CEC Application Information for companies
Step by Step guide to the CEC application process
Step 1 - Application
Please send your complete application to:
Seafarer Training and Certification Branch
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
105 Commercial Road
SO15 1EG, UK
The documents that need to be submitted in order for a CEC to be issued include:
In all CEC applications the MCA will verify the validity of the non-UK CoC with the issuing administration.
1. Application form
Download an application form using the following web link. The correct form to download is: MSF 4203 Certificate of Equivalent Competency. This form should be completed by the person who is applying for the CEC. Each form has its own unique identification number which will allow the seafarer to track the status of their application form online. This service can be found at www.mcga.gov.uk
N.B this service is only available if you have used our website to download the application form.
On the front page please ensure all details of the applicant are included. It is very important that the address for return of documents is clearly stated in legible hand writing or printed and a contact telephone number is provided. If you wish to change the address for documents to be returned to, this request must be made to the the MCA in writing.
It is very important that the declaration in section 4 is signed by the applying seafarer and that the signature is contained within the given box.
2. Non-UK Certificate of Competency
Please click here for a list of countries whose Certificates of Competency are accepted by the MCA.
3. GMDSS Certificate (Deck officers only)
Please include the STCW95 endorsement. If the certificate has been issued from Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania please also include the training certificates.
4. Passport or Discharge Book
Either are accepted.
5. Evidence of Knowledge of the English Language
It is a requirement of the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards of Safety Communications) Regulations 1997 that a common language exists among officers on board UK vessesls. Since these officers are required to read and understand English publications on board, the most useful common language for a UK vessel is English. This is also the most commonly used language for international communication.
If the MCA is satisfied that the applicant's original STCW CoC satisfactorily tested oral and written English language skills i.e. they hold their examinations in English, no further test in this topic will be required. The following is acceptable evidence of competency in English:
The minimum acceptable pass marks (to be submitted on a Marlins approved centre stamped computer printout) are as follows:
|Deck Officers||Engineering Officers|
|Junior Officer||80+ %||70+ %|
|Senior Officer||90+ %||80+ %|
In addition to a Marlins test result, you will need to provide evidence of your spoken English. Most Marlins test centres offer a Test of Spoken English (TOSE) and this is acceptable as evidence of spoken English. The minimum acceptable requirements for TOSE result are as follows:
|Deck Officers||Engineering Officers|
|Junior Officer||Intermediate||Lower Intermediate|
|Senior Officer||Upper Intermediate||Intermediate|
Alternatively, the Marlins test result may be accompanied by a company interview to confirm that the seafarer’s spoken English to be of an acceptable standard in order to carry out their shipboard duties. The results of the interview can be relayed either in a letter from the Company to the MCA or by completing the english checklist found in Annex 6 of MGN 221 Part 19.
Certain Companies, with prior approval from the MCA, may be allowed to attest, by letter signed by a senior company official, to candidates’, knowledge and understanding of English based on the MCA criteria checklist (see Annex 5 of MGN 221 Part 19). All sections of the checklist must be completed and endorsed with the company stamp and sent to the MCA with the application.
6. Two passport size photographs
Photographs must be taken full face without a hat and must be passport approved photographs, measuring a maximum of 50mm x 40mm, colour OR black & white. The back of one photograph must include the applicant's name in BLOCK LETTERS and the signature of a Doctor, Bank Officer, Established Civil Servant, School Teacher or someone of similar standing. They should also write on the back of the photograph “I certify that this is a true likeness of Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms/Dr etc……..” and add their signature. The person who certifies your photographs must either be a British citizen or a citizen of a Commonwealth country. A member of the applicant's family is not allowed to counter sign their photograph. The back of the other photograph must include the applicant's name in BLOCK LETTERS and their date of birth.
7. £76 Fee
You can pay by cheque (payable to The Maritime and Coastguard Agency), bankers draft or postal order. You may also pay directly in to our bank; please contact us for further information.
If you decide to transfer money you will need to clarify with your own bank what charges they make for transferring money into our account and allow for this when crediting funds.
Alternatively you can pay by credit/debit card. Please complete MSF 5181 Request to Pay by Credit Card (Exams) (Word 61KB)
Copies of Documents
The MCA can accept original documents or attested photocopies torwards a CEC application. All photocopies must be certified as a true copy by one of the following;
Step 2 - Confirmation Receipt of Application (CRA)
In accordance with Regulation I/10 of the STCW '95 Convention, we may allow a seafarer to serve in a capacity for a period not exceeding three months on board a UK registered vessel, while holding an appropriate and valid certificate issued and endorsed by another administration whose CoCs are accepted by the MCA for use onboard a UK vessel but which has not yet been issued a CEC. Documentary proof that an application has been made to the MCA shall be in the form of a Confirmation Receipt of Application (CRA), however we are only able to issue a CRA if all the required documents and fee have been submitted and are correct.
Click here for a copy of a CRA which is found in Annex 5 of MIN 340. Please insert your company's address and fax number in the box provided and complete Section 1 before submitting it with the application. Provided all the required documents are present and correct we will issue the completed CRA within 10 working days from the date we receive the application.
Step 3 - Verification of Non-UK Certificate of Competency
In each application, the MCA will verify the validity of all non-UK CoCs with the issuing administration. If we receive confirmation from an issuing administration that a CoC is not valid, the CEC application will be rejected and the MCA Enforcement Branch will be notified.
Step 4 - Issuance of final certificate
The final or full certificate will be issued before the CRA expires. If you do not have a CRA we will issue the final certificate within 20 working days of receiving the complete application (subject to verification and any subsequent conditions being met).
Please note that if you are revalidating a CEC, the same application form (MSF 4203) applies. Please submit the following documents:
Attested copies of documents are accepted.
All masters and skippers operating UK flagged vessels must have knowledge of UK Legal and Admistrative Procedures (UKLAP). This level of required knowlege is outlined in Annex 6 of MGN 221 Part 19.
It is mandatory that all Masters of UK flagged vessels are familiar with this syllabus before they commence with their duties. Masters should make their application as normal and the MCA will issue a Notice of Assessment (NOA) to sit a UKLAP exam. Once this document is received, the Master should book an examination date with a MCA Marine Office.
If it is not possible to sit the examination in the UK, you should contact the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) once you have received the NOA. The SQA will be able to arrange for you to sit the UKLAP at a British Consul office around the world. Please see below for their contact details.
The Scottish Qualifications Authority
The Optima Building
68 Robertson Street
Tel: +44 (0) 845 279 1000
A temporary CEC may be issued for up to 6 months to enable the Master or Skipper to obtain the qualification. EU and EEA nationals may alternatively serve an Adaptation Period of up to 6 months in a lower rank. A full (5 year) CEC will only be issued once all requirements have been met and verified by the MCA. Please contact Seafarer Training and Certification Branch for full details.
You do not need to submit your medical certificate when you make your CEC application, however it is mandatory for you to hold a valid medical certificate when serving on board a UK flagged vessel.
In order to serve on a commercially operated seagoing ship registered in the UK, the master and crew must comply with the requirements of the Merchant Shipping (Medical Examination) Regulations. These require seafarers (i.e. anyone employed or engaged in any capacity) to hold a valid UK seafarer medical certificate (known as an ENG 1) which can only be issued by doctors approved by the MCA. An up-to-date list of doctors can be found on the Seafarer Health and Safety webpage. Alternatively certificates issued by countries whose standards are recognised as equivalent to the UK’s are accepted.
We accept state issued medical certificates from several countries (to obtain an equivalent medical certificate you must approach the respective maritime authority to be advised of the location of their approved doctors):
This list reflects new Regulations, which came into effect on the 1 September 2002. Medical certificates issued by countries previously recognised as equivalent (listed in MSN 1765) will be acceptable until the date of expiry.
Further countries will be added to this list as and when medical standards and systems have been assessed for equivalency.
Any queries relating to this list should be directed to:
Seafarer Health and Safety Branch
Tel. +44 (0) 23 80 329 249
Fax. +44 (0) 23 80 329 251
CEC Hints and Tips
·When filling in your application, please be careful to keep your signature inside the delegated box in section 4.
·Please ensure your photographs are taken with a white background.
·If you hold a certificate that is limited to near coastal operations, the CEC will be limited to near coastal operations of the respective issuing administration's country.
·The price of a CEC includes delivery via our worldwide courier service. Please indicate on the application form to which address you would like your documents to be returned.
·Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions section for further useful information.
For further information and advice, please contact a member of the CEC team Mondays - Fridays, 9.30am to 4.30pm at the MCA headquarters in Southampton.
Telephone: +44 (0)2380 329 254
Fax: +44 (0)2380 329 252