Seafarer certification

We are currently experiencing delays in the processing of applications. For more information, please read below. Thank you for your patience.

Delays in processing your applications

Whilst we continue to work towards a service standard of 20 working days, applications can take approximately 3 months to process.

We apologise for any inconvenience, and we are working hard to improve this.

Please help us by applying early, and follow the details below to contact us if you have any questions.

Submitting your application

We recommend that you only send your applications and documents to us electronically by email:

  • The two forms of ID you send in must be certified by the person completing page 9 (Trusted Referee Confirmation of Identity) of the Fit and Proper Person Form. If you are directly affected by COVID-19 and cannot provide these certified items, please contact us on seafarers@maritimenz.govt.nz or 0508 732 237.
  • All other documents do not need to be certified or countersigned.
  • Please do not send original documents, only electronic copies.
  • If you are renewing a certificate, we do not need you to send the original expiring certificate.

When providing us with electronic copies of documents, please make sure the scanned copies are legible and of a good quality.

If you are unable to provide your application documents to us electronically, we recommend you contact us so we can make alternative arrangements for you.

Physical certificate – passport booklet change

From July 2022, if your Seafarer certification is issued in a passport booklet style format you will see a difference in how this looks.

You can see a photo of how these now look below.

Due to problems with sourcing supplies, we have changed how we print these.  The front and back cover is now a white security label instead of being printed directly onto the booklet and laminated.  Certificates issued in the card-style format have not changed.

a front shot of a passport

a back shot of a passport

Printing of physical certificates underway

We are printing certificates issued digitally between March 2020 and 2 August 2021.

Maritime NZ has is making progress in printing certificates issued digitally.  In early 2022, we prioritised certificates issued in card-format.  With the passport booklet change outlined above we are now starting to print all certificate formats again.  In general, we are printing from oldest to newest.  It is still expected to take us until approximately November 2022 to print all remaining certificates.

Please make sure you have kept your postal address details up to date.  You should have received an email from us to check your address.  If your postal address has changed, please email us at seafarers@maritimenz.govt.nz.

Contact us

Find out how to contact us

The best way of contacting us is by email

We are monitoring our email and will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

Please use the following email addresses:
seafarers@maritimenz.govt.nz for all seafarer enquiries
operators@maritimenz.govt.nz for vessel related safety and certification
ship.registration@maritimenz.govt.nz for Part A and Part B registrations
exemptions.officer@maritimenz.govt.nz for all exemptions
enquiries@maritimenz.govt.nz for all other general enquiries

Alternatively you can use our online enquiry form.

Contact us online

If you don’t have email

We are still answering the phones but there may be a delay in our response times.

New Zealand (toll free): 0508 22 55 22
Calling from outside New Zealand: +64 4 473 0111

Seafarers with expired or expiring certificates of medical fitness

Maritime New Zealand approved medical practitioners have confirmed that they are open and can assist with medical assessments and can issue a certificates medical fitness for seafarers with expired or expiring certificates of medical fitness. Please note, many have extra protocols in place to meet COVID-19 restriction guidelines.

We recommend contacting the medical practitioners directly to find one that meets your personal circumstances.  The contact details for approved medical practitioners is found here.

Approved medical practitioners

Please note:

Exemptions will no longer be available for expired STCW certificates of medical fitness, unless there are extenuating circumstances and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

If you continue to face difficulties in obtaining your certificate of medical fitness please contact us on seafarers@maritimenz.govt.nz.

What to do

Send the following information to exemptions.officer@maritimenz.govt.nz

  1. Your personal details
  2. Name
    Date of birth
    Contact phone number
    Email address
    Postal address
  3. An explanation as to why you are unable to attend your medical examination (i.e. where you are currently located and associated COVID-19 alert level)
  4. A statement that you are unable to attend a medical examination, and to the best of your knowledge you are still fit to carry out your duties.
  5. Copy of your expiring/expired medical certificate of fitness.

Seafarers with expired, or expiring STCW ancillary certificates

If you have a recently expired, or expiring STCW ancillary certificate, and are unable to renew that certificate due to the relevant ancillary course(s) being unavailable, you can apply for a temporary exemption to work with expired certificates in certain circumstances.

Do you also need to renew a Certificate of Competency?

Yes No
Apply for the renewal of your certificate of competency through the seafarers team seafarers@maritimenz.govt.nz. As part of your renewal application, include the information required in the What to do process below Follow the What to do process below

To note:

In order for Maritime New Zealand to consider a temporary exemption, you must hold a New Zealand Certificate of Competency or certificate recognised by Maritime New Zealand as an equivalent to a New Zealand certificate. If you do not hold a New Zealand Certificate of Competency or equivalency, you need to contact the flag state administration that issued your certificate for guidance.

This includes any STCW ancillary certificate from the below list that is affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers can submit a bulk request on behalf of their affected employee(s). The same information as below will be required for these requests. There will be no fee for these exemption applications.

Maritime New Zealand is prioritising applications based on the associated expiry date of the ancillary certificate. Do not apply more than 3 months prior to expiry date of your Certificate of Competency or STCW ancillary certificate(s).

What to do

The STCW ancillary certificates that this applies to are:

  1. basic fire-prevention and fire-fighting
  2. basic personal survival
  3. survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats
  4. advanced fire-fighting
  5. fast rescue boats
  6. crowd management training
  7. safety training (passengers in passenger spaces)
  8. crisis management and human behaviour, and
  9. passenger safety, cargo safety and hull integrity training

Send the following information to exemptions.officer@maritimenz.govt.nz

  1. Your personal details
  2. Name
    Date of birth
    Contact phone number
    Email address
    Postal address
  3. Evidence that you are enrolled in the relevant ancillary course(s) or have not been able to enrol in the relevant course(s). This could include details of:
  4. Where you are currently located
    The course training provider and course date/location
    Confirmation of enrolment from the training provider
  5. A copy of your expired or expiring STCW ancillary certificate(s)
  6. Record of sea service within the last 5 years (i.e. statement of sea service from employer) including:
  7. any evidence of shipboard sea service within the last 5 years; and
    any evidence of shipboard drills undertaken within the last 5 years
    if you are exercising the privileges on a New Zealand ship, include a statement from your employer stating the ship which you are, or will be employed on
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