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This International Maritime Organization treaty was amended in 2010 to enhance the crew rest requirements for most ocean-going vessels. As a signatory to the STCW and its amendments, the U.S. is obligated to amend its national regulations to be consistent with the STCW. Although these regulations are not yet promulgated, the United States Coast Guard issued a policy letter (CG-CVC Policy Letter No. 12-05) on October 11, 2012, setting forth provisions and guidelines regarding crew rest consistent with the STCW and with a recommendation to U.S. flag vessels to employ the guidelines to avoid delay or problems when visiting foreign ports.
Crew fatigue has been identified as a causative factor in many major marine casualties over the years. As a result, the international maritime community established requirements in the STCW to limit crew work hours. These rules, revised in 2010, direct that vessel operators crew each vessel with these requirements in mind. Further, the master is required to prepare and post work schedules accommodating crew rest requirements and record the daily periods of rest for each crew member in the ship's log or some other appropriate record.
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