Who Are Exempted To Take ETO Certification In MARINA?

On September 10, 2015, MARINA posted on their official website an update on the “Mandatory Minimum Requirements for Education, Training, Examination, Assessment and Certification of Electro-Technical Officers Serving On a Seagoing Ship Powered By Main Propulsion Machinery of 750 KW Propulsion Power or More”. Also known as STCW Circular No. 2015-13. Within the circular it discussed who are exempted to take ETO assessment and more.

STCW Circular No. 2015-13 is now an approved circular. To view the full STCW Circular No. 2015-13 document you can download it here. You can also check MARINA’s STCW office website for more approved circulars and updates.

So, what is this circular all about? If you are working on-board a ship or planning to work on-board a ship as an electrician, electrical officer, electro-technical officer, electrical engineer, assistant electrician, cadet electrician, or trainee electrician, then you should really read on.

As most of us know, in order to meet the required standard of competences specified in section A-III/6 of the STCW Code or otherwise known as the “Mandatory Minimum Requirements for Certification of Electro-Technical Officers”, the office of MARINA formulated the prescribed standards and procedures in complying with the requirements of an approved education and training.

screenshot from STCW Circular No. 2015-13

Simply put, MARINA Circular No. 2015-13 outlines or covers the education, training, examination, and assessment standards for the certification of candidates as Electro-Technical Officers (ETO).

Just a short background history, before the STCW 2010 Manila Amendments, there was no section A-III/6 on the STCW Code. Therefore, working as an electrician, electrical officer, or any similar position on-board a ship only requires a PRC license (REE. RECE, RME) or sometimes even no license at all. But because of the amendments, those already working as ETO and aspiring to become an ETO on-board a seagoing ship powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 KW propulsion power or more should now obtain a MARINA License for ETO, Certificate of Competency for ETO, and Certificate of Endorsement.

screenshot from STCW Circular No. 2015-13

Okay, now that MARINA has already an approved guidelines, what’s next? As of this posting, I have not heard of any Maritime Training Institution (MTI) that offers an Approved Education and Training Program for ETO yet. Probably because this circular was just recently approved last September 9, 2015. But I think it won’t be too long from now that an ETO course will be offered by an MTI.

screenshot from STCW Circular No. 2015-13

In a Facebook group (ELECTRO-TECHNICAL / ELECTRICAL OFFICERS of the Philippines), questions have been circulating for a while before this circular was published. Some of these queries were:

  1. Who are exempted from accomplishing all the requirements (examination, assessment, training, etc.) but will still be given an ETO license, COC, and COE?
  2. Are there any specific type of PRC licenses that are exempted from this circular?
  3. Is it true that REE or RECE license holders will only be the ones who are exempted?
  4. What about those who are not holders of REE or RECE licenses but had previous on-board experiences as electricians, electrical officers, and the like?
Most of these questions about exemptions were answered by the circular. But I think there are still confusions that need to be addressed directly by MARINA.
screenshot from STCW Circular No. 2015-13

The circular clearly states that seafarers that served in a relevant capacity (in my opinion, most probably as electrician, electrical officer, or electro-technical officer) on-board a ship for at least 12 months within the last 60 months before the effective date of STCW Circular No. 2015-13 (i.e. within 60 months before September 9, 2015), is considered to have met the requirements of the circular and therefore is considered to have met the standard of competence specified in section A-III/6 of the STCW Code. Those people I think are exempted to take ETO assessment.

Based on the transitory provisions, it does not state any license type required to be exempted. So most likely it is not a concern as long as you have an on-board experience for at least 1 year before September 9, 2015 as an electrician, electrical officer, or the like. That is just my own opinion, but I think most of you will agree too if you based it on the circular itself.

For now, what we can do is to wait for the official procedures of MARINA or actual processing or first-hand application of ETO certifications by our fellow seafarers. For those who had at least 12 months experience already, there’s a really big chance that we will be saved from the expenses and time consuming requirements that this regulation will bring. But for those who are just starting and aspiring to be an ETO, I sincerely wish you all good luck for all the requirements you need to comply.

UPDATE: Check this post, “ETO-COC Requirements, Procedures, and Fees“, it all answered the theories and ideas discussed above.

Anvin Argañosa

An Electronics Engineer by profession. A land-based worker turned into an ocean dweller. An "aspiring" business tycoon and financial advocate. A loving father to my daughter Julian. And a very obedient husband to Ann (wink!).

One thought on “Who Are Exempted To Take ETO Certification In MARINA?

  • September 11, 2017 at 8:55 am

    How about mechanical engineer onboard?



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