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International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW)

Published February 1, 1997

The International Maritime Organization states that this convention "was the first to establish basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level. Previously the standards of training, certification and watchkeeping of officers and ratings were established by individual governments, usually without reference to practices in other countries. As a result standards and procedures varied widely, even though shipping is the most international of all industries.

The Convention prescribes minimum standards relating to training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers which countries are obliged to meet or exceed." It was adopted on July 7, 1978 and entered into force on April 28, 1984. The 1995 amendments changed the convention and entered into force on February 1, 1997.

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