Large Passenger Vessel Crew Requirements
The Coast Guard is amending its regulations on merchant mariner documentation to implement section 3509 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (Warner Act), which allows for the issuance of merchant mariner documents (MMDs) to certain non-resident aliens for service in the stewards departments of U.S.-flag large passenger vessels endorsed for coastwise trade. Coast Guard regulations currently prohibit the Coast Guard from issuing MMDs, which are required for service on large passenger vessels, to non- immigrant aliens. This interim rule amends Coast Guard regulations to allow the Coast Guard to issue MMDs to qualified non-resident aliens who are authorized to be employed in the United States. This rule also sets the requirements that these aliens must meet in order to qualify for MMDs, and the requirements for the large passenger vessels that may choose to hire these aliens. This interim rule only applies to large passenger vessels, as defined under the Warner Act.