Certificates of International seafarers

CDC,GMDSS and COC. Image courtesy: Mr. Thomas James Hunwicks, United Kingdom, Internet

Merchant Navy is an organisation which unlike any other, is governed by various parties.

A home trading or near coastal voyages seafarer can be governed exclusively by their respective national governments, but the seafarers working in the international fleet will have to comply with all the requirements of the parties concerned, here parties  refers to The flag state of the vessel,port state where ship is calling and to their respective national states in case Flag state differs.

Hence in order to bring all the parties on a common platform International Maritime organisation (IMO) has introduced standard documents (STCW) which will apply to all the parties that have Ratified its conventions.Most of the Nations are party to the IMO,hence a standard system of documents is in place.

Basic Documents for every International fleet seafarer:


1> Discontinuous discharge certificate (CDC)/Seamen’s book/Seafarers Identity document.

2> 4 Basic Modular courses certificates.

> Elimentary first aid

>Personal Survival Techniques

>Personal safety and social     responsibility

>Fire prevention and fire fighting.

For obtaining the CDC the Maritime administration sets some conditions such as undergoing a pre sea training course and undergoing the above 4 modular courses.

In addition to the documents above, specialised seafarers will need to carry their specialisation certificate, it includes following:


1.  A certificate of proficiency (COP) for Watchkeeping ratings in Deck and engine departments.

2. Certificate of proficiency (COP) for General stewards and Ship’s Cooks.

3.Certificate of workmanship like a welder’s certification for Fitters and Pumpman, who are Petty Officers.

Officers and Engineers will carry these additional documents in excess of Basic Documents:


1. Certificate of Competency (COC)

This document is granted after a requisite sea service , watchkeeping and qualifying the thorough examinations written as well as orals.There are various requirements set up by different countries in regard to obtaining a COC, COC are of various grades and decides the ranks of the Officers Onboard.

2. Advanced Modular courses

>Advanced fire fighting

>Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats.

> Medical First Aid

3.GMDSS COE, Ministry of communications grants this certificate for Radio Operators onboard.

In addition to above documents Dengerous Cargo certificates will be carried by all the seafarers working on such ships.


Yellow fever vaccination certificate has also become a requisite to be carried by the seafarers.







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