Merchant Mariner Credential

The Merchant Mariner Credential or MMC is a credential issued by the United States Coast Guard in accordance with the STCW guidelines to United States seafarers to show evidence of a mariner's qualifications. It will become the standard documentation required for all crew members of U.S. ships with a Gross Register Tonnage of over 100 and for all vessels required to operate with a licensed Master, regardless of size. As previously issued but still valid credentials expire, the MMC will replace the Merchant Mariner's Document, merchant mariner license, Certificate of Registry, and STCW Certificate.

The MMC contains professional qualification information previously listed on a merchant mariner license or Certificate of Registry as an officer endorsement, while information previously listed on a Merchant Mariner's Document would be included as a rating endorsement. STCW endorsements would still be listed as STCW endorsements.

The combining of the mariner credentials was due to the recent requirement for U.S. mariners to obtain the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (or TWIC), a biometric security card issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that all workers in the transportation industry are required to obtain if their work involves access to a security-sensitive area. This reduces the number of documents needed to satisfy manning requirements from five to two: The TWIC and MMC.

Newly-accredited US mariners receive the MMC credential; those already accredited receive the new credential when their current document or license expires. The credential is obtained by applying by mail or in person to any of the 17 United States Coast Guard Regional Examination Centers (REC) in the United States.

Previous to April 15, 2009, applications for credentials still had to be made in person at an REC to provide fingerprints and proof of identity. Now, TSA collects the fingerprints and proof of identity and forwards the information to the Coast Guard's National Maritime Center (NMC). Mariners have to visit a Regional Exam Center if they are required to take an exam.

The first Merchant Mariner Credential was issued on May 7, 2009, at a meeting of the Towing Safety Advisory Committee.

The new credential has been criticized by several groups. One organization says that the consolidation reduces the merchant marine officer license, a certificate of professional achievement and status, into a work permit. Another group suggests that the consolidation, together with STCW requirements, the coming TWIC requirement, and new physical evaluation standards, have stressed the skilled labor pool, pose too much of an administrative burden, and threaten mariner recruitment, training and retention.

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Other articles related to "merchant mariner credential, mariner":

Merchant Mariner Credential - Physical Description
... US passports or travel documents dark blue, black, brown, and blue-green) and the text Merchant Mariner Credential appears in place of Passport ... required to list competencies held by the mariner ... When the mariner gain a new competency while holding an already valid MMC, the new competency is printed on a sticker which is placed on the next available ...

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