The MERPAC (Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee) and the maritime industry registered their strong disapproval to the Coast Guard on their delays in getting the final STCW-95 rulemaking completed.
Although, the Coast Guard was sympathetic, they could not give us a date on the completion of this rule-making process. The Coast Guard has 37 NVIC that will be release concurrent with the final rule.
The Coast Guard also refused to answer a direct question on whether mariners seeking a CMM (Chief Mate / Master) certificate need to take the training courses as required by NMC Policy Letter 04-02. This means, in the absence of guidance from Coast Guard, Policy Letter 04-02 is still applicable, and the mandatory training is still mandatory.
Update: 2010 Manila Amendments
IN 2007, IMO (International Maritime Organization) started a comprehensive review of the entire STCW Convention and Code. The IMO adopted amendments from this review on June 25, 2010 in Manila Phillippines. These amendments will enter into force January 1, 2012. On August 1, 2011, the Coast Guard published the Supplemental Notice of Purposed Rulemaking (SNPRM), which proposed, implementation of all STCW amendments, and change to domestic endorsements.