Seafarer certificates and seaman's book

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Are you a seafarer on a Dutch ship? You must have a valid certificate of competency (vaarbevoegdheidsbewijs) and a seaman’s book (monsterboekje). Do you work on a tanker ship? You also need an appropriate certificate of proficiency (bekwaamheidsbewijs) for working on a tanker ship.

Certificate of competency

Every seafarer who is listed on the crew list (bemanningscertificaat) of a Dutch ship must have a valid certificate of competency (CoC). Kiwa Register issues this certificate to individuals who meet the requirements in terms of education, experience and physical fitness. Each position has its own requirements. You need a Dutch Maritime diploma no older than 4 years for your first request of a CoC.

Are you a foreign seafarer with a CoC from your home country? You may serve on a Dutch ship if your country is listed as an STWC-party (Seafarers Training, Watchkeeping and Certification). If your country is not listed, you can have your certificate recognised by Kiwa Register. This recognition is mandatory for ship’s officers.

Certificate of profiency

To work on a Dutch tanker ship a seafarer must have an appropriate certificate of proficiency (CoP). The exact type of CoP depends on the type of ship and its load. They need a training certificate, or 90 days of sailing time on an appropriate tanker ship for a basic CoP. For an advanced CoP (for officers) you also need to have 3 months sailing time in an officer position on an appropriate tanker ship.

Foreign seafarers can only apply for a Dutch CoP if they have a Dutch certificate of competency (CoC) or a Dutch training certificate. Do you have a foreign certificate? You can request a certificate of proficiency with the maritime authority of your home country. You can have a foreign CoP recognised by Kiwa Register if your country is listed as an STWC-party.

Seaman's book and crew list

Every seafarer must be in possession of a seaman’s book (monsterboekje), which provides information on an individual’s work experience and educational background. It is the basic document for the registration of crew members in the Central Crew Information Register. It is valid for 10 years.

Seagoing vessels must always carry a crew list. This list shows, among other things, the names and positions, dates of birth, and sign-on and sign-off dates of crew members. As managing owner, you must always know who is on board. Every time the captain sends you a new crew list, or a change to the existing crew list, you must notify Kiwa Register in writing.

How to apply

Seafarers can apply to Kiwa Register using the application portal for the certificate of competency, the certificate of proficiency, and the seaman's book. Residents can apply using DigiD (individuals) or eHerkenning (eRecognition) (companies), non-residents can apply using a Kiwa-ID.

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO