Manning Requirements

The manning requirements include the required number of crew, their qualifications, nationality, etc. for ships registered under the Singapore Flag.

Nationality of Crew

There are no restrictions on nationality of crew. Foreign officers and ratings may sail in any capacity on Singapore-registered ships provided they are qualified to sail in that capacity.

Number of Crew

Singapore-registered ships need to be manned by a minimum number of qualified officers in accordance with the scales stated under the Merchant Shipping (Training, Certification And Manning) (Amendment) Regulations 2011.

The key requirements include:

  • At least three certified deck officers (master, chief officer and deck watchkeeper officer or second officer) are required for ships above 3,000 GT.
  • At least three certified engineers (chief engineer, second engineer and engineer watchkeeper or third engineer) are required for ships above 3,000 kW propulsion power
  • If the number of deck and engineer officers are insufficient to ensure adequate rest periods for watchkeepers, additional officers must be provided.
  • The number of ratings should be able to support safe operation of ship (viz watchkeeping, security duties, essential maintenance, etc), MPA does not impose specific number.
Safe Manning Document (SMD)

All Singapore-registered ships need to be safely manned and hold an appropriate Safe Manning Document (SMD) issued by the MPA. The SMD is issued according to the SOLAS Convention and the principle contained in the IMO Resolution A.1047 (27) . It states the minimum number and the grades of personnel required for the safe operation of the ship, and for the protection of the marine environment.

The shipowner or ship manager should propose the ship's minimum safe manning to the Shipping Division of MPA taking into consideration that the master and crew do not work more hours than is safe in relation to the performance of their duties for the safety and security of the ship, and for the perotection of the marine environment. Manning levels should also take into account the need to deal with emergency situations and comply with ongoing training requirements.

Application for the SMD should be made to the Shipping Division of the MPA. For details, please refer to Circular #22 of 2013.

Qualifications of Crew

All seafarers working on board any Singapore ship shall be trained or certified as competent or otherwise qualified to perform their duties. MPA recognises foreign certificates issued under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). Please refer to Shipping Circular No. 2 of 2016 for the list of countries where the certificates issued are recognised by MPA.

Ratings who form part of a navigational or engine room watch must hold a watchkeeping certificate issued under II/4 or III/4 of the STCW Code. A watchkeeping certificate issued by a foreign maritime administration whose certificates are recognised by MPA is acceptable for service onboard a Singapore-registered ship.

Ratings employed as able seafarer (AB) on deck and engine departments must be in possesion of certificate issued in accordance with the provisions of regulations II/5 and III/5 respectively. The able seafarer's certificate issued by foreign maritime administration is acceptable for service on board Singapore ships.

Certificate of Endorsement (COE)

An officer who holds a foreign Certificate of Competency (CoC) needs to be issued a COE by MPA if he wishes to serve on a Singapore-registered ship. The COE is only issued to officers holding a CoC from countries that have signed Memorandum of Undertaking (MOU) agreements with the MPA under Regulation I/10 of STCW’ Convention as amended. A COE is valid for five years from the date of issue. The COE will not be valid once the applicant’s CoC expires.

Ratings including AB are not required to be issued with a COE by MPA.

For details, please refer to Circular #17 of 2011.

Tanker Endorsement

Under the revised STCW (Manila Amendments) came into force on 1 Jan 2012, all officers including master serving on chemical, oil or gas tankers must have the tanker endorsement endorsed by the flag State.

Flag State endorsement for ratings is not required.

For details, please refer to Circular #18 of 2011.

Electro-Technical Officers (ETO)

The Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention requires officers serving as Electrical Officer or Electrical Engineer to hold an Electro-Technical (ETO) Certificate of Competency (CoC) issued under Regulation II/6 of the STCW Convention.

Electro-technical officers whose CoCs are issued by a foreign Administration are required to be in possession of a Flag State endorsement (Cetificate of Endorsement).

For details, please refer to Shipping Circular No. 16 of 2016.

Ship's Cook

All ships with a complement of 10 or more seafarers shall be required to have a cook trained and certificated in accordance with the MLC requirement. A copy of the ship’s cook certificate is to be submitted to the Director of Marine upon their engagement.

A ship is not required to carry a qualified cook if its complement is 9 or less. Seafarers on such ships who are assigned duties in processing food in the galley shall be trained or instructed in areas including food and personal hygiene as well as handling and storage of food on board ship.

MPA recognizes ship’s cook certificates issued by a State which is party to the MLC or ILO Certification of Cooks Convention 1946. Such certificates should contain recognition from the relevant national maritime authority of that State that the certificate is acceptable for service on board ships as cook.

For cook certificates from States which are not party to either Convention, MPA will recognise such certificates upon approval by Director of Marine.