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MSIB: Novel Coronovirus – Mariner Credentials – Update (Change 1)

Update Note: Information regarding STCW Medical Certificates and Course and Program Approvals has been added.

Extension of Merchant Mariner Credential Endorsements and Medical Certificates

The Coast Guard has published MSIB 08-20 (Change 1) to provide guidance concerning mariner credentials and medical certificates and the action being taken by the Coast Guard due to the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes (COVID-19). We are doing this in keeping with national guidance to meet the challenge of this disease and in response to a number of questions and concerns raised by the maritime industry and mariners.

The Coast Guard has also been consulting with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other administrations to ensure alignment with respect to the extension of endorsements issued in accordance with the Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW). We are taking a pragmatic approach consistent with the IMO Secretary General’s circular Letter No.4204/Add.5 dated 17 March, 2020.

To mitigate the impact to the seafarers and the industry caused by the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19, the Coast Guard is taking the following actions:

The National Maritime Center (NMC) will be issuing additional guidance on the MMC extensions and other administrative measures and will be posted on its website; If you have questions, visit the NMC website, or contact the NMC Customer Service Center by using the NMC online chat system, by e-mailing, or by calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

Questions about this bulletin 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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