Guidance on Medical Exams and Certificates for Seafarers

Published on May 2nd, 2013, back to: News

notices 844

RMI provides an overview of the new IMO guidelines

Both the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers Convention (STCW), 1978, as amended, and the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC 2006), require a seafarer to hold a valid medical certificate. In an effort to provide an internationally recognized set of criteria in the conduct of medical fitness examinations for seafarers, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) recently published guidelines on this subject. These guidelines revise and replace the Guidelines for Conducting Pre-Sea and Periodic Medical Fitness Examinations for Seafarer) that were issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1997 (ILO/WHO/D.2/1997).Consideration of guidance on seafarer medical exams stems from STCW Section B-1/9 and MLC, 2006 Guideline B1.2.1

The IMO guidelines consist of four parts:

  • Part 1: Purpose and scope;
  • Part 2: Information relevant to competent authorities;
  • Part 3: Information relevant to persons conducting seafarer medical assessments;
  • Part 4: Appendices:
    • Appendix A: Vision standards
    • Appendix B: Hearing standards
    • Appendix C: Physical capability requirements
    • Appendix D: Fitness criteria for medication use
    • Appendix E: Fitness criteria for common medical conditions
    • Appendix F: Suggested format for recording medical examinations of seafarers
    • Appendix G. Medical certificate for service at sea
    • Appendix J: Extracts from MLC, 2006 and STCW Convention

This publication of Marine Guideline provides an overview of the new IMO guidelines and Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) Maritime Administrator (the "Administrator") recommendations, highlighting the information most relevant to RMI flag ships and seafarers andsupplements requirements for seafarerpersonnel certificationcontained in MI-107, § 825, MI-108, § 7.47.4 and in MI-118.

Certified Recruitment Placement Services (RPSs) and seafarers are encouraged to provide a copy of the IMO guidelines to their medical practitioner prior to and for use during medical examinations. It should be noted that emerging data is showing that seafarers are increasingly experiencing serious health issues on board vessels and that some of these issues are resulting in deaths. Thus, the importance of a thorough medical examination of seafarers prior to employment,and periodically thereafter, cannot be overemphasized.

To view the Marshall Islands Guidance on Medical Exams and Certificates for Seafarers, click here.

Source: Republic of Marshall Islands

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