UPDATED ECDIS Info
The USCG has fully defined ECDIS training requirements within the new STCW/CFR final rule and related NVIC's for deck officers.
If a deck officer does not have the required training by Jan. 1, 2017, his or her credential will have a limitation placed on it prohibiting the individual from serving on ECDIS equipped vessels. ECDIS training may also be required sooner under certain circumstances, as noted below. .
STAR Center has been conducting USCG approved ECDIS training for AMO officers since 2003 and has trained more than 1000 AMO members in the current USCG approved ECDIS course. In Oct 2012 the USCG issued a bulletin which specifically stated, "The Coast Guard has been approving ECDIS courses for several years in anticipation of a requirement for ECDIS training, and will continue to do so. Mariners who have completed Coast Guard approved or accepted ECDIS courses in the past will not need to take additional training".
Between now and January 2017, current ECDIS credentials and endorsements should continue to be honored by port state inspectors both in the U.S. and in other countries. However if a specific vessel designates ECDIS as the primary means of navigation, or if a specific vessel is equipped with ECDIS, port/flag state authorities may require an approved ECDIS training course to have been completed. STCW also requires companies to provide individuals employed onboard a ship with familiarization in the specific shipboard equipment, operating procedures and other arrangements, needed for the proper performance of their duties. This would include installed ECDIS equipment. Proper documentation of ECDIS type specific familiarization should be available onboard.
Although the phase-in period will run until January 2017, some contracted companies (and vetters) already require documentation of having completed an approved ECDIS training course in order to be dispatched and shipped on ECDIS equipped vessels. Officers who have not completed an approved ECDIS course are encouraged to do so as their schedules permit. It is recommended that each officer carry his or her approved ECDIS course certificate onboard the vessel. .
In addition to ECDIS, deck officers have additional gap closing requirements within the new CFR and final rule for a credential to be valid after 1/1/2017. Please refer to the STAR Center and USCG NMC websites for additional information on STCW 2010 gap closing requirements. .