Government Shipping Officer




    1. Upto the year 1859 the business of the Shipping Officer was carried on by an officer designated as the Registrar of Seamen. After the passing of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1859, Shipping Offices were established at the principal ports of Bombay and Calcutta, each office headed by a Shipping Master under the control of the local Government. With the passing of the Indian Merchant Shipping Act, 1923 and the centralization of the Mercantile Marine Administration thereafter, the Shipping Offices came under the direct control of the Government of India from 1st April, 1929. The 1923 Act since been superseded by the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.

    2.There are only two Shipping Offices today, one at Bombay (Mumbai) and the other at Calcutta, which are the seamen. There are no separate Shipping Offices at the ports of Madras, Cochin, Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Jamnagar, Tuticorin and Port Blair and the duties of the Shipping Master are performed by the Officers of the Mercantile Marine Department at these ports. At the other intermediate and minor ports, by arrangement with the State Governments concerned, port officers have appointed to perform the functions of shipping Master.


    1.The Shipping Masters employed under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 are responsible for ensuring that seamen are engaged and discharged in the manner prescribed by law. The main functions of Government Shipping Offices are as under:-


    1. To supervise the engagement and discharge of seamen, Navigational Officers and Marine Engineers on board the Merchant Navy vessels.
    2. To issue Continuos Discharge Certificates to the personnel eligible as per M. S. (CDC) Rules. Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC) is a document issued to a person to identity him as a seafarer, under the Merchant Shipping (CDC) Rules framed under the provision of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. Besides carrying the Seamen's vital particulars, the document also shows the record of service rendered by a seafarer in the past.
    3. To conduct the death enquiries that happen on board the ships.
    4. Registration of the indentures of Cadets engaged by the Shipping Companies.
    5. Issuing of Inward/Outward Clearance to the ships calling at the port.
    6. Custodian of personnel effects and wages of the deceased / hospitalised seamen.
    7. To forward monthly allotments to the nominees of the seamen during the voyages.
    8. To attend to the payment of overtime, inconvenience allowance shorthand wages, provision of fresh bazaars at port, delivery of mail in time and boat service at ports, etc.
    9. The Shipping Master in the capacity of Welfare Officer also refers the seamen to the nominated hospitals for treatment under the scheme for free medical treatment for "Off articled seamen". The seamen patients under treatment are supplied with necessary medicines and other surgical accessories, etc.
    10. The Shipping Master also visits to the ships for inspection to ensure congenial living conditions on board for seamen.
    11. The Shipping Master given assistance to the families of seamen at their request by making reference to the various District Civil/Police authorities.

    The Government of India had constituted a Committee to examine various matters including the issue of ADCs freely to all the applicants under the Chairmanship of former Director General of Shipping. The Committee has submitted its report with the recommendations including issue of ADCs freely to all those persons who are aspirant of having seafaring as a profession. The recommendation of the CDC Committee has been accepted by the Government and the Governments is examining the ways and means to implement these recommendations.

Go Top

Go Back