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Discharge books 

Danish seafarers signing on for positions covered by a ship’s safe manning must have a discharge book. Some countries use discharge books as identification in connection with the entry and departure of seafarers instead of visa.

The Danish Maritime Authority issues discharge books only to Danish citizens who have turned 16 years of age.

If a seafarer is not a part of the operational crew of a passenger ship, a discharge book is, however, not required. The same applies to the master and to seafarers signing on for a position on board passenger ships engaged in regular service or on board ships for special purposes that, in connection with their normal operation, are exclusively engaged in voyages between Danish ports. However, these seafarers can – should they so wish – apply for a discharge book.

Passenger ships are ships whose type in connection with the registration in the Danish Register of Shipping is given as a passenger ship or a ro-ro passenger ship, while ships for special purposes are ships whose type is given as a guard ship, tug, diving ship, dredger, training ship, pilot boat, rescue boat, inspection vessel or marine investigation ship.

Passenger ships on regular service encompass passenger ships engaged on voyages between Danish ports, between international ports or between Danish and international ports, i.e. passenger ships in both domestic and international trade.

Order no. 421 of 29 April 2014 on the reporting of the signing on and signing off of seafarers and on discharge books.
Apply for a discharge book

Practical information about applications
When applying for certificates online, you must have the following ready for use before starting the application:
• Your NEM ID or digital signature for company employees.*
• A lifelike photo in passport quality, in electronic/digital format.
• A copy of the photo page in your passport or Danish driver’s license, in electronic/digital format.
• Your credit card.

* You can read more about NEM ID and digital signature here: You are not required to log in using NEM ID. Should you choose not to log in using NEM ID or digital signature, it can affect the time of delivery.

Price and delivery
The price of a discharge book is DKK 500, including postage. You should expect to receive your discharge book by mail within a week. In the application as such, you can choose an alternative address of delivery.

If you need the discharge book faster, you can choose to pick it up from the Danish Maritime Authority. It is still important that you apply online. At the end of the application procedure – in connection with the payment – you can indicate that you will pick up the discharge book yourself. You can pick up the discharge book at the earliest the following workday at the reception of the Danish Maritime Authority, Carl Jacobsens Vej 31, DK-2500 Valby. You are welcome to call beforehand and arrange a time for the picking up. Remember to bring along your receipt.

Further information is available from the theme on the Danish Maritime Authority’s webpage about how to apply digitally for certificates and about the new provisions on user payment. [link]


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