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Crew certificate blockchain in development

Crew certificate blockchain in development CANARAN/shutterstock.com

Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), a joint initiative between BLOC and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, has announced the establishment of a consortium to pilot a blockchain-based seafarer certification system, which includes The Mission to Seafarers, Maersk, Heidmar, PTC Holdings Corp, Hanseaticsoft, Navozyme and C-LOG.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The project aims to streamline processes that can be slowed by a lack of verification for safety documentation, paper-based certificate management and a lack of access to validated safety and training certifications of seafarers.

The second of three demonstrator projects funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF), this consortium brings together multiple stakeholders who either rely on, or support crew certification.

These include shipping companies like Maersk and Heidmar, and PTC Holdings Corp, which represents crew management and training associations. Also included are software company Hanseaticsoft, maritime platform providers Navozyme and C-LOG, as well as seafarer welfare charity The Mission to Seafarers.

“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 at 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.”

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 aim to allow individual seafarers to manage their certificate repository from original issuance, for maritime administrations to manage 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 is essentially a collaborative technology, and so we need to build with industry rather than adopting a top-down approach, and therefore an essential ingredient to this project is to start by building a consortium that represents everyone in the value chain, from vessel owners to the seafarers themselves,” said Deanna MacDonald, CEO of BLOC.

“The properties of blockchain make it uniquely positioned to deliver on these value propositions. Taken together, the distributed digital ledger, tamperproof timestamping (and hashing) of information and documentation, and the peer-to-peer verification network enable a globally available and locally accessible repository of verified and validated documentation.”{/mprestriction}

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