Commercial Vessel Compliance

10/27/2014: Course certification updates for Maritime Transportation Security Act

In 2004, the Maritime Administration, or MARAD, established a training course certification process to assist parties charged with meeting the education and training requirements of the Maritime Transportation Security Act, or MTSA. The optional program allowed course providers to submit a course to MARAD for certification; MARAD then contracted with a Coast Guard accepted Quality Standards System, or QSS, organization to review the course.

The certification process established under MARAD expired on September 30th, 2014. The certification process has been renewed and updated to remove MARAD from the process, so that course providers may now work directly with the QSS organizations to obtain course certification.

This change affects certification for the following courses:

• Facility Security Officer
• Company Security Officer
• Maritime Security for Military, First Responder and Law Enforcement Personnel
• Maritime Security for Facility Personnel with Specific Security Duties
• Maritime Security Awareness
• Maritime Security for Vessel Personnel with Specific Security Duties

This impacts course providers as well as facility and vessel operators. What you need to know:

Course providers:

• MARAD is no longer involved in the certification process
• Course providers now submit courses directly to a Coast Guard accepted QSS organization
• Course providers are responsible for all fees associated with the training course submission & review process
• There is an updated list of Coast Guard accepted QSS organizations

Resource links:

Coast Guard accepted QSS organizations
Guidance on STCW QSS for merchant mariner courses or training programs: NVIC No. 09-01
Guidelines for approval of training courses and programs: NVIC No. 03-14

Facility and vessel operators:

• The list of updated courses is now on a Coast Guard website and no longer on MARAD’s website
• There is an updated process for MTSA courses that no longer involves MARAD
• Course providers work directly with the QSSs

Resource links:

Updated list of MTSA certified courses

Please view the links provided for further information or call the Coast Guard’s Office of Port and Facility Compliance at (202) 372-1132.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.