STCW Training News

Update nr. 6

October 2022

In this STCW Training News Update:

  • Incorrect records in Seaman’s book is a persistent problem
  • Update flowcharts RBG
  • Revision of the Dutch Seafarers Act
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Incorrect records in seaman’s book is a persistent problem

When submitting license applications for customers, at RBG we often run into the fact that the seafarer’s function on board has been recorded incorrectly in their seaman’s book. As a result, KIWA may reject the sailing time and the CoC may not be renewed or upgraded.

This happens, for example, when the function recorded in the seaman’s book is higher than the function on the CoC: for example, ‘chief mate’ is recorded while at that time the seafarer was only authorized as an officer of the watch. Another common mistake is that 2 functions are recorded on the same period: for example ‘chief mate/engineer’. In a case like this KIWA cannot determine in which function the sailing time actually has been acquired, and this period will then be rejected in its entirety. Third, we have seen it happen that sailing time was rejected because the seafarer sailed on a CoC that does not apply to the ship type (e.g., the seafarer sailed on a fishery ship while having a merchant CoC).


Unlicensed sailing

It strikes us that the seafarers concerned, but also their captains, do not always know what CoC is required to sail in a certain position. As a result, seafarers may end up in positions for which, strictly speaking, they do not have the correct CoC. They are, in fact, not licensed for the position they are holding. They themselves can get into trouble with this because sailing time that has been acquired unlicensed will be rejected by KIWA. But the shipping company, which is after all responsible for the correct manning of the ship, can also run into problems if this comes to light during an inspection or a calamity.


How to ensure that sailing time is recorded correctly

In order to ensure that sailing time is recorded correctly in the seaman’s book, one must first of all know what CoC is required for a position on board. This cannot always be deduced from the way in which the function is described in one’s contract. However, the Minimum Safe Manning Document does provide this information.

When consulting the Minimum Safe Manning Document, it is important to also read the conditions for each table, because it can specify for which industry the CoC has to be issued and which additional training or exemptions apply.

If it is clear that the seafarer has the correct CoC, this must still be correctly recorded in the seaman’s book. In the back of the seaman’s book is a list of abbreviations for all CoCs that are issued by the Netherlands. It is recommended to use these abbreviations.


What if something does go wrong

When sailing time is rejected due to incorrect records, a sailing time statement can be used to state in which function the sailing time has been obtained. The sailing time statement must be signed by the shipping company. As additional proof, the crew lists from the relevant sailing period must be submitted to the KIWA.

Please contact us if you need more advise!


Update flowcharts RBG

Every seafarer is required to be in possession of a Certificate of Competency in accordance with STCW 2010. You need a CoC to be allowed to sail in a certain position and you will receive it when you meet the requirements. But when do you meet the requirements?

To make this clear, RBG has developed flowcharts for all commercial Dutch CoCs. The flowcharts indicate which training certificates, certificates of proficiency and any other requirements are required to qualify for a specific CoC. We have updated these flowcharts in 2022. View the new versions here.


Revision of the Dutch Seafarers Act

The current Dutch Seafarers’ Act ‘Wet Zeevarenden’ has been in force since 3 May 2014. Currently a revision of this act and the underlying ‘Besluit Zeevarenden’ is being worked on.

Article 36 of the ‘Besluit Zeevarenden’ has long been an eyesore for various shipping organisations, including RBG. By means of this article, the STCW-training requirements for crew on passenger ships were laid down in the Dutch law. However, where in the STCW Convention a distinction is made between passenger ships and ro-ro passenger ships, the ‘Besluit Zeevarenden’ combines these two categories of ships. In some cases this leads to absurd training requirements.

We can already mention that RBG, in collaboration with the EZS (Enkhuizer Maritime School) and the BBZ (Vereniging Beroepschartervaart), has been able to effect an important change: As of the new act, crew members of ‘normal’ passenger ships no longer have to do the ro-ro training specified by STCW V/2.9. This training was developed especially for officers of ro-ro passenger ships as a result of various accidents with, and on board, this ship type.

The revised Seafarers’ Act will likely be renamed ‘Wet Bemanning Zeeschepen’. It is not yet known when the new act will be published. As soon as this will have happened, we will present an overview of the most important changes and will be happy to keep you informed.

Kind regards,
Team RBG

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