Request a Canadian Endorsement Attesting the Recognition of a Foreign Certificate Through the Reciprocal Arrangement

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Reciprocal Arrangements

Since 2019, Transport Canada has permitted foreign seafarers with a valid STCW certificate sponsored by a Canadian authorized representative, to apply for a Canadian endorsement attesting the recognition by Canada of their certificates to serve on board a Canadian flagged vessel. The acceptance and recognition by the Minister of Transport of foreign certificates is granted by way of a signed reciprocal arrangement pursuant to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and authority provided in subsection 89(1) of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

Who can apply?

An authorized representative (AR), of a Canadian flagged vessel, may apply for a Canadian endorsement for a foreign seafarer who holds a valid STCW certificate with which Canada has a signed reciprocal arrangement to recognize STCW certificates. A certificate that will expire within the next six months from the date of the application will not be endorsed, the foreign seafarer must have it renewed by their Administration before the AR makes an application for a Canadian endorsement.

Transport Canada has signed reciprocal arrangements with the following countries to accept and recognize their STCW certificates:

  • Australia
  • France
  • Norway
  • Ukraine

Which STCW certificates can be endorsed by Transport Canada?

A certificate of competency issued under Regulations II/1, II/2, II/3, III/1, III/2, III/3, IV/2, VII/2 or a certificate of proficiency issued under Regulations V/1-1 and V/1-2 of the STCW Convention, 1978, as amended.

Will other certificates of proficiency be recognized?

A certificate of proficiency (COP) issued by a State with which Canada has entered into a reciprocal arrangement, except for those issued in accordance with the provision of Regulations V/1-1 and V/1-2 of the STCW, can be accepted as being equivalent to a COP issued by Transport Canada for the application of the Marine Personnel Regulations, the Marine Transportation Security Regulations and the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

Transport Canada will not accept as ship security officer on Canadian flagged vessels, a foreign seafarer holding a CoP as SSO, which was not issued by Transport Canada. However, a foreign seafarer holding a valid CoP as SSO, issued in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation VI/5 of the STCW by a State with which Canada has entered into a reciprocal arrangement, is not required to hold a CoP as Ship personnel with or without designated security duties.

Documents you need to apply

To apply for a Canadian endorsement, please download and follow the instructions contained within the following Transport Canada forms:

How to apply

Send your completed application and all supporting documents, using one of the following methods:

Validity of a Canadian endorsement

A Canadian endorsement is issued for the same validity period of the foreign certificates it recognizes.

Revalidation of a Canadian endorsement

Within six months before the Canadian endorsement and the foreign certificate it recognizes expire, the foreign seafarer must first make arrangements with the certificate issuing authority to revalidate their foreign issued credentials, followed by either the authorized representative or the foreign seafarer completing a new application for a Canadian endorsement.

Frequently asked Questions

Question 1

As a foreign seafarer seeking to serve onboard a Canadian flagged vessel, am I only required to obtain a Canadian endorsement from Transport Canada?

Response 1

A foreign seafarer must meet the requirements Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada to work in Canada, including obtaining a valid work permit.

Question 2

Can I submit an application for a Canadian endorsement to recognize my STCW valid credentials without being sponsored by an authorized representative?

Response 2

Transport Canada will only process applications that have been supported by a Canadian authorized representative.

Question 3

As an authorized representative of a Canadian flagged vessel may I seek a preliminary assessment of the eligibility of a foreign seafarer to obtain a Canadian endorsement?

Answer 3

Yes, Transport Canada will provide an authorized representative of a Canadian flagged vessel with an assessment of the eligibility of a foreign seafarer to obtain a Canadian endorsement provided the seafarer is from a country to which Canada has a valid reciprocal arrangement.

Question 4

To obtain a Canadian endorsement, do I need a Canadian medical certificate?

Answer 4

To obtain a Canadian endorsement, a foreign seafarer can submit a valid medical certificate issued by their Maritime Administration, in accordance with the provisions of section A-I/9 of the STCW Code, as amended, and the Guidelines on the medical examination of Seafarers, jointly published by the International Labour Organization and International Maritime Organization, including any subsequent version. The Canadian endorsement must always be accompanied by the valid Medical Certificate onboard Canadian flagged vessels.

Need help?

Email: RecognitionofCertificates-Reconnaissancedesbrevets@tc.gc.ca

Mailing Address:
Transport Canada
Marine Safety, Place de Ville
Mailstop: AMS
330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0N8