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Medical examinations 

The list of medical examiners is available here.

FAQ in the health area.

Remember the definition of seafarers - read more here.

Medical examinations of seafarers and fishermen
In order to work on board a Danish merchant ship of or above 20 tonnes or on board a fishing vessel (irrespective of tonnage), seafarers must regularly undergo medical examinations.

Seafarers must be at least 16 years old to undergo medical examinations. Seafarers who are 16 to 18 years old must be examined at intervals not exceeding 12 months. Seafarers who have turned 18 must normally be examined every second year.

If you have been found unfit for ship service, you must not arrange for a new medical examination without having been permitted to do so first beforehand by the Danish Maritime Authority. You can forward a request for undergoing a new medical examination to the Danish Maritime Authority, Carl Jacobsens Vej 31, DK-2500 Valby, Denmark, or by e-mail: You should enclose a more detailed reason for your request.

Decisions made by the Danish Shipping Tribunal are available here (in Danish).

Who must undergo a medical examination according to the provisions on medical examinations of seafarers and fishermen?

  • Seafarers, including masters, serving on or about to start serving on Danish merchnt vessels. Remember the definition of seafarers - read more here.
  • Persons who sign on for the first time or have not been employed on a ship for the last 5 years are to undergo medical examinations only if they have an agreement to serve on a Danish merchant vessel.
  • Professional fishermen, but not persons for whom fishing is a secondary income. However, please note that the same qualification and training requirements apply to persons for whom fishing is a secondary income as to professional fishermen, including for example requirement for completion of a 3-week safety course before working on board a fishing vessel. In addition, admission to the fishing and skipper training programmes is conditional upon a valid medical examination, but subsequently persons for whom fishing is a secondary income will not be required to have the medical examination renewed.
  • Students who, in connection with admission to maritime vocational schools, training schools for commercial fishermen or a training ship, are required to present a valid health certificate.
  • Persons acquiring or renewing a certificate of competency for merchant or fishing vessels who do not hold a valid health certificate.

In case other persons than those mentioned above are examined, the medical certificate that apply to seafarers and fishermen must not be used. Neither can a health certificate be endorsed or issued to the person examined.

Special medical certificate
A special medical certificate is used for the medical examination. In Denmark, only medical practitioners appointed by the Danish Maritime Authority as maritime medical practitioners must carry out medical examinations.

You are recommended to make an appointment with the medical practitioner in advance. If the medical practitioner does not know you, you must bring along identification (discharge book, passport, driver’s licence or other type of photo identification).

If you have a health certificate, you must bring this as well.

An example of a medical certificate is available here.

The list of approved medical practitioners is available here.

The special provisions on medical examinations are available here.

Payment for medical examinations
The fee for the examination has been determined after negotiation with the certificate committee of the Danish Medical Association. In most cases, the maritime medical practitioner must collect the fee from you – possibly from your employer if a special agreement to this effect has been concluded between the employer and the maritime medical practitioner.

As a seafarer, the fee paid is to be reimbursed by your employer. If you do not have an employer when the medical examination takes place, you yourself must pay for the examination. Subsequently, the fee may be reimbursed by the first employer who hires you upon presentation of the original receipt from the maritime medical practitioner.

However, the Danish Maritime Authority pays the fee for medical examinations of persons enrolled for a maritime training programme or education approved by the Danish Maritime Authority. They must be able to present a letter of enrolment from the training/educational institution or training ship.

Eyesight requirements of the Manila amendments to the STCW Convention
The STCW Convention was amended in 2010, the so-called Manila amendments. As a consequence, eyesight requirements have become stricter for seafarers and fishermen. The eyesight requirement for look-out duty with eyesight corrections for each eye has to be at least 0.1 (6/60). With eyesight corrections, the requirement is at least 0.5 (6/12).

Each individual maritime medical examiner must still observe the eyesight requirements stipulated in annex 1 to the order on medical examinations of seafarers and fishermen when making decisions about seafarers’ eyesight unless the seafarer, in connection with the medical examination, presents a previous exemption document from the Danish Maritime Authority concerning “fitness for lookout duty”.

The Danish Maritime Authority has, so far, granted exemptions to seafarers or fishermen who was fit for look-out duty and had an eyesight vision of less than 0.5 in order for them to continue their work. The Danish Maritime Authority would only have granted the exemption until 31 December 2015 and the exemptions would have lapsed as of 31 December 2016.

Now, however, it has become possible to continue granting exemptions if the seafarer or fisherman has already been examined by a medical examiner and was fit for look-out duty before 1 January 2012 according to the order on medical examinations of seafarers and fishermen valid at the time.

Seafarers or fisherman can apply for an exemption by contacting the Danish Maritime Authority by email

Exemptions will still not be granted to seafarers who are colour-blind and to seafarers who sign on for the first time in connection with the eyesight requirement stipulated in the annex related to “fitness for lookout duty”.

Vision and hearing test for yachtsmen
In connection with the issue of certificates of competency to yachtsmen, they must undergo a separate vision and hearing test for yachtsmen at a maritime medical practitioner or an eye specialist. A special medical certificate (in Danish) is used in connection with this examination.

You yourself must pay for the examination.

The order on vision and hearing tests for yachtsmen is available here (in Danish).

Diving medical practitioners and medical examination of divers
In order to perform diving operations as a professional diver, you must have undergone a special medical examination. The examination must be carried out only by special diving medical practitioners appointed by the Danish Maritime Authority.

Diving students must undergo a thorough medical examination in order to be admitted to a diving school.

Subsequently, professional divers must undergo a thorough medical examination every five years and, if the person concerned has turned 50 years of age, every second year. During the years in between, divers must undergo a minor examination every year.

A list of diving medical practitioners is available here (in Danish).

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Maritime Regulation and Legal Affairs
Kristina Ravn
Special Adviser
Phone: +45 +45 72 19 62 37