India Eases Regulations for Obtaining Continuous Discharge Certificate

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In a bid to simplify technicalities for people intending to work on ships, the Indian Government has eased rules for issuing the Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC)-cum-Seafarers’ Identity Document. The new rules on issuing CDC took effect on January 14.

Prior to this, job aspirants on merchant vessels, found it tough to obtain an Indian CDC because of the rigid rules and regulations. The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, sets qualification standards for masters, officers and general-purpose ratings on seagoing merchant ships.

Without a CDC, a person is not eligible to work on ships. An Indian national of 18 years, holding an Indian passport and a Class 10 pass certificate has to complete the five basic STCW safety courses spread over two weeks after which he is entitled to apply for a CDC.

The move will benefit thousands of Indians looking to work on board cruise liners as bartenders, house-keeping staff and laundrymen, and also in other ships in various capacities.

Owing to the hurdles in getting an Indian CDC, many aspirants took the CDC of foreign nations and in the process they were fleeced by agents and sub-agents. Besides, Indian nationals holding Indian passports but having a foreign CDC were looked upon with suspicion by immigration authorities, industry insiders said.

The five basic courses include personal survival techniques or proficiency in survival craft and rescue boards, fire prevention and fire-fighting or advance fire-fighting, elementary first aid or medical first aid or medical care, personal safety and social responsibility and security training for seafarers with designated security duties or ship security officer.

Sea News, January 24

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra