Carrying your Certs Around

Does anyone out there still carry or know if we have to carry around a Binder with all our original certifications, Now that we have the MMC Book and are also able to copy everything onto a Flash drive. it seems silly to keep dragging my binder to the Boat. Every Inspection we’ve had they are only interested in my MMC book.

I only carry the certs when going foreign. There is no need to carry the certs in the US. No one except a few HR people have ever asked to see them. Foreign Post State Control has never asked to see them either.


That’s what I figured. If we can now send proof of certs electronically to the NMC for Renews etc… Then what’s the difference if asked during an inspection, showing them copy’s on a flash Drive. If I go foreign or a new job Interview then I will carry them. Thanks,

ship sank, all mine a copies, now what?
stupid rule in stone age shipping, just asking for everyone to have good fakes

The only cert you might be asked for by the USCG is your current radar refresher and that is allowed to be electronic. In fact, you’re only required to provide it within 48 hours so you don’t even need it on you electronically.

That binder is like my conjoined twin. I really aught to name it or something.


We have to carry original certification at all times, no copies allowed.
Incorrect paperwork can cause a ship to be stopped instantly by PSC, MCA or any other nosy gits.

who is the person with the forensic document knowledge that checks them?

powerabout, they don’t need a forensic document knowledge, they have a sodding great list of all the documentation required, for the whole ship as well as the crew.
The stupid thing is that DNV-GL now have all ship certification electronically held on line and they complain that they can’t access it because we have no internet access at sea.

my point is carrying the “originals” is total BS why not just bring my usb stick with scans

The perception here is that electronic copies are fairly easy to fake.
Many certs come on non-standard paper or are watermarked.
Hell, even my boat river licence has a holographic stamp on it!

sure so who is the document expert checking them on board, none, so fakes are the way to go.
How can an industry in this day and age trust a piece of paper, thats a joke, how about checking whoever issued it is legit?
Try a fake driving license, what do the cops do, call up and verify.
Sometime I think this industry is still in the steam age.

You’ve apparently never worked out of Nigeria where an entire crew had STCW certs with identical serial #’s. Fortunately the USCG inspection team found it somewhat amusing… at least until they saw all the same guys later on a different boat with new “valid” certs.

Who verifies it for the cops?
Cybercrime is obviously not a big deal over there; all our shipboard computers deny access to anything other than specific, company coded USB drives.
At least, that’s what the IT department think.

cops call their access to DMV etc so they are checking on the database the details.
Do you remember a few years ago the IMO did some research and UK Holland Australia and Hong Hong, I think all agreed to verify every cert of seaman entering, they found 10’s of thousands of fake ones.
There were checking with the issuers.

I worked a few vessel with the old “Permanent 2nd Mate” Filipinos as well called them, had lots of experience but didnt really have the skills.
I had the office check a couple of guys and the Phillipines came back and said they were real certs but we then asked how did they get them, they have no records.
We worked out in the stcw95 conversion they must of issued real ones for all the fakes.

I appreciate everyone’s reply’s. I think my only question really was If you have a MMC Book and it says your a mate, OICNW ,captain, Chief Eng. etc. etc. And all your STCW endorsements are listed in the Book, Then its obvious you went to BRM, Fire Fighting, Med… and all the STCW courses for proof to the USCG, Than why do I need to carry these certs around? I will follow my heart.

Ok, that’s fine.

Just make sure that you don’t get a Port State Control inspection around this neck of the woods because if you don’t have your original certification then you don’t sail.
That could compromise the ship sailing.
Just saying.

Again, no need to carry STCW certs in the US, but you need them in hand when sailing foreign.

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It happened recently to us; one of the Second Mates had passed his C/O exams so all his certificates were at the MCA being upgraded so PSC sent him home and they had to get a relief at short notice.
Luckily it was a non-sailing day.

Yes, it’s proof to the USCG. That’s one thing they actually have common sense about.

If you’re only working in the US then you don’t.