Luxembourg upholds International and EU seafarer regulations
Seafarers employed on Luxembourg-flagged vessels must hold a valid Luxembourg seaman’s book.
Masters and officers employed on Luxembourg-flagged vessels must also hold a valid Luxembourg Endorsement Attesting the Recognition of a Certificate of Competency (CoC).
An endorsement is valid for five years from the date of issue. However, it ceases to be valid upon the expiry of the CoC.
Confirmation of Reception of an Application (CRA)
Seaman Book CRAs are valid for 3 months. CRAs for endorsements attesting the recognition of a CoC are valid for 3 months.
The Shipowner is responsible for ensuring that the seafarer obtains his original documentation prior to the expiry of the 3-month validity period.
Seafarers serving on Luxembourg-flagged oil, chemical and gas tankers must be in possession of their original endorsements when boarding the vessel. These applications are processed in priority.
No nationality restrictions apply to seafarers serving on board Luxembourg-flagged vessels.
Where a non-EU master will be employed, a derogation request must be submitted for authorization.
No ITF Card is required for Luxembourg-flagged vessels.
|Seaman’s Book (all seafarers)||EUR 40|
|Endorsement (officers only)||EUR 40|
|Derogation of Nationality for non-EU Master||EUR 40|
|Cook Attestation||EUR 40|
Crew changes should be communicated by email within 8 working days in the form of an updated crew list.
In accordance with Standard A2.1, paragraph 1(a) of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006, all Seafarer Employment Agreements (SEA) must be signed by both the seafarer and the shipowner or a representative of the shipowner. The acceptability of an electronic signature in the context of the SEA falls outside the scope of the MLC and must be determined by reference to the law of the flag state and national laws.
Acceptability of electronic signatures for SEAs of seafarers serving on board Luxembourg vessels
The Luxembourg Maritime Administration accepts electronic signatures of SEAs for the purposes of compliance with MLC Standard A2.1 and inspection on board ships.
Probative Value of SEAs bearing an electronic signature
The probative value electronic signatures for SEAs is a question of general contract law which must be determined by reference to the applicable national law. European Union regulations also provide a framework for electronic signatures.
European Union eIDAS Regulations
Since 1 July 2016, Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (“eIDAS”) has applied directly to EU Member States. The Regulation provides legal certainty for cross-border use of e-signatures and enables secure, instilling confidence in electronic transactions and enabling secure and seamless electronic interactions between businesses, citizens and public authorities. Electronic documents can no longer be denied legal effect solely because they are in electronic form.
The eIDAS Regulations defines three progressively more secure levels of electronic signature:
- Simple electronic signature: data in electronic form which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign. Simple electronic signatures are admissible as evidence in court.
- Advanced Electronic Signature (AdES): electronic signature which is uniquely linked to and capable of identifying the signatory, created using electronic signature creation data that the signatory can, with a high level of confidence, use under his sole control, and linked to the data signed therewith in such a way that any subsequent change in the data is detectable.
- Qualified Electronic Signature (QES): a qualified electronic signature is an Advanced Electronic Signature which is additionally created by a qualified signature creation device and is based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures. Only Qualified Electronic Signatures are explicitly recognized throughout the EU as equivalent in legal effect to hand-written signatures. Qualified certificates for electronic signatures are provided by providers authorized by a national competent authority. Authorized providers are recorded on Member States’ national ‘trusted lists’ which can be accessed through the Trusted List Browser.
SEAs governed by Luxembourg law
The recognition of electronic signatures for use in private deeds is a well-established general principle of Luxembourg law.
A Luxembourg employment contract may be established in paper, digital or electronic format by virtue of a hand-written or electronic signature.
The probative value of electronic documents is provided for by the Law of 25 July 2015 relating to electronic archiving and amending Article 1334 of the Civil Code, Article 16 of the Commercial Code and the amended Law of 5 April, 1933 in relation to the financial sector.
While an electronic signature with an inferior level of security may be deemed authentic before a Luxembourg court, it is advised to use a signature issued by a qualified electronic signature creation device under the control of the signatory which is based on a qualified Certificate.
SEAs not governed by Luxembourg Law
Where a foreign national law is applicable to the SEA of a seafarer serving on board a Luxembourg-flagged vessel, reference should be made to the relevant national law to determine the probative value of electronic signatures in that jurisdiction.
International Labour Organization, International Labour Standards Department, Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 200), Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Fourth edition, 2015
Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (“eIDAS Regulation”) OJ L 257/73, 28.8.2014
European Commission, CEF Digital, Connecting Europe, “Trusted List Browser”
Luxembourg Civil Code – Art. 1322-1