Technical Circular No :129/2017

Subject: Clarification on ECDIS Training and Certification Requirements.

PDF fileDownload PDF

  • A new STCW.7/Circ.24/Rev.1 (copy attached) was developed during the fourth session of IMO’s sub-committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) which took place in London from 30 January to 3 February 2017.

  • The circular clarifies various difficulties identified during the implementation of the 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention regarding certificates, documentation and training, especially the training and familiarization provisions for ECDIS.

  • Salient points from the circular are stated below.

    • Request for documentation that is not required by STCW during surveys or inspection. 
      It is highlighted that seafarers should not be required to provide documentation for verification that is not required by the STCW Convention. Also no reference to IMO Model Courses is required in any certificate or documentary evidence. IMO Model Courses are supportive documents and neither mandatory nor an interpretation of the STCW Code.

    • References to STCW in varied ways. 
      In order to avoid confusion, it is recommended that certificates and endorsements referring to the STCW Convention use the reference “STCW 1978 as amended” without appending the year/dates of the amendments.

    • Misinterpretations of the familiarization and training for ECDIS. 
      The circular provides clarification that generic ECDIS training is part of the certificates and no further documents should be required. If there is a lack of ECDIS competence, a limitation will be included in the certificates of competence (CoC) of the seafarer. If there is no limitation in this CoC they are evidence of having completed the required training and the standard of competence has been achieved. For the type specific familiarization, no requirements exist. This lays in the responsibility of the company and should be part of the ISM system. Consequently, each shipping company can decide how they do the familiarization within their company and how they ensure the documentation of such a familiarization.

    • Misinterpretation regarding new certificates in the 2010 Manila Amendments. 
      It was reported that personnel on board (especially electricians) were asked by PSC to possess applicable Certificates of Competency or Certificate of Proficiency, when such personnel are not included in the Minimum Safe Manning Document (MMSD) of the ship. It is now clarified that if a ship is manned in accordance with a MSMD or equivalent document issued by the flag State, the port State control officers should accept that the ship is safely manned.

  • Ship owners, ship operators, and masters are advised to be guided by above and the attached circular STCW.7/Circ.24/Rev.1.


  1. IMO Circular STCW.7/Circ.24/Rev.1 dated 16 June 2017.


This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.

PDF file Download PDF



All Technical Circulars