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Vessel Security Officer (VSO) - Online

The mandatory requirements for Ship Security Officer (SSO), otherwise known as Vessel Security Officer (VSO), contained in STCW Convention, 1978, as amended came into force in January 1, 2008.

The VSO requirements apply to all vessels subject to STCW under current USCG regulations. This includes all seagoing vessels, as defineed in 46 CFR 15.1101 to mean self-propelled vesssels engaged in commercial service that operate beyond the Boundary Line established by 46 CFR Part 7, except those vessels which have been determined to be otherwise exempt from STCW and/or not subject to STCW as per 46 CFR 15.103(e)(f) and NVIC 7-00. Additionally, all self-propelled vessels engaged in commercial service that operate in near coastal and oceans waters are subject to the SSO requirements, except the following;


  • Small passenger vessels subject to 46 CFR Subchapter T or K engaged in domestic voyages

  • Uninspected passenger vessels as defined in 46 USC 2101(42),

  • Fishing vessels used as fish-tender vessels as defined in 46 USC 2101 (11a) & (11c),

  • Vessel operating exclusively on the Great Lakes

Vessel Security Officer (VSO) - Online

  • Although this course can be taken by anyone with interest in obtaining knowledge of security in the Maritime Industry, particularly as it pertains to a Vessel Security Officer, per 33 CFR 104.215 and NVIC 21-14, the following is required in order to obtain the Vessel Security Officer endorsement on your Merchant Mariner Credential;

    • 12 months of approved sea service on any vessel subject to STCW

    • At least 18 years of age,

    • Must hold a valid Coast Guard issued credential

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