Due to a continued backlog of credential applications and increased net processing time of both mariner credential applications and medical certificate applications caused by the lapse in appropriations and shutdown of National Maritime Center operations, several updated actions are being taken. These actions involve merchant mariner credentials and certain medical certificates.
Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 03-16 provides Coast Guard guidelines for credentialing officers of towing vessels. Mariners commencing training and assessment toward an officer of towing vessels endorsement should use the TOARs contained in NVIC 03-16. Mariners should plan accordingly to ensure that previous versions of TOARs are completed and application for endorsement is made prior to March 24, 2019.
All applicants for the original issuance or renewal of a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) and applicants seeking certain raises in grade or new endorsements must provide evidence of having passed a chemical test for dangerous drugs or meet the requirements for an exemption from testing.