Role of DG Shipping in the Maritime Industry


This blog highlights how India’s Directorate General of Shipping (DG Shipping) is like a guardian for the country’s maritime industry and seafarers. DG Shipping ensures ships are safe, sailors are well-trained, and everything runs smoothly. They use technology for easier learning and exams. 

DG Shipping also keeps a close watch on the industry by inspecting companies and taking action against bad ones. DG Shipping cares about seafarers’ rights and the environment. They work hard to make sure everyone in the maritime world is safe and doing a great job.

DG Shipping| Benefits of DG Shipping for seafarers 

What is DG Shipping? 

DG Shipping Emblem

DG Shipping stands for the Directorate General of Shipping, which is a government agency under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways. 

DG Shipping plays a pivotal role in regulating and overseeing various aspects of shipping, maritime trade, and seafarer training in the country, DG Shipping is responsible for implementing and enforcing maritime policies, regulations, and safety standards to ensure the safety and security of ships, crew members, and the marine environment. 

What is the role of DG Shipping?  

Issuing licenses and certifications

The Directorate General of Shipping (DG Shipping) in India primarily serves an important function in issuing licences and certifications to seafarers, ensuring their competence and compliance with international standards, the key documents and certifications issued by DG Shipping:

  1. Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC)
  2. Certificate of Competency (CoC)
  3. Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping Certifications (STCW)
  4. Dangerous Cargo Endorsement (DCE) Certificate
  5. Marine Engineer Officer (MEO) Class 1 and Class 2 Certificates

These documents and certifications issued by DGS are not only essential for seafarers’ career progression but also for ensuring the safety and competency of those working in the maritime industry. 

{DG Shipping’s role in issuing these licences and certifications is integral to maintaining high standards of maritime professionalism and safety in India, while also aligning with international regulations and conventions.}

Inspecting Ships

Inspection of Container

DG Shipping conducts ship inspections, including port and flag state control, to enforce safety standards. 

These inspections are crucial for maritime security, preventing potential threats, and ensuring compliance with international regulations, thereby safeguarding both the ships and the marine environment.

DG Shipping’s inspections are important for: 

  1. Environmental Protection: Ensuring ships comply with environmental regulations to prevent pollution and protect marine ecosystems.
  2. Combating Illegal Trade: Verifying cargo and documentation to prevent smuggling and uphold lawful maritime trade.
  3. Ensuring Maritime Security: Enforcing safety standards to safeguard against threats and maintain secure maritime operations.

“DG Shipping’s Authority to Halt Departures: Enforcing Maritime Laws and Protecting Seafarers in India”

Maritime labour law violation

In cases of maritime law violations, such as a vessel being in poor condition or failing to adhere to maritime labour laws, the Directorate General of Shipping (DG Shipping) holds the authority to issue orders to the respective port authorities. 

These orders instruct the port to prohibit the departure of the non-compliant ship. Such measures are taken to enforce maritime regulations, ensure the safety of the crew, and protect the marine environment. This proactive approach by DG Shipping helps maintain the integrity of maritime operations and holds ship owners accountable for legal compliance.

DG Shipping protect the rights and works for the welfare of Indian Seafarers

 Port state control inspection

The Directorate General of Shipping (DG Shipping) in India is committed to safeguarding the rights and promoting the welfare of Indian seafarers through its adherence to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006. DG Shipping ensures compliance with the Maritime Labour Convention by focusing on several crucial aspects.

DG Shipping ensures that Indian ships adhere to the standards outlined in the MLC 2006. These standards cover a wide range of areas, such as:

  1. Minimum Age
  2. Medical Certification
  3. Qualifications
  4. Employment Agreements
  5. Licensed Recruitment Services
  6. Hours of Work and Rest
  7. Accommodation Onboard
  8. Recreation Facilities
  9. Food and Catering
  10. Health and Safety
  11. Onboard Medical Care
  12. Complaint Procedures
  13. Payment and Wages
  14. Financial Security for Repatriation

DG Shipping’s Positive Initiatives and Achievements

 cruise ship

Revolutionising Seafarer Employment with e-Migration (MS Notice 7)

On September 1, 2017, DG Shipping launched the e-Migration system (MS Notice 7) for seafarers. This innovative system engages 380 approved Recruitment and Placement Service (RPS) agencies as authorised by DG Shipping to facilitate seafarer employment. 

These RPS agencies have unique user IDs granting access to the DG Shipping system. Seafarers’ details are uploaded in Form 1 on the system one day before they join a ship. This information is then transmitted to immigration desks at all Indian ports, seaports, and airports. 

Seafarers receive emails from DG Shipping, ensuring smooth and efficient communication in the seafarer employment process.

Digitalisation for Indian Seafarers Accessing Documents, Learning, and More

Marine engineer

Indian seafarers can easily access updates about their documents, licences, and certificates through the DG Shipping website. They can engage in e-learning and take exit exams conveniently. 

This e-governance system allows seafarers to log in using their unique Seafarer ID, linked to their Indos Number, streamlining the process and making it more accessible for seafarers.

Seamless Access to Services for Seafarers From Medical Certifications to Grievance Resolution

Indian seafarers can conveniently access their medical certifications and apply for the Dangerous Cargo Endorsement (DCE) certificate via their Seafarer ID. 

Additionally, a robust grievance redressal mechanism is in place, including a specific grievance report option for women seafarers. 

These services are all part of DG Shipping’s commitment to simplifying seafarers’ experiences and enhancing their overall welfare.

Streamlining Certification: E-Learning, Facial Recognition, and Online Exit Exams

Seafarers can register for e-learning on the DG Shipping website to obtain various certificates. This involves completing e-learning modules conveniently on the platform. To ensure authenticity, a facial recognition method is applied during e-learning sessions. 

Standardised online exit exams, integral for certification, are conducted through the DG Shipping portal. This integrated approach streamlines the learning and examination process, making it accessible and secure for seafarers.

Elevating Maritime Education and Training Quality

MTI Mumbai

DG Shipping upholds the quality of seafarer education and training through various initiatives. 

This includes approving Maritime Training Institutes (MTIs) following STCW Regulation 2010, offering essential TAR books for engine cadets and DLP for deck cadets, and ensuring the high quality of labs in approved MTIs. 

Regular yearly inspections are conducted to maintain and improve approved training institutes’ standards, guaranteeing seafarers receive top-notch education and training.

Blacklisting Defaulter Shipping Companies

“India blacklists UAE shipping recruiting agencies”– Times of India (2018)

DG Shipping is committed to upholding the integrity of the maritime industry by taking action against defaulting shipping companies. 

Notable names on the blacklist include M/S Shah Al Arab Marine Agency (UAE), M/S Alco Shipping Service LLC (Ajman, Dubai), and MS Triton Ship Management and Offshore Pvt Ltd (Navi Mumbai)

This measure serves as a deterrent against non-compliance and ensures that shipping companies adhere to regulations, protecting the interests of seafarers and maritime safety.


We’ve explored the vital role of India’s Directorate General of Shipping (DG Shipping). DG Shipping ensures the safety and welfare of Indian seafarers, regulates the maritime industry, and maintains high standards of training and education. 

From issuing certificates to blacklisting defaulting companies, DG Shipping plays a crucial role in India’s maritime ecosystem. 

Through digitalization, e-learning, and stringent inspections, it’s paving the way for a safer, more efficient, and accessible maritime sector. DG Shipping’s commitment to quality, seafarer rights, and maritime excellence is a cornerstone of India’s maritime landscape.

DG Shipping| e- learning| e- governance

Disclaimer :- The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Merchant Navy Decoded. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided and disclaim any responsibility for it. Data and visuals used are sourced from publicly available information and may not be authenticated by any regulatory body. Reviews and comments appearing on our blogs represent the opinions of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of Merchant Navy Decoded. We are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on these reviews or comments.

Reproduction, copying, sharing, or use of the article or images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission from both the author and Merchant Navy Decoded.

5 4 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments