• Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Home

Transport Canada Ship Safety Bulletin re STCW requirements for polar waters

By BCShippingNews 08 March 2018
Images above: Annex 1 – Polar Waters -- Figures illustrating the Antarctic area and Arctic waters. For the complete definition of polar waters refer to regulation 1.4 of Chapter XIV of SOLAS.
How to meet STCW requirements for Masters, Deck Officers and other Crew Members of certain Canadian Ships Operating in Polar Waters

Click here to read the full bulletin from Transport Canada.

Purpose

This bulletin explains how masters, deck officers and any other crew member can meet certification and familiarization training requirements for those on certain ships operating in polar waters.

The requirements outlined in the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended (STCW) will come into effect on July 1, 2018. The requirements outlined in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, and the Protocol of 1988 relating to the Convention (SOLAS) came into effect on January 1, 2018.

Scope

This bulletin applies to personnel on Canadian vessels operating in polar waters subject to the requirements of Chapter XIV of SOLAS and any other vessel required to have onboard a person holding a training certificate for ships operating in polar waters as per the Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations (ASSPPR). This bulletin provides details on the Basic and Advanced training requirements and certification requirements for those masters, chief mates and officers in charge of a navigational watch on board who wish to comply with the international requirements before the Marine Personnel Regulations are amended.

Background

On January 1, 2017, the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (the Polar Code) entered into force internationally through the new Chapter XIV of SOLAS.  Chapter 12 of Part I-A of the Polar Code requires that the masters, chief mates and officers in charge of a navigational watch complete training, taking into account the provisions of the STCW. As a party to SOLAS, and as a result of the coming into force of the ASSPPR, Canada will become bound by the Polar Code including the relevant provisions of Chapter 12 – Manning and Training - of Part I-A of the Polar Code. 

Images above: Annex 1 – Polar Waters -- Figures illustrating the Antarctic area and Arctic waters. For the complete definition of polar waters refer to regulation 1.4 of Chapter XIV of SOLAS.

Chapter 12 of the Polar Code provides, amongst other things, that the companies ensure that masters, chief mates and officers in charge of the navigational watch on board ships operating in polar waters complete the training provided in the Polar Code, taking into account the STCW and the STCW Code.

Amendments to the STCW introduce these new training and certification requirements, which will come into effect on July 1, 2018. Canada, as a party to the STCW, will have to fully comply with these new requirements by that date.

Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security (TCMSS) intends to amend the current Marine Personnel Regulations to introduce these new STCW requirements.

Until such time that the Marine Personnel Regulations are amended to implement these international requirements, TCMSS has developed interim measures covered by this bulletin that will allow the relevant members of the crew operating in polar waters to participate in the new program of training and certification, if they so desire.

Polar Waters Training and Certification Requirements

  • Basic Certificate of Proficiency (CoP)

Masters, chief mates and officers in charge of a navigational watch on board ships operating in polar waters will have to hold a CoP for personnel on ships operating in Polar Waters, as required by the Polar Code.

To obtain a CoP for personnel on ships operating in Polar Waters, a candidate must complete a basic polar waters training course for personnel on ships operating in polar waters.

Transitional Provision

Until July 1, 2020, seafarers who commenced approved seagoing service in polar waters (or acceptable ice conditions) prior to July 1, 2018, shall be able to establish that they meet the requirements of basic training for ships operating in polar waters by:

having completed an approved seagoing service on board a ship operating in polar waters (or acceptable ice conditions) and performing duties in the deck department at the operational or at the management level, or as a pilot, ice navigator or ice adviser for a period of at least three (3) months in total during the preceding five (5) years of which at least one (1) month within polar waters and at the most two (2) months within waters with acceptable ice conditions.

  • Advanced Certificate of Proficiency

Masters and chief mates in charge of a navigational watch on board ships operating in polar waters will have to hold an advanced CoP for personnel on ships operating in Polar Waters, as required by the Polar Code.

To obtain an advanced CoP for personnel on ships operating in Polar Waters, a candidate must meet the requirements for certification in basic training for ships in polar waters, have completed an approved advanced training for ship operating in polar waters and have at least two (2) months in total of sea service within polar waters or in waters with acceptable ice conditions, as master, chief mate, officer in charge of the navigational watch or as a pilot, ice navigator or ice adviser.

Transitional Provision

Until July 1, 2020, seafarers who commenced approved seagoing service in polar waters (or acceptable ice conditions) prior to July 1 2018, shall be able to establish that they meet the requirements of advanced training for ships operating in polar waters by:

having completed approved seagoing service on board a ship operating in polar waters (or acceptable ice conditions) and performing duties in the deck department at the management level, or as a pilot, ice navigator or ice adviser for a period of at least three (3) months in total during the preceding five (5) years of which at least one (1) month within polar waters and at the most two (2) months within waters with acceptable ice conditions.

Applying for a Polar Waters Basic or Advanced Certificate of Proficiency

If your situation falls under one of the transitional provision paragraphs above, submit your application and supporting documentation to a TCMSS office. For your seagoing service to be approved, you have to submit your sea service using the testimonial form (form#82-0546E) or provide a declaration that contains the information the testimonial form requests.

Polar Waters Familiarization

In addition to the polar waters training and certification requirements for the master and officers, Chapter 12 of Part I-A of the Polar Code requires every crew member to be familiar with the procedures and equipment contained or referenced in the Polar Waters Operation Manual relevant to their assigned duties. Moreover, as per subsection 206(1) of the Marine Personnel Regulations, the authorized representative of a vessel shall provide to the master written instructions that, at a minimum, determine the procedures to be followed to ensure that each member of the complement, before being assigned any duty, (a) becomes familiar with (i) the shipboard equipment that is specific to the vessel, (ii) the operational instructions that are specific to the vessel, and (iii) their assigned duties; and (b) can effectively perform their assigned duties when performing duties vital to safety or the prevention or mitigation of pollution.