Renewing fishing (STCW-F) certificates

Read about the New Zealand fishing (STCW-F) certificates that must be renewed every five years.

Fishing certificates for vessels operating in unlimited waters and vessels of 24 metres and more overall length operating in coastal and offshore limits are aligned with the requirements of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995 (STCW-F).

This applies to the following certificates, which must be renewed every five years:


STCW-F certificates

The following New Zealand STCW certificates and tanker certificates of proficiency or tanker endorsements must be renewed every five years:

STCW-F certificate

Equivalent former certificate

Mate Fishing Vessel (MVF)

New Zealand offshore watchkeeper

Skipper Fishing Vessel (SFV)

New Zealand offshore master

Mate Fishing Vessel – Unlimited (MFV-U)

Mate deep sea fishing vessel

Skipper Fishing Vessel – Unlimited (SFV-U)

Master deep sea fishing vessel


Medical fitness

To renew a certificate, you must provide evidence of medical fitness, including eyesight, hearing and speech, to the standards included in the STCW Manila amendments. This evidence must be provided as a valid STCW seafarer certificate of medical fitness carried out by an approved medical practitioner.

You must also meet fit and proper person requirements.


Sea service

You must provide evidence of having completed at least one year's sea service as skipper, mate or engineer officer during the preceding five years or approved sea service as a mate for not less than three months in a supernumerary capacity on a fishing vessel immediately before taking up the position for which the certificate is valid.

If you do not meet the sea service requirements, alternatives to sea service may be available. These may involve a practical competency assessment and/or further training appropriate for skippers and officers serving aboard fishing vessels – especially for seafarers returning to sea service on fishing vessels.

The Director of MNZ is also able to accept appropriate fishing vessel operational duties in certain non-seagoing positions, if they are considered to be at least equivalent to sea service as skipper or officer aboard fishing vessels.

Certificate renewal sea service fact sheets [PDF: 192kB, 3 pages]

Ancillary certificates

While there is no requirement for basic or advanced safety training to be renewed, you are strongly recommended to keep any first aid or medical training current, and may wish to consider maintaining any STCW ancillary proficiency training.


Find out more

Renewal of New Zealand STCW-F-aligned certificates [PDF: 226+kB, 19 pages]


Transitioning to new certificates

If you have an old certificate, refer to the transition information on MNZ's website to identify the new SeaCert certificate or certificates it aligns with, and find out what you need to do to transition.

Transition – moving from old to new certificates