News 08 Apr, 2020

Covid-19: Guidance on extending STCW Certificates

Dean Crossley
Dean Crossley
Loss Prevention Manager

The challenge faced by Shipowners of expired certificates as a result of the Covid-19 is a pressing concern. With seafarers potentially having to extend time onboard, maintaining training and revalidating certificates will need to be a priority.  

To maintain the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW Convention) 1978, as amended, and the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F), 1995, Administrations will need to co-operate.


The IMO recently issued Circular Letter No.4204, in which they petition all issuing Administrations to “take a pragmatic and practical approach with regard to the extension of certificates and endorsements, as strictly necessary, and to notify ships, seafarers and relevant Administrations accordingly”. 

This memorandum of understanding has been extended to Port State Control Authorities.

It is encouraging to see that many Administrations have responded to the IMO’s appeal and are issuing circulars that provide advice on certification extension. It's important to note that extension periods differ by Administration.

Where it is necessary for the Member to obtain an extension, to keep their seafarers’ certification and endorsements valid, the Member must contact the issuing Administration directly.