Minimum Safe Manning Regulations

Maltese ships are subject to the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1973 ancillary regulations and the STCW 78 Convention (as amended) concerning the manning and certification of seafarers.

Minimum Safe Manning Certificate

A valid Minimum Safe Manning Certificate must be carried by all Maltese merchant ships of 500 gross tonnage and over. On the entry of a ship in the Malta Register, the Merchant Shipping Directorate will issue a Minimum Safe Manning Certificate valid for five years from the date of provisional registration. Therefore, prior to the expiry of the certificate or upon any change in the equipment, construction or trading of the ship, the Directorate will issue a new certificate, again valid for 5 years, to coincide with the date of the renewal of the certificate of registry.

There are no restrictions on the nationality of the Master, Officers and Crew engaged on Maltese ships. However, the crew on Maltese trading ships must be in possession of a recognised valid certificate of competency issued in terms of the 1978 STCW Convention.

During the period of provisional registry, certain documents are to be submitted to the Registrar including:

  • A Builder’s Certificate if the vessel has not been registered elsewhere; otherwise, a Bill of Sale or any other document by which the vessel was transferred to the present owner.
  • A Deletion Certificate from the last country of registry showing the vessel to be free from any encumbrances.
  • Copy of the last updated Continuous Synopsis Record issued by the Administration where the ship was last registered.
  • A Certificate of Survey and a copy of the International Tonnage Certificate that the vessel has been surveyed in accordance with Maltese regulations.
  • A Carving and Marking Note giving evidence that the vessel has been marked in accordance with the law.
  • A crew list accompanied by copies of the officers’ certificates of competency.

Conditions of Employment

A contract of employment in the form of a Crew Agreement must be made between the master and seamen.

Crew & officers

The Master and Officers must be certified by recognised authorities in order to be acceptable to the Malta Registrar. Copies of certificates of competence will be required.

The Registrar will require a crew list indicating ranks and seamen book numbers and nationality. This information is required to ascertain that the vessel is manned in accordance with the Minimum Safe Manning Certificate.