Easily obtain RPSL License for Recruitment and Placement of Seafarers.


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How do I get a RPSL license?


RPSL stands for Recruitment and Placement Services License. , RPSL License is issued by the Directorate General of Shipping under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India. The RPSL License is granted for 5 years; thereafter, it can be renewed every 5 years. The RPSL license remains valid if the company passes an annual inspection. The inspection is conducted by auditors approved by the government, and their primary objective is to determine if the company is in compliance with MLC regulations.

In 2016, the government of India, through its notification, made it mandatory for all seafarer recruitment companies to obtain an RPSL license for employing seafarers on owned vessels or recruiting for principal vessels. No seafarers from India are allowed to get employed on merchant's vessels through unregistered manning agents. Seatime experience will not be considered for any examination conducted by DG Shipping if any seafarers join vessels through any non-registered manning agencies.

It is mandatory for crewing agencies in India to obtain an RPSL license in order to place seafarers on Indian-flag or foreign-flag vessels.

Foreign-flag vessels can only hire Indian seamen through registered RPSL companies.

Foreign ship owners can not directly employ Indian seafarers on their vessels. It would be necessary for ship owners to engage a duly licensed agency to recruit Indian crew. If a seafarer is hired directly by a ship owner, his or her immigration won't be cleared at the airport. Ship owners are mandated by Indian law to recruit Indian seafarers only through registered RPSL companies.

Thus, any Indian seafarers wishing to get employed on merchant ships must approach registered RPSL companies for job placement; currently, there are over 500 registered crewing agencies in India.

Indian ship owners with Indian flag vessels are not required to obtain an RPSL license; however, they must obtain separate approval from DG Shipping by registering themselves as shipping company to place seafarers on their own vessels; however, placing seafarers on other vessels, whether foreign or Indian, requires an RPSL license.

Technical managers, ship managers, or DOC holders of Indian flag vessels are required to obtain an RPSL license in order to place crew on the respective vessels.

A non-seafarer license is required for the placement of repair technicians, engineers, maritime security officers, and surveyors (non-seafarers) on foreign flag ships. 

What are the requirements to apply for an RPSL license?

  1. You must have a registered company based in India.
  2. You must have at least one Indian director in the company.
  3. The applicant must have a marine background.
  4. Form VII
  5. You must have adequate office space, and the office must be in a commercial building.

What is the procedure to obtain an RPSL license in India?

  1. Documents: Organize all the required documents If the applicant meets all prerequisites for the RPSL license,
  2. Application filling: An application is filed with all relevant documents and company details.
  3. Inspection: Upon successful submission of the application, an inspection is conducted at the company's office by an authorized auditor. During this inspection, the auditor verifies the accuracy of the submitted information, scrutinizes the provided documents, and interviews company employees to evaluate the company's capability to manage the recruitment of seafarers. If the inspection confirms that the company complies with the RPS rules and MLC regulations, the auditor recommends issuing an RPSL license. However, if there are compliance issues, the auditor may recommend rejecting the application.
  4. Approval: Upon receiving the audit report from the auditor, government officers review the entire application, and the company is informed if any deficiencies are observed in the application to rectify the same before issuing the RPSL license.

What are the documents required to apply for an RPSL license?

  1. Company registration documents (incorporation certificate, MOA, AOA, PAN card)
  2. Business office address proof
  3. Manning agency agreement
  4. Bank guarantee
What is the bank guarantee for the RPSL license?
Following is the bank guarantee required as per the proposed number of seafarers to be placed on the ship per year.
Sr. No. A number of seafarers Amount (Rs)
1. 0 to 50 10 lakhs
2. 51-250 15 lakhs
3. 251-500 20 lakhs
4. 501-750 25 lakhs
5. 751-1000 30 lakhs
6. 1001 and above 40 lakhs

above bank guarantee can be increased anytime during the license's validity.


Have questions about RPSL License?

We have got you covered:

  • What does SRPS stand for?

    SRPS stands for Seafarer Recruitment and Placement Service(s).

  • Can we increase the recruitment capacity limit later during the license validity?
  • What is the definition of non-seafarers?
  • What do you mean by recruitment and placement services?
  • What is the difference between RPSL and ITF in the shipping industry?
  • What is the non-seafarers license?
  • I already have an RPSL license, do I still need to obtain a non-seafarers license to place repair technicians on foreign flag vessels?
  • What is the license requirement to recruit a hospitality crew or catering staff for cruise liners?
  • How long does it take to obtain an RPSL license?
  • What is the RPSL License fee ?
  • What are the office space requirements for an RPSL license?
  • What is Form 7?
  • What is RPSL full form?
  • What is RPSL number?
  • What other certifications are required to start a crewing business in India?
  • Is it compulsory that a company director have a marine background in order to apply for an RPSL license?
  • What is the validity of an RPSL license?
  • What happens if a company operates without an RPSL license?
  • How can a company renew its RPSL license?
  • Can an RPSL license be transferred to another company?

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