What is a Seaman Book? Everything You Need to Know About Seaman’s Book

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what is seaman book

As a seaman, you will have to get your seaman book before you can start working on board. Your seaman’s book is an official document issued by the Shipping Registrar that contains details of your maritime license and other important information related to your job as a sailor. It is also known as a seaman logbook, marine logbook, or sailor’s log. It is a record that helps keep track of all the voyages and experience of a sailor, which are very important for their future career as well as for certification and license reasons. This is the Essential Guide to a Career at Sea. Read on to know more about seaman’s book and its uses.

What is a Seaman Book?

A Seaman’s Book is a logbook that contains information about the seaman’s experience, as well as other information related to his/her license. This is also called Seaman Record Book sometimes. Seaman’s books are issued and maintained by the shipping registrar of the country. The seaman’s book is a document that is mandatory for all seafarers. It is a record that helps keep track of all the voyages and experience of a sailor, which are very important for their future career as well as for certification and license reasons.

Why do you need a Seaman’s Book?

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a seaman’s book to work as a sailor. However, you need to get it before you can start working on board. Your seaman’s book is an official document issued by the Shipping Registrar that contains details of your maritime license and other important information related to your job as a sailor. If you ever plan to change your job, or get hired on a different ship, you need to show your seaman’s book. This document is required by law, and all ships must carry a copy on board. Your seaman’s book has to be updated on a regular basis, and each entry has to be signed and stamped by an authorized officer.

Who issues Seaman’s Books?

The shipping registrar of your country issues seaman’s books. The registrar keeps track of all the seaman’s licenses of the citizens of that country. Some countries, such as India and Philippines, have only one shipping registrar. Other countries, such as Australia, have multiple registrars for different geographical regions, like New South Wales and Victoria.

How to apply for a Seaman Book ?

The process of applying for a seaman’s book differs from country to country. However, in most cases, all you have to do is submit an application form, along with valid documents such as your birth certificate, a valid passport, etc. Once the application form and the documents are verified and approved, you will have to appear before an officer to have your signature and thumb impression recorded. The officer will also conduct certain tests to evaluate your maritime knowledge. You will be required to pay a seaman’s book fee, which varies from country to country.

In most cases, it consists in the submission of an application form, along with valid documents such as a valid passport, photos, medical certificates and other administrative requirements. These documents need to be verified and approved based on one’s experience at sea, training, function, project and employer. There is also a seaman’s book fee, delivery fee and courses fee if applicable, these vary from country to country.

At Seaman Solutions, we are the first online platform with automated forms to process seaman books, as brokers we are in-charge of informing you which seaman book is suitable for what function on board of a vessel.  Since we work together with consulates and technical officers worldwide, we have fast issuing times to ensure your seaman book requirements are correctly assessed by the technical experts and have validity to apply for a Seaman book. We provide Panama, Dutch, Belgium & Palau Able Seaman Books.

The Estimated Issuance Time of a Seaman Book is 2 weeks for the seaman book soft copy issuance after payment is confirmed. For FAST SERVICE, the Estimated Issuance Time is 24 hours for the Seaman Book hard copy issuance.

The delivery of the hard copy will solely depend on the courier provider, estimated delivery time according to the destination where it is shipped. The validity of the seafarer identity record book is 5 years.

Documents included in a Seaman’s Book:

A seaman’s book is a very important document, and it must contain the following information:

  • Seaman’s name and surname: First name and last name of the seaman
  • Seaman’s identification number: Seaman’s identification number
  • Book issue date: Date of issue of the seaman’s book
  • Book issue location: Place of issue of the seaman’s book
  • Book issue authority: Name of the authority that issued the seaman’s book
  • Book issue signature: Signature of the person who issued the seaman’s book
  • Book expiry date: Expiry date of the seaman’s book

The documents included in a seaman’s book are :

  • Medical Fitness Certificate: This is required by all sailors before they can get a seaman book. This certificate is issued by a doctor or a medical officer.
  • Seaman’s Qualification Record (SQR): SQR is basically a record of your license and your experience as a sailor.
  • Document of Discharge: This document is issued to an employee who has been terminated from his job.
  • Sea Service and Employment Record (SSER): SSER is a record of all your voyages, crew members, and documentation.
  • Photograph: A photograph is included in your seaman book for identification purposes.

How to renew your Seaman’s Book?

The period of validity of your seaman’s book is usually five years. Once your seaman’s book expires, you will have to renew it. The process of renewing your seaman’s book is almost the same as applying for it for the first time. You will have to apply for a renewal online, along with the required documents, such as your birth certificate, passport, etc. You can also use the same login details that you used for applying for the first time, to make the process easier for you.

Conclusion / Importance of a Seaman Book

A seaman’s book is mandatory for all seafarers. It is a record that helps keep track of all the voyages and experience of a sailor, which are very important for their future career as well as for certification and license reasons. All seafarers have to get their seaman’s book before they can start working on board. Your seaman’s book is an official document issued by the Shipping Registrar that contains details of your maritime license and other important information related to your job as a sailor.

Published: May 10, 2023

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