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What is RPSL number

RPSL Number

RPSL stands for Recruitment and Placement Services Licence is mandated by the Directorate General of Shipping in India for authorised recruiters and agents. Recruitment & Placement Services Regulations issued by the Govt of India and enforced under the Indian Merchant Shipping Act, that provides a mechanism for the protection of Indian seafarers working on Indian and foreign vessels along with the vital guarantees of their repatriation in the case of their being stranded or during such other exigencies, even when the shipowner fails to discharge the duty of repatriating the seafarers to the home port of the seaman.

RPSL motto

All RPS suppliers are issued with a Recruitment & Placement Services License number. The motto of RPSL is as following:

  • To keep transparency and records of agencies and their respective Principals: This will discourage crew from making fake experience records and give exams in India. Fake records can be easily verified from the company records as RPSL requires companies to submit details of their clients and principals. Companies keep a record of the crew and their employment records on the basis of which they can issue an experience letter with which the seafarer can appear for exams in India.
  • To define responsibilities and accountability for registered companies: The government would like to ensure that the seafarers that are chosen by the companies from India are properly secured as per the regulations of MLC (Maritime Labour Convention), CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), IBF (International Bargaining Forum). If in case of any abuse done to the crew from the Principals like salary isn’t paid or any kind of harassment then the government can hold agencies authorized by them responsible and may take necessary actions on those agencies. MMD (Marine Mercantile Department) acts as a regulatory body over these agencies and thus sub graded agencies and unprofessional agencies will be eliminated. Many shipping companies in the international marketplace prefer and need only RPSL holder crew manning agencies. The reason behind these measures taken by the government is to shield crews and main interests and support genuine crew manning agencies as per regulations and rules of MLC, IBF and CBA.

Advantages of RPSL companies

Member Advantages
Principals owners Genuine agency Improved agency services Proper action against crew’s non-compliance with owners requirement. Prevent fake records by crew
Crewing Agency Hire genuine crew Transparent process Control crew behaviour as per owner’s requirments
Crew No injustice against crew Proper legal support Secured and protected future Appear for exams in India

Seafarers duties

India is one of the countries providing a large number of seafarers to the world. A seafarer must ensure that the manning agent/company/operator/ship owner he is willing to join must be genuine and registered with DG shipping and possess a valid RPSL number. The Directorate General of Shipping, India deals with implementation of shipping policy and legislation in order to ensure the security of life and ships at sea, prevention of marine pollution, promotion of maritime education in coordination with the International Maritime Organization, regulation of employment and welfare of seamen, development of coastal shipping, shipping increase, inspection and accreditation of merchant navy officers, supervision and Control of the allied offices under its administrative jurisdiction.

RPSL license number has to be renewed after expiry in accordance with the DG shipping rules. Providing you with a link to refer all approved RPSL agencies in India and also non-valid RPSL agencies. Prior to your employment make sure the employer is listed in the valid RPSL list.

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