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What Does MCA Want?
Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:44 PM
Joined: 05/09/2008
Posts: 4


  It has been four years since i have been working in yachting industry. I used to work on merchant ships before yachts. I studied nautical science for five years, had twelve monthes sea time as a cadet and passed my examinations in order to work as an officer on a merchant ship. The licence i have is an unlimited oceangoing watchkeeping licence recognized by International Maritime Organization (IMO) and is valid in all merchant ships in all waters. But it is not recognized by MCA! I can work on a British flagged container ship; but i can not work on a 30 m. British flagged charter yacht.

   I really wonder if MCA approaches in the same way to the British officers who are graduated from maritime academies. I also wonder if there are some others like me, suffering from MCA in the industry.
Posted: Sunday, March 15, 2009 9:08 PM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 52

Hi canakantan, and thanks for your post. I can’t see why your qualifications should be valid for commercial ships carrying more than 12 passengers but not for those carrying 12 or less (i.e. yachts). Much will depend on the provenance of your existing tickets and their technical meaning under STCW 95. I can’t give you detailed advice as it would involve a surprising amount of research, but persevere with the MCA – they have been known to make mistakes. Kind regards. Benjamin Maltby. MatrixLloyd.
Posted: Friday, April 10, 2009 5:28 PM
Joined: 23/03/2009
Posts: 8

Hi, if you worked on a UK container ship as an officer, you can of course work on a UK flagged yacht , because the MCA would have issued you a CEC already and this is valid for yachts as well; if you worked as an AB, that is a different story!

However, if your STCW 95 certificate of competency was issued by one of the following flag state authorities you can apply for a Certificate of Equivalent Competency issued by the MCA:

Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands,Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, Hong Kong, India Jamaica, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland ,Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa ,Ukraine and USA*

*conditions apply to USCG licenses

If the country which issued your STCW certificate of competency is not on that list, you can still apply and the MCA will make a "case by case" decision.

The fact a country is found on the "IMO MSC.1/Circ.1163/Rev.3" paper does guarantee that the standards for training and watchkeeping certificates are maintained and that seafarers trained in these countries are properly trained. I personally can understand that the MCA doubts this for countries like Mozambique, Azerbaijdjan, Tuvalu, Mauritania, Viet Nam, North and South Korea etc.

You can find details about application etc. in the MGN 221.

Posted: Saturday, April 3, 2010 12:01 PM
Joined: 05/09/2008
Posts: 4

Thank you all. But still can not understand how come MCA does not recognize STCW standarts which was set by IMO. I am also holding a MCA/USA Coast Guard recognized licence and the quality of the courses i took to get that licence was shocking! I know i could never be a ''safe'' officer without my university education.

Posted: Saturday, April 3, 2010 5:18 PM
Joined: 28/03/2010
Posts: 4

Absolutely. The yachty tickets are so watered down in comparison to the merchant affiliates.

The whole MCA/IMO Recognition your on about, seems to be quite wrong. The IMO set the standard, the law almost, and its the MCA's job to put it across to the public.  It should just supersede.

 Average 5 out of 5