The National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) will be reintroducing the The Seafarers Identification Card (SID). The SID is the product of the ILO (International Labor Organization) Convention No. 185, otherwise known as the Seafarer’s Identity Documents Convention, and the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention.
Its main purpose is to promote a modern security document to immigration and border facilities and to simplify identification and verification requirements for seafarers. For PNG crewmen it is eligible for visa waiver.
The Seafarers Identity Card was issued under section 154 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1975, since the 1980s, in a paper laminated format through the Maritime Division of the Department of Transport. Due to staffing and funding constraints and the transition from the Maritime Division of the Department of Transport to the National Maritime Safety Authority, no ID cards have been issued to date.
After delays due to procurement of equipment and technical bottlenecks, the NMSA Qualifications Department is now ready to accept and process applications, print and issue these new Crewman’s Identity Cards to all PNG Seafarers with a valid Certificate of Competence.
The official launching of the ID Card system by the department took place at the PNG Maritime College in Madang on June 25, during the International Seafarer’s Day.
With these ID cards, seafarers will be able to identify themselves against a crew list for entry into PNG’s port areas. As this is a statutory maritime ID card issued by the Maritime Administration of PNG, this can be used for other identification purposes like banks, airport security checks, and others.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, where many seafarers are stranded on board with no relief arrangements, this is a timely re-introduction of the PNG Crewman’s Identity Card, giving our seafarers transition through port Facilities and airports with PNG and abroad with ease.
Photo Credit: National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA)