2) Service on MODUs maintaining station by means of dynamic 
positioning, may be credited as service on conventional vessels for any 
raise in grade; however, time more than 8 hours each day will not be 
credited.
    (3) A day of creditable MODU service must be a minimum of 4 hours, 
and no additional credit will be granted for periods of more than 8 
hours.
    (4) Creditable MODU service excludes time spent ashore due to crew 
rotation.
    (d) Service on Articulated Tug Barges (ATBs) and Integrated Tug 
Barges (ITBs). Service on ATB or Dual Mode ITB units is creditable for 
an original deck officer endorsement or raise of grade of any deck 
officer endorsement. Service on an ATB or Dual Mode ITB with an 
aggregate tonnage of 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more is creditable on a two-
for-one basis (2 days experience equals 1 day of creditable service) 
for up to 50 percent of the total service on vessels of 1,600 GRT/3,000 
GT or more required for an unlimited officer endorsement. The remaining 
required service on vessels of more than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT must be 
obtained on conventional vessels or Push Mode ITBs.
    (e) Service on towing vessels. Service as master or mate (pilot) on 
towing vessels, when the aggregate tonnage of the tug and barges is 
1,600 GRT/3,000 GT or more, is creditable, using the aggregate tonnage, 
on a two-for-one basis (2 days experience equals 1 day of creditable 
service) for up to 50 percent of the total service on vessels of 1,600 
GRT/3,000 GT or more required for an unlimited officer endorsement. The 
remaining required service on vessels of more than 1,600 GRT/3,000 GT 
must be obtained on conventional vessels. This service must be 
documented as specified in Sec.  10.232(a) of this subchapter.
    (f) Individuals obtaining sea service as part of an approved 
training curriculum pursuant to either Sec.  11.407(a)(2) or Sec.  
11.516(a)(3) of this part must do so in the capacity of cadet (deck) or 
cadet (engine), as appropriate, notwithstanding any other rating 
endorsements the individual may hold or any other capacity in which the 
individual may have served.
    (g) Other experience. Other experience in a marine-related area, 
other than at sea, or sea service performed on unique vessels, will be 
evaluated by the Coast Guard for a determination of equivalence to 
traditional service.
    (h) Tonnage. When determining sea service credit for officer 
endorsement applicants under subpart D of this part, the tonnage of a 
vessel solely admeasured using the Convention measurement scheme under 
46 U.S.C. Chapter 143 will be credited as Gross Register Tonnage. This 
paragraph does not apply to those vessels measured under the optional 
regulatory measurement provisions of 46 U.S.C. 14305.


Sec.  11.212-Sec.  11.216  [Reserved]


Sec.  11.217  Examination procedures and denial of officer 
endorsements.

    (a) The examination fee set out in Table 1 to Sec.  10.219(a) of 
this subchapter must be paid before the applicant may take the first 
examination section. If an applicant fails three or more sections of 
the examination, a complete re-examination must be taken. On the 
subsequent exam, if the applicant again fails three or more sections, 
at least 3 months must elapse before another complete examination is 
attempted, and a new examination fee is required. If an applicant fails 
one or two sections of an examination, the applicant may be retested 
twice on these sections during the next 3 months. If the applicant does 
not successfully complete these sections within the 3-month period, a 
complete re-examination must be taken at least 3 months from the date 
of the last retest, and a new examination fee is required. The 3-month 
retest period may be extended by the Coast Guard if the applicant 
presents evidence documenting sea time that prevented the taking of a 
retest during the 3-month period. The retest period may not be extended 
beyond 7 months from the initial examination. All examinations and 
retests must be completed within 1 year of approval for examination.
    (b) If the Coast Guard refuses to grant an applicant the 
endorsement applied for due to the applicant's failure to pass a 
required examination, the Coast Guard will provide the applicant with a 
written statement setting forth the portions of the examination that 
must be retaken and the date by which the examination must be 
completed.

[[Page 77914]]

Sec. Sec.  11.219-11.223  [Reserved]

Subpart C--STCW Officer Endorsements


Sec.  11.301  Requirements for STCW officer endorsements.

    (a) Standard of competence. (1) The Coast Guard will accept one or 
more methods listed in the STCW Code to demonstrate meeting the 
standard of competence in this subpart. See Column 3--Methods for 
demonstrating competence--of the Tables of Competence in the STCW Code 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part). The Coast 
Guard will accept the following as evidence of meeting the standard of 
competence under each of these methods:
    (i) In-service experience: Documentation of successful completion 
of assessments, approved or accepted by the Coast Guard, and signed by 
a qualified assessor (QA)--deck or engineering--as appropriate.
    (ii) Training ship experience: Documentation of successful 
completion of an approved training program involving formal training 
and assessment onboard a training ship.
    (iii) Simulator training: Documentation of successful completion of 
training and assessment from a Coast Guard-approved course involving 
maritime simulation.
    (iv) Laboratory equipment training: Documentation of successful 
completion of training and assessments from an approved training course 
or facility.
    (v) Practical training or instruction:
    (A) Documentation of successful completion of assessment as part of 
a structured/formal training or instruction provided by an organization 
or company as part of an accepted safety or quality management system; 
or
    (B) Documentation of successful completion of an approved training 
course from a school or facility.
    (vi) Specialist training: Documentation of successful completion of 
assessment as part of a company training or specialized training 
provided by a maritime or equipment specialist.
    (vii) Workshop skills training: Documentation of successful 
completion of assessments or completion certificate from an approved 
training program, school or facility.
    (viii) Training program: Documentation of successful completion of 
an approved training program.
    (ix) Training on a manned scale ship model: Documentation of 
successful completion of assessment as part of a structured/formal 
training or instruction provided by an approved training school or 
facility.
    (x) Practical demonstration of competence: Documentation of 
successful completion of assessments approved or accepted by the Coast 
Guard.
    (xi) Practical test and practical experience: Documentation of 
successful completion of assessments approved or accepted by the Coast 
Guard.
    (xii) Examination: Successful completion of a Coast Guard 
examination.
    (xiii) Instruction or course: Documentation of successful 
completion of an approved or accepted course of instruction.
    (2) Knowledge components may be documented by--
    (i) Successful completion of the Coast Guard examination for the 
associated officer endorsement;
    (ii) Successful completion of an approved course; or
    (iii) Successful completion of an approved program.
    (3) The Coast Guard will publish assessment guidelines that should 
be used to document assessments that demonstrate meeting the standard 
of competence, as required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section. 
Organizations may develop alternative assessment documentation for 
demonstrations of competence; however, such documentation must be 
approved by the Coast Guard prior to its use and submittal with an 
application.
    (b) Service. (1) Service as a rating will not be accepted to 
upgrade from the operational-level to management-level STCW 
endorsements.
    (2) Service on the Great Lakes will be credited on a day-for-day 
basis for up to 100 percent of the total required service.
    (3) Service on inland waters other than Great Lakes, which are 
navigable waters of the United States, will be credited on a day-for-
day basis for up to 50 percent of the total required service.
    (4) Service accrued onboard vessels with dual tonnages (both 
domestic and international) will be credited using the international 
tonnage for the credential sought.
    (5) Applicants who cannot meet the requirement for 1 year of sea 
service within the last 5 years as described in Sec.  11.303(c) of this 
subpart, will be required to meet the requirements of Sec.  11.303(a) 
of this subpart.
    (c) Operational-level endorsement. Applicants holding national 
officer endorsements, who seek to add an STCW endorsement at the 
operational level, must provide evidence of meeting the STCW 
requirements found in this subpart, including--
    (1) Meeting the service requirements for the operational-level STCW 
endorsement;
    (2) Satisfactory completion of the STCW operational-level standards 
of competence; and
    (3) Satisfactory completion of the STCW operational-level training 
as required in this part.
    (d) Management-level endorsement. Applicants holding national 
officer endorsements as master, chief mate, chief engineer, or first 
assistant engineer, and who seek to add an STCW endorsement at the 
management level, must provide evidence of meeting the STCW 
requirements found in this subpart, including--
    (1) Meeting the service requirements for the management-level STCW 
endorsement;
    (2) Satisfactory completion of the STCW operational- and 
management-level standards of competence; and
    (3) Satisfactory completion of the STCW operational- and 
management-level training as required in this part.
    (e) Training and assessment for Automatic Radar Plotting Aids 
(ARPA), Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), or 
Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). Training and 
assessment in the use of ARPA, ECDIS, or GMDSS is not required for 
those who serve exclusively on ships not fitted with ARPA, ECDIS, or 
GMDSS. For ARPA and ECDIS, this limitation must be reflected in the 
endorsement issued to the seafarer concerned. GMDSS is a separate 
endorsement that will only be added if the applicant qualifies for it.
    (f) Exemptions and Limitations. (1) The Coast Guard may exempt an 
applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and 
proficiency required in the appropriate table of competence in the STCW 
Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon 
vessel type. Under these circumstances, the certificate may include a 
corresponding limitation. (2) A seafarer may have a limitation removed 
by providing the Coast Guard with evidence of having completed the 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required.
    (g) Grandfathering. (1) Except as noted otherwise, each candidate 
who applies for a credential based on approved or accepted training or 
approved seagoing service that was started on or after March 24, 2014, 
or who applies for the MMC endorsement on or after January 1, 2017, 
must meet the requirements of this part.

[[Page 77915]]

    (2) Except as noted by this subpart, seafarers holding an STCW 
endorsement prior to March 24, 2014, will not be required to complete 
any additional training required under this part to retain the STCW 
endorsements until January 1, 2017.
    (3) Except as noted otherwise, candidates who apply for a 
credential based on approved or accepted training or approved seagoing 
service that was completed before March 24, 2014, may qualify under the 
requirements of this part existing before that date. This includes the 
assessments published prior to March 24, 2014, as well as the 
additional requirements for the STCW endorsement section.
    (4) Persons who hold or have held an STCW operational-level 
endorsement issued prior to March 24, 2014 and are seeking to upgrade 
to an STCW management-level endorsement will not be required to 
complete the practical assessments for STCW operational-level 
endorsements as required in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.
    (5) Except as noted by this subpart, the Coast Guard will continue 
to issue STCW endorsements meeting the requirements of this part 
existing before March 24, 2014, for seafarers identified in paragraph 
(g)(3) of this section, until January 1, 2017.
    (h) Notwithstanding Sec.  11.901 of this part, each mariner found 
qualified to hold any of the following national officer endorsements 
will also be entitled to hold an STCW endorsement corresponding to the 
service or other limitations of the license or officer endorsements on 
the MMC. The vessels concerned are not subject to further obligation 
under STCW because of their special operating conditions as small 
vessels engaged in domestic, near-coastal voyages.
    (1) Masters, mates, or engineers endorsed for service on small 
passenger vessels that are subject to subchapter T or K of this chapter 
and that operate beyond the boundary line.
    (2) Masters, mates, or engineers endorsed for service on seagoing 
vessels of less than 200 GRT, other than passenger vessels subject to 
subchapter H of this chapter.
    (i) Mariners serving on, and owners or operators of any of the 
following vessels, do not need to hold an STCW endorsement, because 
they are exempt from application of STCW:
    (1) Fishing vessels as defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101(11)(a).
    (2) Fishing vessels used as fish-tender vessels as defined in 46 
U.S.C. 2101(11)(c).
    (3) Barges as defined in 46 U.S.C. 102, including non-self-
propelled mobile offshore drilling units.
    (4) Vessels operating exclusively on the Great Lakes or on the 
inland waters of the United States in the Straits of Juan de Fuca or on 
the Inside Passage between Puget Sound and Cape Spencer.
    (j) Mariners serving on, and owners or operators of uninspected 
passenger vessels as defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101(42)(B), do not need to 
hold an STCW endorsement. The vessels concerned are not subject to 
further obligation under STCW because of their special operating 
conditions as small vessels engaged in domestic, near-coastal voyages.


Sec.  11.302  Basic training.

    (a) Applicants seeking an STCW officer endorsement must provide 
evidence of meeting the standard of competence for basic training (BT) 
as follows:
    (1) Personal survival techniques as set out in Table A-VI/1-1 of 
the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this 
part).
    (2) Fire prevention and firefighting as set out in Table A-VI/1-2 
of the STCW Code.
    (3) Elementary first aid as set out in Table A-VI/1-3 of the STCW 
Code.
    (4) Personal safety and social responsibilities as set out in Table 
A-VI/1-4 of the STCW Code.
    (b) Every 5 years seafarers qualified in accordance with Sec.  
11.301(c) and (d) of this subpart must provide evidence of maintaining 
the standard of competence for BT.
    (c) The Coast Guard will accept onboard training and experience, 
through evidence of 1 year of sea service within the last 5 years, for 
the following areas:
    (1) Personal survival techniques as set out in Table A-VI/1-1 of 
the STCW Code:
    (i) Donning a lifejacket.
    (ii) Boarding a survival craft from the ship, while wearing a 
lifejacket.
    (iii) Taking initial actions on boarding a lifeboat to enhance 
chance of survival.
    (iv) Streaming a lifeboat drogue or sea-anchor.
    (v) Operating survival craft equipment.
    (vi) Operating location devices, including radio equipment.
    (2) Fire prevention and firefighting as set out in Table A-VI/1-2 
of the STCW Code:
    (i) Using self-contained breathing apparatus.
    (ii) Performing a rescue in a smoke-filled space, using an approved 
smoke-generating device aboard, while wearing a breathing apparatus.
    (3) Elementary first aid as set out in Table A-VI/1-3 of the STCW 
Code.
    (4) Personal safety and social responsibilities as set out in Table 
A-VI/1-4 of the STCW Code.
    (d) The Coast Guard will only accept evidence of approved 
assessments conducted ashore for the following areas:
    (1) Personal survival techniques as set out in Table A-VI/1-1 of 
the STCW Code:
    (i) Donning and using an immersion suit.
    (ii) Safely jumping from a height into the water.
    (iii) Righting an inverted liferaft while wearing a lifejacket.
    (iv) Swimming while wearing a lifejacket.
    (v) Keeping afloat without a lifejacket.
    (2) Fire prevention and firefighting as set out in Table A-VI/1-2 
of the STCW Code:
    (i) Using various types of portable fire extinguishers.
    (ii) Extinguishing smaller fires, e.g., electrical fires, oil 
fires, and propane fires.
    (iii) Extinguishing extensive fires with water, using jet and spray 
nozzles.
    (iv) Extinguishing fires with foam, powder, or any other suitable 
chemical agent.
    (v) Fighting fire in smoke-filled enclosed spaces wearing self-
contained breathing apparatus.
    (vi) Extinguishing fire with water fog or any other suitable 
firefighting agent in an accommodation room or simulated engineroom 
with fire and heavy smoke.
    (vii) Extinguishing oil fire with fog applicator and spray nozzles, 
dry chemical powder, or foam applicators.
    (e) Applicants who cannot meet the requirement for 1 year of sea 
service within the last 5 years, as described in paragraph (c) of this 
section, will be required to meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of 
this section or complete approved or accepted refresher training.


Sec.  11.303  Advanced firefighting.

    (a) Advanced firefighting. Applicants seeking an STCW officer 
endorsement must provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
as set out in Table A-VI/3 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, 
see Sec.  11.102 of this part). Applicants for an original STCW officer 
endorsement, who met the requirements of Sec.  11.201(h) of this part 
will be deemed to have met the requirement of this paragraph.
    (b) Every 5 years seafarers qualified in accordance with paragraph 
(a) of this section must provide evidence of

[[Page 77916]]

maintaining the standard of competence as set out in Table A-VI/3 of 
the STCW Code.
    (c) The Coast Guard will accept onboard training and experience, 
through evidence of 1 year of sea service within the last 5 years, as 
meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section for the 
following areas as set out in Table A-VI/3 of the STCW Code:
    (1) Control firefighting operations aboard ships with the following 
knowledge, understanding, and proficiencies:
    (i) Firefighting procedures at sea and in port, with particular 
emphasis on organization, tactics and command.
    (ii) Communication and coordination during firefighting operations.
    (iii) Ventilation control, including smoke extraction.
    (iv) Control of fuel and electrical systems.
    (v) Firefighting process hazards (dry distillation, chemical 
reactions, boiler uptake).
    (vi) Fire precautions and hazards associated with the storage and 
handling of materials.
    (vii) Management and control of injured persons.
    (viii) Procedures for coordination with shore-based firefighters.
    (2) Inspect and service fire-detection and extinguishing systems 
and equipment.
    (i) Requirements for statutory and classification surveys.
    (ii) Reserved.
    (d) The Coast Guard will only accept evidence of assessments 
conducted ashore as meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this 
section for the following areas as set out in Table A-VI/3 of the STCW 
Code:
    (1) Control firefighting operations aboard ships with the following 
knowledge, understanding, and proficiencies:
    (i) Use of water for fire-extinguishing, the effect on ship 
stability, precautions and corrective procedures.
    (ii) Firefighting involving dangerous goods.
    (2) Organize and train fire parties.
    (3) Inspect and service fire-detection and extinguishing systems 
and equipment.
    (i) Fire detection. Fire-detection systems; fixed fire-
extinguishing systems; portable and mobile fire-extinguishing 
equipment, including appliances, pumps and rescue, salvage; life-
support; personal protective and communication equipment.
    (ii) Reserved.
    (4) Investigate and compile reports on incidents involving fire.
    (e) Applicants who cannot meet the requirement for 1 year of sea 
service within the last 5 years, as described in paragraph (c) of this 
section, will be required to meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of 
this section or complete approved or accepted refresher training.


Sec.  11.304  STCW deck officer endorsements.

    (a) Specific requirements for all STCW deck officer endorsements 
are detailed in the applicable sections in this part.
    (1) Master on vessels of 3,000 GT or more (management level).
    (2) Chief mate on vessels of 3,000 GT or more (management level).
    (3) Officer in charge of a navigational watch (OICNW) of vessels of 
500 GT or more (operational level).
    (4) Master of vessels of 500 GT or more and less than 3,000 GT 
(management level).
    (5) Chief mate of vessels of 500 GT or more and less than 3,000 GT 
(management level).
    (6) Master of vessels of less than 500 GT (management level).
    (7) Master of vessels of less than 500 GT limited to near-coastal 
waters (management level).
    (8) OICNW of vessels of less than 500 GT (operational level).
    (9) OICNW of vessels of less than 500 GT limited to near-coastal 
waters (operational level).
    (b) [Reserved]


Sec.  11.305  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master 
on vessels of 3,000 GT or more (management level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as master, an applicant 
must--
    (1) Provide evidence of 36 months of service as OICNW on vessels 
operating in oceans, near-coastal waters, and/or Great Lakes. This 
period may be reduced to not less than 24 months if the applicant 
served as chief mate for not less than 12 months. Service on inland 
waters that are navigable waters of the United States may be 
substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service. 
Experience gained in the engine department on vessels may be creditable 
for up to 3 months of the service requirements;
    (2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part); and
    (3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following subject areas:
    (i) Advanced shiphandling.
    (ii) Advanced stability.
    (iii) Advanced meteorology.
    (iv) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (v) Search and rescue.
    (vi) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (vii) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (viii) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (ix) Management of medical care.
    (b) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of 
3,000 GT or more to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, each 
candidate must provide evidence of successful completion of approved 
training in the following:
    (1) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (d) Seafarers holding an STCW endorsement as masters of vessels of 
500 GT or more and less than 3,000 GT, in accordance with Sec.  11.311 
of this subpart, are eligible to apply for the endorsement as master on 
vessels of 3,000 GT or more upon completion of 6 months of sea service, 
under the authority of the endorsement, and must complete any items in 
paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
    (e) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in table 1 to this paragraph:

[[Page 77917]]



             Table 1 to Sec.   11.305(e)--STCW Endorsement as Master on Vessels of 3,000 GT or More
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          Sea  service under
Entry path from national endorsements      authority of the      Competence--STCW Table A-  Training required by
                                            endorsement \1\              II/2 \2\            this  section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Master ocean or near-coastal,          None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 unlimited tonnage.
Master OSV...........................  None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.

Sec.  11.307  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief 
mate on vessels of 3,000 GT or more (management level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief mate, an applicant 
must--
    (1) Provide evidence of 12 months of service as OICNW on vessels 
operating in oceans, near-coastal waters, and/or Great Lakes. Service 
on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the 
United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total 
required service. Experience gained in the engine department on vessels 
may be creditable for up to 1 month of the service requirements;
    (2) Meet the standard of competence specified in Section A-II/2 of 
the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this 
part); and
    (3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following subject areas:
    (i) Advanced shiphandling.
    (ii) Advanced stability.
    (iii) Advanced meteorology.
    (iv) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (v) Search and rescue.
    (vi) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (vii) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (viii) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (ix) Management of medical care.
    (b) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as chief mate of vessels 
of 3,000 GT or more to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, each 
candidate must provide evidence of successful completion of approved 
training in the following:
    (1) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (d) Seafarers holding an STCW endorsement as chief mate of vessels 
of 500 GT or more and less than 3,000 GT, in accordance with Sec.  
11.313 of this subpart, are eligible to apply for the endorsement as 
chief mate on vessels of 3,000 GT or more upon completion of 6 months 
of sea service, under the authority of the endorsement, and must 
complete any items in paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section not 
previously satisfied.
    (e) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:


           Table 1 to Sec.   11.307(e)--STCW Endorsement as Chief Mate on Vessels of 3,000 GT or More
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Sea service under
Entry path from national endorsements      authority of the      Competence--STCW Table A-  Training required by
                                            endorsement \1\              II/2 \2\            this  section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chief mate ocean or near-coastal,      None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 unlimited tonnage.
Master ocean or near-coastal, less     12 months...............  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 500 GRT.
Chief mate OSV.......................  None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
Master towing vessel ocean or near-    12 months...............  Yes.....................  Yes.
 coastal.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.

Sec.  11.309  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as 
Officer in charge of a navigational watch (OICNW) of vessels of 500 GT 
or more (operational level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as OICNW, an applicant 
must--
    (1) Provide evidence of seagoing service as follows:
    (i) Thirty-six months of seagoing service in the deck department on 
vessels operating in oceans, near-coastal waters, and/or Great Lakes. 
Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of 
the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total 
required service; or
    (ii) Twelve months of seagoing service as part of an approved 
training program, which includes onboard training that meets the 
requirements of Section A-II/1 of the STCW Code (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part);
    (2) Provide evidence of having performed, during the required 
seagoing service, bridge watchkeeping duties under the supervision of 
an officer holding the STCW endorsement as master, chief mate, second 
mate, or OICNW, for a period of not less than 6 months;

[[Page 77918]]

    (3) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-II/1 of the STCW Code; and
    (4) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following subject areas:
    (i) Medical first-aid provider.
    (ii) Radar observer.
    (iii) Search and rescue.
    (iv) Basic and advanced firefighting in accordance with Sec.  
11.303 of this subpart.
    (v) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast 
rescue boats.
    (vi) Visual signaling.
    (vii) Bridge resource management (BRM).
    (viii) Terrestrial and celestial navigation, and electronic 
navigation systems.
    (ix) Watchkeeping, including International Regulations for 
Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) and IMO standard marine 
communication phrases (SMCP).
    (x) Cargo handling and stowage.
    (xi) Ship handling.
    (xii) Stability and ship construction.
    (xiii) Meteorology.
    (xiv) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (xv) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (xvi) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (b) Experience gained in the engine department on vessels may be 
creditable for up to 3 months of the service requirements in paragraph 
(a)(1)(i) of this section.
    (c) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as OICNW of vessels of 500 
GT or more to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, each candidate must 
provide the following:
    (1) Evidence of meeting the standard of competence in leadership 
and teamworking skills.
    (2) Completion of approved training in ECDIS, if serving on a 
vessel with this equipment.
    (d) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-II/1 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (e) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:


               Table 1 to Sec.   11.309(e)--STCW Endorsement as OICNW on Vessels of 500 GT or More
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Sea service under
Entry path from national endorsements      authority of the      Competence--STCW Table A-  Training required by
                                            endorsement \1\              II/2 \2\            this  section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mate ocean or near-coastal, unlimited  None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 tonnage.
Master ocean or near-coastal, less     6 months................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 500 GRT.
Mate ocean or near-coastal, less than  None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 1,600 GRT.
Mate ocean or near-coastal, less than  12 months...............  Yes.....................  Yes.
 500 GRT.
Mate OSV.............................  12 months \1\...........  Yes.....................  Yes.
Mate towing vessel ocean or near-      6 months................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 coastal.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(4) of this section not previously satisfied.

Sec.  11.311  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master 
of vessels of 500 GT or more and less than 3,000 GT (management level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as master, an applicant 
must--
    (1) Provide evidence of 36 months of service as OICNW on vessels 
operating in oceans, near-coastal waters, and/or Great Lakes. However, 
this period may be reduced to not less than 24 months if the applicant 
served as chief mate for not less than 12 months. Service on inland 
waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the United States 
may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service. 
Experience gained in the engine department on vessels may be creditable 
for up to 3 months of the service requirements;
    (2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part); and
    (3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following subject areas:
    (i) Advanced shiphandling.
    (ii) Advanced stability.
    (iii) Advanced meteorology.
    (iv) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (v) Search and rescue.
    (vi) Management of medical care.
    (vii) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (viii) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (ix) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (b) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of 
500 GT or more and less than 3,000 GT to be valid on or after January 
1, 2017, each candidate must provide evidence of successful completion 
of approved training in the following:
    (1) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (d) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:

[[Page 77919]]



   Table 1 to Sec.   11.311(d)--STCW Endorsement as Master on Vessels of 500 GT or More and Less Than 3,000 GT
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Sea service under
Entry path from national endorsements      authority of the      Competence--STCW Table A-  Training required by
                                            endorsement \1\              II/3 \2\             this section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Master oceans or near-coastal, less    None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 1,600 GRT.
Master OSV...........................  None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
Master oceans or near-coastal, less    12 months...............  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 500 GRT.
Master towing vessel oceans or near-   12 months...............  Yes.....................  Yes.
 coastal.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.

Sec.  11.313  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief 
mate of vessels of 500 GT or more and less than 3,000 GT (management 
level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief mate, an applicant 
must--
    (1) Provide evidence of 12 months of service as OICNW on vessels 
operating in oceans, near-coastal waters, and/or Great Lakes. Service 
on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the 
United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total 
required service. Experience gained in the engine department on vessels 
may be creditable for up to 1 month of the service requirements;
    (2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part); and
    (3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following subject areas:
    (i) Advanced shiphandling.
    (ii) Advanced stability.
    (iii) Advanced meteorology.
    (iv) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (v) Search and rescue.
    (vi) Management of medical care.
    (vii) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (viii) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (ix) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (b) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as chief mate of vessels 
of 500 GT or more and less than 3,000 GT to be valid on or after 
January 1, 2017, each candidate must provide evidence of successful 
completion of approved training in the following:
    (1) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (d) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:

 Table 1 to Sec.   11.313(d)--STCW Endorsement as Chief Mate on Vessels of 500 GT or More and Less Than 3,000 GT
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Sea service under
Entry path from national endorsements      authority of the      Competence--STCW Table A-  Training required by
                                            endorsement \1\              II/2 \2\             this section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chief mate OSV.......................  None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
Master oceans or near-coastal, less    6 months................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 500 GRT.
Master towing vessel oceans or near-   6 months................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 coastal.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.

Sec.  11.315  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master 
of vessels of less than 500 GT (management level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as master, an applicant 
must--
    (1) Provide evidence of 36 months of seagoing service as OICNW on 
vessels operating in oceans, near-coastal waters, and/or Great Lakes; 
however, this period may be reduced to not less than 24 months if not 
less than 12 months of such seagoing service has been served as chief 
mate. Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable 
waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of 
the total required service. Experience gained in the engine department 
may be creditable for up to 3 months of the service requirements;
    (2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-II/2 of the STCW Code (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part); and
    (3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following subject areas:
    (i) Search and rescue.
    (ii) Management of medical care.
    (iii) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (iv) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (v) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (vi) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (b) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of 
less than 500 GT to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, each 
candidate must provide evidence of successful completion of approved 
training in the following:
    (1) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

[[Page 77920]]

    (c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-II/3 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (d) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:

             Table 1 to Sec.   11.315(d)--STCW Endorsement as Master of Vessels of Less Than 500 GT
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Sea service under
Entry path from national endorsements      authority of the      Competence--STCW Table A-  Training required by
                                            endorsement \1\              II/3 \2\             this section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Master oceans or near-coastal, less    None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 500 GRT.
Master towing vessel oceans or near-   None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 coastal.
Master oceans or near-coastal, less    12 months...............  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 200 GRT.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.

Sec.  11.317  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as master 
of vessels of less than 500 GT limited to near-coastal waters 
(management level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as master, an applicant 
must--
    (1) Provide evidence of 12 months of service as OICNW, on vessels 
operating in oceans, near-coastal waters, and/or Great Lakes. Service 
on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the 
United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total 
required service. Experience gained in the engine department on vessels 
may be creditable for up to 1 month of the service requirements;
    (2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-II/3 of the STCW Code (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part); and
    (3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following subject areas:
    (i) Medical first-aid provider.
    (ii) Basic and advanced firefighting in accordance with Sec.  
11.303 of this subpart.
    (iii) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than 
fast rescue boats.
    (iv) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (v) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (vi) Radar observer, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (vii) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (b) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as master of vessels of 
less than 500 GT limited to near-coastal waters to be valid on or after 
January 1, 2017, each candidate must provide evidence of successful 
completion of approved training in the following:
    (1) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (2) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-II/3 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (d) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:


 Table 1 to Sec.   11.317(d)--STCW Endorsement as Master of Vessels of Less Than 500 GT Limited to Near-Coastal
                                                     Waters
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Sea service under
Entry path from national endorsements      authority of the       Competence--STCW  Table   Training required by
                                            endorsement \1\             A-II/3 \2\           this  section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mate oceans or near-coastal, less      None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 500 GRT.
Mate towing vessel oceans or near-     None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 coastal.
Master oceans or near-coastal, less    6 months................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 200 GRT.
Mate oceans or near-coastal, less      12 months...............  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 200 GRT.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.

Sec.  11.319  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as 
Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) of vessels of less 
than 500 GT (operational level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as OICNW, an applicant 
must--
    (1) Provide evidence of seagoing service as follows:
    (i) Provide evidence of 36 months of service in the deck department 
on vessels operating in oceans, near-coastal waters, and/or Great 
Lakes. Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable 
waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of 
the required service. Experience gained in the engine department may be 
creditable for up to 3 months of the service requirements; or
    (ii) Provide evidence of not less than 12 months of seagoing 
service as part of an approved training program that includes onboard 
training that meets the requirements of Section A-II/1 of the STCW Code 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part).
    (2) Provide evidence of having performed during the required 
seagoing service, bridge watchkeeping duties, under the supervision of 
an officer holding the STCW endorsement as master, chief mate, or 
OICNW, for a

[[Page 77921]]

period of not less than 6 months. The Coast Guard will accept service 
on vessels as boatswain, able seaman, or quartermaster while holding 
the appropriate deck watchkeeping rating endorsement, which may be 
accepted on a two-for-one basis to a maximum allowable substitution of 
3 months (6 months of experience equals 3 months of creditable 
service);
    (3) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-II/1 of the STCW Code; and
    (4) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following subject areas:
    (i) Medical first-aid provider.
    (ii) Radar observer, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (iii) Watchkeeping, including COLREGS and IMO standard marine 
communication phrases (SMCP).
    (iv) Basic and advanced firefighting in accordance with Sec.  
11.303 of this subpart.
    (v) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast 
rescue boats.
    (vi) Visual signaling.
    (vii) Bridge resource management;
    (viii) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (ix) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (x) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (b) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as OICNW of vessels of 
less than 500 GT to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, each 
candidate must provide the following:
    (1) Evidence of meeting the standard of competence in leadership 
and teamworking skills.
    (2) Completion of approved training in ECDIS, if serving on a 
vessel with this equipment.
    (c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-II/3 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (d) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:


Table 1 to Sec.   11.319(d)--STCW Endorsement as Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) of Vessels of
                                                Less Than 500 GT.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Sea service under
Entry path from national endorsements      authority of the       Competence--STCW  Table   Training required by
                                            endorsement \1\             A-II/3 \2\           this  section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mate oceans or near-coastal, less      None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 500 GRT.
Mate towing vessel oceans or near-     None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 coastal.
Master oceans or near-coastal, less    6 months................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 200 GRT.
Mate oceans or near-coastal, less      12 months...............  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 200 GRT.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.

Sec.  11.321  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as 
officer in charge of a navigational watch (OICNW) of vessels of less 
than 500 GT limited to near-coastal waters (operational level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as OICNW, an applicant 
must--
    (1) Provide evidence of seagoing service as follows:
    (i) Twenty-four months of seagoing service in the deck department 
on vessels operating in oceans, near-coastal waters, and/or Great 
Lakes. Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable 
waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of 
the total required service. Experience gained in the engine department 
may be creditable for up to 3 months of the service requirements; or
    (ii) Successful completion of an approved training program that 
includes seagoing service as required by the Coast Guard; or
    (iii) Successful completion of approved training for this section 
and obtain 12 months of seagoing service;
    (2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-II/3 of the STCW Code (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part); and
    (3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following subject areas:
    (i) Medical first-aid provider.
    (ii) Basic and advanced firefighting in accordance with Sec.  
11.303 of this subpart.
    (iii) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than 
fast rescue boats.
    (iv) Bridge resource management;
    (v) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (vi) Radar observer, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (vii) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.
    (b) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as OICNW of vessels of 
less than 500 GT limited to near-coastal waters to be valid on or after 
January 1, 2017, each candidate must provide the following:
    (1) Evidence of meeting the standard of competence in leadership 
and teamworking skills.
    (2) Completion of approved training in ECDIS, if serving on a 
vessel with this equipment.
    (c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-II/3 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (d) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:

[[Page 77922]]



  Table 1 to Sec.   11.321(d)--STCW Endorsement as OICNW of Vessels of Less Than 500 GT Limited to Near-Coastal
                                                     Waters
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Sea service under
Entry path from national endorsements      authority of the       Competence--STCW  Table   Training required by
                                            endorsement \1\             A-II/3 \2\           this  section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mate oceans or near-coastal less than  None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 500 GRT.
Mate towing vessel oceans or near-     None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 coastal.
Master oceans or near-coastal, less    None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 200 GRT.
Mate oceans or near-coastal, less      6 months................  Yes.....................  Yes.
 than 200 GRT.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.

Sec.  11.323  STCW engineer officer endorsements.

    (a) Specific requirements for all STCW engineer officer 
endorsements are detailed in the applicable sections in this part.
    (1) Chief engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion 
machinery of 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power or more (management 
level).
    (2) Second engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion 
machinery of 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power or more (management 
level).
    (3) Officer in charge of an engineering watch (OICEW) in a manned 
engineroom, or as a designated duty engineer in a periodically unmanned 
engineroom, on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/
1,000 HP propulsion power or more (operational level).
    (4) Chief engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion 
machinery of between 750 kW/1,000 HP and 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion 
power (management level).
    (5) Second engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion 
machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP to 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power 
(management level).
    (6) Electro-technical officer on vessels powered by main propulsion 
machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP or more (operational level).
    (b) Limitations. (1) STCW engineer officer endorsements issued in 
accordance with Sec. Sec.  11.325, 11.327, 11.329, 11.331, 11.333, and 
11.335 of this subpart will be restricted to specific propulsion modes 
for steam, motor, or gas turbine-propelled vessels as appropriate.
    (2) STCW engineer officer endorsements issued in accordance with 
Sec. Sec.  11.325, 11.327, 11.329, 11.331, 11.333, and 11.335 of this 
subpart for motor or gas turbine-propelled vessels may be endorsed as 
limited to serve on vessels without auxiliary boilers, waste-heat 
boilers, distilling plants, oily water separators, or sewage treatment 
plants. An applicant may qualify for removal of any of these 
limitations by demonstrating the appropriate competencies.
    (c) An engineer officer who does not hold an STCW endorsement may 
serve on seagoing vessels propelled by machinery of less than 750 kW/
1,000 HP, the vessels specified in Sec.  15.105(f) and (g) of this 
subchapter, and vessels operating on the Great Lakes or inland waters 
of the United States.
    (d) An officer endorsement issued in the grade of chief engineer 
(limited) or assistant engineer (limited) allows the holder to serve 
within any propulsion power limitations on vessels of unlimited tonnage 
on inland waters, on vessels of less than 3,000 GT in Great Lakes 
service, and on the vessels specified in Sec.  15.105(f) and (g) of 
this subchapter.


Sec.  11.325  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief 
engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 
3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power or more (management level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief engineer officer, 
an applicant must--
    (1) Provide evidence of not less than 36 months of service as OICEW 
on ships powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP 
propulsion power or more. This period may be reduced to not less than 
24 months if the applicant has served for not less than 12 months as 
second engineer officer on ships powered by propulsion machinery of 
3,000 kW/4,000 HP or more;
    (2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-III/2 of the STCW Code (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part); and
    (3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following areas:
    (i) Engineroom resource management (ERM) if not completed at the 
operational level.
    (ii) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (iii) Management of electrical and electronic control equipment.
    (b) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as chief engineer officer 
on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 3,000 kW/4,000 HP 
propulsion power or more to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, each 
candidate must provide evidence of successful completion of approved 
training in the following:
    (1) ERM if not completed at the operational level.
    (2) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (3) Management of electrical and electronic control equipment.
    (c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-III/2 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (d) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:

[[Page 77923]]



  Table 1 to Sec.   11.325(d)--STCW Endorsement as Chief Engineer Officer on Vessels Powered by Main Propulsion
                              Machinery of 3,000kW/4,000HP Propulsion Power or More
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Entry path from national                              Competence--STCW Table    Training required by this
           endorsements                Sea service \1\           A-III/2 \2\                section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chief engineer....................  None.................  Yes...................  Yes.
Chief engineer (limited)..........  12 months............  Yes...................  Yes.
Chief engineer (MODU).............  12 months/24 months    Yes...................  Yes.
                                     \4\.
Chief engineer (OSV)..............  None.................  Yes...................  Yes.
Designated duty engineer, any       24 months as DDE.....  Yes...................  Yes.
 horsepower \5\.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
\4\ Depending on the type of sea service used to obtain chief engineer (MODU) (refer to Sec.   11.542 of this
  part)
\5\ STCW certificate should be limited to vessels less than 500 GRT.

Sec.  11.327  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as second 
engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 
3,000kW/4,000 HP propulsion power or more (management level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as second engineer officer, 
an applicant must--
    (1) Provide evidence of not less than 12 months of service as OICEW 
on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750kW/1,000 HP or 
more; or 12 months of sea service as a chief engineer on vessels 
powered by propulsion machinery of vessels between 750kW/1,000 HP and 
3,000 kW/4,000 HP;
    (2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-III/2 of the STCW Code (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part); and
    (3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following areas:
    (i) Engineroom resource management (ERM) if not completed at the 
operational level.
    (ii) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (iii) Management of electrical and electronic control equipment.
    (b) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as second engineer officer 
on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 3,000 kW/4,000 HP 
propulsion power or more to be valid on or after January 1, 2017, each 
candidate must provide evidence of successful completion of approved 
training in the following:
    (1) ERM if not completed at the operational level.
    (2) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (3) Management of electrical and electronic control equipment.
    (c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-III/2 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (d) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:

 Table 1 to Sec.   11.327(d)--STCW Endorsement as Second Engineer Officer on Vessels Powered by Main Propulsion
                             Machinery of 3,000 kW/4,000 HP Propulsion Power or More
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Entry path from national                              Competence--STCW Table    Training required  by this
           endorsements                Sea service \1\           A-III/2 \2\                section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First assistant engineer..........  None.................  Yes...................  Yes.
Second assistant engineer.........  None.................  Yes...................  Yes.
Third assistant engineer..........  12 months............  Yes...................  Yes.
Assistant engineer (limited)......  12 months............  Yes...................  Yes.
Chief engineer MODU...............  12 months............  Yes...................  Yes.
Chief engineer OSV................  None.................  Yes...................  Yes.
Designated duty engineer,           12 months as DDE.....  Yes...................  Yes.
 unlimited \4\.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
\4\ STCW certificate should be limited to vessels less than 500 GRT.

Sec.  11.329  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as 
Officer in Charge of an Engineering Watch (OICEW) in a manned 
engineroom or designated duty engineer in a periodically unmanned 
engineroom on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/
1,000 HP propulsion power or more (operational level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as OICEW, an applicant 
must--
    (1) Provide evidence of seagoing service as follows:
    (i) Thirty-six months of seagoing service in the engine department; 
or
    (ii) Successful completion of an approved training program, which 
includes a combination of workshop skill training and seagoing service 
of not less than 12 months, and that meets the requirements of Section 
A-III/1 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  11.102 
of this part);
    (2) Provide evidence of having performed during the required 
seagoing service, engine room watchkeeping duties, under the 
supervision of an officer holding the STCW endorsement as chief 
engineer officer or as a qualified engineer officer, for a period of 
not less than 6 months;
    (3) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-III/1 of the STCW Code; and
    (4) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following subject areas:
    (i) Medical first-aid provider.

[[Page 77924]]

    (ii) Basic and advanced firefighting in accordance with Sec.  
11.303 of this subpart.
    (iii) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than 
fast rescue boats.
    (iv) Engineroom resource management (ERM).
    (v) Engineering terminology and shipboard operations.
    (vi) Auxiliary machinery.
    (vii) Gas turbine plants, as applicable.
    (viii) Steam plants, as applicable.
    (ix) Motor plants, as applicable.
    (x) Electrical machinery and basic electronics.
    (xi) Control systems.
    (b) Experience gained in the deck department may be creditable for 
up to 3 months of the service requirements in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of 
this section.
    (c) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as OICEW to be valid on or 
after January 1, 2017, each candidate must provide evidence of having 
satisfactorily completed ERM training and meeting the standard 
competence in leadership and teamworking skills if not previously 
completed.
    (d) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-III/1 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (e) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:

 Table 1 to Sec.   11.327(d)--STCW Endorsement as Second Engineer Officer on Vessels Powered by Main Propulsion
                             Machinery of 3,000 kW/4,000 HP Propulsion Power or More
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Competence--STCW Table A-  Training required by
Entry path from national endorsements       Sea service \1\              III/2 \2\            this section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First assistant engineer.............  None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
Second assistant engineer............  None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
Third assistant engineer.............  12 months...............  Yes.....................  Yes.
Assistant engineer (limited).........  12 months...............  Yes.....................  Yes.
Chief engineer MODU..................  12 months...............  Yes.....................  Yes.
Chief engineer OSV...................  None....................  Yes.....................  Yes.
Designated duty engineer, unlimited    12 months as DDE........  Yes.....................  Yes.
 \4\.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.
\4\ STCW certificate should be limited to vessels less than 500 GRT.

Sec.  11.331  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief 
engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 
kW/1,000 HP or more and less than 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power 
(management level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as chief engineer officer, 
an applicant must--
    (1) Provide evidence of meeting the requirements for certification 
as OICEW, and have not less than 24 months of service on seagoing 
vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of not less than 750 kW/
1,000 HP, of which not less than 12 months must be served while 
qualified to serve as second engineer officer. Experience gained in the 
deck department may be creditable for up to 2 months of the total 
service requirements;
    (2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-III/3 of the STCW Code (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part); and
    (3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following areas:
    (i) Engineroom resource management (ERM) if not completed at the 
operational level.
    (ii) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (iii) Management of electrical and electronic control equipment.
    (b) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as chief engineer officer 
on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP or 
more and less than 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power to be valid on or 
after January 1, 2017, each candidate must provide evidence of 
successful completion of approved training in the following:
    (1) ERM if not completed at the operational level.
    (2) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (3) Management of electrical and electronic control equipment.
    (c) An engineer officer qualified to serve as second engineer 
officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 3,000 kW/
4,000 HP or more, may serve as chief engineer officer on vessels 
powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP or more and 
less than 3,000 kW/4,000 HP provided the certificate is so endorsed.
    (d) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-III/3 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (e) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:

  Table 1 to Sec.   11.331(e)--STCW Endorsement as Chief Engineer Officer on Vessels Powered by Main Propulsion
              Machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP or More and Less Than 3,000 kW/4,000 HP Propulsion Power
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Entry path from national                              Competence--STCW Table    Training required  by this
           endorsements                Sea service \1\           A-III/2 \2\                section \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chief engineer....................  None.................  Yes...................  Yes.
First assistant engineer..........  None.................  Yes...................  Yes.

[[Page 77925]]

 
Chief engineer (limited)..........  None.................  Yes...................  Yes.
Chief engineer OSV................  None.................  Yes...................  Yes.
Chief engineer MODU...............  12 months............  Yes...................  Yes.
Designated duty engineer, 3,000 kW/ 12 months............  Yes...................  Yes.
 4,000 HP.
Designated duty engineer, 750 kW/   24 months............  Yes...................  Yes.
 1,000 HP.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.

Sec.  11.333  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as second 
engineer officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 
750kW/1,000 HP or more and less than 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power 
(management level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as second engineer officer, 
an applicant must--
    (1) Provide evidence of meeting the requirements for certification 
as OICEW, as well as serving for not less than 12 months as assistant 
engineer officer or engineer officer on vessels powered by main 
propulsion machinery of not less than 750 kW/1,000 HP. Experience 
gained in the deck department may be creditable for up to 1 month of 
the total service requirements;
    (2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-III/3 of the STCW Code (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  11.102 of this part); and
    (3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following areas:
    (i) Engineroom resource management (ERM) if not completed at the 
operational level.
    (ii) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (iii) Management of electrical and electronic control equipment.
    (b) For a renewal of an STCW endorsement as second engineer officer 
on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP or 
more and less than 3,000 kW/4,000 HP propulsion power to be valid on or 
after January 1, 2017, each candidate must provide evidence of 
successful completion of approved training in the following:
    (1) ERM if not completed at the operational level.
    (2) Leadership and managerial skills.
    (3) Management of electrical and electronic control equipment.
    (c) The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any 
individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in 
Section A-III/3 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by 
the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the 
credential may include a corresponding limitation.
    (d) Seafarers with one of the following national officer 
endorsements are eligible to apply for this endorsement upon completion 
of the requirements in the following table:

 Table 1 to Sec.   11.333(d)--STCW Endorsement as Second Engineer Officer on Vessels Powered by Main Propulsion
              Machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP or More and Less Than 3,000 kW/4,000 HP Propulsion Power
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                               Training required
 Entry path from national endorsements       Sea service \1\        Competence--STCW Table A-    by this section
                                                                            III/2 \2\                 \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First assistant engineer..............  None.....................  Yes.......................  Yes.
Second assistant engineer.............  None.....................  Yes.......................  Yes.
Third assistant engineer..............  12 months................  Yes.......................  Yes.
Assistant engineer (limited)..........  None.....................  Yes.......................  Yes.
Assistant engineer OSV................  None.....................  Yes.......................  Yes.
Assistant engineer MODU...............  12 months................  Yes.......................  Yes.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This column provides the minimum additional service required of the seafarer in order to meet the
  requirements of this section.
\2\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(2) of this section not previously satisfied.
\3\ Complete any items in paragraph (a)(3) of this section not previously satisfied.

Sec.  11.335  Requirements to qualify for an STCW endorsement as an 
electro-technical officer on vessels powered by main propulsion 
machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP or more (operational level).

    (a) To qualify for an STCW endorsement as an electro-technical 
officer (ETO), an applicant must--
    (1) Provide evidence of 36 months combined workshop skills training 
and approved seagoing service of which not less than 30 months must be 
seagoing service in the engine department of vessels. Experience gained 
in the deck department may be creditable for up to 3 months of the 
service requirements; or completion of an approved training program, 
that includes a combination of workshop skill training and seagoing 
service of not less than 12 months, and which meets the requirements of 
Section A-III/6 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  
11.102 of this part);
    (2) Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence 
specified in Section A-III/6 of the STCW Code;

[[Page 77926]]

    (3) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
training in the following subject areas:
    (i) Medical first-aid provider.
    (ii) Basic and advanced firefighting in accordance with Sec.  
11.303 of this subpart.
    (iii) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than 
fast rescue boats; and
    (4) Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved 
professional training in the following subject areas:
    (i) Onboard computer networking and security.
    (ii) Radio electronics.
    (iii) Integrated navigation equipment.
    (iv) Ship propulsion and auxiliary machinery.
    (v) Instrumentation and control systems.
    (vi) High-voltage power systems.
    (b) Any applicant who has served in a relevant capacity onboard a 
vessel for a period of not less than 12 months within the last 60 
months and meets the standards of competence specified in Section A-
III/6 of the STCW Code is considered by the Coast Guard to be suitably 
qualified but must provide evidence of--
    (1) Seagoing service; and
    (2) Having achieved the standards of competence specified in 
Section A-III/6 of the STCW Code.
    (c) An applicant who holds an STCW endorsement as OICEW, second 
engineer officer, or chief engineer officer will be allowed to receive 
the ETO endorsement upon completion of the requirements in Section A-
III/6 of the STCW Code.
    (d) An applicant who does not hold any other national or STCW 
endorsement will be issued, upon completion of the require