Seafarer’s books validity extended anew amid Covid

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The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has granted a one-year extension to expiring Seafarer’s Record Books (SRB) and Seafarer’s Identification and Record Books (SIRB) to help Filipino seafarers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In an advisory yesterday, Marina said all SRBs and SIRBs expiring between March 13 to December 31 this year shall be extended for one year without requiring holders to file for a renewal.

SIRB, according to Marina, is a document issued to qualified merchant marine officers, including fishermen and off-shore workers, to provide the holders with identity papers and a record of their sea service.

SRB is a roll of merchant marine personnel, including overseas off-shore workers, maintained by Marina.

Marina said the extension was made to help ease the difficulties in ship crew changes and disembarkation, and to ensure the continued employment of Filipino seafarers.

However, it recommended that seafarers currently ashore should renew their SIRB or SRB to avoid the expected influx of renewals next year.

“Seafarers who are not on board are hereby directed to renew their SIRB/SRB six months prior to its expiration,” the advisory read.

Manning agencies and shipping companies were directed to submit a list of their crewmembers who are eligible for the extension.

The new advisory also repealed a previous Marina advisory extending the validity of some SIRBs and SRBs only up to end of 2020.

Earlier, Marina also extended the validity of expiring Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) certificates of Filipino seafarers for another year.

This includes certificates that are set to expire from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 of this year. Marina does not require its holders to file for a renewal.

This applies to all STCW certificates of all Filipino seafarers who are both on board and ashore at the time of expiry of their certificates, and are compliant with the provisions that are mentioned by Marina on its advisory.

These provisions include that the seafarer must have completed an approved seagoing service appropriate to the certificate they hold—12 years of service during the last five years or three months of service during the last six months immediately prior to revalidation.

“For Certificate of Proficiency (COP) in tanker courses, the seafarer must have completed approved seagoing service performing the duties appropriate to the tank certificate held, for a period of at least three months in total during the preceding five years,” the Marina advisory added.*PNA

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