Manning Requirements while Operating Your Ship

This section provides information on the manning requirements while operating a Singapore-registered ship.
Shipowners are to ensure that the crew working on board Singapore-registered ships do not work more hours than is safe in relation to the performance of their duties and that their work/rest hours comply with what is prescribed in STCW and MLC 2006. 
The limits on hours of work or rest shall be as follows:


Maximum hours of work shall not exceed:

  • 14 hours in any 24-hour period; and

  • 72 hours in any seven-day period

Minimum hours of rest shall be not less than:

  • 10 hours in any 24-hour period; and

  • 77 hours in any seven-day period


In addition to the limits on hours of rest and work on board, shipowners should also take into account IMO MSC.1/Circ. 1598 on “Guidelines on Fatigue” when developing and implementing work hours on board.

A log recording number of hours of work and rest for every crew member must be maintained at all times. 
An individual Seafarers Employment Agreement (SEA) must be entered into between a seafarer and the person employing him. A copy of each seafarer’s SEA on board should be carried on board at all times. The SEA shall contain at a minimum contain the particulars as stated in Annex B of MPA Shipping Circular No. 9 of 2014 (.pdf, 198 KB).  
Where a collective bargaining agreement forms all or part of a seafarer’s employment bargaining agreement, a copy of that collective agreement shall be available on board ship and, where that collective bargaining agreement is not in English, the portions of that collective bargaining agreement that are subject to an inspection in port as specified in the Second Schedule shall also be available in English.
Employer should also note that any term in the SEA (including Collective Bargaining Agreement and any other private agreement that has been incorporated in this agreement) that is less favourable to the seafarer than is provided for under Singapore law shall be unenforceable by either party to this agreement to the extent that is less favourable.
Medicines and medical equipment are required to be kept on board all Singapore ships. All such medicines and medical equipment shall be inspected at least once in every 12 months by a registered pharmacist, who, on being satisfied after the inspection that the ship is provided with medicines and medical equipments in accordance with the appropriate scale, as stated in the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention)(Medicines and Medical Equipment) Regulations 2014, shall issue a certificate  to that effect. MPA has prescribed the certificate (i.e.Certificate of Inspection by a Registered Pharmacist (COI)) for this purpose.
The COI consists of 3 Parts. Part I must first be completed by the shipowners/master/manager.  A registered pharmacist must check that “Part I” is duly completed by the shipowners/manager/master prior to commencing the inspection of the medicine and medical equipment kept on board.  Part II is to be signed and affixed with the official seal of the registered pharmacist upon being satisfied that the list of medicines and medical equipment is in accordance to the appropriate scale as stated in Part I of the form. The COI is to be returned to MPA for endorsement on Part III. 
For more details, please refer to MPA’s Shipping Circular No. 9 of 2014. 
The COI can be downloaded here (.doc, 63 KB).
In accordance with the requirements of Regulation 4.3 of the Maritime Labour Convention, shipowners and masters of Singapore-registered ships are required to report to the Director of Marine occurrences of occupational accidents, injuries and diseases affecting seafarers on board ships.
The following occupational accidents, injuries or diseases affecting seafarers on board must be reported to the Director of Marine:
  • The loss of life of a seafarer must be reported within 24 hours; or

  • An injury/condition sustained by a seafarer must be reported within 24hrs of determining it as serious. A serious injury/condition is defined as one that renders the seafarer unfit to work for more than 3 consecutive days or hospitalised for at least 24 hours, commencing within 7 days from the day when the injury/condition was suffered.

    Shipowners and masters are to report all occurrences that result in loss of life or serious injury/condition using the Annex C report as per our MPA Shipping Circular No 8 of 2021 (.pdf, 1 MB). The report form should be submitted via email:

All Singapore ships are required to a carry a prescribed official logbook on board. Official events such as arrival/departure of the vessel to or from port, casualties or accidents happening on board should all be recorded in the official log book. Company can refer to The Schedule of the Merchant Shipping (Official Log Books) Regulations for entries to be made in the official log book.  
The official logbook is to be returned to the Director of Marine if:
  • All pages of the official log book are used up and a continuation official logbook is used;

  • There is a change of the shipowner or manager, together with a change of the entire existing crew on board;

  • The ship leaves the Singapore registry or there is a suspension of the ship’s registry; and

  • Upon demand by the Director.

The official log book can be purchased at:
Novaco Navigation Pte Ltd

6 Jurong Pier Road

Singapore 619158

Tel: (65) 3163 3253

Request for dispensation to sail short of the manning requirements as stated in the ship’s safe manning document will only considered in cases of force majeure (under Article VIII of STCW).

Company will need to provide the following information when requesting for a dispensation:

  • Name of the ship;
  • Name of the officer who have to sign off due to illness/injury or compassionate;
  • Medical report for signing off on medical grounds or request letter from officer if on compassionate grounds;
  • Duration of the dispensation i.e. location of the ship and next arrival port where replacement can be engaged. 
Owners, managers and operators of Singapore-registered ships requiring urgent assistance after office hours may call our 24/7 customer service service hotline at (+65) 6-CALL-SRS (+65 6-2255-777).
The list of crewing-related requests available after office hours as listed below: 
  • Urgent crew dispensation / exemption requests;

  • Urgent requests for a copy of a Receipt of Application (ROA) for your officer's Certificate of Endorsement (COE);

  • Urgent application for statutory seafarers documentations or certification matters (e.g. loss or damaged certificates)