New STCW Manila Amendments: Mandatory Security Awareness Training for all seafarers becomes effective 1/1/2014


In spite of regular reports in the news declaring that piracy is
decreasing, the maritime industry still faces serious challenges to the
security of its crews, cargoes and vessels. In order to enhance crews’
awareness of this issue the STCW Convention will require all crew members
to participate in security related training from the 1st January 2014.

The STCW Manila Amendments introduced a new qualification for each crew
member on board, regardless of their position, but linked to their duties.
Chapter A-VI/6 differentiates between personnel on board with designated
security duties and personnel in any other capacity.

Seafarers without designated security duties must still receive training in
security awareness in accordance with the table of competences A-VI/6-1.
They are required to provide evidence of having achieved the required
standard of competence. Referring to the non-mandatory part B in the code,
this training must be completed just once during their career.

Every seafarer with designated security duties is required to fulfil the
competencies of table A-VI/6-2. They must be able to perform designated on
board security duties, including anti-piracy and anti-armed-robbery-related
activities. This includes the recognition of security risks and threats,
regular ship inspections, proper usage of security equipment and
maintaining the conditions as set out in the ship security plan. As
mentioned in part B of the code the expression “with designated security
duties” refers to those who have specific duties and responsibilities
according to the Ship Security Plan. This training needs to be undertaken
once during their career.

Both kinds of training will become mandatory from the 1st January 2014.
Before the entry into force every “party”, meaning every Flag State, shall
determine the requirement for existing seafarers on how to update their
qualifications. The Code recommends either the possibility of approved
seagoing service, but also mentions approved training in order to meet the
requirements.

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