What can I do when my Interim license expired after the 6 month period?

Due to the Covid restrictions, SAMSA have extend all interim licenses to be valid until 31 July 2022.  Please keep a copy of the Marine Information Notice (MIN7/21) with your interim license. You can click here to download a copy. Para 14 and 15 reads:

14. The COVID-19 Pandemic is affecting the issuance of the National Small Vessel Certificate of Competency (skipper’s
licences) and has caused delays to issuance of certificates from 15 December 2019.
15. The Small Vessel Interim Certificates of Competence which is valid for a period of six months, issued by SAMSA
and external participants in the National Small Vessel Examination Regime are extended until 31 July 2022.
Boaters that intend using expired interims need to keep a copy of this marine notice as proof that the certificates
as mentioned before has been extended when confronted by enforcement officers, gatekeepers, or officials at
launching sites.

Can I upgrade from a R-license to an E-license?
Yes you can. As soon as you have the required sea hours, you can apply to SAMSA for an upgrade.

Marine Notice 13 of 2011 10.7.1 reads “The rationale is that only one basic entry level exists, where practical experience (i.e. sea time) dictates which of the two are issued. Hence, a Skipper Inland Waters can upgrade his certificate to an E by obtaining sea time on category E or higher vessels.” 

 What happens if I fail the exam?
The exam paper is divided in modules for which you must get 50% – 60% per module- depending on the module. Experience has shown that in some cases students might have a problem with one module while flying through the others. Most examiners will invite the student back, revisit the  problem module(s) and let him/she rewrite the module(s). This is normally at no extra costs. The objective of a reliable instructor will always be to ensure that his students understand the material and can write the exam successfully.

Can I do an oral exam instead of writing?
Yes you can. You do find people that clamp up when they have to write an exam or might have a condition like dyslexia, stress etc. and have difficulties in writing the exam. A person, other than the lecturer, can be appointed to conduct the oral exam.

Do I need to study beforehand?
The subjects are covered in detail during the theory session and are revisited during the practical session. We recommended that students have a good night’s rest, do not stress and feel free to ask questions during the sessions. Some academies have a pre-study pack – require about it when registering for a course.

When doing the online course, will it be possible to get support should I need more information on a subject?
Yes. Students have a message system which will put them in direct contact with the lecturer.

What if, after I enrolled for the online course, realize this method of study is not for me?
Your satisfaction is extremely important to us. If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with the course, you can contact us for a refund on the following conditions:

  1.  The cancellation is within 7 days of the enrollment date.
  2. You have not completed more than 2 modules of the course.

How can I ensure that I’m not writing my exam with a dubious examiner?

All SAMSA examiners must be registered with SAMSA and will be issued with an examiner’s number. If you are unsure you can:

  1. Ask the examiner for his/her registration certificate. Valid examiners will not have an issue to give you a copy.
  2. Contact SAMSA (27 (0) 12 366 2600) and ask if the examiner is registered.

I have lost my license – what can I do?

You can contact SAMSA directly to request a copy of your license.  (012) 366-2600 ask for Jenna-Lee

Should you experience a problem in contacting SAMSA you can call our Chief Examiner, Kobus Hermitage (+27 82 268 7286) and he will assist.

I have completed my course, was issued an interim license but never received my permanent license?

The interim/temporary license is valid for 6 months and SAMSA will most of the time issue the permanent license in this period.

The first step is to contact the examiner who signed your interim license. The name and the number should be at the bottom of the page.

If you cannot get hold of the examiner or are not satisfied with the response, you can contact SAMSA directly at their head office in Pretoria on 012 366 2600. Keep your id number ready. Their system has a record of who handed your application in, when the license was issued and who collected it.

See the first question above for the delay in deliveries.

How do I upgrade from E to C?

To upgrade form E to C you will need the following:

  1. Complete the one-day theory course for category C
  2. Pass the SAMSA exam for category C
  3. Pass a practical navigation test.

The fee for the above is between R2,500 and R3,000 depending on where you do the course.

  1. Get a surf launch endorsement – Fee is +- R2,200
  2. Be in possession of a VHF DSC Short Range Operator’s license. This is a two-day course and the fees are between R2,800 and R3,800 – depending on the institution.

From an experience point of view – you need at least 50 hours sea experience further than 1nm from the coast. This must be signed off by a sea skipper with a C license or higher.

Are SAMSA licenses recognized internationally?

South Africa has agreements with countries in Terms of the STCW Convention whereby each other’s certificates are recognized.  Click here for a list of countries.