- The Directorate General of Shipping, GOI vide Engineering Circular No. 07 of 2017, dated 18 December 2017 (copy attached) has permitted the issuance of electronic statutory certificates to Indian flagged Cargo vessels by the GOI authorized Recognized Organizations under certain conditions as detailed in the circular.
- At present only Cargo Ship Statutory Certificates issued by authorized Recognized Organization on behalf of Indian Administration are permitted to issue an electronic statutory certificates at shipowners/ operators option.
- Statutory Certificates issued by Indian Administration will continue to be in signed paper form irrespective of whether the vessel is a cargo or passenger vessel.
- Salient points from the circular are stated below:
The Recognized Organizations are permitted to issue only those Statutory E-Certificates as detailed in IMO “List of Certificates and Documents required to be carried on board ships 2017” issued vide FAL.2/Circ.131, MEPC.1/Circ.873, MSC.1/Circ.1586, LEG.2/Circ.3 dated 19 July 2017, as amended and for which they are respectively authorized by GOI via valid RO agreement and DGS Orders/Circulars/notices issued from time to time.
The electronic certificates must include following minimum security features as detailed in IMO “Guidelines for the use of Electronic Certificates” (FAL.5/Circ.39/Rev.2):
- Validity and consistency with the format and content required by the relevant international convention or instrument, as applicable.
- Protected from edits, modifications or revisions other than those authorized by the issuer or the Administration.
- A unique tracking number used for verification (Unique tracking number means a string of numbers, letters or symbols used as an identifier to distinguish an electronic certificate issued by a Recognized Organization from any other electronic certificate issued by the same Recognized Organization).
- A printable and visible symbol that confirms the source of issuance.
- Flag State Inspectors (FSI) and Port State Control Officers (PSCO) will accept electronic certificates containing the features detailed above. If considered necessary, the FSI/ PSCO may verify the authenticity of the certificates using the procedures (issued by Recognized Organization) and available on board the ship carrying electronic certificates.
- Instructions to Recognized Organizations / Administration Surveyors:
In case a ship is dual classed and even in cases where a vessel is single classed, it may be possible that one Recognized Organization has issued a Statutory Certificate in electronic form and owner/operator opts to carry out Annual/Periodic/Intermediate surveys done by another RO or Administration Surveyors. In such cases the following procedures may be adopted for endorsement of an electronic Statutory Certificate issued by a RO other than the one conducting the annual/intermediate/periodic surveys:
- Conduct of Annual/Intermediate/Periodic survey by a RO which has not issued the said statutory certificate in e-format:
- RO conducting the said survey to verify the authenticity of the e-certificate prior carrying out the survey.
- After satisfactory completion of the said survey, endorse the print out of the e-statutory certificate for the particular survey (1st Annual/2nd Annual/Intermediate/Periodical and so on) and a survey report indicating the type (SEQ, SRT and so on); the nature of the survey (1st/2nd/3rd/4th Annual/Intermediate/Periodical); date of endorsement; name of the office and surveyor conducting the survey and place of survey to be issued to the Master.
- RO which conducted the said survey is then required to forward a copy of the said survey report electronically to the RO which has issued the e-statutory certificate within one working day of completion of the said survey.
- RO which has issued the said Statutory Certificate in e-format is required to ensure that the said endorsement is reflected on the e-statutory certificate downloadable from their website within 2 working days of the receipt of the report.
- In case the survey is completed by the Administration Surveyor:
- Surveyor will verify the authenticity of the e-certificate prior carrying out the survey.
- After satisfactory completion of the said survey, surveyor will endorse the print out of the statutory e-certificate for the particular survey (1st/2nd/3rd/4th Annual/Intermediate/Periodical).
- Surveyor will issue a report to the Master indicating type of survey (SEQ/SRT/IOPP/IAPP and so on); the nature of survey (1st/2nd/3rd/4th Annual/Intermediate/Periodical); date of endorsement; name of the MMD and the surveyor conducting the survey and place of survey.
- Owner/Manager/Master is required to forward the report stated above (b/iii) within one working day to the RO which has issued the said e-statutory certificate.
- The RO which has issued the said statutory certificate is then required to ensure that the said endorsement is reflected on the e-statutory certificate downloadable from their website within 2 working days after receipt of such report.
- Issuance of Short Term Statutory e-certificates:
- In situations necessitating issuance of a short term certificate by a RO, the attending surveyor may issue short term statutory certificate and the necessary attachments to the certificate in electronic format and ensure that the details of same is available in its website and inform the same to the RO which has issued the full term certificate.
- The RO (which has issued the full term statutory certificate earlier) on receipt of such report is required to ensure that the full term certificate is withdrawn from their online system and necessary updating indicating withdrawal is reflected on the website.
- Subsequently when a RO issues full term certificate, it is required to inform immediately to the RO which had issued the short term certificate so that short term certificate can now be withdrawn.
- Shipowners and operators of Indian flagged vessels who intend to carry and use electronic certificates are required to ensure that these certificates are controlled through the Safety Management System, as described in section 11 of the ISM Code.
Ship owners/ operators and masters of Indian flagged vessels are advised to be guided by above.
- DGS Engineering Circular No. 07 of 2017, dated 18 December 2017.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.