Regs4ships has published amendments to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers and Code coming into force Jan. 1, 2012, on its digital maritime regulations service.

According to Reg4ships, the sop-called Manila amendments agreed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and participating member states mark the first complete revision to the mandatory STCW convention and code since last updated in 1995. This significant re-write is designed to bring STCW up to date, ensuring that those who go to sea are correctly trained and certified aboard ships throughout the world.

Regs4ships has published the changes – giving customers the longest possible lead-in time to become compliant with the Manila amendments, the company said in a prepared statement.

There are a number of important changes coming into effect, ranging from improved measures to prevent fraudulent certification of competency to the new requirements for the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, along with revised hours of work and updated standards to ensure seafarers are medically fit.

Other changes include new certification for crew to be able to use modern technology, like electronic charts display and information systems (ECDIS), new requirements for marine environment awareness training and the introduction of new security training, to ensure crews are properly trained in case their ship comes under attack by pirates.