Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), founded by blockchain company BLOC and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, has announced the establishment of a diverse consortium that will pilot a blockchain-based seafarer certification system, with the group including shipping companies, technology providers and a seafarers charity.
The second of three demonstrator projects funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF), this consortium includes shipping companies Maersk and Heidmar, as well as PTC Holdings Corp, representing crew management and training associations.
Also included are Cloud-based fleet management software company Hanseaticsoft, maritime platform providers Navozyme and C-LOG, as well as international seafarer welfare charity The Mission to Seafarers.
The pilot project aims to streamline processes that can be marred by a lack of verification for safety documentation, paper-based certificate management and a lack of access to seafarers’ validated safety and training certification.
The demonstrator scope will focus on an end-to-end demonstration of a digital certification and endorsement process utilising a digital repository for verified crew documentation, training logs and an approval system. Specifically, the focus will be upon STCW certificate issuance and relevant supporting documentation from engineering officers located in multiple jurisdictions, and the endorsement of recognition from a maritime authority for vessel embarkation and disembarkation.
Upon validation and scaling, the final system would enable individual seafarers to manage their certificate repository from original issuance, for maritime administrations to manage the renewal and endorsement across jurisdictions, for crew management organisations to manage seafarers for crewing of vessels, and for vessel owners to receive an overview of their crew, certificates and endorsements.
“Blockchain has the potential to significantly improve the transparency, authenticity and ease of working with crew certification; both for the ship owner/operator and, most importantly, for the crew themselves,” said Graeme Thomson, Head of Northern Europe Manning Office from Maersk.
“Building and maintaining an intuitive and user-friendly platform for the management of crew certification will bring hugely significant benefits to all stakeholders. We are looking forward to developing and building the solutions with the consortium.”