Maritime Administrations

Verification of validity and authenticity of certificates


In order to assist Parties and companies to verify the authenticity of certificates, the Sub-Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW), at its thirtieth session, instructed the Secretariat to revise and update STW/Circ.29 containing the list of certificate-issuing authorities. 

Consequently, STCW 95/Circ.1 on National Administrations responsible for regulating the STCW Convention was issued on 15 April 1999, superseding STW/Circ.29 and comprising a compilation of names, postal addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers and e-mail addresses of ministries, departments or governmental agencies responsible for regulating the Convention in accordance with the information communicated to the Secretary-General as required by paragraph 2.1 of section A-I/7 of the STCW Code. 

At its thirty-first session (10 to 14 January 2000), the STW Sub-Committee instructed the Secretariat to update STCW95/Circ.1. The first revised list was issued on 2 May 2000; and was subsequently revised on 11 September 2000 and 1 March 2002, and issued as STCW95/Circ.1/Rev.3. 

At its thirty-third session (21 to 25 January 2002), the Sub-Committee considered the outcome of the research on Unlawful practices associated with certificates of competency and endorsements, which had been undertaken on behalf of the Organization by the Seafarers International Research Centre, Cardiff University, which included recommendations on preventative measures, enforcement measures and exchange of information. 

In considering the exchange of information, the Sub-Committee urged Parties, as a high priority, to ensure that information on reliable direct contact details such as e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and fax numbers for verification of authenticity of certificates by other Administrations, was communicated to IMO and updated in a timely manner. The Sub-Committee also invited the Secretariat to develop a tool on the website to include secure, direct links with focal points of administrations and provide ready access to administrations that require verification of certificates. 

At its seventy-fifth session (15 to 24 May 2002), the Maritime Safety Committee recognized that the use of the term STCW 95 to mean the International Convention on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978, as amended, had led to some confusion as the Convention had been amended subsequently. As the Committee had also instructed the Secretariat to remove references to STCW 95 in the published version of the Convention, the opportunity of the revision of the circular was taken to remove references to STCW 95 and to re-name these series of circulars as STCW.8/Circ. The first circular in the series, STCW.8/Circ.1, was issued on 5 June 2002.

Information on National Administrations responsible for regulating the STCW Convention contained in STCW.8/Circ.1, based on the information communicated to the Secretary General, has therefore been updated to take account of changes notified to the Secretariat in respect of the correct contact details of those authorities maintaining registers of certificates and endorsements.

Parties to the STCW Convention listed in the annex are requested to check the details of their particulars and, if amendments are required, to advise the Secretariat accordingly.

National Authorities Maintaining registers of certificates and endorsements 

In this connection, in accordance with STCW regulation I/2 each Party undertakes to maintain a register or registers of all certificates and endorsements for masters, officers, and, as applicable, ratings which are issued, have expired or have been revalidated, suspended, cancelled or reported lost or destroyed and of dispensations issued.

In addition, each Party undertakes to make available information on the status of such certificates of competency, endorsements and dispensations to other Parties and companies which request verification of authenticity and validity of certificates produced to them by seafarers seeking recognition of their certificates under regulation I/10 or employment on board ship.

Finally, as of 1 January 2017, the information on the status of information required to be available in accordance with paragraph 15 of this regulation shall be made available, in the English language, through electronic means.