Published on Australian Maritime Safety Authority (

Certificate of recognition

How to get a certificate of recognition.

If you hold valid foreign seafarer qualifications under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), and you are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or hold a current Australian work visa you can apply for a certificate of recognition. A certificate of recognition allows you to work in Australia without having to complete some or all of the required courses because it recognises the skills you already have.

A certificate of recognition will be valid for the same period as the primary certificate.


To be eligible for a certificate of recognition you must come from an eligible country, and you must meet medical, sea service and course requirements. Read Country eligibility for Certificates of recognition.

Important disclaimer

These instructions are summary information only. We make decisions about seafarer certificates under  Marine Order 70 (Seafarer certification) 2014 Marine Order 71 (Master and deck officers) 2014 Marine Order 72 (Engineer officers) 2014 Marine Order 73 (Ratings) 2014  and  Marine Order 74 (Master and deck officers – yachts) 2015 . Please refer to these marine orders for full details of eligibility and other requirements for certificate applications.

What you need to do

To obtain this certificate, you need to:

Prove your citizenship

Provide formal evidence of one of the following:

  • your status as an Australian citizen
  • your status as a permanent resident of Australia
  • current visa permitting you to work in Australia.

Provide a certified, true copy of your valid passport.

If you need to apply for Australian citizenship, or a skilled worker visa, you can read more about immigration applications.

Provide current certificates

Provide a copy of your primary certificate, and evidence that you have completed the following courses:

  • Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats (if required)
  • Advanced fire fighting (if required)
  • Security awareness
  • STCW basic safety courses
    • personal survival techniques
    • fire prevention and fire fighting
    • elementary first aid
    • personal safety and social responsibilities.
Provide evidence of sea service

Check that you have proof of specified qualifying sea service for the qualification you want to obtain. Read more about sea service.

Provide proof of medical fitness

Prior to the issue of a Certificate of recognition you must hold a valid Certificate of medical fitness. As per Marine Order 76 (Health—medical fitness) 2017  you can only perform the duties of a seafarer on a relevant vessel if you are medically fit to perform those duties.

For issue of a Certificate of recognition you are required to obtain a Certificate of medical fitness in Australia. The medical examination can be organised by contacting Sonic HealthPlus. We strongly recommend that you complete the medical examination before you commence training to ensure that you are medically fit for a seagoing career.

To book a medical examination, you can:

Read more about medical fitness.

How to apply

You will need to lodge a formal application using the Seafarer form 419.

Lodge from within Australia

You will need to fill out the Seafarer form 419, attach all required supporting documents and lodge it at a participating Australia Post retail outlet.

You will need to pay the fees for your application at the post office at the time of lodgement.

Lodge from overseas

You will need to fill out the Seafarer form 419, attach all required supporting documents including a colour passport-style photograph and send the paperwork to us by email to

When we receive your email we will let you know how to pay the fee for your application via AMSA online portal.

How to revalidate a Certificate of recognition

To revalidate your certificate of recognition, you need to start by revalidating your primary certificate of competency. You must show us evidence that you have completed the same requirements as an Australian certificate of competency. You can then submit an application using Seafarer's form 419.

Last updated: 25 January 2023