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Dispensation during the Corona Crisis – Updated January 18th, 2021

24 April 2020

As a result of the outbreak of the Corona virus, delegates may be unable to undertake essential refresher training causing their offshore, maritime or wind certification to expire.

Please see the extension regulations and how to apply for dispensation per agency below.


OPITO has implemented a certification extension until 19 October 2020, enabling employers and self-sponsored individuals to apply for an extension. If you have been impacted by COVID-19, and your certification expires within 14 days, please click the appropriate link below (there are separate processes for Employers and Delegates (Self Sponsors)), to complete a short form to submit your extension request.

You will find all the information you need on the OPITO website and OPITO-Certification-Extension-Policy-Effective-1-March-2021.pdf

From 19 October 2020

As of 00.01hrs on 19 October 2020, certificate extensions will no longer be granted unless in exceptional circumstances. All other delegates are required to undertake refresher training.

The exceptional circumstances under which certificate extension requests will be considered are outlined below:
(1) The individual is based in a country/region that is in a state of lockdown and all appropriate training providers within a reasonable distance are closed. Evidence of this will be required, for instance, communication with a training center or a specific directive in place which prohibits centers from operating or delegates from attending training centers.
(2) The individual requesting the extension remains in quarantine. Evidence must be submitted along with the extension request for this criterion to be met, for example, formal notification to confirm the situation.

As of 00.01hrs on 1 March 2021, certificate extensions will no longer be granted, regardless of circumstance. Delegates currently holding an extension, or certificate that expires prior to this date, this will automatically pass into the two-month period of grace. The Delegate will be required to seek refresher training before that period ends as normal. As of 23.59hrs on 28 February 2021, the two-month period of grace will end for new applicants. Certificates or extensions that expire before this date will automatically have the two-month period of grace applied, but after 23.59hrs on 28 February 2021 certificates that expire will not, and therefore not be able to be utilized as pre-requisites to attend appropriate refresher training.

My OPITO certificate is expired, what now?

When your OPITO certificate is expired you can’t just take the refresher course. If your OPITO BOSIET is expired, you have to take this course again. Only when your OPITO FOET certificate is expired, you can submit a request for dispensation till 3 months after the expiry date. You can download the request for dispensation form here. When you have filled out the form, please send it to info@fmtcsafety.com. When the dispensation is approved by your company you can do the OPITO FOET course again.


When delegates with expired certificates (between the 15th of March 2020 and the 30st of June 2021) are booked for refresher training, we (the training provider) will notify GWO of the intention to complete a participant’s refresher training within the 60-day period and complete the update to Winda after successful completion of the course. Since the 1st of January 2021, you can only use this temporary with two clarifications a) that using this measure requires proof of cancellation of a planned training within normal expiry (to be documented by course participants prior to training to the training provider), and b) that any refresher training taken using this exemption must be completed no later than 30.06.2021.

My GWO certificate is expired, what now?

If your certificate is expired more than 60 days and/or you have no proof of cancellation from your earlier planned course, you cannot attend the GWO refresher courses. You have to do the GWO Basic course again. To save money and time you can choose for the GWO E-learning + practical. With those courses, you can do the theory at home and just come over to the training center for a practical day. You can do the GWO Basic Safety Training already from 2,5 days!


In response to the Dutch Corona-lockdown that started on Tuesday December 15, we would like to inform all those involved in offshore training with the following:

NOGEPA is temporarily expanding its standard dispensation scheme for the period from December 15, 2020 to March 15, 2020. The dispensation rules are expanded until March 15 as follows:

• All NOGEPA certificates and current NOGEPA-training-dispensations that expire in the period December 15, 2020 – March 15, 2021, may automatically be viewed as “valid until March 15, 2021”. There are no additional administrative actions required for this.

• As per March 15, 2021 there will be no exceptional dispensations in circulation based on the expansion described here. Only dispensations based on regular dispensation requests will be valid.

So people whose dispensation period expires, or whose basic- or refresher certificate expires between December 15, 2020 and March 15, 2021, will have automatic dispensation until March 15, 2021, so that they can still do their refresher course after the lockdown. The expired qualification will be refreshed; the validity of the new certificate starts from the expiry date of the previous certificate (see explanation below for further clarification)

This expansion is based on the assumption that the lockdown will become less strict before March 15, such that training will become possible before Feb. 15. If the lockdown gets extended, this expansion will be revised to match the new situation.

Explanation for the NOGEPA dispensation rules between December 15, 2020 and March 15, 2021.

All NOGEPA training certificates and all dispensations that expire between December 15, 2020 and March 15, 2021 may automatically be viewed as ‘valid until February 15, 2021’. No additional administration is required for this. Whoever wishes to make use of the regular dispensation rules can do so by making a dispensation request in the regular manner (see example 2a below)

For example:
1. A Basic certificate that expires on December 30, 2020 is automatically valid until March 2021. So a refresher training can be done until March 15 without further administration
2. A Refresher certificate that expires on January 10, 2021 is automatically valid until March 2021. So a refresher training can be done without a dispensation request until Feb. 15. No further administration.
a. Within the regular dispensation framework, this person could receive dispensation until April 10, 2021 (3 months after expiry of the original certificate). If this regular dispensation is wanted it must be requested in the normal manner, so through us.

3. A dispensation that expires on January 20, 2021 is automatically valid until February 15, 2021. This situation may arise when a regular dispensation is requested for a refresher certificate that expires for example on October 20, 2020. The regular dispensation lasts for 3 months, so January 20 in this case. Because training prior to Jan. 20th will be hampered, this dispensation will also be extended until March 15, 2021.

In all cases the validity of the new certificate will be based upon the previous certificate, no on the training date.

Please download here the dispensation form. After completing the form, you can forward it to info@fmtcsafety.com


The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) has received several indications that seafarers may experience challenges completing STCW training courses required for the renewal of certain merchant marine personnel certificates. This could be caused by community-based mitigation measures such as school closures, social distancing, or travel restrictions.

As a result, the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate will grant a general extension to the validity of all Certificates of Competency and Certificates of Proficiency which are required by the Dutch Manning Act and accompanying legislation.

Certificate of Proficiency (Certificate of STCW courses)

A certificate of Proficiency issued on behalf of the Netherlands under STCW Regulations VI/1, VI/2, VI/3, VI/4, VI/5 or VI/6 which has expired or will expire in the period between March 19th, 2020 and June 30th, 2021, e granted an extended validity of 6 months (from date of expiry) but no longer than September 30th, 2021 whichever date comes first. The individual seafarer will not be required to submit an application for renewal pending the COVID-19 related restrictions.

Seafarer Medical Certificate

A Seafarer Medical Certificate which has expired in the period between March 19th, 2020 and June 30th, 2021 is granted an extended validity (from date of expiry) of maximum 6 months. Extended medical certificates may also be used for the application of a CoC at KIWA Register.

The Contingency Plan revision 3 has just been published on the ILT website. You can find all the STCW / ILenT guidelines via https://www.ilent.nl/onderwerpen/coronavirus-en-zeescheepvaart/documenten/publicaties/2020/03/17/coronavirus-covid-19-contingency-plan-and-guidelines-shipping-merchant-and-fishing”>https://www.ilent.nl/onderwerpen/coronavirus-en-zeescheepvaart/documenten/publicaties/2020/03/17/coronavirus-covid-19-contingency-plan-and-guidelines-shipping-merchant-and-fishing

More information?

Would you like to have more information about your dispensation or do you have any further questions about our courses? Please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@fmtcsafety.com or call +31(0)85 – 130 74 61.

Back to the overview
Please read our latest Corona-virus (COVID 19) update (updated 2nd of March 2021) Certificate Extension Policy