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Requirements for Certificate of Competency License

Belizeans

In order for a Belizean to obtain a Certificate of Competency License he/she must be able to show proof of their Citizenship by being in possession of either of the following:

  • A valid Social Security Card or Passport
  • Police Record
  • A Medical certificate, certified within six months of application, attesting to the health of the applicant including vision, hearing, and mental capacity
  • Proof of address showing that the applicant resides at the specified address.

Foreigners

In order for a Foreigner to obtain a Certificate of Competency License he/she must possess any of the following documents along with a valid passport:

  • Residency Card
  • Qualified Retiree Program (QRF) Card
  • Land Title documents and receipts to show taxes are paid
  • Police Record
  • A Medical certificate, certified within six months of application, attesting to the health of the applicant including vision, hearing, and mental capacity
  • Proof of address showing that the applicant resides at the specified address.

General requirements: Hearing and Vision

Over 65 years of age, the individual is required to submit an annual medical report. Once the applicant has met the requirements mentioned above in subsection 2.3.1 the applicant will then be required to first sit a written examination.

Categories/Fees of Certificates of Competency Licenses:

In accordance with Statutory Instrument 51 of 2018, Harbours and Merchant Shipping (Certificate of Competency) Regulations, 2018. The general public is hereby informed that as of 1 April, 2019, the Belize Port Authority will be granting Certificate of Competency (COC) to Masters based on the following categories:

Categories Class Use Type of Waters Minimum Age Age
Apprentice A, EA Private Protected 17 years $25.00
Master

Grade 3

A, EA Private, Fishing,
Commercial
Passenger
Vessel of less
than 12
Passengers
Coastal 18 years $50.00
Master Grade 2 A, B, C, EB, EC Private, Fishing,
Cargo,
Commercial
Passenger
Vessel of less
than 12
passengers.
Coastal 18.5 years $75.00
Master Grade 1 All ALL Class No restriction 21 $100.00
 Mate All ALL Class No restriction 17 $25.00
Engineer All ALL Class No restriction 18 $50.00

Existing Masters’ holders will be placed in the specified categories upon renewal of their licenses.

Apprentice:

  • At least 17 years, operates under the supervision of a master and has passed the prescribed examinations.

Master Grade 3:

  • At least 18 years, passed the prescribed examination, and has completed 20 hours of practical instructions under a Master.

Master Grade 2:

  • At least 18 years & 6 months and has passed the prescribed examination.

Master Grade 1:

  • At least 21 years and has passed the prescribed examinations.

Mate:

  • A least 17 years and has passed the prescribed course of study.

Engineer:

  • At least 18 years and has passed the prescribed examinations.

Written Examination

Written exams are conducted from Monday – Friday between the hours of 8:00-4:00 PM at any of the Belize Port Authority’s (BPA) Office i.e. Belize City, San Pedro, Big Creek, Placencia and Punta Gorda.

“The Mariner’s Handbook  is designed to develop the skills and knowledge of Belize’s Mariners.  It is to be considered as advice only and no liability may be attached to the BPA for adherence or lack thereof to this manual.

“All mariners are to exercise good judgment and remain safety conscious at all times.”

Practical Examination

After successful completion of the written exam, the applicant will then be required to take a practical examination using a license and register vessel for class applying for.

To upgrade license individuals need to wait at least six (6) months.

All Certificates of Competency Licenses expires on the Captain’s Birthday. Upon obtaining a license Masters have the option to pay for a maximum of three years.

Temporary Certificate of Competency as a Master

Temporary Certificates may be granted in accordance with the law, once the applicant has “satisfied the Harbour Master of his competency to act as a Master”.

  • Once there is a confirmed booking, the person or company is required to submit a request for the certificate along with all documentation in support of its approval of the charter and in order to make the determination of competency. The information provided shall also include the period of operation (all dates inclusive) and the particulars of the vessel;
  • The documentation is to indicate the ability of the proposed Master to safely navigate, with knowledge of the rules of the road, and utilizing navigational equipment and official charts;
  • Copies of valid identification (Passport and/or Master’s License from country of residence) are to be submitted along with the fee of $25.00 BZE for each applicant)
  • The submission is to be made in hard copy to the Harbour Master. Once approved, the requisite letter will be issued authorizing the Master to operate in Belize’s sheltered waters, in the format prescribed in the Second Schedule.

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