Medical examinations

​​​​​​​​In order to be able to work on board Danish ships, including fishing vessels, you must regularly be subject to a medical examination and be found fit for ship service at this examination.

If you are between the age of 16 and 18, you must be examined at maximum intervals of 12 months. If you have turned 18 years of age, an examination every second year will normally be sufficient.

See the regulations for the examination of seafarers and fishermen (Danish only)

Health certificates on the basis of medical examinations are only issued to seafarers or fishermen. The maritime medical practitioner always decides whether a seafarer is fit for ship service, possibly with limitations. The decision is made in consideration of the seafarer's or the fisherman's health and safety, the rest of the crew and the ship's safety.

Special regulations apply to divers. The same is the case with sight and hearing tests for yachtsmen.

Maritime medical examiners, medical examinations and health certificates

​​​​​​​​​​In Denmark, medical examinations of seafarers and fishermen must be performed only by maritime medical practitioners appointed by the Danish Maritime Authority.

​​​​​Professional diving is a physically demanding job and there are requirements for the diver's physical condition and health.

See the list of approved medical examiners for diver's is available on this page.

In Denmark, medical examinations must be performed only by maritime medical practitioners appointed by the Danish Maritime Authority.

See the list of maritime medical practitioners in Denmark who have been appointed by the Danish Maritime Authority​.​.

Medical examination in Denmark

It is recommended that the seafarer or the fisherman makes an appointment with the maritime medical practitioner and brings the following to the medical examination:

  • Identification (discharge book, passport, driver's licence or any other photo ID)
  • Health certificate if he or she is in possession of one already

The maritime medical practitioner issues and endorses the health certificate following the medical examination. If the seafarer or the fisherman is not found fit for duty, the medical examination the medical examiner must issue the health certificate following the medical examination with this information.

If a medical practitioner who has not been appointed a maritime medical practitioner performs a medical examination, it is not valid.

Seafarers and fishermen must not be issued with health certificates or take up service on Danish ships on the basis of such an examination.

Medical examination in Greenland:

For health certificates issued in Greenland, the Danish medical certificate must continue to be used and the master shall issue or endorse the health certificate in accordance with the medical certificate.
Retrieve the form and guidelines regarding "Medical certificate for examination of seafarers​".​ This form is ONLY to be used for medical examinations in Greenland.
The seafarer or the fisherman is recommended to make an appointment with the medical practitioner and bring the following for the medical examination:
  • Identification (discharge book, passport, driver's licence or any other photo ID)
  • Health certificate if you already have one

 Medical examinations abroad:

Health certificates issued by a foreign authority can be used on Danish Ships if it is issued in accordance with the Danish rules.
The Danish forms for medical examinations cannot be used by foreign medical examiners. 

Seafarers must be in possession of a valid health certificate when serving on board a Danish ships.

Health Certificate must be issued by an authority that has implemented the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) and in accordance with the provisions of the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC).

The seafarer must be able to present a valid health certificate at all times during his / her employment. It is up to the shipmaster and the shipping company to ensure that the health certificate meets the necessary requirements.

Health certificates for seafarers and fishermen

​​​​​​​All seafarers and fishermen on board Danish ships must hold a valid health certificate whereby the seafarer is found fit for ship service, possibly with limitations.
The medical health certificate is issued by an approved medical examiner.
The medical health certificate will from 7th December 2020 be issued in a new format.
The blue book will not be issued going forward. Blue books already issued are still valid, but cannot be endorsed for new medical examinations.
Please be aware that, if you are found fit for ship service with limitation, it will be shown with a red "NO" in the box for "fit for ship service without limitation". Red letters in this box is not the same as "unfit" for ship service, but only that the certificate is limited.
For information about the medical examination, see section "Medical examination in Denmark" or *Medical examination abroad". 


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. 

The application must be forwarded to ​​​Danish Shipping Tribunal by email

If you have, as a seafarer or fisherman, been found unfit for ship service, you must not arrange for a new medical examination by a maritime medical practitioner.

However, you can forward an application to the Danish Maritime Authority requesting a permit to be subjected to a new medical examination. Applications for new medical examinations should be forwarded by email to:​.

The following information should be given in the email:

  • Name and date of birth.​​
  • When were you examined by a medical practitioner?
  • Have you been issued with a health certificate previously?
  • Why would you like to be granted this permit? Remember to enclose any documentation.

Please observe that it is also possible to complain about the decision made by the maritime medical practitioner if you have been found unfit for ship service.

Read about the possibilities of complaining under "Complaint about the result of a medical examination.

Complaints can be made to the Danish Shipping Tribunal about medical examinations performed by maritime medical practitioners in either Denmark or abroad.

Seafarers, fishermen, the shipowner or the Danish Maritime Authority can file complaints. The complaint must have been filed no later than eight weeks after the date of examination.

Complaints should be forwarded to:

The Danish Shipping Tribunal, the Secretariat
The Danish Appeals Boards Authority (Nævnenes Hus)
Toldboden 2
DK-8800 Viborg
Tel. +45 72 40 56 00

In connection with future email enquiries, please leave out sensitive information, such as your social security number, since the internet connection is not encrypted.
However, if you do submit documentation containing your social security number, please cover the last four digits.

Seafarers and fishermen must pay for the medical examination themselves, but it is possible for them to have the amount refunded by their employer if they present a bill. This is also the case with students who have concluded a training agreement.

If you do not have an employer when the medical examination takes place, it is possible for the first employer who hires you to refund the amount upon presentation of the original bill from the maritime medical practitioner.

The Danish Maritime Authority pays the fee for medical examinations of students at nautical colleges, fishing schools and training ships where they are required to present a health certificate when being admitted to the maritime training programme.

Applications for being appointed a maritime medical practitioner must be forwarded to the Danish Maritime Authority.

Approval as maritime medical practitioner

The following criteria must be met in order to be considered for approval as a maritime medical practitioner:

  • You must be a specialist in general medicine
  • You must, as a minimum, be listed on the authorisation register of the Danish Health Authority and, preferably, have a provider number
  • You must have an arrangement with a maritime medical practitioner to be trained in his or her company

Applications can be forwarded by email to

Applications must contain at least the following information:

  • Name and address
  • Documentation of education in general medicine
  • Where you have your practice
  • The maritime medical practitioner in the company of which you are to be trained, including this person's authorisation number as a maritime medical practitioner​​​

Are you a seafarer or fisherman?​

Read more about the definition of seafarers and fishermen under​ Conditions of employment.​


Seafarers, Certification and Social Affairs