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Maritime NZ Officer In Charge of an Engineering Watch (Marine Engineer Class 3) Certificate of Competency (MNZ SeaCert & STCW) Requirements for New Zealand Seafarers

oicew nz

The Marine Engineer MEC 3 certificate corresponds with the Officer In Charge of an Engineering Watch (OICEW) certificate, issued under Regulation III/1 of the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended in 2010 (STCW). The engineering watch involves carrying out duties as an engineer in the main propulsion machinery spaces of commercial vessels. Duties include the safe and efficient operation and upkeep of machinery affecting the safety of the ship, and the inspection, operation and testing of machinery and equipment under the responsibility of the engineering watch.

With this certificate, you can perform the following functions and duties for the vessel propulsion type you specialize in, on ships powered by main propulsion machinery, in any operational area - officer in charge of an engineering watch at an operational level in a manned engine room or designated duty engineer in a periodically unmanned engine room.

ship engine room

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

MNZ OICEW (Marine Engineer MEC 3) General Requirements

  • 18 years old, 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 combined training, workshop skills and sea service requirements
  • Complete an approved marine engineer’s training record book
  • Must have minimum experience and sea service requirements
  • Attend and pass a MEC 3 training course
  • Required ancillary proficiencies
  • Pass MNZ’s final exam

MNZ OICEW (Marine Engineer MEC 3) Requirements

MNZ OICEW (Marine Engineer MEC 3) Prior Certification Requirements

  • While no previous qualifications are required, prior training or experience in marine or mechanical engineering (but not in other engineering fields such as chemical or electrical engineering) may reduce the amount of sea service and training you need to complete.
  • You may choose to specialize in either steam or motor power propulsion systems, or both. Your certificate will indicate the main propulsion type you are trained in and qualified to operate. Your sea service and training must be appropriate for that type of main propulsion power.
  • For a combined motor and steam certificate, you will need more training and sea service on vessels with each type of propulsion. At least eight months of engine room watchkeeping is required (four months on motor ships and four months on steam ships).

MNZ OICEW (Marine Engineer MEC 3) Training and Exam Requirements

  • You must attend and pass an approved MEC 3 training course to achieve all of the required competencies at the operational level, as specified in section A-III/1 of the STCW Convention. You can choose from three options for the combined training, workshop skills and sea service requirements, as shown in the table below. You must complete a minimum amount of sea service, depending on the training option selected and whether you choose to specialize in steam or motor power propulsion, or both. For all three options below, at least six months of your sea service must be as engine room watchkeeper, and you must complete an approved training record book.

mnz oicew mec3 training
Table: Maritime NZ OICEW (MEC3) Training - Credits: MNZ


  • Options 1 and 2 both meet the requirement for approved workshop skills training and seagoing service of not less than 12 months. On-board training must be documented in an approved training record book, with a minimum of six months’ seagoing service as an engineering watchkeeper.
  • For Option 2, if your qualification or certificate is one that MNZ recognizes as equivalent to the National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (NCME) Level 4, MNZ will let you know whether the certificate or qualification is acceptable, whether it covers the required workshop skills training, and how much sea service you may be credited for and how much you must complete.
  • For Option 3, unless you have relevant workshop skills at the level required by STCW (a minimum of six weeks and possibly more), you must complete the relevant workshop skills training.

MNZ OICEW (Marine Engineer MEC 3) Workshop Skills Requirements

  • You are expected to have spent at least six weeks studying the relevant workshop skills for the competencies required by STCW, but this training may take much longer, depending on the specific training. Otherwise, you will be required to complete additional workshop skills training.
  • The competencies you are required to gain and demonstrate are set out in table A-III/1 of the STCW Convention and should include competency in using hand tools, common measuring equipment, centre lathes, drilling machines, welding equipment and/or milling machines.
  • This training may be carried out ashore at an approved training institution or approved workshop. Onboard training should be documented in the training record book by qualified assessors..

MNZ OICEW (Marine Engineer MEC 3) Sea Service Requirements

  • The amount of seagoing service you need depends on your prior sea service and training; the option you choose for combining sea service, workshop skills and training; and whether you specialize in a single propulsion system, or both steam and motor power.
  • Your sea service must be relevant and appropriate to the requirements set out in the maritime rules. This means that - your sea service must be on commercial vessels, naval vessels or warships powered by engines of 750 kilowatts (kW) or more, operating outside restricted limits; you must have at least six months’ experience in engine room watchkeeping under the supervision of engineering officers who hold MEC 1, MEC 2 or MEC 3 certificates of competency or equivalents; and all of your sea service must have been completed in the 10 years immediately before you apply for a MEC 3 certificate.

MNZ OICEW (Marine Engineer MEC 3) Ancillary Certificates 

mnz oicew mec3 ancillary certificates
Table: Maritime NZ OICEW (MEC3) 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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