What is Eligibility for Indian Seaman Book or CDC?

Seaman Book or Continous Discharge Certificate alias CDC is a document stating the individual is a seafarer. Know the Eligibility Criteria for getting Indian CDC.
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Seaman’s Book or CDC (Continuous Discharge Certificate) is a document issued by D.G. Shipping stating that the person is a seafarer as per the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). Different Nationality seafarers have a CDC equivalent document issued by their Ministry of shipping. A Merchant Mariner Credentials is issued by the USA, Seaman Service Book is issued by the Government of Pakistan. Every Indian Seafarer is supposed to carry this document with himself during his service on board a ship. The CDC is a legal document recording the individual’s seagoing experience. Every ship’s Master has to sign this document when the seafarer boards a ship and disembarks a ship validating his experience. The record of entries on CDC mentions the Name of the ship, Offical number and tonnage of the ship, Date of Joining and port name, Date of disembarking and port name, Rank of the Seafarer, and Description of Voyage undertaken by the vessel.

Eligibility for Indian CDC/Indian Seaman book:-

Let’s understand the general criteria for getting Indian CDC

  1. Applicant must be an Indian Citizen
  2. Applicant must be above 18 years of age. (Detailed Age criteria are mentioned below)
  3. Applicants must be medically fit with a valid Medical certificate For Medical fitness, the applicants should possess a certificate in the prescribed form issued in Annexures “E” and “F” of the Merchant Shipping (Medical Examination) Rules, 2000, to the effect that he is medically fit to be employed on board ships. This simply means that a Medical certificate must be obtained from a DG shipping Approved Medical Examiner.
  4. Applicant must have cleared Class X. (Detailed Educational criteria mentioned below)
  5. An applicant shall not hold any C.D.C. issued earlier by any Shipping Master in India.
  6. The applicant for CDC must have completed the following basic familiarisation courses from an approved training institute and hold a certificate to that effect.
    1. Elementary First Aid/Medical First Aid/Medical Care
    2. Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting/ Advanced Fire Fighting
    3. Personal Survival Techniques/ Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats
    4. Personal Safety and Social Responsibility.
    5. Security Training for Seafarers with Designated Security Duties/ Ship Security Officer.


  • All the above courses are combined together into 1 single Course as
    1. Basic STCW Safety Training.

Age Criteria for Indian CDC

DepartmentsAge Limits
For Deck, Engine, and Catering (Saloon) rating trainees-Between 18 and 25 years
For  Utility HandBetween 18 and 40 years
For Petty Officers (Carpenter, Chief Steward, Electrician, Fitter, Machinist, Pump man, Refrigeration Mechanic, Computer Operator, Mechanic (Motor Vehicle), Automobile Engineering, Pipe Fitter, Motor Mechanic, Diesel Mechanic, General Mechanic, Maintenance Mechanic, Mechanic( Tool Engineering), Welder,  Electric Arc Welder,  Turner, Boiler Attendant,  Electronic Mechanic)Between 18 and 40 years
For ex-Naval ratingsUpto 45 years
For non-certificated Officers such as Purser/Ship’s clerk, Electrical officer and Electronic OfficerBetween 18 and 40 years
Contents as on DG Shipping Website

Educational Criteria for Indian CDC

DepartmentMinimum Education
For Deck, Engine, and Catering(Saloon) TraineesXth standard passed
For Utility HandsVIII standard passed
For Petty OfficerXth Std. passed with respective trade certificates from ITI (National Trade Certificate)(NTC) or National Apprenticeship Certificate (NAC) or Diploma Certificates approved by the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) or All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The minimum duration of the courses from any one of the above institutes shall be two years.
For Purser/Ship’s clerkA graduate with knowledge of accountancy and computer operation.
For Electrical and Electronic OfficerA Diploma or Degree in a respective Branch from a Government recognized Polytechnic or recognized University
Contents as on DG Shipping Website
Disclaimer: The above eligibility criteria is quoted from DG shipping Website and the available Indian Official Gazette released at the time when this article was posted.

Frequently Asked Questions?

Do you wish to apply for a new CDC? Is your CDC about to expire or expired already? Are you worried about the procedure for applying for new CDC? Should you apply for a Replacement CDC or Renew CDC? You can read more about CDC replacement procedure here and CDC renewal procedure here.

Have any doubts let’s discuss them in the comments section down below

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Ashutosh Ghate

Ashutosh Ghate is a marine engineer, blogger, aspiring writer, and geeky nerd. He is working on an oil tanker for a shipping company. He loves to write about technology and is always ready to help people on their queries. Apart from his day to day work, Ashutosh loves to read books and blogs, hence he started his own blog.

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