Sea Service Verification On Large Yachts

Each seafarer who serves on board a yacht is entitled to request a Sea Service Testimonial from the Captain. A Sea Service Testimonial [SST] provides documented evidence of a seafarer’s time on board, as well as any standby time, shipyard service and actual time at sea.
The responsible person authorised to sign the SST is the Master of the vessel, or in the case of the Master requiring a SST, the authorised person shall be the Owner or a Director / Manager from the Management Company.
Such qualifying sea service is comprised of the below elements:
  • ‘Actual Sea Service’ being actual days at sea [including anchorage] associated with a sea passage
  • ‘Stand-by Service’ being time spent on stand-by in port fully operational
  • ‘Shipyard Service’ being time spent in a shipyard in or out of the water
  • ‘Yacht Service’ being the overall time spent on board a yacht [as per seafarers employment contract]
From the 24th of May 2017, all Sea Service Testimonial’s [SST] will need to be signed by a Responsible Person and verified by either the MCA directly or by an MCA approved verifying organisation.  Both Nautilus and the Professional Yachting Association [PYA] are the only organisations that have been appointed as delegated authorities to verify sea service on behalf of the MCA.
If the signed SST is submitted to the MCA without prior verification from either PYA or Nautilus, MCA declared that there will be a delay in the procedure of about 160 days. Therefore, seafarers are advised to never leave their vessel without a signed SST from the Captain [or from the Owner / Management Company in the Master’s case] and to apply for verification through an MCA approved verifying organisation.

The sea service verification process includes; confirmation of the seafarer’s identity by way of attested passport copy; ensuring the Sea Service Testimonial [SST] has been completed accurately and checking that the information contained within the SST is conceivable by cross referencing the information with other data held on file.

A copy of the M Notice can be found here.

For more information contact Daniele Gasparin or Shelley Dowie at