Safe Manning System

A manning proposal is a document drawn up by the ship's manager indicating the minimum crew composition with which he or she wishes to man a vessel. The information provided in the proposal includes the number of crew members along with their duties, based on the operations of the vessel in question.

On the basis of the manning proposal the ship's manager can show that, with the proposed crew composition, seafaring operations can take place in manner that is safe and responsible (in environmental terms and otherwise).
If the crew composition in the manning proposal is not sufficient, the captain must communicate this to the ship's manager. The ship's manager will then arrange for extra crew members.
Once the manning proposal has been approved, a manning certificate will be issued.


The manning proposal is drawn up by the ship's manager. This must be done using one of the form Manning proposal form (English) or the form Aanvraag beoordeling bemanningsplan zeeschip (Dutch). The crew composition must have been discussed with the captain of the ship in question.

Along with the manning proposal, the form Application Additional certificates for merchant ships must also be sent to the Inspectorate. In this way the application for the manning certificate is submitted at the same time. Or use the Dutch version form Aanvraag wijziging of duplicaat certificaat koopvaardijschip. The address is indicated on the form. Please fill in the manning proposal in full and do not forget the appendices.

Assessment by the Inspectorate

The Inspectorate assesses the manning proposal, looking at aspects such as rest times, crew composition, the vessel's equipment, the type of vessel, emergency procedures, geographical operating areas, etc.
If the plan is approved:

  • the ship's manager will be informed in writing;
  • the manning certificate will be sent, together with an invoice for payment;
  • a validated manning proposal will be sent.

The manning certificate lists the minimum number of officers and other crew members that must be on board and the conditions that need to be met (shipping area, training, radio, etc.).

Changes to crew configuration

If a ship's captain wishes to change the crew configuration of the vessel, he or she must submit a new manning proposal. This also applies to a change in ship's manager and any changes to the technical equipment and operations.
Please use one of the forms below to submit any changes, either the Manning proposal form (English) or the Form Aanvraag beoordeling bemanningsplan zeeschip (Dutch). Changes to the manning certificate can be requested using the Dutch form Aanvraag wijziging of duplicaat certificaat koopvaardijschip (Application for changes to or duplicate of certificate for merchant vessel).

New manning certificate

When the manning certificate is nearing its expiry date a new one can be requested. Please use the Dutch form Vernieuwen of bestendigen certificaten koopvaardijschip (Renewing certificates for merchant ships). No new manning proposal needs to be submitted in this case.