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Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 6), 19 April-3 May 2019

03/05/2019

New IMO model courses on IGF Code training validated
Two new model courses were validated by the Sub-Committee:
  • Advanced training for masters, officers, ratings and other personnel on ships subject to the International Code of Safety for Ship Using Gases or Other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code); and 
  • Basic training for masters, officers, ratings and other personnel on ships subject to the IGF Code. 
Following discussions on the process to develop, revise and validate model courses, the Sub-Committee agreed on the systematic use of the Model Course Trust Fund to hire experts for the development and revision of model courses under its purview, subject to the Secretariat's contracting process. 

The Sub-Committee also discussed the possible conversion of IMO model courses to e-learning versions and agreed to advise the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), as the parent body, that this would need further careful consideration. Converting to e-learning would change the current apporach and goals of IMO model courses. However, the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) could be invited to consider how e-learning material could assist with the implementation of instruments other than the STCW Convention.

IMO model courses are valuable tools that assist Member States and other stakeholders to develop detailed training programmes, to effectively implement the provisions of IMO instruments. 

Draft amendments to STCW Code agreed
The Sub-Committee finalized draft amendments to table B-I/2 (List of certificates or documentary evidence required under the STCW Convention) of the STCW Code, for submission to the MSC for approval and adoption. 

The amendments are intended to provide better guidance to Parties, Administrations, port State control authorities, recognized organizations and other relevant parties by updating  the list of all certificates or documentary evidence described in the Convention which authorize the holder to serve in certain capacities, perform certain duties, functions or be assigned certain responsibilities on board ships.

Comprehensive review of fishing vessel personnel training treaty
The Sub-Committee continued its ongoing comprehensive review of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F), 1995, which entered into force in 2012. The Convention is a key pillar among the international instruments on fishing vessel safety

Progress was made with the review of all chapters and the preparation of an associated new STCW-F Code. 

A work plan agreed by the Sub-Committee envisages finalization of the revised Convention and new STCW-F Code in the second half of 2021; consideration and approval by the MSC in mid-2022 and adoption of the revised STCW-F Convention and Code in late 2022. 

Developing guidelines on medical examination of fishing vessel personnel
The Sub-Committee agreed to establish a joint International Labour Organization (ILO) /IMO Working Group to develop guidelines on the medical examination of fishing vessels' personnel. 

Developing a new joint ILO/IMO medical guide for ships 
The Sub-Committee agreed to develop a new joint ILO/IMO medical guide for ships. The main objective would be to produce a practical up-to-date ships medical guide to assist those required to give medical assistance who are primarily not medics. 

The Sub-Committee invited the Secretariat and other stakeholders involved to keep the it informed of progress made with the development of the new medical guide. 

Subject to approval by the corresponding bodies of ILO and IMO, it was agreed that the new medical guide should be referenced as one of the carriage requirement options in the 1978 STCW Convention, as amended, the STCW F Convention and MLC, 2006.

Role of the human element
The Sub-Committee discussed developing guidance on how to utilise casualty cases and lessons learned in seafarers' education and training and invited interested delegations to submit pertinent documents for consideration at HTW 7.

The Sub-Committee also agreed to review and update the Checklist for considering human element issues by IMO bodies (MSC-MEPC.7/Circ.1), to enhance its contribution to establishing a structured approach for the proper consideration of human element issues at IMO.

Use of seafarers’ electronic certificates and documents 
The Sub-Committee established a correspondence group to consider how to address the use of electronic certificates and documents of seafarers. The group will consider a number of issues which need to be addressed, including verification of authenticity; security assurance; data form; physical location (storage); privacy; and any other matters which may arise during the course of the work.

The correspondence group has also been asked to identify provisions of the STCW Convention and parts A and B of the STCW Code that might need to be amended in order to allow and facilitate the use of electronic seafarers' certificates and documents; and prepare draft amendments, as necessary. The group will report to HTW 7. 
 
Implementation of the 1978 STCW Convention, as amended
The Sub-Committee considered matters relating to the list of STCW Parties ("White List") and its review, based on the continuous compliance by Parties, as required by the Convention. The MSC reviews information submitted by Parties and, since 2005, has issued on a regular basis: 
  • MSC.1/Circ.1163, as amended, on Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended, confirmed by the Maritime Safety Committee to have communicated information which demonstrates that full and complete effect is given to the relevant provisions of the Convention; and
  • MSC.1/Circ.1164, as amended, on Promulgation of information related to reports of independent evaluation submitted by Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended, confirmed by the Maritime Safety Committee to have communicated information which demonstrates that Parties are giving full and complete effect to the relevant provisions of the Convention.

STCW regulation I/7.3.2 requires the Maritime Safety Committee to “review the list of Parties which communicated information that demonstrated that they give full and complete effect to the relevant provisions of the Convention, to retain in this list only the Parties so concerned”.

The Sub-Committee was provided with a list containing only those Parties which had communicated the relevant information, representing a significantly smaller number of Parties than those on the current “White List” set out in MSC.1/Circ.1163.

Following discussion, the Sub-Committee noted that the responsibility for the communication of information lies with STCW Parties and that time frames for the compliance with the "communication of information" provisions were provided in part A of the STCW Code, as amended.  It also noted the availability of procedures and guidance relating to the "communication of information" set out in various circulars (MSC.1/Circ.1448 and MSC.1/Circ.1449 ). 

MSC 101 in June 2019 was invited to note the matter and include an output on "Implementation of the STCW Convention" in the provisional agenda for HTW 7 so that the issue can be further discussed then, possibly in a working group.

The Sub-Committee encouraged Parties to the 1978 STCW Convention, as amended, to properly discharge the obligations emanating from STCW regulation I/8 and sections A-I/7 and A-I/8 of the STCW Code.