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Maritime NZ Chief Engineer (Marine Engineer Class 1) Certificate of Competency (MNZ SeaCert & STCW) Requirements for New Zealand Seafarers

chief engineer ship

The MEC 1 certificate corresponds with the certificate for Chief Engineer on ships with main propulsion machinery of 3000kW propulsion power or more, issued under regulation III/2 of the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended in 2010 (STCW).

With this certificate, you can perform the functions and duties of a chief engineer on ships of any main propulsion power in any operating area. A chief engineer is the senior engineering officer responsible for the ship’s mechanical propulsion, and for the operation and maintenance of its mechanical and electrical installations.

You can qualify on motor-powered (diesel) or steam-powered main propulsion systems, or on both. Your sea service and training must be appropriate for that type of propulsion power, and your certificate will show the main engine propulsion power you are qualified to operate on as chief engineer.

ship engine room

You may also read: International Maritime Organization (IMO) STCW requirements for Chief Engineer

Maritime NZ Chief Engineer General Requirements

  • Medically fit and have good eyesight
  • Good character and a fit and proper person
  • Choose to specialize in steam-powered or motor-powered propulsion systems, or both
  • Meet the requirements for certification
  • Meet the sea service requirements
  • Attend and pass training course
  • Must have certificates for the ancillary proficiencies
  • Pass MNZ’s final exam

Maritime New Zealand Chief Engineer Requirements

MNZ Chief Engineer Prior Certification Requirements

MNZ Chief Engineer Sea Service Requirements

mnz chief engineer sea service options
Table: Maritime NZ Chief Engineer Sea Service Options - Credits: MNZ


  • For all four options, you must have completed all of your sea service in the 10 years immediately before your certificate is issued.
  • Your sea service must be gained in the engine department performing the duties appropriate to your certificate, as indicated for each option, on commercial ships or New Zealand warships with propulsion power of at least 750kW or, for Option 3, at least 3000kW propulsion power.
  • Qualifying sea service must be on ships with main propulsion of the type and power indicated. The total time shown is for motor-powered or steam-powered certification.
  • For a combined certificate, additional sea service is required for each type of propulsion power, as indicated under watchkeeping.
  • The requirements for holders of MEC 2 < 3000kW are the same as for MEC 2, but additional sea service and training may be required to meet MEC 2 training and service standards.

MNZ Chief Engineer Training & Exam Requirements

  • You must attend and pass a MEC 1 training course that is acceptable to the Director of MNZ and covers competencies at the management level as a chief engineer on vessels with main propulsion power of 3000kW or more, as specified in section A-III/2 of the STCW Convention.
  • This training may have been included in your training for the MEC 2 certificate (which is a management level certificate with second engineer privileges). For example, the New Zealand Maritime School offers the options of completing MEC 2 and MEC 1 training separately or together.
  • Notes: If you only have a MEC 3 or equivalent certificate, you must complete an approved course that covers all of the training required for MEC 1, which may include some papers at the level of MEC 2. If you have a MEC 2, MEC 2 ECE or MEC 2 < 3000kW certificate, you may need to complete some additional papers, depending on your prior learning. If you obtained your prerequisite certificate in a country other than New Zealand, you will need to check with your approved training provider that you have completed all of the relevant prior learning. You may need to complete some additional papers
  • You must pass a final exam to show that you have met the required standards of competency at the management level for a chief engineer, as specified in section A-III/2 of the STCW Code.

MNZ Chief Engineer Ancillary Certificates 

mnz chief engineer ancillary certificates
Table: Maritime NZ Chief Engineer Ancillary Certificate Requirements - Credits: MNZ

Disclaimer: For general information purpose - please check with Maritime NZ for the latest requirements and accurate info

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