Verify Certificate


As many of the officers who have worked on ships know that Panama has the largest shipping fleet in the world because the Panama Canal (which is an artificial 82km waterway) connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean.

More than 40% of vessels on the water are Panama registered flag, making it acknowledge globally. Most of Panama flag vessels belong to foreign owners making it easy for them to avoid strict marine regulations imposed from their own countries. Being a nation with an open registry, it accepts ships that belong to nationals and foreigners, under the policy of local and International Standards related to navigation, maritime safety, prevention and control of pollution and proper manning certification of seafarers.

So, having a Full Term Panama COC (Certificate of competency) or a COE (Certificate of endorsement) to work on Panama registered flag, gives value and opportunities with a learning experience in the profile for the seafarers’ career. Panama has made it mandatory to have COC as they have the reputation of having the top-notch and ‘A-Category’ classification from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), making this is a prestigious thing. According to the Rank, only Management Level (Master/Chief Engineer, Chief Officer/2nd Engineer) and Operational Level (2nd Officer/3rd Engineer, 3rd Officer/4th Engineer) can opt for COC, remaining can apply for CDC (Continuous discharge certificate – Seaman Book).

According to the new policy, the Panama Maritime Authority does not carry out assessments and have stopped issuing new Panama COC. However, as per circulars, Panama proceeds with Renewals and Upgradation of Panama COC for those officers who already possess Panama COC and fulfill all requirements.


Panama COC is valid for five years, after that if you wish to renew it; you have to submit documents and certificates accordingly, such as:

  • Application form
  • Photo
  • Passport
  • CDC/CDC Stamp page
  • Medical Certificate
  • Valid license (Previous COC)
  • Proficiency in Personal Survival Techniques
  • Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
  • Elementary First Aid
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
  • Fast Rescue Boats
  • Advanced Training in Fire Fighting
  • Medical First Aid
  • Medical Care
  • Ship Security Officer / STSDSD
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats other than Fast Rescue Boats
  • Radar Navigational, Radar Plotting and Use of ARPA (Only for Deck officer-Operational Level)
  • Radar, Arpa, Bridge Teamwork and Search and Rescue (Only for Deck officer- Management Level)
  • The Operational Use of Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS)(Only for Deck officer)
  • Ship Simulator and Bridge Teamwork (Only for Deck officer-Management level)
  • General Operators Certificate for Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)(Only for Deck officer)
  • Bridge Resources Management (Only for Deck officer)
  • Marine Environmental Awareness
  • Leadership and Teamwork
  • Engine Room Resources Management (Only for Engine officer)
  • Engine Room Simulator (Only for Engine officer-Management level)

Girik Institute has the approval by PMA for Renewal of Panama COC. After submitting the documents mentioned above, Girik Institute helps in getting your Panama COC renewed on time so that you won’t face any delay.


Some of the officers and crew know who have worked on Panama flag vessel that for a few years, Panama stopped Upgradation of Non-national licenses, such as Indians. With the support of our Indian Shipping Industry as well as Panama Maritime Authority, the PMA has decided to start upgrading license for the Indian officers who hold Panamanian COC.

How to apply:

    • Candidate must apply through Girik Institute for his Eligibility letter. The letter of eligibility provided to the candidate after submitting the following documents:
      1. Passport copy
      2. Expired or Valid Panama COC
      3. CDC stamp page
      4. Sea service letter (24 months) for every Rank (12 months must on vessels more than 3000 GRT or 3000 KW)
      5. Assessment application form
      6. Company letters to corroborate experience. The letter must contain IMO number, Type of vessel and Ship name. (Letter verification from owner/manager is compulsory)
      • After the eligibility application is submitted, the technical department will evaluate; if all requirements are correct, the eligibility letter will be issued. With this letter, then the candidate may approach any of the training centers approved by Panama to carry on with the assessment training.
      • Once the candidate has passed the assessment courses also completed and passed his competence examination, the candidate will be able to apply for his Panama COC via the Consulate office or directly in Panama Maritime Authority.

Upgrades Of Rank:

      1. Chief Mate to Master
      2. OOWN to Deck Officer/Chief Mate
      3. Second Engineer to First Engineer/Chief Engineer
      4. OOWE to Second Engineer
      5. From Deck and Engine ratings to OOWN / OOWE

Not only Rank, but Girik Institute also has approval from Panama Maritime Authority for the Upgradation of 38 Panama Courses for Panama COC, which benefits the candidate likewise.


Those who won’t be able to apply for new COC can opt for Panama COE and Panama CDC. Besides, having a Panama COE and CDC is similar to COC.

Documents required for COE/GMDSS Endorsement:

      • Passport Copy
      • Photo
      • COC full page
      • COC Verification
      • SSO/SDSD Endorsement (Management level)
      • GMDSS (Operational Level)
      • GMDSS Verification
      • Medical form
      • Application Form
      • Basic STCW & Advance courses, MFA/MC, ROC and ARPA etc (Other Rank)
      • Copy of Valid Seaman book
      • Copy of Valid Company experience Certificates

List of countries whose COC is accepted by Panama for COE:

      • The USA
      • Canada Chile
      • Argentina
      • Brazil
      • Mexico
      • Norway
      • EU countries
      • India
      • UAE
      • Russia
      • Thailand
      • Indonesia
      • Vietnam
      • Philippines
      • China
      • Republic of Korea
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • New Seeland
      • Singapore
      • Hong Kong.


Every seaman on board should have Personal Identity Card, just like passport required for flights, CDC is essential for ships. It is mandatory by the International Maritime Rules and Regulations. The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for seafarers (STCW) stipulates that every seafarer must inevitably carry this identity document while onboard.

Since most of the ships are under Panama Registry, the Panama Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC) is highly valuable.

To acquire this Certificate, they must undergo all the relevant Training Courses and come out victorious.

The CDC also serves another purpose that the seamen in possession of this Certificate has the necessary sea experience, and have passed the required Training Courses, relevant to the ships and vessels.

Documents and Certificate required to get Panama CDC:

      • Application form
      • Photo
      • Passport
      • Medical Certificate
      • Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (Deck)
      • Ratings Forming Part of an Engineering Watch (Engine)
      • Proficiency in Personal Survival Techniques
      • Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
      • Elementary First Aid
      • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
      • Security Awareness Training for All Seafarers
      • PDE (Pre-documentation Evaluation)

So, to expand your career in the Marine world and get a good opportunity in your job, your first choice must be to get Panama COC/COE and Panama CDC to work in Panama flag registered ship.

To know more details, feel free to contact Girik Institute of Maritime studies on:

Mobile: +91-8828102586 / 8828102585

Landline No: +91-22-41272900 / 49243022

Email Id:

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