Medical Entry Requirements for Merchant Navy Cadets.

Every person wishing to serve on board a Merchant Navy vessel must be in possession of a valid MCA Medical Certificate, which is issued following examination by an approved medical practitioner.

Seafaring is an occupation which calls for a high standard of health and fitness in serving seafarers throughout their career because of the demands of the occupation.

The medical examination standards are established and clearly defined so that persons do not go to sea with an inherent condition which might cause difficulties during a voyage or that requires long term medication. This ensures that there is no jeopardy to the safety of vessels at sea, and to ensure a seafarer can safely undertake his/her duties whilst at the same time protecting his/her health.

An ENG1 Medical is a routine examination which comprises of: details of medical history; the assessment of blood pressure, heart rate, reflexes, etc; and a urine test.  The examination will generally take about ½ hour.

Frequency of Medical Examination: 

  • Seafarers below the age of 18 shall have a yearly medical examination.

  • Seafarers 18 and over shall be examined at intervals not exceeding two years.

  • An approved doctor may issue a certificate for a lesser period if they feel it necessary that the candidate be re-examined in a shorter time-scale than referred to above.

A fee (approximately £ 115.00) payable to the medical practitioner at the time of the medical examination. This fee will be reimbursed to you once you commence training.

A list of approved medical practitioners in your area can be found in the Address Directory (just enter Medical Centres - and if you want to find the nearest doctor to you enter your postcode and click search).

Examinations are usually conducted by appointment only and you should make your own arrangements with the most convenient practice for the issue of a Merchant Navy MCA ENG1 medical certificate.

Note:   For the full details refer to the regulations.


  • MSN 1839 (M): Merchant Navy Medical and Eyesight Standards: Application of the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Medical Certification) Regulations 2010.

  • MSN 1815 (M):   Countries whose Seafarer Medical Certificates are accepted as equivalent to the UK Seafarer Medical Certificate (ENG1) from 01 July 2007.

  • MGN 219 (M):   Seafarer Medical Examinations: Guidelines for Maritime Employers and Manning Agencies.

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