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To obtain employment on board a seagoing vessel every citizen of Pakistan is entitled to acquire a Seaman Service Book (SSB) in accordance with the provision of Merchant Shipping Ordinance 2001 subject to fulfilling the requirements as prescribed under the Rules issued from time to time.

The Seamen Service Book (SSB) is also liable to be cancelled, suspended or confiscated if a seaman is found to be involved in contravention of any local law.

Currently in vogue the procedure for issuance of the Seaman Service Book is reproduced [S.R.O 96(KE)/2001] hereunder:
Statutory Notifications containing Rules and Orders issued by all Ministries and Divisions of the Government of Pakistan and their Attached and Subordinate Offices and the Supreme Court of Pakistan

(Communications Division)

Karachi, the 14th April, 2001

S.R.O. 96(KE)/2001:-
The Government of Pakistan is pleased to publish the new Policy regarding Seamen Service Book (S'SB) replacing the existing procedure of issuing Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC) for information of all concerned. This Policy is being issued/published with the approval of Minister for Communications & Railways in pursuance of 11.0 Convention 108 of 1958 and under Section 43(I) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1923. The Seamen Service Book can be cancelled/suspended under Section 43 (b) of Merchant Shipping Act, 1923.


1. Short Title: - This will be, called Seaman Service Book (SSB) policy as it relates to induction, training & issue procedures duly controlled and regulated by Ports '& Shipping Wing. Ministry of Communications, Karachi.

2. Application:-This policy will be applicable with effect from 1st July, 2001 and will be subjected to review from time to time by the competent authority as and when required .


3. Preamble:-

3.1. Shipping is a global industry regulated under National and International Maritime Laws and Regulations. The training of officers and ratings is required to be conducted under Merchant Shipping Rules and International Conventions. The International Convention on Training. Certification and Watch-keeping (STCW 1978) amended in 1995 requires all seamen called seafarers (officers and ratings) to be duly trained and certificated under approved systems by the Maritime Administration of each country.

3.2. There are about 8,000 officers and 10,500 ratings duly registered as seamen. Out of this total number about 30% are employed on national as well as foreign ships. The employment on foreign ships is about 85% of the total seamen engaged in this field. With the implementation of new Merchant Shipping Ordinance and Shipping Policy, it is expected that the National Tonnage will increase, thus the need of trained officers and ratings will be felt earnestly.
3.3 The foreign ship-owners also need trained and certificated seafarers for their fleet and the international competition in this field requires seafarer: to be trained as per international standards. The Pakistani officers and ratings are registered as seaman as per Merchant Shipping Act and are issued with a document known as Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC). The existing document is being replaced with Seaman Service Book (SSB) to achieve the objectives under this policy. The procedure and requirements to become a registered seaman are no specified in any form for the general information nationally and internationally. A simple and transparent system for induction, training and issue of SSB is highly desirable.

4. Aims and Objectives:-
(1) Conformity with the provisions of Merchant Shipping Act and ILO Conventions applicable to seaman,
(2) Ensure Pakistani seamen are trained. certificated as per National Rules and International Conventions.
(3) Encourage foreign ship-owners to employ Pakistani seamen on the basis of their competence.
(4) Recommend measures for training. certification and career planning of seamen.


(5) Develop human resources to provide young. educated and trained seamen in the maritime Sector.

(6) Have transparent. simplified procedure for issue of SSB to facilitate the candidates.

5. Seaman Service Book (SSB):-

This is a prescribed certificate of identification with basic particulars and qualifications of the seaman duly registered with the Government Shipping Office. It is issued on Government sanctioned Form No. 20 by the Shipping Master under the provisions of Section 43(1) of Merchant Shipping Act, 1923. This also serves as the service record book of the Seamen. After engagement of a seaman by a company for their ships under Article of Agreement. this SSB is kept with the Master of the ship and entries are made by him. regarding date of Engagement/Discharge of the seaman on board the ship. On completion of the service on board as per Article of Agreement. necessary entries are made by the Master in the SSB, duly verified by the Shipping Master and SSB is returned to the seaman, Shipping Master has the powers to cancel, suspend or confiscate SSB in case of desertion, smuggling, theft misbehavior or such other offences, if this is proved before the Shipping Master, the seaman is considered unsuitable for employment on board any ship under Section 43(B) of MSA. SSB will be in green colour for all categories with specific identification of Pakistan on title page.

6. Pre Sea Induction:-

6. 1. Officers : Recruitment of cadets at Pakistan Marine Academy (PMA) for Nautical and Engineering profession of maritime field is carried out under the provisions of Merchant Shipping Act and Examination Rules made there-under. The induction of these cadets is carried out on merit basis under national quota system through advertisement in the national newspapers every year. The basic requirements of age, educational qualification and medical standards are defined in the PMA brochure. PMA is located at Mauripur Road and is headed by Commandant, PMA is the only Maritime Institute of the country for training of nautical and engineering officers as per national maritime rules and International Conventions for Training and Certification of Officers and ratings (STCW). The basic entry requirements are as under :-


I. Minimum Academic Qualification:
Cadets …. FSc. (Pre-Engineering)
Engineering Graduates …. B.E
2. Minimum Age …. 18 years - (ILO Convention
138/3) Reg. 1/9 of STCW.
3. Maximum Age
Cadets (PMA) …. 20 years
Engineering Apprentice …. 21 years
(Scheme 2)
Engineering graduates …. 28 years
(Scheme 3)

4. Medical Fitness …. Medical Examination by Port Health
Officer/approved Medical Practitioner
(Reg. 1/9 of STCW). Eye-sight certificate
by Principal Officer Mercantile Marine
5. Proof of Nationality/Identity…. The candidate should be a citizen of
Pakistan in possession of NIC and
Passport (Reg.1/9 of STCW Convention).


7. Pre Sea. Training :-

The officers are trained at PMA for a period of two years as per approved program of instructions in the following disciplines :

7.1 Nautical. The Nautical cadets are trained academically and professionally in the nautical field in four semesters duly divided within the period of two years as per approved syllabus. On completion of requisite training, the candidates are issued with a training certificate which entitles them for Graduate degree in Maritime Studies from the University of Karachi as well as basically trained for maritime field.



7.2. Engineering : (a) The Engineering cadets are trained academically and professionally in the marine engineering field in four semesters duly divided within the period of two years as per approved syllabus. On completion of requisite training, the engineering cadets are also awarded training certificate which entitles them for award of Graduate degree in Maritime Studies from the University of Karachi as well as completed part of their basic requisite training for Marine Engineering profession. The graduates are allocated workshops for their practical training at PNSC and KPT for a period of one year.

b) Three years training for direct induction as per approved system at KPT. c) One year training to Graduate Engineers at Lahore Institute.
8. Approved Institutions:-
Name City Phone No.

Nautical & Engineering

o Pakistan Marine Academy Karachi 2350272-6


o Institute of Maritime Studies (Pvt) Lahore 042/381270
o KPT Marine Workshop Karachi.
o PNSC Marine Workshop Karachi.

9. Expenses for Officer's Training:-

- The charges for training at PMA as Cadet are Rs. 30,100/- per semester of six months duration.

- The charges for training at Lahore Institute for one year training are to be specified.

- KPT pays stipend of Rs. 1,00O/- per month to each candidate.

- PNSC pays stipend of Rs. 1,500/- per month to each candidate.

10. Pre Sea Induction – Ratings:-

The ratings are inducted in two disciplines of maritime field.

10.1. Technical. The technical ratings are inducted in the field of marine engineering profession as Diesel Mechanic, Electrician. Welder. Engine Drivers as per induction rule, for technical personnel, 1998. These candidates basically have undergone technical training program of the country in their respective field prior to induction in the. maritime field.

10.2 GP-III.-These ratings are inducted at Seamen's Training Centre of Pakistan Marine Academy as well as private institutions approved for this purpose. The basic entry requirements are as under:-

1. Minimum Academic …. Matric
Qualification :

2. Minimum Age …. 18 years (ILO Convention
138/3) Reg 1/9 of STCW

3. Maximum Age : …. 35 years.
Technical G.P. …. 25 years. Relaxation upto 5 years
by DGP&S on the basis of sea
service on passport.

4. Medical Fitness …. Medical Examination by Port
Health Officer/approved medical
Practitioner (Reg. 1/9 of STCW).
Eye-sight certificate by Principal
Officer Mercantile Marine Department.

5. Proof of Nationality/ … The candidate should he a citizen of
Identify Pakistan in possession of N.I.C. and Passport (Reg. 1/9 of STCW Convention)




11. Pre Sea Training:-
The duration of GP-III training course include training in nautical. engineering and Saloon profession and is for a period of five months including mandatory courses. The course is scheduled to be started in the 1st week of January and July every year. After completion of the course, central examination will be held under the supervision of examiners appointed by Ports & Shipping Wing. The course will be monitored and controlled for quality and standard during this period by the examiners. The successful candidates will be issued with training certificate by their respective institutions.

12. Approved Institutions

Following institutions have been approved by the Ports & Shipping Wing , Ministry of Communications to import GP-III Training
Name City Mimic No.
o Seamen Training Centre (STC/PMA) Karachi 2350272
o Maritime Training Institute Karachi 2419363
o Indus College of Nautical Studies Karachi 580115-6
o Andros Marine Institute Karachi 5389082
o College of National Studies Karachi 2313136
o Scinicariello Seamen Training Centre Karachi
o Professionals Maritime Education and
Training Institute Karachi 5880886
o Institute of Maritime Studies (Pvt) Ltd. Lahore 42/381270
o Maritime Training Institute Islamahad 2428357-8
Note : The above list is .Subject to change.
13. Mandatory Safety Courses

(1) Personal Survival Technique A-VI/l-I STCW
(2) Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting A-V1/I-2STCW
(3) Elementary First Aid A-VI-1-3STCW
(4) Personal Safety and Social Responsibility A-VI/I-4 STCW
(5) Tanker Familiarization Course A-V/2-7 STCW



14. Expenses for GP-111 Training Including Mandatory Courses:-

(1) Seamen Training Centre Course fee (5 months)
Boarding & Lodging charge Rs.18,000/=

(2) Private approved Institutions to he specified. Rs. 18,000/=

15. Government Shipping Office:-

The Government Shipping Office (GSO) is established under the provisions of Merchant Shipping Act as amended. It is headed by Shipping Master and is located at Al-Hafeez Chambers No. III. Molana Din Muhammad Wafai Road, Karachi-1. All applications for issue of SSB are received in this office. This office maintains the records of all Pakistani seafarers. The formalities for Engagement and Discharge from Ship for Pakistani seamen are completed by this office on Article of Agreement. This office also facilitates the seafarers for arbitration between the crew and the ship owner/ representative in case of disputes.

16. Issue of SSB:-
All applications for issue of SSB are to be submitted to the Government Shipping Office. Karachi. on a prescribed form duly completed, along-with following documents as applicable for each category

16.1. Officers

Nautical & Engineering

o National Identity Card (attested copy)
o Six passport size photographs
o Vision Test by POMMD
o Medical Test by PHO
o Domicile Certificate (attested copy)
o Original Character Certificates from 2 Gazetted Officers not related to the applicant.
o Passport (attested copy)
o Matric / ‘O’ Level certificate or equivalent.
o F. Sc. Certificate or equivalent for Cadet / Officers (attested copy)
o PMA Professional Certificate for Cadets
o Certificate of Competency/Certificate of Service/Equivalent Certificate for Officers.
o Mandatory Courses (attested copy)
o Additional Certificate/Degree/Diploma etc. if applicable (attested copy)
o Old SSB/CDC: in Case of higher / duplicate issue FIR in case of Lost SSB/CDC
o Challan of Govt. Fee.
o Certificate of Eligibility from POMMD for Junior Engineer/Class III Officers.

16.2. Ratings
Technical & GP.

o National Identity Card (attested copy)
o Six passport size photographs
o Vision Test by POMMD
o Medical Test by PHO
o Domicile Certificate (attested copy)
o Original Character Certificates from two Gazetted officer not related to the applicant.
o Passport (attested copy)
o Matric / ‘O' Level certificate or equivalent (attested copy)
o Certificate of Eligibility from POMMD for Technicians.
o GP-III Qualification Certificate.
o Mandatory Course. (attested copy)
o Additional Certificate/Degree/Diploma etc. if applicable ((attested copy) o Old SSB/CDC in case of Higher/Duplicate Issue
o FIR in case of Lost SSB/CDC
o Challan of Government Fee
o Proof of sea service on Passport in lieu of GP Qualification Certificate
16.3 Supernumerary

o National Identity Card (attested copy)
o Four passport size photographs
o passport (attested copy)
o Old SSB/CDC in case of higher issue
o FIR in case of Lost SSB/CDC
o Challan of Govt. fee.
o Nikahnama and Children's details
o Sponsorship letter of respective Ship Owner/Company
Note : All photocopies must be attested by a Gazettcd Officer. After receipt of application along-with required documents the Shipping Officer will ensure issue off SSB within two weeks.
17. Career Planning :-

17.1 Officers

o Nautical
o Engineers
17.2 Ratings

a) On completion of initial six months sea service these candidates are eligible for the certification of:
1. Proficiency in Survival Crafts & Rescue Boats
2. Regulation V1/2 (1) STCW
3. Advanced Fire Fighting Regulations VI/3 of STCW
4. Tanker Familiarization Regulations VI/ 1.2 0f STCW

b) After a total sea service of twelve months as Deck/Engine Room Ratings these seafarers would become eligible far appearing in the examination for :
1. Navigational Watches Regulation 11/4 of STCW Convention.
2. Engine Room Watch Regulation 111/4 of STCW Convention.
c) On completing total twenty-four months sea service as Ratings the candidate will be eligible for the examination of Efficient Deck Hand (EDH).
17.3 Finally these seafarers would become eligible for Certificate of Competency Examination under the provision of Section 40 of the Rule for Estimating Sea Service ride Gazette Notification No. SRO 100 (KE)/95, dated 6th July, 1995.

18. General Provisions

a) Supernumerary: Supernumerary SSBs are issued to the family member of the officers serving on-abroad ships, if recommended/sponsored by their respective Ship owner/Company. These SSBs are issued for one voyage only except in case of Masters, Chief' Officers, Chief' Engineers and 2nd Engineers.

b) Pakistani Sailing on Passport : All Pakistani sailing as ratings on merchant marine ships on passport without SSB will be required to submit proof of their sea service duly endorsed by the Consulate-General or duly verified by DGP&S in lieu of GP-III training for issue of SSB. The minimum sea service required will not be less than one year while fulfilling other prerequisites for GP-III. This provision is for a period of one year.

c) Naval Ratings. Sailors of Pakistan Navy will be considered for issue of SSB as GP-III as per laid down condition of' three years of service and other prerequisites.
d) Validity of SSB: To maintain upto date record of Pakistani seamen and to avoid misuse, the new SSB will be valid for a period of TEN years. New SSB will contain record of previous service, if' any.
e) Fake Documents: Submission of bogus or tampered documents will render the seamen liable to legal action and cancellation of his SSB.
f) Loss of SSB: In case of Loss of SSB, it is-to be reported to the Master of the Ship onboard. If assure. an FIR is to be lodged with the Local Police and Government Shipping Office be informed immediately. A duplicate SSB will be issued on payment of prescribed fee. However, more than three SSB will not be issued to any individual except on extreme compassionate grounds.

g) Institutions Approval: The validity of approval of all institutions except PMA/STC for each course, will be for a period of one year subject to renewal on satisfactory performance of the Institute. The private institutes will ensure employment of their trainees on board ships.

h) Employment : Provision of shipboard employment to the SSB holder is not the responsibility of the Government of Pakistan.
j) Government Fee: The prescribed fee for issuance of SSB is Rs. 2,500/- Medical fee is Rs.25/-, for issuance of Seaman Identity Card Rs.50/- which are to be deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan through Challan Fee for Eye-sight test is Rs.90 which has to be deposited in the Mercantile Marine Department. The fees may be revised as and when required.


k) Miscellaneous : The Engagement. Discharge, Wages, Contracts and Agreement matters will be covered under Merchant Shipping Ordinance and dealt with while drafting new rules as per Merchant Shipping Ordinance and new Shipping Policy. The SSB is non-transferable.


Under the above policy government has prescribed following procedure for issue of SSB.


Step-I The prescribed application shall be immediately supplied by Director of Ports & Admn., on request by an applicant at a cost of Rs. 50/- One day
Step-II Completed application form will be received in the office OF director of Ports & Admn., and a receipt to be given to the applicant indicating the date and time One day after receipt of application
Step-III Brief bio-data etc. shall be entered into a running register to be maintained for the purpose. At the end of each working day, the Director (Ports & Admn) will initial all pages of the register filled up that day.
Step-IV The Director of Ports & Admn. Shall send the applications average ten cases to Director, Vigilance by 1300 hrs. One day
Step-V Director, Vigilance will scrutinize the applications and send with observation to Ports & Shipping. One day
Step-VI The Director of Shipping will submit the same for final approval by Director General, P&S. Two days
Step-VII The Director of Shipping will submit these cases to Director General, Ports & Shipping Wing, for final approval for issuing SSB. Two days
Step-VIII Applications not falling in the above category i.e. where any deficiency has to be completed will be returned back to applicants.
Step-IX The cases approved by the D.G (P&S) Wing, shall be sent to the Shipping Master who will issue the SSBs. Four Days.