August 27th, 2009

IMO "Whitelist"

THE MARITIME Safety Committee (MSC) in its 86th session confirmed the Philippines has communicated its report of independent audit evaluation and has demonstrated that it has continuously given full and complete effect to to the relevant provisions of the STCW Convention, 1978, as amended.

The confirmation for such compliance affirms the Philippines' continued inclusion in the so called IMO (International Maritime Organization) "whitelist".

The 2009 inclusion is the outcome of the second cycle report which was due for submission last July 28, 2009, but was communicated earlier to the IMO Secretary-General on February 3, 2009. The first report on the results of the independent evaluation was submitted in January 2004 and confirmed by the MSC in May 2005.

Note that "Whitelisting" of Parties to the STCW Convention is one of the drastic changes in the 1995 amendments to the Convention which provide effective mechanisms for the enforcement of its provisions. In fact, Regulation I/7 of the Convention requires additional information to be communicated to the IMO Secretary-General which must demonstrate that full and complete effect is given to the Convention.

The information communicated to the IMO which are generally instruments promulgated by the member governments are reviewed and verified by the IMO competent persons, which are foreign experts who would submit their views and findings to the IMO Secretary-General. The latter submits a report to MSC for confirmation.

The initial report of MTC to the IMO under Regulation I/7 was communicated in February 1999 and confirmed by the MSC in December 2000.
The sustained inclusion of the Philippines in the IMO "whitelist" will ensure the unhampered recognition by other Parties to the STCW of the certificate of competency issued by the Philippine government. Otherwise, other Parties may refuse recognition of these certificates.

During the 86th session of the MSC, only eight STCW Parties, including the Philip-pines, were confirmed compliant to the Convention. This makes a total of 23 STCW Parties confirmed for the Second Cycle of the reports due this year.

Meanwhile, the Accreditation Division of the Maritime Training Council is reminding all the training centers that there is no need to submit a letter of intent when filing for an application for renewal of accreditation of courses. The same is true for existing and applicant training centers intending to offer new courses. Instead, application documents should be submitted six months prior to the expiration of the training permits.

Moreover, MTC Memorandum Circular No. 03, Series of 2008 (Revised MTC Inspection Checklists) is already in effect. Hence, all concerned are reminded to comply with the new requirements for the following courses:

  1. Basic Safety Training Courses (Elementary First Aid, Personal Survival Techniques, Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility ;
  2. Medical Emergency First Aid;
  3. Medical Care;
  4. Advanced Training in Fire Fighting/
  5. Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats;
  6. Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats;
  7. Shore-Based Fire Fighting;
  8. General Tanker Familiarization ;
  9. Specialized Training in Oil Tankers ;
  10. Specialized Training in Chemical Tankers;
  11. Specialized Training in Liquefied Gas Tankers.

A copy of the said Memorandum Circular can be downloaded from the MTC website at www.