The scale of the problem of false seafarer certification is unquantifiable. It is unquestionable that at any given time there could be literally thousands of false certificates in circulation. The few hundred that the IMO are aware of are published in the STW 40/4, 41/4 and 42/4 reports and of these, only a tiny, single figure number are forged or altered. Without more information the rest may well be bona fide certificates supported by false documentation and obtained from flag state administrations. If this is the case then this is not an issue that can be addressed or resolved by focusing on the seafarers.