Seaman's Book

Seaman’s book

Every seafarer who is included in the Crew List needs a seaman’s book. The book contains the personal information of the seafarer in question as well as important details about work experience and courses.

Foreign seafarers

Foreign seafarers are only eligible for the seaman’s book if they are going to sail under the Dutch flag or with a Dutch shipping company.


The seaman’s book is issued to seafarers who require it for their work or who are following a specific maritime education. A seaman’s book is only valid if it contains the signature of the holder and is invalid if unauthorised persons have made changes to it. The seaman’s book is valid for a period of ten years.

To request a seaman’s book, the following documents are required;

  • copy of a valid passport or identity card;
  • a recent passport photo in colour;
  • one of the following documents:


For captain/owner: a statement from your accountant that you are captain/owner of a vessel or a copy of the registration certificate from the Chamber of Commerce. The registration certificate must show that you carry out maritime work which requires a seaman’s book.

For students: a recent, officially signed statement which confirms that you follow a maritime education or a valid registration letter of a nautical education.

For employees: a signed statement from a ship manager or marine employer that states that you need a seaman’s book for your work. All positions mentioned on the certificate of competency are eligible for the seaman’s book. In addition, the following positions are eligible for the seaman’s book:

  • nautical/technical surveyors of recognised organisations;
  • registered pilots;
  • North Sea pilots;
  • maritime scientific researchers;
  • personnel with service duties on board ships;
  • nautical/technical maintenance personnel;
  • nautical/technical support personnel;
  • employees of nautical/technical inspections of ship managers
  • civil servants charged with supervisory or enforcement duties on board of sea-going vessels.


In addition to the positions mentioned above, persons who perform a job that belongs to the core duties of the ship are also eligible: for instance, a laboratory technician on a research vessel, or catering personnel on a cruise ship. To find out whether someone is eligible, it is advised to mention the ship in question in the statement as well as the type of work the person is going to fulfil on board.

Lost or stolen

If the seaman’s book is lost or stolen, a duplicate seaman’s book can be requested. The following documents are required for this:

  • declaration of loss or statement of loss (the statement of loss can be found to the right of this page);
  • copy of a valid passport or identity card;
  • a recent passport photo in colour.


Full or expired

To request a new seaman’s book or to replace a full or expired seaman’s book, the following documents are required:

  • copy of a valid passport or identity card;
  • the page from the seaman’s book with embarkation/debarkation from the previous six months and the page that contains your personal details;
  • a recent passport photo in colour.

If you cannot provide a recent embarkation or disembarkation, you can choose to apply according to the requirements of a ‘’first application’’. This usually means submitting a statement from your employer.