Seafarer Certificate Extensions – All you need to know

SAMSA has provided details on the process to be followed to extend the validity of certificates issued in accordance with the Merchant shipping (Safe Manning, Training and Certification) Regulations 2013, as amended. 

Certificates of Competency (COC) and/or Certificates of Proficiency (COP) issued in accordance with the International Convention of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW Convention or the Convention) are generally valid for a period of five (5) years from the date of issue.

SAMSA, having considered the predicament many seafarers and their employers are finding themselves in, has granted an extension until 30 September 2020 to any certificate that may expire during the national lockdown and/or shortly thereafter.

Applications to extend the validity of certificates need to be made electronically.   The opportunity to extend the validity of certificates is open to:

  • Employers who find themselves with seafarers onboard their ships whose certificates are due to expire while on an extended tour of duty, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • South African registered ships who have seafarers holding certificates that will be expiring soon and are being affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Application for Extension of the Certificate

Please read the Marine Notice 19 issued by SAMSA (link below) and download the application from from the following link –

Should you experience any difficulties applying online,  please email the nearest SAMSA office. Email details are available on the SAMSA’s website

Please include both a copy of the CoC/CoP and the online form.

A copy of the SAMSA Marine Notice 19 is available below and includes additional details on non-essential services as well as the validity of medical certificates.

MN 19 of 2020 -COVID-19 Process for extension of Seafarer Certification