The STCW Convention has been extended to the Isle of Man and is given effect in Manx law by the Merchant Shipping (Manning & STCW) Regulations 2014 (the Regulations).
These Regulations apply the STCW Convention, including its Annex and the STCW Code up to and including the latest amendment to the STCW Convention which is IMO Resolution MSC.487(103) adopted on 13 May 2021 which came into force on 1 January 2023.
The Regulations apply to all seafarers working on Isle of Man registered commercial ships and it is the responsibility of the ship’s Company to ensure the requirements are being met.
Section 14 of this MSN states the requirements for seafarers working on a foreign commercial ship visiting an Isle of Man port.
The following sections of the STCW Convention have already been implemented by the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) Regulations and are not included in the Isle of Man Merchant Shipping (Manning and STCW) Regulations:
STCW Regulation VIII/1.2, Fitness for duty (Hours of work and rest); and
STCW Regulation I/9, Medical standards.
Isle of Man endorsement requirements
Regulation I/10 of the STCW Convention requires a Certificate of Competency (CoC) issued by another Party to an officer or radio operator to be recognised by the Ship Registry.
This is not required if the seafarer holds a CoC issued by the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency.
The Isle of Man recognises the CoCs of a number of countries and this list of recognised countries is stated on the Ship Registry website. The seafarer’s certification is inspected by the endorsement team at the Ship Registry and, if found satisfactory, an Isle of Man endorsement recognising the seafarer’s CoC is issued.
Further information on the Isle of Man endorsement application process is available in MSN 051.
The Ship Registry no longer issues navigational and engineering watch rating certificates.
Seafarers who require these certificates will have to contact their national issuing authority which can be any country that is a signatory to the STCW Convention.
Responsibility of the master and the ship’s Company
The ship’s Company is responsible for the assignment of seafarers for service on their ships in accordance with the provisions of the STCW Convention.
“Company” in relation to a ship means the owner of the ship, or any other organisation or person such as the manager, or the bareboat charterer, who has assumed responsibility for the operation of the ship from the shipowner and who, on assuming such responsibility, has agreed to take over the duties and responsibilities imposed on the Company by the SOLAS Convention and the STCW Convention.
The master and Company must ensure that:
a. each seafarer assigned to any Isle of Man registered ship holds an appropriate certificate in accordance with the provisions of the STCW Convention; and
b. their ships are manned in compliance with the applicable safe manning requirements (further information is stated in MSN 052).
In addition the Company must ensure that:
a. seafarers assigned to any of their ships have received refresher and updating training as required by the STCW Convention;
b. documentation and data relevant to all seafarers employed on their ships are to be maintained and readily accessible at the Company’s office (this can be accessed electronically if the manning is arranged through a third party).
This shall include documentation and data relating to the seafarer’s:
iii. medical fitness; and
iv. competency in assigned duties;
c. written instructions are issued to the master regarding setting out the policies and procedures to be followed to ensure that seafarers, on being assigned to any of the Company’s ships, are familiarised with the shipboard equipment, operating procedures and other arrangements needed for their specific duties. The policies and procedures shall include an allocation of a reasonable period of time during which each seafarer will have an opportunity to become acquainted with:
i. the specific equipment they will be using; and
ii. ship-specific watchkeeping safety, environmental protection, security and emergency procedures and arrangements the seafarer needs to know to perform the assigned duties properly;
d. the ship’s complement can effectively coordinate their activities in an emergency situation and in performing functions vital to safety, security and to the prevention or mitigation of pollution; and
e. at all times on board their ships there shall be effective oral communication in accordance with Chapter V, regulation 14, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS), as amended.
The Ship Registry may issue a dispensation permitting a specified seafarer to serve on a ship for a specified period not exceeding 6 months.
This will only be issued under the circumstances stated in Article 8 of the STCW Convention.
Any requests for a dispensation must be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.