The USCG is in the process of changing the federal regulations for the requirement of renewing a Radar Observer Endorsement. The proposed regulations were submitted for public comment last year and are currently being modified into the final rule. The final rule must be published in the Federal Register and voted on by Congress before it becomes law. These proposed regulations are a year or two from become law and at this time a mariner must still complete a Radar Renewal course every five years to maintain his or her Radar Observer Endorsement. Additional these proposed changes will NOT change the requirements for getting an original Radar Observer Endorsement.
Here are the proposed regulation that was submitting for public comment last year.
. . . an active mariner who serves in a relevant position for 1 year in the previous 5 years using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on vessels equipped with radar, or has served as a qualified instructor for a Coast Guard-approved radar course at least twice within the past 5 years, would not be required to complete a Coast Guard-approved radar refresher or re-certification course in order to renew his or her radar observer endorsement. This proposed rule would not change the existing requirements for mariners seeking an original radar observer endorsement or mariners who do not have either 1 year of relevant sea service on board radar-equipped vessels in the previous 5 years or service as a qualified instructor for a Coast Guard-approved radar course at least twice within the past 5 years.