You must have a seafarer medical fitness certificate to work at sea. The type of certificate you need depends on the type of vessel you’re working on and where it operates.
ENG1 medical certificate
You need an ENG1 medical certificate if you’re any of the following:
- in charge of a ship
- serving on a merchant ship or yacht
- a seafarer
How to apply
An ENG1 certificate can only be issued by a Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) approved doctor.
You’ll need to bring the following to your examination:
- photo ID, eg your passport
- your previous medical certificate (if you have one)
- your local doctor’s name, address and contact details
- any medication you’re taking
- your glasses or contact lenses but not colour correction lenses
If you pass, your doctor will immediately issue you with an ENG1 certificate.
The maximum fee for an ENG1 medical examination is £80.
Some seafarer medical certificates from other countries are accepted instead of an ENG1 form.
ML5 medical certificate
You need an ML5 medical certificate if any of the following apply, you’re:
- in charge of a small commercial vessel
- the master of a passenger ship that doesn’t go to sea (Class IV or V)
- the master of a commercial vessel that doesn’t go to sea
- the master or a crew member of a small commercial vessel certificated for Area Category 2 to 6 (no more than 60 miles from a safe haven)
- a crew member or anyone else (eg catering staff) who normally works on a domestic passenger ship (Class VI or VIA) that doesn’t go to sea
An ML5 certificate can be completed by any doctor who is registered with the General Medical Council and holds a current licence to practice.
Read more detailed information about medical fitness requirements.
How to apply
Download the ML5 form and take it to your local doctor to complete.
The fee for an ML5 form isn’t set by the MCA, but your doctor will probably charge a fee for completing this.
You may be allowed to work for up to 3 months if your medical certificate expires during a voyage, as long as you get a valid certificate at your next port of call.
Suspension and cancellation of a medical fitness certificate
You can have your medical certificate suspended or cancelled if:
- there’s been a major change in your fitness
- you don’t follow the terms of the certificate you’ve been issued with
- the issuing doctor didn’t have full details of your condition at the time of examination
You must hold a valid medical fitness certificate and produce this on demand to the right authorities.
Get more information on seafarer medical certificates on the MCA website.
See Merchant Shipping Notice 1822 for detailed guidance on the regulations.