Commercial Vessel Compliance

11/1/2018: MSIB 009-12 (Rev 1) Employment of non-credentialed personnel onboard certain U.S. documented vessels

The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance recently revised Marine Safety Information Bulletin 009-12 (Rev 1),Employment of Non-Credentialed Personnel Onboard Certain U.S. Documented Vessels,” to emphasize vessel manning requirements found in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

This revision follows recent adverse port state control actions against U.S. flagged vessels that revealed several cases of U.S.-documented vessels calling on U.S. ports with non-U.S. credentialed personnel instead of U.S. citizens. The intent of this MSIB is to provide information and guidance to vessel owners and operators regarding the provisions for employment of non-U.S. credentialed personnel on board certain U.S. documented vessels, and the potential negative implications of non-compliance.

Failure to adhere to the manning requirements established under STCW can result in costly delays and/or detention by the port state. It is prudent for owners and operators to take the steps necessary to mitigate the potential for detention by verifying that vessels meet applicable requirements under SOLAS and that crews are fully compliant with STCW in advance of international voyages and foreign port calls. In some cases, this may require the use of U.S. credentialed officers and/or coordination with the cognizant port state control authority.

For full details, view MSIB 009-12 (Rev. 1).

Questions regarding this MSIB should be directed to

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.

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