Maersk Implements Digital Certificates for Seafarers


According to an article published in the Maritime Digitalisation and Communications,  AP Moller-Maersk is leading a pilot project to test using digital certificates for seafarers on one of their container ships.

About the digital certificates project

  • This project was organised by the Danish Maritime Authority to explore the advantages of digital certificates and potentially pave the way for global acceptance of this technology.
  • Danish-flagged container ship Mumbai Maersk will carry digital crew certificates instead of traditional paper certificates during its voyage from Europe to Africa and East Asia.
  • This 2018-built and 399-m long merchant ship left the Port of Aarhus in Denmark en route to South Korea.
  • Mumbai Maersk is 214,286 gt and has a breadth of 58 m. It is also scheduled to call at ports in Germany, Morocco, Singapore and China, where port authorities and control officers will view the crew certificates on a tablet computer.

A Voyage To Collect Data

During the voyage, Maersk expects to collect data and knowledge about using digital certificates for seafarers, especially in connection with the ship’s communications with port state control and authorities.

Digitalizing Global Merchant Shipping?

The Danish Maritime Authority sees this pilot project as a key step in deploying more digitalization technology in global merchant shipping.

It thinks digital certification is “simpler, faster and safer for seafarers, shipping companies and authorities”.

Maersk is driving other digitalisation programmes in the container shipping sector. It is one of the founding members of the newly launched Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA). Members include:

  • Evergreen Line
  • Hyundai Merchant Marine
  • Yang Ming
  • Zim
  • Hapag-Lloyd
  • MSC
  • ONE

DCSA’s purpose is to enable digital standardisation in the container shipping industry.

There is an increasing drive to introduce more digitalisation and e-documentation in shipping. In June, IMO will discuss using more digital data in e-navigation.

Electronic Information Exchange Guidelines Driving This

In April 2019, IMO introduced rules for ship-port data exchange using the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention). All national governments and maritime authorities need to introduce electronic information exchange between ships and ports after this key piece of IMO legislation was passed.

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Source: Maritime Digitalisation and Communications


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