As from January 1st 2017, every seafarer (except ratings) is obliged to be in possession of a Certificate of Competency in accordance with STCW 2010. You need a license to sail in certain functions which can be obtained when you meet the specific requirements.

First application

In order to gain insight into which requirements you have to meet for a specific certificate of competence, Rood Boven Groen has developed flowcharts. These flowcharts indicate which certificates and proof of competence you must have and any other requirements that you must meet in order to qualify for a specific license.

If you wish, we can help you with a first application, a license extension or an upgrade at the KIWA. Together with you, we check whether you meet the requirements and for which certificate you are eligible. A brief explanation on how to extend, upgrade or renew a license is given below.

Flowchart stuurman machinist beperkt werkgebied.pdf
Flowchart koopvaardij kleine schepen.pdf
Flowchart vaarbevoegdheden koopvaardij alle schepen.pdf
Flowchart zeilvaart.pdf
Flowchart gezel.pdf
ILenT verklaring wachtstuurman zeilvaart.pdf
Hulp bij het aanvragen van vaarbevoegdheden (Zeilvaart).pdf


For extending a license, you must prove competence. You do this by proving  authorized sailing time. Sailing time whilstin possession of a valid license for the relevant function. The required sailing time is as follows:


For an officer's license in the merchant industry and for all sailing ships:

• 360 days in the past five years or;

• 90 days in the past six months.


For an officer's license for sailing vessels <500 GT:

• 180 sailing days (= 1 season) in the past five years or;

• 90 days (= ½ season) in the past six months.


When applying for a license extension, the sailing time in different branches of industry is interchangeable, unless applicant has sailed in a relevant function.


In addition to sailing time, you also have to renew the relevant refresher courses every five years. This can be one or more of the following training courses:

• basic safety training (STCW A-VI/1 (1-4);

• advanced fire fighting (STCW A-VI/3); 

• proficiency survival crafts (other than fast rescue boats); (STCW A-VI/2-1);

• medical first aid (STCW A-VI/4-1);

• medical care (STCW A-VI/4-2).


In the flowchart you can also see which refresher training courses apply to each specific license.


Upgrading a license is possible by following additional training or education and / or by proving sailing time. When upgrading a license, sailing time is only partly exchangeable: at least 90 days of sailing time must be acquired in the new branch of industry.


Note: Each program has a maximum feasible competence. The possibilities are indicated in the flowcharts.



If a license has expired less than five years ago and the qualified sailing time does not meet the required number of days in the past five years, then it can only be renewed if:


• a new certificate of competence has been obtained within the last four years;

• applicant has sailed 90 days in the past six months in a comparable position above safe manning;

• applicant spent 90 days in the past 6 months in a relevant lower position;


If your license expired more than five years ago you will have to obtain a new certificate of competence.


A license is only issued if a first application has been submitted within four years after the certificate of competence has been issued. If your diploma or proof of competence is older than four years, then a first application for a license is unfortunately no longer possible.


In the unlikely event that you experience any inconvenience in applying, please contact us. We are happy to help you with the application of both the seamansbook and a license. 

William Boothstraat 2-2
8861 TL Harlingen
The Netherlands
+31 (0)517-431077