Frequently asked questions

How do I revalidate any certificate of competency (CoC)?
Send the following to:

Registry of Shipping and Seamen,
Anchor Court, Keen Road,
Cardiff CF245jW
Tel: 44 2920 448800

  • Application form M5F420 (download itsee below)
  • Original certificate
  • 2 x passport photos (1 with your nameand 'I certify etc' the other with name and date of birth)
  • Sea Service Testimonials (12 monthsseatime in the last 5 years)
  • Discharge Book or PYA Service Recordbook
  • Valid ENG1  medical
  • Fee of £3600

The Cardiff office will revalidate both the GMDSS and COC at the sametime. Just for a simple revalidation then the documents can be sent into Southampton. Additional information can be found in MGN 214.
How do l revalidate my GMDSS after 5 years?
Send it to the MCA:
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Spring Place,
105 Commercial Road,
Southampton S015 1 EG
Tel: 00 442380 329 100

And include

  • Application form MSF4353 (download it see below)
  • Original Certificate
  • Proof of 1 years yacht time(testimonials/log book)
  • Fee £2000
How do l download forms?
On the MCA website:
Click on top left: WORKING AT SEA and follow
(II) APPLICATIONFORMS and find the relevant form.
How long is my NOE validfor?
It is valid for 2 years.
Who do l contact at the MCA?
Helpline: +44(0)2380 329231.

You don't need to wait for the operator to ask you questions, you can just select I for Deck or GMDSS, select 2 for Engineering or Safe Manning or select 3 for Certificates of Equivalent Competency
Can l work on British-flag vessels with a certificate issued by another country?
Yes, the MCA recognizes STCW95 endorsed certificates from other countries, provided that they have inspected and approved the training system in that country. All EU certificates are accepted. You should check the MCA website for an updated list of non EU countries currently recognized.

The MCA should issue a Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC) with the same limitations as the original certificate.
How do l apply for a CEC?
You need to download form MSF4203 from the MCA website. Complete the form and include the following documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Non-UK Certificate of Competency
  • GMDSS Certificate (Deck officers only)
  • Passport or discharge book
  • Evidence of competency in English language
  • Two passport size photographs
  • The fee

You can send your application to:
Seafarer Training and Certification Branch
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Spring Place,
105 Commercial Road
S015 IEC, UK
How do I revalidate my RYA yachtmaster commercial endorsement?
Send to the:
Royal Yachting Association,
RYA House,
Ensign Way,
Southampton S031 4YA
+44 (8453) 450400

You need to include:

  • Original Yachtmaster certificate
  • 2 photos
  • valid ENG] or ML5 medical
  • proof of sea-time
  • a covering letter authorizing them totale the fee from you credit card
How much for a commercial endorsement?
Who is an MCA qualifieddoctor?
There are 2 doctors in France who can do ENG1 and ML5 medicals.

Dr. Patrick Ireland
Le Forum, 19 13 Route de Cannes,
06560 Valbonne
Tel: +33 4 93 12 95 66
Dr.Elizabeth Lefebvre
69 Boulevard Wilson
06160 Juan les Pins
Tel: +33 4 92 93 07 70
Robert Hempleman (English Dentist)
+33 4 92 98 02 06

In Spain you should go to:

Dr. Prudhoe
Club de mar
Avenida Gabriel Roca
Palma de Mallorca
Tel: +34 639 949 125

For a full list of doctors worldwide see the MCA website:
How do l apply for a seaman's discharge book?
Go to the MCA website. Do a search for MSF 4509. Click onto the secondlist and the form can be downloaded. The cost is by post £35.00. Or we do have forms in the office.
How long are my course certificates valid for?
All MCA exam certificates last for 3 years. After this date you can re-sit the exam only with an exam fee cost If, however you fail the exam, you will need to redo the course. You then have 2 chances to do the exam.
How long before l can do a resit after a 'fail' result?
You can re-sit the failed exam as soon as you can organize a date with your training provider. In most cases you must re-sit any failed examw ithin 12 months of sitting the original.
If you fall a second time, you must retake the whole course before re-attempting the exam.
If l fail OOW Nav&Radar twice, must l sit the whole course?
Provided you pass the practical week initially you need only sit the first 2 weeks, but you will need a short practical assessment in the simulator.
When do my medicalcertificates run out?
Med FA/Medical Care at Sea is valid for 5 years. You will need to redo only Medical Care at Sea to keep It In date. As Captain, or the designated medical person In charge, your certificates should always be In date.
However, you do not need to send this certificate when you revalidate your CoC.
How do l fill in my TRB?
Carefully! All tasks are to be completed and signed off by your Captain. None of the tasks should be signed off at the same time.
If you are the Captain, you can sign the tasks off yourself, but the MCA will require, with your application for OOW, a letter from someone higher up than yourself, ie owner, management company or PYA,explaining why you have self assessed. Record books should be filled in over a 1-3 year period.
Dates must correspond to time on vessels, with corresponding testimonials. Don't sign off tasks all on the same date.
Am l exempt from the crafts skills test?
This depends on whether you are qualified in a mechanical trade (Diesel mechanic, fitter etc.) If you trained outside the UK you will need a letter from the marine administration of the country where you did the trade saying that they would recognize your trade as relevant for the issue of STCW Engineering certificates.
You will still need to contact the MCA for a Letter of Initial Assessment, outlining your qualifications and sea time/yacht time.
Can l do an MEOL in Antibes or Palma?
No, this is an exam only and has to be done through one of the MCA marine offices in the UK if you have enough sea time as an engineer on a yacht, you may not need to do an MEOL.
Do l need STCW basic training to get a job?
Yes! You will not get a job on a charter yacht without the STCW95 basic training, and it is required by the vast majority of private yachts.
Any MCA coded yacht over 500gt will require all crew to have STCW95.
I have an IYT offshore certificate – can I do an RYA ocean course?
No unfortunately, even though the MCA recognize both qualifications,the RYA will not accept the IYT Yachtmaster Offshore (now called "Master of Yachts 200gt") as a pre-requisite for taking the RYAYachtmaster Ocean.
Have an RYA Yachtmaster Certifcate of Service Will this be accepted as part of my application to the MCA?
No, if you hold a Certificate of Service and you are applying for an OOW NOE, you will need to sit a Yachtmaster Offshore theory course and pass the practical exam.
Once you have acquired a Yachtmaster Offshore certificate, you can apply to the MCA in the normal way.

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