SAMSA > Press Room > Latest News > COVID-19 - Application for Extension of Seafarer Certification
COVID-19 - Application for Extension of Seafarer Certification

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Republic of South Africa announced measures to combat the spread of the disease by declaring a State of Disaster and putting the country on lockdown effective midnight on 26 March 2020.

The results of such lockdown is that all businesses were required to close doors except for those offering essential services. The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and its stakeholders have been affected by the lockdown as a result only with essential services being rendered. As such, the services for seafarers which are rendered directly by SAMSA and/or its clients/stakeholders may not be delivered during the lockdown, viz:

  1. No training of seafarers for short​ courses over the period, academic programmes may continue through 'e-learning' platforms
  2. No assessments for seafarer certification will be undertaken during this period.
  3. No eye sights test will be undertaken during the period.

The results of this is that seafarers whose certificates expire during this period are not able to attend re-fresher training whilst some are unable to sign-off their vessels. SAMSA has granted a general extension to all certificates expiring during the National State of Disaster as set out in the Marine Notice.

For this purpose, the production of the said Marine Notice shall be sufficient for Seafarers working on vessels trading within the South African Ports.

Seafarers working on foreign vessels may be required to produce specific individual documents expressing the extension of the certificate. This may be achieved as follows:

  1. Certificates issued by SAMSA (7 digit certificate number) may be extended by completing the submission here - Extension Link, the extensions issued by SAMSA covers the following:​
    • the main certificates (COC, COP's); and
    • additional courses attached to that certificates
  2. Certificates issued by SAMSA accredited institutions may only be extended by that institution, candidates/employers must request these directly with the institution.

Enquiries should be directed to the Registrar of Seafarers at

Article Date:

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