The Department of Merchant Shipping has issued a circular to all owners, operators and masters of Cyprus-flagged ships reminding them of the increased levels of training that are required for the issue of certificates of competency under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers 1978, with effect from January 1 2017, due to the Manila amendments to the convention.

From that date, seafarers must demonstrate that they have successfully completed refresher training to renew certificates of competency in specified topics. Article 7(3) of the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards of Medical Care on Ships) Law 2002 also requires masters and chief mates to undertake continuous training to renew their certificate of proficiency in medical care. Details of the required training are set out in the circular.

The Department of Merchant Shipping advises all concerned to take these requirements into account when developing their training programmes, which require approval by the department.

The arrangements described in the circular apply to seafarers with at least 12 months' seagoing service in the last five years or at least three months' seagoing service in the past year. Those without the required seagoing service should attend regular educational programmes.

For further information on this topic please contact Vasileios Psyrras at Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC by telephone (+357 25 110 000) or email ( The Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC website can be accessed at

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