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Sub-Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW), 40th session: 2-6 February 2009

February 6, 2009

Significant progress made with the comprehensive review of the STCW Convention
Significant progress was made with the comprehensive review of the STCW Convention and Code, when the Sub-Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) met for its 40th session. Further work will continue at STW 41 in January 2010, with a view to adopting the amendments at a Diplomatic Conference of STCW Parties in the Philippines in June 2010.
 
The Sub-Committee prepared the preliminary draft text of:
  - chapter II Master and deck department, in particular, new or amended provisions relating to celestial navigation, ARPA and radar requirements, marine environment awareness training and VTS training;
  - chapter III Engine department, in particular, new or amended provisions relating to harmonization of near coastal requirements and marine environment awareness training;
  - chapters IV Radiocommunications and Radio Personnel and VII Alternative certification;
  - chapter VI Emergency, occupational safety, security, medical care and survival functions, in particular, new or amended requirements for maintaining professional competence in areas where training cannot be conducted on board and security training; and
  - chapter VIII Watchkeeping, in particular, relating to new or amended requirements for the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse; provisions for maintaining a safe anchor watch; bridge and engine room resource management and harmonization of hours of rest and work.
Significant progress was also made with the preparation of the preliminary draft text of chapter V Special training requirements for personnel on certain types of ships.
 
Enhancement of seafarers' awareness of counter-piracy measures
The Sub-Committee agreed that there was an urgent need to include appropriate provisions in the STCW Convention to ensure that seafarers are properly educated and trained to face situations when their ship is under attack by pirates. Member Governments and international organizations were invited to submit proposals for consideration to STW 41.
 
Review of the principles for establishing the safe manning levels of ships
The Sub-Committee approved a draft framework for determining minimum safe manning for inclusion in the draft revised resolution on Principles of safe manning (resolution A.890(21)).
 
The proposed draft framework, intended to assist Administrations and companies in determining minimum safe manning, is based on four main steps which would involve:
    - submission from the company;
    - evaluation by the Administration;
    - maintenance of minimum safe manning; and
    - compliance monitoring.
 
The Sub-Committee prepared a preliminary draft revised text of resolution A.890(21), which will be reviewed by the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV) at its 56th session in 2010, for consideration in relation to operational aspects.