Effective January 1, 2008, mariners sailing in the capacity of Ship Security Officer (SSO) will have to show evidence of being “qualified” to hold that position. The SSO training requirement only applies to STCW vessels 500GT or greater operating on international voyages. Evidence of qualification will include the following:
Course completion certificate (in accordance with the Maritime Transportation Security Act [MTSA] and/or in accordance with the International Maritime Organization [IMO] model course for Ship Security Officer).
Company letter or certificate attesting to the qualifications (in accordance with the Maritime Transportation Security Act [MTSA] regulations and the International Ship and Port Facility [ISPS] Code).
The U.S. Coast Guard has determined that any training completed in accordance with 33 CFR, Part 104.215, is substantially equivalent to the STCW requirements. Therefore, no additional training should be required. The Coast Guard has informed Port State Control worldwide of this arrangement.
Before July 1, 2009, the Coast Guard intends to amend 33 CFR, Part 104.215, to create a “Ship Security Officer” endorsement that will be included on the mariners license or documents.
Are the SSO laws in you’re country or flag state changing? Let us know in the comments section.