Welfare for seafarers

  • Published: 24/06/2016

Library service

The NGSS' library service for seafarers has discontinued it's library service in the form of physical books in favour of online e-books at our online library. At the moment we can only offer books in the Norwegian language.

Book cases are however still making the rounds of ships worldwide, and will continue to do so until the books are worn out.

Film Service

The Norwegian Maritime Authority's film service for seafarers was discontinued in May 2015.

The next technological step in a film service is streaming and service on-demand. As per today, the films require so much bandwidth that downloading or streaming on the open sea is not permitted or is not possible. This issue will, however, probably be solved within a couple of years. As an intermediate solution, ships wishing to receive monthly film packages on the same basis as the NMA's former subscription system, may use the film services offered by the Danish Government Seamen’s Service or the Swedish Seamen’s Service on similar terms.

In the opinion of the NMA, today's technology makes it easy for the companies/ships to purchase films themselves. If the companies buy umbrella licenses, they may purchase films anywhere in the world, be it downloads or physical films. The screening of films on board will be legal as long as the film has been procured legally and is covered by the umbrella license.

In connection with the film service, the NMA will from now on focus on:

  • making resources available with regards to encouraging private actors to offer companies/seafarers favourable licences and film services
  • encouraging companies to offer good film services on board
  • encouraging companies to provide internet access for seafarers on board
  • informing of possibilities related to the use of umbrella licenses and film services from commercial actors
  • giving seafarers information about available film services in Norwegian ports via our web site

Seaman's pension

The Norwegian Pension Insurance for Seamen

A public, mandatory service pension scheme established by the Act of 3 December 1948 no. 7 concerning pension insurance for seamen. The primary purpose of the pension scheme is to pay seaman’s pension to sailors between 60 and 67 years of age who have acquired a sufficient number of pensionable months on Norwegian registered ships (NOR and NIS).

The Pension Insurance for Seamen covers

  • Persons permanently domiciled in Norway
  • Norwegian citizens
  • Citizens of other EU/EEA countries,
  • Citizens of third countries resident in another Nordic country

The question of entitlement to seaman’s pension or refund of pension contributions, and the size of these payments, depends upon the number of pensionable service months accumulated. The primary rule is that pension contributions must have been paid for the period that can be approved as pensionable.

Excepted from the Pension Insurance are i.a. persons employed in the hotel and restaurant branch on board NIS ships. This also applies to Norwegian citizens.

For further information on the scheme, please visit the Pension Insurance for Seamen's website.

Crossing the Line Ceremony

According to old tradition, all those crossing the equator for the first time must be baptized and thus made an able-bodied seaman.

After the ceremony, the «newly baptized» will receive a Crossing the Line Certificate stating his or her name, name of the ship and date. The Captain makes his confirmation by signing the certificate.

Organized Line Baptism dates as far back as the 1520’s and, apart from local varieties, you can find the ceremony described in a number navy and merchant fleets world-wide. Originally, the equatorial baptism was a kind of consecration of the Seamen's profession, and could at times be rather wild. Gradually it has evolved into a merry joke for everyone on board, whether one is a sailor or a passenger. At the equator all those passing for the first time are "baptized" and made able-bodied seamen.

The ceremony itself can be very simple, but many choose to put an effort in costumes and accessories to create a festive frame around the event. No matter how it is being arranged, there are some rules that apply:

  • Line Baptism should be fun for all those involved and is not to harm anyone. Respect that some may not wish to be in the game.
  • Do not overdo the "treatment" of those who are being baptized.
  • Do not use force against candidates who try to avoid participation.

To achieve a successful event, the ceremony must be planned well in advance, all roles distributed and rehearsed. A list of those to be baptized must be prepared, and all necessary props should be in place. Good food, entertainment and competitions may contribute to an extra enjoyable party afterwards.

As an aid for those who wish to initiate such an event, a simple booklet providing an introduction to the ceremony and guidance on how the event could be organized has been made. If desired, we can also provide the traditional Crossing the Line Certificate on heavy printed paper. The certificates are free of charge and available both in Norwegian and English. You may be acquired them from the Head Office in Haugesund or from one of our offices abroad.

This old tradition should be kept alive and we recommend that all ships crossing the equator make an attempt at this.

Certificates and booklets may be downloaded below or ordered per email. Please state how many you need in which language as well as the address they are to be forwarded to

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