The Directorate General of Shipping (DG Shipping) has extended the validity of seafarers’ certificates that are expiring on or before December 31 till December 31, 2021, providing relief to crew facing difficulties in re-validating their documents due to the coronavirus-induced restrictions.

The inability to re-validate the certificates would have hindered the chances of seafarers getting employment on ships.

The pandemic, according to the Directorate General of Shipping, has severely impacted ship-to-shore interactions, including crew changes and in maintaining the validity of the certificates of seafarers.

The actions taken worldwide and within India, as a result of the outbreak, pose a serious challenge to the Directorate to allow the continued training of seafarers, revalidate certificates, including medical certificates and issuance of endorsement attesting recognition of certificates in accordance with International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW Convention).

All certificates of competency and certificates of proficiency for all seafarers…..which have expired or are expiring on or before December 31, 2020…. shall be deemed to be revalidated till December 31, 2021, irrespective of whether the seafarer is/was on ship at the time of expiry or not,” Shri Amitabh Kumar, Director General of Shipping, wrote in a June 22 order.

“This will save thousands of jobs for Indian seafarers,” said Shri Abdulgani Serang, general secretary-cum-treasurer of the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI).

Source: Hellenic Shipping News