Certificate of competency

Every seafarer who works in a position as stated on the crew list must be in possession of a valid certificate of competency. To be eligible for a certificate of competency, a seafarer must demonstrate knowledge and experience (service time) and must have completed a specific (maritime) education and courses.

Digital application

In order for a non-Dutch resident or company to apply, we need to create an account for you. Please e-mail us at nl.scheepvaart@kiwa.nl with ''KIWA-ID'' as a subject.

In the e-mail please include:

  • First name
  • Surname
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Country of birth
  • Nationality
  • Emailadres
  • Phone number
  • Mailing address

Once an account has been created you can log in via our application portal.

First request or upgrade

You can request your certificate of competency via the application portal. To find out what documents are relevant for your first request or upgrade, you can use our matrix. A first request is only possible if the diploma is no more than four years old. Please note that you can only use a Dutch maritime diploma for your application.


If you wish to renew your Certificate of Competency, you need to demonstrate sailing time of either 12 months of in the past five years or three months in the six months prior to your application.

Only sailing time in a relevant (officer) position while in the possession of a valid certificate of competency is accepted. Also, only sailing time on seagoing commercial vessels is accepted.

Refresher training for a renewal or upgrade:

The following training certificates are relevant for a renewal or upgrade:

  • Basic Safety Training - all officers;
  • Advanced Firefighting - excluding certain near coastal functions;
  • Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats, other than fast rescue boats - excluding certain near coastal functions;
  • Medical first aid on board - only for the function of Master;
  • Medical care on board - only for the function of Master, excluding certain SMBW positions.

You can find the exceptions in our matrix.

Alternative experience

Alternative experience is assessed in consultation with the Dutch Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport). You need to have 24 months of service in the five years prior to your application. You also need to have the relevant refresher certificates. A number of positions that may be eligible can be found here. Please note you can only renew your Certificate of Competency with alternative experience.

In order to demonstrate your alternative experience, we request that you have an extensive job description drawn up by your employer that also includes the (average) number of days worked.

Certificate of competency expired for more than five years

If your certificate of competency has been expired for more than five years, it is no longer possible to use it to request a new certificate of competency. Your only alternative in this case is to obtain a new diploma.

Certificate of competency for Ratings

For a rating certificate of competency (with watch duties), a captain or chief engineer must declare that the seafarer meets the requirements of proficiency as stated in the STCW. The statement of requirements can be found to the right of this page. Other requirements can be found in our matrix.

Non-Dutch seafarers can apply if they have worked on board Dutch flagged vessels or for a Dutch company.

Lost or stolen

If the certificate of competency is lost or stolen, a duplicate can be requested. The following documents are required for this:

  • copy of your valid passport or identity card;
  • a recent passport photo in colour.