Marine Engineer Class 4 (MEC 4)

Find information on training, sea service and other requirements for the MEC 4 certificate, including how to apply and pay for your certificate, and where to find more help.

Your MEC 4 certificate is valid for five years.

The MEC 4 certificate is issued under Subpart B of Maritime Rules Part 32 – National Certificates. It corresponds with a certificate issued under Regulation II/5 (chapter 2 regulation 5) of the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995 (STCW-F).

With this certificate, you can perform the functions and duties of chief engineer on:*

  • passenger and non-passenger motor ships of less than 24 metres and any propulsion power operating within coastal and offshore limits
  • passenger and non-passenger motor ships under 3000 gross tonnage of any length and propulsion power operating within restricted limits
  • fishing motor ships under 3000 kilowatts (kW) in any operating area
  • fishing motor ships of any propulsion power within any of the following areas:

 - inshore fishing limits
 - the internal waters of New Zealand
 - all rivers and other inland waters of New Zealand.

* This is specifically for initial issue certificates. When this certificate is renewed, these privileges might change depending on how the certificate is renewed.

From MEC 4, you can progress to MEC 3 with additional training and sea service. Refer to the guideline for MEC 3 for the detailed requirements.


Before you spend time doing sea service and training, we recommend you check that you can meet the medical fitness and eyesight standards, and that you understand the fit and proper person requirements.

A summary of the requirements for this certificate is provided below. You need to meet all of these requirements to get your MEC 4 certificate.

  • prove that you meet the minimum sea service requirements
  • complete and pass the approved qualification for MEC 4
  • have current certificates for the required ancillary proficiencies
  • pass Maritime NZ’s final exam
  • prove that you are a fit and proper person
  • be medically fit and have good eyesight.

You must also have English conversation, reading and writing skills appropriate to the responsibilities and functions for the level of your certificate, so that you can satisfactorily complete training, pass examinations and discharge your duties.

Each of these requirements and how to prove that you meet them is explained in the full guideline below.

Marine Engineer Class 4 (MEC 4) [PDF: 316kB, 14 pages]


The application fee for this certificate is $368, which includes goods and services tax (GST).

Application process

This is the application process for this certificate of competency.

1. Do you meet all the requirements?

  • You need to check that you meet all of the requirements for this certificate.
  • Apply for pre-assessment of your sea service time if you are unsure about meeting the sea service requirements.

2. Do you have the documents we need?

You need to prove that you meet the requirements. Include all of the documents we have asked for with your application form. Use the checklist in the guideline to help you.

Remember we need copies, not the originals.

3. Send us your application by courier or email

There are two options for you to send your application:

  1. Send your application by email, attaching the scanned documents. The application form has information about the requirements for electronic copies.
  2. Use a courier to send us your completed application forms, supporting documents.

The addresses are on the application form.

4. Confirmation and/or request sent

We will send you an email or letter to confirm that we have received your application and advise you of any documents we need from you before we can assess your application.

We must receive your payment before we can finalise your application.

5. Assessment and payment of application fee

Once you have sent us all the documents we need, we will assess your application and make a decision. This will usually take 20 working days (about a month) from the time we let you know that we have received your application.

We will send you an invoice with your reference number and information on how to pay the application fee once we begin the assessment. Please note we cannot release your certificate unless payment has been received.

6. Issue certificate

We will send you:

  • your certificate, if your application has been successful, or
  • a letter or email explaining why your application was unsuccessful.

Contact us for more help

If you have any questions about seafarer certification, please contact our Personnel Certification team.


New Zealand (toll free):
0508 SEACERT or 0508 732 237

Calling from outside New Zealand:
+64 4 473 0111

Tell us what you need help with and remember to include your contact details (email address and phone numbers).