The HTW discussed cases where Port State Control (PSC) officers had misinterpreted the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). STCW sets qualification standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships.
A new interim IMO circular was agreed. It will provide guidance to PSC officers about:
The circular was made interim because it needed to be issued quickly due to the urgency of the guidance. The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) will be asked approve the circular where after it will become ‘a normal circular’.
The two-watch system where the master and chief officer are the only watch going personnel ,was discussed in detail. The HTW has been asked to consider the elimination of the master/chief mate two-watch system, and to ensure that a ship's master is not considered part of the normal watchkeeping capability of the ship. The proposal was rejected for different reasons:
A new module in the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) which includes information about training, seafarers’ certificates etc. will be developed by the IMO. On the degree of transparency, HTW 4 agreed to include three types of transparency references in the document: "Public", "All Parties" and "Restricted". Organisations like BIMCO will be able to read the public part. It was noted that no information in the framework was categorised as "confidential" and thus such a level was not included.
Last year the HTW 3 established a correspondence group to review the proposed amendments to the Guidelines on Fatigue (MSC/Circ.1014). Fatigue is defined as a state of physical and/or mental performance impairment, resulting from factors such as inadequate sleep, extended wakefulness, circadian phase and physical, mental or emotional exertion that can impair alertness and the ability to safely operate a ship or perform safety-related duties. It represents a major risk because it may affect most aspects of a seafarer's ability to do their job effectively and safely.
The work on the guidelines progressed well but due to many amendments the work will be continued next year at HTW 4.
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