Pretoria: 09 December 2016
The verification of seafarers’ certificates has swiftly moved into the digital era in South Africa after the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) confirmed the introduction of electronic verification of the documents with effect from Thursday (08 December 2016).
According to SAMSA’s Centre for Seafarers, the shift towards electronic verification of seafarers’ certificates is in compliance with Regulation I/2 of The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
Chief Examiner, Captain Azwimmbavhi Mulaudzi said: “SAMSA has just introduced electronic verification of seafarers certificates with effect from noon, Thursday; 08 December 2016. This is in line with Regulation I/2 of the STCW Convention.
Quoting from the Regulation, he said it required that ‘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 the authenticity and validity of certificates produced to them by seafarers seeking recognition of their certificates under regulation I/10 or employment on board ship.’
“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.”
Captain Mulaudzi said from Thursday onwards, verification of seafarers’ certificates could now be done by accessing the forms found available on the SAMSA’s website.
He said: “Initially, the electronic verification will only be available for ‘new format’ certificates. SAMSA will announce to the industry as and when more certificates are ported to the new platform.”