DG Shipping in Engineering Circular No 7 of 2017 dated 18 December
2017 informs all the necessary details about issuance of Statutory Certificates
by Recognized Organizations in Electronic format in response to the requests
from various recognized organizations justifying the request. The circular is
a) Background: Various
Recognized organizations have requested the Directorate General of Shipping to
permit issuance of statutory certificates to lndian Flag vessels in electronic
format. INSA (lndian National Ship Owners' Association) have also requested the
Directorate to permit issuance of e-statutory certificates by Recognized
Organizations citing its advantages over the paper certificates.
Realizing the advantages of electronic certificates such as faster
delivery on board, ease to manage, reduced risk of loss and damage.
Realizing further that the
electronic certificates also prevents falsification of certificates as opposed
to signed paper certificates, as e-certificates allows for on-line verification
of their authenticity and it also helfs companies demonstrate their societal
commitment by helping reduce their carbon footprint'
Realizing also that to facilitate use and acceptance of
e-certificates, IMO issued "Guidelines for the use of Electronic
Certificates" vide FAL,S/Circ'39/Rev'2 dated 20th April 2016. The said
circular details the security features to be incorporated in the electronic
certificates and the procedure for the verification of the authenticity of
Therefore, in accordance with
Government of lndia policy of "Ease of doing business" and ,,Digital
lndia" and to enhance the service delivery of GOI/RO and further to
prevent falsification of statutory certificates, the Competent authority has
decided to permit issuance of electronic statutory certificates to lndian Flag
cargo vessels by the Recognized organizations under certain conditions detailed
in this circular.
a) This circular is applicable only to Statutory Certificates issued by
Recognized Organizations to Cargo vessels on behalf of the lndian
b) This Circular is applicable to the categories of Statutory
certificates detailed in IMO "List of Certificates and Documents required
to be carried on board ships 2017" issued vide
FAL.2/Circ.131MEPC.l/Ckc.873MSC.1/Circ.1586 LEc.2/Citc.3 dated 17 July 2017, as
c) The Recognized organizations
are thus permitted to issue only those Statutory ECertificates (detailed in
Paragraph 2 a) &b) above) for which they are respectively authorized for,
as per the authorization granted by lndian Administration via valid RO
agreement and DGS Orders/circulars/notices issued from time to time.
a) The electronic certificate
shall include following required security features detailed in IMO
"Guidelines for the use of Electronic Certificates"
(FAL.S/Circ.39/Rev.2 dated 20th April 2016):
i) validity and consistency
with the format and content required by the relevant international convention
or instrument, as applicable.
ii) protected from edits, modifications or revisions other than those
authorized by the issuer or the Adminlstration.
iii) a unique tracking number
used for verification. Unique tracking number means a string of numbers,
letters or symbols used as an identifier to distinguish an electronic
certificate issued by a Recognized Organization from any other electronic
certificate issued by the same Recognized Organization.
iv) a printable and visible
symbol that confirms the source of issuance.
b) Recognized Organizations
that use websites for online viewing or verifying electronic certificates shall
ensure that these sites are constructed and managed in accordance with
established information security standards for access control, fraud
prevention, resistance to cyberattacks and resilience to man-made and
c) Electronic signatures
applied to electronic certificates shall meet authentication standards
equivalent to lndian lnformation Technology Act, 2000 as amended.
d) RecognizedOrganizations issuing electronic certificates and Owner
or Manager of w the ship shall ensure the availability of detailed
procedure/instrudions for verifying the information contained in the electronic
certificate, including confirmation of periodic endorsements, when necessary,
on board the ship. Verifying means a reliable, secure and continuously
available process to confirm the authenticity and validity of an electronic
certificate using the unique tracking number and other data contained on or
embedded in the electronic certificate.
e) Each Recognized organization
intending to issue electronic certificate shall inform to the Directorate
within 15 days of issue of this circular, the categories of certificates
(detailed in IMO "List of Certificates and Documents required to be
carried on board ships 2017" that they intend to issue In electronic form.
This information is required to be communicated to the IMO by the lndian
Administration through the relevant module in the Global lntegrated Shipping
lnformation System (GlSlS) as per Clause 5 of FAL.5/Circ.39/Rev.2 for
information and circulation among member states.
4. lnstructions to lndian FlaE State lnsoectors and Port State Control
a. Flag state inspectors (FSl) and Port State Control Officers (PSCO)
shall accept electronic certlficates contalning the features detailed above.
b. lf considered necessary, the FSI/PSCO may verify the authenticity
of the certificates using the procedure (issued by Recognized organization) and
available on board the ship carrying electronic certificates.
5. lnstructions to Recoqnized
Many foreign going and some
coastal lndian Flag vessels are dual classed. ln such cases and even in cases
where a vessel is single classed, it may be possible that one Recognized
Organization has issued a Statutory Certificate in electronic form and
owner/operator may opt to carry out Annual/Periodic/inte rmediate surveys done
by another RO or Administration Surveyors. ln all such cases the following
procedures may be adopted for endorsement of an electronic Statutory
certificate issued by a Ro other than the one conducting the
a) Conduct of Annual/intermediate/Periodic survey by a RO which has
not issued the said statutory certificate in e-format:
i) Ro conducting the said survey to verify the authenticity of the
ii) Carry out the survey.
iii) After satisfactory
completion of the said survey, endorse the print out of the e-statutory
certificate for the particular survey (1st *-
Annual/2ndAnnual/lntermediate/Periodical and so on) and a survey report
indicating the type (SEQ, SRT and so on); the nature of the survey Itstl2ndl3rd/qth
Annual/lntermediate/Periodical); date of endorsement; name of the office and
surveyor conducting the survey and place of survey to be issued to the Master.
iv) RO which conducted the said
survey to forward a copy of the said survey report electronically to the RO
which has issued the e-statutory certificate within one working day of
completion of the said survey.
v) RO which has issued the said statutory certificate in e-format
shall ensure that the said endorsement is reflected on the e-statutory certificate
downloadable from their website within 2 working days of the receipt of the
b) ln case the survey is completed by the Administration Surveyor:
i) Surveyor to veriry the authenticity of the e-certificate.
ii) Carry out the survey.
iii) After satisfactory
completion of the said survey, endorse the print out of the statutory
e-certificate for the particular survey(1st/2nd/3rd/4th
iv) lssue a report to the
Master indicating type of survey (SEO/SRT/IOPP/IAPP and so on); the nature of
survey (1st l2nd/3dla$ Annual/intermediate/Period ic); date of endorsement;
name of the Mercantile Marine Department and the surveyor conducting the survey
and place of survey.
v) Owner/Manager/Master to
forward the report stated in Paragraph 5, b), iv) above within one working day
to the RO which has issued the said e-statutory certificate.
vi) The RO which has issued the
said statutory certificate shall ensure that the said endorsement is reflected
on the e-statutory certificate downloadable from their website within 2 working
days after receipt of such report.
6. lssuance of Short Term
a) There may be situations such
as Port State detentions necessitating issuance of short term certificate by a
RO after due concurrence of the competent authority in the Directorate General
b)Under such situations, the RO attending the vessel may issue short
term statutory certificate and the necessary attachments to the certificate in
electronic format and ensure that the details of same is available in its
c)The same has to be informed immediately to the RO which has issued
the full-term certificate.
d)The RO (which has issued the full-term statutory certificate
earlier) on receipt of such report shall ensure that the full-term certificate
is withdrawn from their online system and necessary updating indicating
withdrawal is reflected on the website.
e)The RO issuing full term certificate subsequently to inform
immediately to the RO which had issued the short-term certificate so that short
term certificate can be withdrawn by the RO who issued the same.
a) At present only Cargo Ship
Statutory Certificates issued by Recognized Organization on behalf of lndian
Administration are being permitted to be issued in an electronic form at
b) Statutory Certificates issued by lndian Administration shall at
present continue to be in signed paper form irrespective of whether the vessel
is a cargo or passenger ship.
c) Shipowners and operators of
lndian Flag vessels who intend to carry and use electronic certificates shall
ensure that these certificates are controlled through the safety management
system, as described in section 11 of the lnternational Safety Management Code.
This Circular is issued with the approval of the Competent Authority.