U.S. Coast Guard Introduces New Merchant Mariner Credential

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The U.S. Coast Guard has unveiled a new merchant mariner credential (MMC), slated to launch on March 1, 2024. This significant development marks the first comprehensive revision of the mariner credential in nearly a decade, aimed at enhancing service quality and security within the Marine Transportation System (MTS), says an article published on uscg website.

Summary

  • The U.S. Coast Guard is introducing a new merchant mariner credential (MMC) on March 1, 2024, marking the first comprehensive revision in nearly a decade.
  • The MMC serves as the exclusive source of U.S. mariner credentials, mandatory for individuals serving on U.S. flagged vessels, including passenger boats, tug and barges, and ocean-going cargo vessels.
  • The new credential will replace the traditional passport-style booklet (“Red Book”) with a one-page certificate-size format, aiming to streamline processes and enhance efficiency.
  • Enhanced security features are incorporated into the new MMC, including anti-copy measures, micro-printing, foiling, and intricate patterns, printed on waterproof synthetic paper sourced from the Government Printing Office.
  • Existing passport-style credentials will not be immediately replaced; mariners will receive the new credential during the next application process.

Purpose And Scope Of MMC

The MMC serves as the exclusive source of U.S. mariner credentials, allowing qualified individuals to serve on U.S. flagged vessels. It is a mandatory requirement for mariners serving on commercially operated vessels, including passenger boats, tug and barges, offshore supply vessels, and deep draft ocean-going cargo vessels, both domestically and internationally.

Transition To New Credential

Replacing the traditional passport-style booklet (“Red Book”), the new credential will be issued in a certificate-size one-page format. The transition to this updated credential aims to streamline processes and enhance efficiency within the maritime industry.

Enhanced Security Features

In response to the evolving needs of the Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC), the credentialing process has been updated. Outdated passport-style credential printers at the NMC will be replaced with a more reliable and modern solution. The new credential will be printed on 8.5″ x 11″ waterproof synthetic paper sourced from the Government Printing Office (GPO), incorporating advanced security features such as anti-copy measures, micro-printing, foiling, and intricate patterns.

Implementation And Transition Plan

Existing passport-style credentials will not be immediately replaced. Mariners will receive the new credential during the next application process with the Coast Guard. Additionally, the Coast Guard is planning a long-term electronic credentialing solution, known as E-credentials, which will contain all required information and security features to meet domestic and international requirements. Mariners will have printing options available to obtain paper or non-electronic versions of the credential.

Further Information

Additional details regarding the new credential are available through the Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB 01-24) and the Federal Register Notice (2024-03568). Sample images of the new credential can be accessed on the NMC website at https://www.dco.uscg.mil/national_maritime_center/.

This update reflects the Coast Guard’s commitment to modernizing and improving the credentialing process, ensuring the safety, security, and efficiency of the nation’s maritime operations.

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Source: uscg

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