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 without 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 eyesight unless the seafarer or fisherman, 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 were 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 could only grant the exemptions until 31 December 2015 and the exemptions would apply until 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 fishermen can apply for an exemption by contacting the Danish Maritime Authority by email jus@dma.dk.

Exemptions will not be granted to seafarers or fishermen who sign on for the first time. Seafarers or fishermen who are colour-blind will not be granted exemptions either. 

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