Time extended to Indian nationals holding foreign certificates to sail on Indian flag ships

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on December 23, 2019 Published on December 23, 2019

India’s maritime administration has given a two-year extension to Indian nationals holding certificate of competency (CoC) certificates issued by Australia, Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand and UK to sail on Indian flag ships.

Only Indian nationals holding CoCs issued by Indian authorities are allowed to sail on Indian flag ships, according to rules framed by the Directorate general of Shipping.

The rule was eased in 2014 to allow Indian nationals holding competency certificates issued by entities in Australia, Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand and UK in a bid to address shortage of management level officers to man lndian flag vessels, following a representation from the local shipping industry.

The rule relaxation was valid, first till December 2016 which was further extended to December 2019.

DG Shipping officials said that the Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA), the local shipowners lobby group, has sought a further extension of the relaxation citing “continued difficulties being faced by its members to operate specialized vessels such as LPG, LNG, VLCC and fully Cellular ships due to shortage in availability of experienced management level officers of the ranks of Master/Chief Engineer and Chief Officer/Second Engineer”.

“The Director General of shipping in his powers under section 456 of MS Act, 1958 has now partially relaxed section 86(1) (a) for a further period of two years enabling lndian Nationals holding COC from Australia, Singapore, lreland, New Zealand and UK to continue to sail on lndian flag vessels till 31 December 2021 on fulfilment of certain specific conditions such as deployment of one Nautical cadet or one Engineering cadet/trainee, Marine Engineer/Junior Engineer during each period of such deployment of above COE (Certificate of Endorsement) holder”, the directorate general of shipping wrote in a December 2 circular.

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Published on December 23, 2019
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