In a post on the Coast Guard Maritime Commons blog, Rear Admiral R. V. Timme, U.S. Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy says that the Coast Guard continues to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 impact to the maritime industry and mariners in order to take action needed to ensure the continuity of the Maritime Transportation System (MTS).
In this light, the Coast Guard has posted Change 5 to MSIB 08-20, titled COVID-19 – Mariner Credentials, which updates information on extensions to merchant mariner credentials, medical certificates and course approvals.
The following significant changes are provided in Change 5 to MSIB 08-20:
- Merchant mariner credentials, both national and STCW, and medical certificates that expire between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 are extended. The credentials are extended to the EARLIER of October 31, 2021 or one year from the expiration date of the credential. This reflects the fact that our statutory authority to extend credentials is limited to one year.
- In light of the recent closures of Regional Examination Centers to the public, approval to test letters and course approval certificates that expire between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 are extended to October 31, 2021.