From the National Maritime Center:
MSIB-08-20-CH2 updates guidance concerning mariner credentials, medical certificates and course approvals, and the action being taken by the Coast Guard due to the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes (COVID-19):
- Regional Exam Centers & Monitoring Units will remain closed until further notice.
- Merchant Mariner Credentials (MMC) and Medical Certificates (National Endorsements only) that expire between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020 are extended until December 31, 2020.
- MMCs with STCW endorsements that expire between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020 are extended until December 31, 2020.
- STCW Medical Certificates that expire between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020 are extended until December 31, 2020.
- The following items that expire in between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020 are extended until December 31, 2020: Additional Information letters, Qualified Assessor letters, Designated Examiner letters, Approval to Test letters, and mariner training course completion certificates.
- 46 USC 7101(e)(3) requires that pilots undergo an annual physical examination each year while holding a credential. The Coast Guard does not intend to enforce this requirement given the current national emergency and the lack of medical care. This measure ONLY relaxes the requirement for an annual physical and not the actual medical standards. This posture applies until December 31, 2020 irrespective of when the medical certificate expires. It is important that pilots with disqualifying medical conditions do not sail.
- Course and program approvals that expire between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 are extended for six months from their current expiration date.
- The NMC will continue to work with training providers on a case-by-case basis to implement alternate training delivery methods, including distance learning or blended learning. Approved requests and new requests for alternate training delivery methods will be valid until December 31, 2020 for the knowledge-based online course material.
For additional details and to read MSIB-08-20-CH2 in its entirety, click here.