GSAI praises DG Shipping for extending validity of seafarers’ certificates

Margao: Goan Seamen Association of India (GSAI) has appreciated the proactive steps taken by Director General of Shipping (DGS) be extending the various certifications of seamen in the interest of seafarers and providing them much needed-relief.

It has been notified by DGS through order extending of relevant seafarer certificates, ie – Certificate of Competency (COC)/Certificate of Equivalency(COE)/Certificate of Proficiency (COP).

All STCW certificates (includes the training certificates i.e. certificates required under Chapter VI of the STCW) and associated endorsements issued by (DGS, which are expiring between March 1and December 31 2020 (both dates inclusive), shall stand extended for a period of 6 (six) months from the expiry date printed/typed on the relevant certificates, irrespective of whether the seafarer is/was on ship at the time of expiry or not.

However, all those seafarers who meet the eligibility requirements for revalidation may make an application after the lifting of the lockdown period, to the Mercantile Marine Department for revalidation of their COC/COP/COE.

Further, whenever the revalidation of the expired certificate is to be carried out, the new validity shall be issued for a period of five years from the original certificate expiry date. Notwithstanding above, the candidates’ are advised not to wait for the expiry of the extension period granted and should endeavour to get his COC revalidated after completing the online/offline courses, as applicable to their COC at the earliest opportunity.

The extension was granted considering that many seafarers due for sign off from ships are unable to do so due to the current situation created by COVID nd that their COC/COP/COE may be expiring and that they should not be forced to unnecessarily sail on vessels on the pretext of non-availability of seafarers or sign-off opportunity. [H]