Due to challenges related to the coronavirus, the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) has decided to grant a general extension of the validity of personal certificates.

The NMA has received several indications that seafarers will have problems with completing refresher courses, etc. required for the renewal of personal certificates.

This could be caused by cancelled courses, quarantine or travel bans related to the venue. As a result, the NMA has decided to grant a general extension of the validity of personal certificates in order to allow seafarers to work legally.

Norwegian Certificates of Proficiency (CoC) and Certificate of Competency (CoP) can be renewed for up to 30 months, by the holder completing the theoretical part of the necessary update course, through e-learning.

See further description in circular RSV 6 - 2021.

For holders of CoP for fast rescue boat where an update course should have been completed in the period up to 1st of May 2021, a postponement of 11 months will be granted for the requirement for an update course.

Until 1st of May 2021, the requirement will thus be that the update course is completed within 41 months after the last course was completed.

Note:

  • It is expected that those who need the postponement that has now been granted will use this opportunity to renew the necessary courses to maintain their certificates.
  • There are no plans to extend these deadlines further.
  • The extended validity of 3 months has been granted in order to provide enough time for the situation to get back to normal, and to avoid reduced capacity issues when new courses are offered.

Endorsement of foreign certificates

The validity of Norwegian endorsements will be linked to the validity of the seafarer’s national Certificate of Proficiency (CoP) or Certificate of Competence (CoC). If the seafarer’s national CoC or CoP is renewed, it will be possible to apply for a new endorsement at the NMA.

The seafarer will then automatically be granted a Certificate of Receipt of Application (CRA) and will be able to sail on Norwegian ships for up to 3 months.

If the administration that has issued the seafarer's national CoC or CoP chooses a general extension of the validity of the national CoC or CoP, the validity of the Norwegian endorsement issued based on the current CoC/CoP will automatically be considered extended accordingly.

Also in this case, the seafarer will not be required to submit an application.

Extending the validity of Certificate of Receipt of Application (CRA)

The coronavirus pandemic has led to challenges related to the delivery of endorsements to Norwegian vessels. Consequently, the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) has decided that CRAs expiring after 13th of March 2020 will have an extended validity of up to 6 months, but not longer than 1st of October 2021.

Normally, CRAs are issued upon application for endorsement and primarily provide the seafarer with the opportunity to operate on board for 3 months. Due to delays in the postal service and restrictions on persons allowed on board, some seafarers are not getting their endorsement on time.

By extending the validity of CRAs, the NMA will help ensure the manning of Norwegian vessels during this period. It will not be necessary to apply for such an extension.  

Extended validity of Norwegian medical certificates

In cases where Covid-19 makes it difficult for seafarers to renew their Norwegian medical certificate, the NMA permits a seafarer to work with an expired Norwegian medical certificate, provided that the period does not exceed 6 months and the seafarer concerned holds an expired medical certificate of recent date. The six month extension applies from the expiry date of the medical certificate.

Norway has notified relevant authorities and organisations of the national decisions that have been made. Therefore, there is nothing to suggest that Norwegian shipping companies or seafarers on board Norwegian ships will experience challenges in the context of, for instance, port State controls.

Contact information

For urgent matters, please call the NMA’s emergency number +47 52 74 50 00.