STCW Training News

Update nr. 7

December 2022

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Renewing your CoC on the basis of alternative experience

As a seafarer, sailing is not the only option to keep your CoC valid. It is also possible to collect experience in a so-called similar position (‘vergelijkbare functie’), either onshore or on inland waters. Many seafarers know of the existence of this possibility. However, the exact rules of the game are not commonly known and this sometimes leads to misinformation and disappointment.

Article 10.7 of the Regeling Zeevarenden (Seafarers’ Regulation) describes the rules around alternative experience. Three points are discussed, two of which are straightforward:

  1. If you want renew your CoC on the basis of alternative experience you have to supply the double amount of days (720 instead of 360).
  2. It is possible to renew your CoC on the basis of alternative experience but is it not possible to upgrade.

The third point is more difficult. It deals with the positions in which alternative experience can be obtained. Article 10.7 lists per CoC a number of positions. E.g., on the basis of experience as a registered pilot a master’s CoC may be renewed. And on the basis of experience as a technical surveyor, an engineer’s CoC may be renewed.

However, not all possibilities are listed in article 10.7. it is also possible to obtain alternative experience in other positions that have not been explicitly named. In such a case, KIWA will judge whether the position that you hold can serve this purpose. In order to do so, you will have to supply them with a detailed description of your tasks, which is signed by your employer. Adding to confusion is that in their handbook, KIWA also published a list of similar positions which is not equal to the lists in article 10.7.

Often, a seafarer only requests to evaluate alternative experience when the time has come to renew their CoC. If the experience is then judged to be insufficient, it is too late to make changes.

Therefore, if you contemplate renewing your CoC on the basis of alternative experience, we recommend that you inform your employer and request that KIWA evaluates your position at an early stage. That way, you will know what to expect and what you will have to do to supply KIWA with proof of your alternative experience in the correct way. Even if the position that you have is explicitly mentioned in article 10.7 or in KIWA’s handbook, this approach is advisable, for it will eliminate mistakes and communication errors.

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