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II.3.90 (STCW 1978) INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON STANDARDS OF TRAINING, CERTIFICATION AND WATCHKEEPING FOR SEAFARERS, 1978, AS AMENDED

The Ratification of Maritime Conventions

Chapter I.3.90

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON STANDARDS OF TRAINING, CERTIFICATION AND WATCHKEEPING FOR SEAFARERS, 1978, AS AMENDED

Note: The present text incorporates the original text as modified by the following amendment:

  Date of entry
  into force
—1991 amendments adopted by res. MSC.21(59) 01.12.1992
—1994 amendments adopted by res. MSC.31(63) 01.01.1996
—1995 (STCW Code) amendments adopted by the Conference of Contracting Governments 01.02.1997
—1997 (STCW Code) amendments adopted by MSC 01.01.1999
—1998 (STCW Code) amendments adopted by MSC 01.01.2003
—2004 (STCW Code) amendments adopted by MSC 01.07.2006
—2006 (Chapters I and VI) amendments adopted by MSC 01.01.2008
—2006 (STCW Code) amendments adopted by MSC 01.01.2008
—2010 Manila amendments (STCW Convention and STCW Code) 01.01.2012
—2014 amendments adopted by MSC.373(93) 01.01.2016
—2015 amendments adopted by MSC.396(95) 01.01.2017
—2016 amendments adopted by MSC.416(97) 01.07.2018
—2016 amendments (Part A) adopted by MSC.417(97) 01.07.2018
ADOPTED: Done at London, 7th July 1978
REFERENCE: STCW, 1978
ENTERED INTO FORCE: 28 April 1984
DEPOSITARY: IMO, London
SECRETARY: IMO, London

IMPLEMENTATION

SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE, APPROVAL AND ACCESSION

Article XIII

(1) The Convention shall remain open for signature at the Headquarters of the Organization from 1 December 1978 until 30 November 1979 and shall thereafter remain open for accession. Any State may become a Party by:

  • (a) signature without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval; or
  • (b) signature subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, followed by ratification, acceptance or approval; or
  • (c) accession.

(2) Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument to that effect with the Secretary-General.

ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article XIV

(1) The Convention shall enter into force twelve months after the date on which not less than twenty-five States, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than fifty per cent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping of ships of 100 gross register tons or more, have either signed it without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval or deposited the requisite instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession in accordance with article XIII.

(2) The Secretary-General shall inform all States that have signed the Convention or acceded to it of the date on which it enters into force.

(3) Any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession deposited during the twelve months referred to in paragraph (1) shall take effect on the coming into force of the Convention or three months after the deposit of such instrument, whichever is the later date.

(4) Any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession deposited after the date on which the Convention enters into force shall take effect three months after the date of deposit.

(5) After the date on which an amendment is deemed to have been accepted under Article XII, any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession deposited shall apply to the Convention as amended.

DENUNCIATION

Article XV

(1) The Convention may be denounced by any Party at any time after five years from the date on which the Convention entered into force for that Party.

(2) Denunciation shall be effected by notification in writing to the Secretary-General who shall inform all other Parties and the Director-General of the International Labour Office of any such notification received and of the date of its receipt as well as the date on which such denunciation takes effect.

(3) A denunciation shall take effect twelve months after receipt of the notification of denunciation by the Secretary-General or after any longer period which may be indicated in the notification.

AMENDMENTS

Article XII

(1) The Convention may be amended by either of the following procedures:

  • (a) amendments after consideration within the Organisation:
  • (i) any amendment proposed by a Party shall be submitted to the Secretary-General, who shall then circulate it to all Members of the Organisation, all Parties and the Director-General of the International Labour Office at least six months prior to its consideration;
  • (ii) any amendment so proposed and circulated shall be referred to the Maritime Safety Committee of the Organization for consideration;
  • (iii) Parties, whether or not Members of the Organization, shall be entitled to participate in the proceedings of the Maritime Safety Committee for consideration and adoption of amendments;
  • (iv) amendments shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Parties present and voting in the Maritime Safety Committee expanded as provided for in sub-paragraph (a) (iii) (hereinafter referred to as the “expanded Maritime Safety Committee”) on condition that at least one-third of the Parties shall be present at the time of voting;
  • (v) amendments so adopted shall be communicated by the Secretary-General to all Parties for acceptance;
  • (vi) an amendment to an Article shall be deemed to have been accepted on the date on which it is accepted by two-thirds of the Parties;
  • (vii) an amendment to the Annex shall be deemed to have been accepted;
  • 1. at the end of two years from the date on which it is communicated to Parties for acceptance; or
  • 2. at the end of a different period, which shall be not less than one year, if so determined at the time of its adoption by a two-thirds majority of the Parties present and voting in the expanded Maritime Safety Committee;
  • However, the amendments shall be deemed not to have been accepted if within the specified period either more than one-third of Parties, or Parties the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than fifty per cent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping of ships of 100 gross register tons or more, notify the Secretary-General that they object to the amendment;
  • (viii) an amendment to an Article shall enter into force with respect to those Parties which have accepted it, six months after the date on which it is deemed to have been accepted, and with respect to each Party which accepts it after that date, six months after the date of that Party’s acceptance;
  • (ix) an amendment to the Annex shall enter into force with respect to all Parties, except those which have objected to the amendment under sub-paragraph (a)(vii) and which have not withdrawn such objection, six months after the date on which it is deemed to have been accepted. Before the date determined for entry into force, any Party may give notice to the Secretary-General that it exempts itself from giving effect to that amendment for a period not longer than one year from the date of its entry into force, or for such longer period as may be determined by a two-thirds majority of the Parties present and voting in the expanded Maritime Safety Committee at the time of the adoption of the amendment; or
  • (b) amendment by a Conference:
  • (i) upon request of a Party concurred in by at least one-third of the Parties, the Organization shall convene, in association or consultation with the Director-General of the International Labour Office, a conference of Parties to consider amendments to the Convention;
  • (ii) every amendment adopted by such a Conference by a two-thirds majority of the Parties present and voting shall be communicated by the Secretary-General to all Parties for acceptance;
  • (iii) unless the Conference decides otherwise, the amendment shall be deemed to have been accepted and shall enter into force in accordance with the procedures specified in sub-paragraph (a) (vi) and (a) (viii) or sub-paragraphs (a) (vii) and (a) (ix) respectively, provided that references in these paragraphs to the expanded Maritime Safety Committee shall be taken to mean references to the Conference.

(2) Any declaration of acceptance of, or objection to, an amendment or any notice given under paragraph (1)(a)(ix) shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary-General, who shall inform all Parties of any such submission and the date of its receipt.

(3) The Secretary-General shall inform all Parties of any amendments which enter into force, together with the date on which each such amendment enters into force.

DECLARATIONS, RESERVATIONS AND STATEMENTS

Australia

The instrument of ratification of the Commonwealth of Australia was accompanied by the following statement:

“Australia has a federal constitutional system in which legislative and judicial powers are shared or distributed between the Commonwealth and the constituent States.

The implementation of the Treaty throughout Australia will be effected by the Commonwealth, State and Territory authorities having regard to their respective constitutional powers and arrangements concerning their exercise.”

Canada

The instrument of accession of Canada was accompanied by the following statement:

“The Government of Canada reserves its position with regard to the provisions of paragraph 6(d) of the appendix to regulation II/2 and paragraph 16 of the appendix to regulation II/4 in the Annex to the Inter-national Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 in respect of the compulsory knowledge of an ability to use the English language. The position of the Government of Canada is that the provisions of those paragraphs which refer to the ability to use navigational publications in English, and the need to have an adequate knowledge of the English language, are not applicable to Canada as there are two official languages in Canada: English and French. Both languages have equal status, consequently candidates for certificates may choose to be examined in either language.”

Chile

The instrument of accession of the Republic of Chile contained the following reservation (in the Spanish language):

[translation] “ . . . formulating an express reservation concerning the provisions of subparagraphs (vii) and (ix) of paragraph 1(a) of article XII to the effect that the amendments to the Annex shall not be binding on Chile until such time as it has complied with the internal procedure established by the Political Constitution of the Republic for the approval of treaties.”

Denmark

The instrument of ratification of the Kingdom of Denmark was accompanied by the following reservation:

“ . . . a decision as to the applicability of the provisions of the Convention to Greenland and the Faroe Islands is pending the completion of internal procedures prescribed in this respect. The ratification of Denmark is therefore, until further notice, subject to reservation with regard to the obligations of Greenland and the Faroe Islands under the Convention.”

And a statement that:

“ . . . the decision on Denmark’s ratification was taken in accordance with the recommendation of 21 December 1978, of the Council of the European Communities concerning the ratification of the Convention.”

Germany, Federal Republic of

The instrument of ratification of the Federal Republic of Germany was accompanied by the following declaration (in the German language):

[translation] “ . . . with effect from the day on which the Convention enters into force for the Federal Republic of Germany it shall also apply to Berlin (West).”

The instrument was also accompanied by a Note informing the Secretary-General that:

“ . . . the ratification of the Convention by the Federal Republic of Germany is done in view of the recommendation by the Council of the European Communities dated 21 December 1978.”

United Kingdom

The instrument of ratification of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland contained the following reservation:

“ . . . reserving the right not to apply the said Convention in respect of any territory for whose international relations the Government of the United Kingdom is responsible until three months after the date on which the Government of the United Kingdom notify the Secretary-General of the [International Maritime Organisation] that the said Convention shall apply in respect of any such territory.”

U.S.S.R.

The depositary received the following communication dated 3 November 1988 from the Permanent Representative of the U.S.S.R. to IMO:

[translation] “In connection with the reservation made by the Government of Canada when acceding to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (IMO document STCW/Circ.61 of 26 November 1987) the Soviet side considers it necessary to make the following statement.

Requirements on knowledge of the English language, contained in paragraph 6(d) of the appendix to regulation II/2 and paragraph 16 of the appendix to regulation II/4 in the Annex to the Convention are mandatory minimum requirements for certification of masters, chief and watchkeeping officers and their observance represents a significant condition of ensuring high qualifications of officers of the crew. Non-observance of those requirements could result in negative consequences for the safety of international maritime navigation. In this connection, the reservation of the Government of Canada, in the opinion of the Soviet side, is incompatible with the purposes of the Convention.

The reference made by the Government of Canada to the two state languages does not seem to be well-founded in so far as internal status of this or that language cannot serve as an excuse for non-observance of the obligations assumed by States under international law.

Taking into account the above-stated, the Soviet side cannot recognize this reservation of the Government of Canada as valid.”

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