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Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Mariner Credentialing Program Transformation

March 15, 2024

The Coast Guard has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register proposing updates to the Merchant Mariner Credentialing Program (MCP) for the submission of information, fee payments, and technical updates.

The Coast Guard’s MCP issues merchant mariner credentials (MMC) and Medical Certificates to applicants who have met the regulatory requirements. This includes the evaluation of individual qualifications and medical fitness, administering examinations and issuing the MMC. In addition, the MCP also conducts supporting processes, such as approving mariner training courses and programs; approving course instructors; conducting course oversight and auditing; and approving Qualified Assessors and Designated Examiners. The National Maritime Center and its field units, called Regional Exam Centers and Monitoring Units, who conduct these MCP processes, have traditionally relied on handwritten applications, mailed correspondence, and recordkeeping in paper-based files. 

The Coast Guard is working to replace its current credentialing system with a more technologically advanced, secure, agile, and user-friendly system that would reduce risk and improve customer service to mariners and the maritime industry. The anticipated replacement system will be web-based, allowing for direct virtual interaction between the Coast Guard and maritime industry stakeholders. This NPRM updates information submission procedures, proposes new payment procedures, and makes technical updates setting the stage for the new system.

Individuals are encouraged to submit questions and comments to the Federal Register for consideration. Comments and related material must be received no later than May 13, 2024.

For more information, the NPRM is available on the Federal Register here or search on www.regulations.gov under Docket Number USCG–2021–0834.

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This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official publications, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These publications remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.