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Frequently Asked Questions

The mandates of the State Department are as follows:

  • Promotion of Maritime and Shipping Industry,
  • Ship Registration in Kenya,
  • Marine  Cargo Insurance,
  • Establishment of effective and Admiralty Jurisdiction,
  • Development of a Central Data and Information Centre,
  • Human Resource  Development, Management and Research in support of Kenya’s Shipping Industry,
  • Monitoring and advising on usage of Kenya’s Exclusive Economic Zone in collaboration with other actors

According to the Merchant Shipping Act No. 4 of 2009, a seafarer includes every person (except a master, pilot or apprentice duly contracted or indentured and registered) employed or engaged in any capacity on board a ship;

The updated list of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) instruments ratified by Kenya can be found using the link below:

For International Labour Organisation (ILO) related instruments, the following link can be used:

Yes, Kenya has a ship register administered by the Kenya Maritime Authority but at the moment it’s a closed registry i.e only the government and nationals of Kenya can be registered. For details refer to No. 7 of the FAQs

You can contact us via or via our website or visiting our offices at Transcom House, Ngong Road or NSSF Annex 8th Floor, Bishop Road.

The State Department for Shipping and Maritime has three (3) SAGAs, namely:

  • Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA)
  • Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL)
  • Bandari Maritime Academy (BMA)

Qualifications for owning a Kenyan ship are as stipulated by section 18 of the Merchant Shipping Act No. 4 of 2009.

  • Copy of National Identity Card
  • 2 passport Size photograph taken on a white background
  • Copy and Original valid Basic STCW Certificates
  • Incase the STCW Certificate is not issued by the Kenyan Maritime Administration, then verification will be done with the issuing Authority before application is processed.
  • The Original CDC (incase of damage)
  • Incase of loss (Police Abstract)
  • Copy of the CDC upto the last endorsement
  • Copy of National Identity Card
  • 2 passports size photographs on a white background
  • Original and a copy of valid basic STCW certificates