The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW and SOLAS 74/78) require the issuance of a Minimum Safe Manning Certificate.

Prior to registration, an owner must submit their minimum safe manning proposal for approval by MCI Technical Department; MSM guidance tables are available in the Cook Islands Large Yacht Code , Cook Islands Small Yacht Code, and for all other vessels here

Maritime Cook Islands approach to establishing minimum safe manning is based on a review of each vessel’s needs consistent with International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution A.481 (XII), Principles of Safe Manning; and in particular the need to meet the requirements for hours of rest / work established by MLC and STCW. Each vessel is considered individually, bearing in mind the size, trade, type of vessel and automation. Once the manning level is approved, a Minimum Safe Manning Certificate is issued which can be amended should conditions change.

Factors taken into account in establishing Minimum Safe Manning include:

  • Trade of Ship: including its route (e.g., worldwide, coastal, length of voyage)
  • Type of Ship: tanker, passenger, container, etc.
  • Propulsion Plant: main engine(s), auxiliaries (kw) classed for unmanned operations (PUMS)
  • Size of Ship: gross tonnage (GT)
  • Construction and Equipment on Ship: technological improvements and such factors as bridge and engine room watchstanding, mooring and unmooring, emergency arrangements, operation and maintenance of safety equipment and machinery and engine room safety arrangements, etc.
  • Officer and Ratings Certification: must comply with the vessel’s Minimum Safe Manning Certificate and STCW requirements for navigational and engineering Officer’s Certificates of Competency, Special Qualification Certificates (SQC) for watchstanding ratings, including Able Seaman and Oiler, Tankerman and Survival Craft Crewman

Every Cook Islands flagged vessel must have the prescribed complement of officers and qualified ratings as specified by the vessel’s Minimum Safe Manning Certificate. The vessel’s manning is verified for compliance with the Minimum Safe Manning Certificate during the vessel’s annual inspection.

Seafarer Nationality

There are no restrictions as to the nationality of seafarers employed on Cook Islands flagged vessels.