Ships issued with Letters of Warning since the Convention came into force in February 2002 will be given priority for inspection, but all ships inspected will be expected to comply.

Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) will verify that all seafarers required to be certificated do hold a valid certificate or dispensation. In addition officers will be required to have an appropriate certificate from the Administration and endorsement from the flag State, or have documentary proof that an application for endorsement has been made. This proof could be a written confirmation from the flag State that an application has been received from an individual. Alternatively a copy of the seafarer’s written application to the Administration, clearly showing name, certificate number, date of issue and validity would be accepted.


If all other documentation is in order, taking into account these factors, the absence of a flag State endorsement or documentary proof of application to a flag State will be recorded as a deficiency which must be rectified at the next port. Failure to do so will result in the detention of the ship.


Ships with seafarers not properly certificated will face detention if the deficiencies represent an unreasonable danger to persons, property or the environment, taking into account the length and nature of the voyage, the level of non-compliance and other factors.


Such detainable deficiencies include:


** No Safe Manning Document or the manning is not in accordance with the Safe Manning Document

**Certificates of Competency are not available or not in accordance with the requirements of the Safe Manning Document

**No mandatory specialized training document or endorsement available, where required

**No radio operator certificates available

**No documentation for personnel with designated safety or pollution prevention duties available

**No flag State endorsement or documentary proof of application available (noting that a seafarer may only serve on board for a period not exceeding 3 months on the basis of an application and that the application should be made before serving in that capacity).


Deficiencies in the manning documentation will be considered as clear grounds for a more detailed inspection which could include operational drills and an examination of the ship's safety management system, if appropriate.


The ISF (International Shipping Federation) also issued a statement this week containing advice and guidelines to owners regarding STCW certification. This can be downloaded from here 

For further information, visit the Paris MOU web.  

:Howard Snaith, e-mail: