The way in which medicals are happening is changing, the information here can help you to understand the changes and what to do now to meet the requirements.

Update to Medicals Deadline

The MCA recently announced that any fishermen who do not work over the winter now have until 30 April 2024 to get their medical certificate.

This extension also applies to seasonal fishermen who have a pre-existing medical condition, which still allows them to work, and are wanting to apply for grandfather rights.

This extension only applies to seasonal fishermen. Anyone working over the winter will need to already have a certificate or have an appointment booked to obtain one, in line with the original deadline of 30 November 2023.

For full details, head to the website here

There are two types of medical certificates in the UK:

  • An ENG1 is for those who are on vessels at sea for more than 72 hours or operating more than 200 miles from the coastline of the UK or beyond the Continental shelf, and may be subject to inspection in a foreign port.
  • An ML5 can be used by those on vessels under 24m, to which the above points do not apply. If you fall into this category, you may use an ENG1 instead if that suits you better.

What to do

  • Start early. If an assessment finds underlying health problems, you may need time to get them under control before your statutory medical examination.
  • Download and print the application form for an ML5 certificate (referred to as the ML5 report form) from the website
  • Book an appointment with your GP or another doctor who has a licence to practice in the UK for an ML5 medical examination and take the form with you to the appointment.
  • If the doctor is unaware of the ML5, refer them to the MCA’s document MSN 1883(F). There is no set fee for the doctor completing the ML5 form. Any fee is at the discretion of the doctor completing the ML5 form.
  • The doctor will complete the form based on your medical history. Some answers may need a referral. Your ML5 certificate will be valid for up to 5 years (or 1 year if you are aged 65 or above).

Medical consultation for fishermen on vessels of 10 metres and under.

Have your say in the industry-wide consultation to decide if existing fishermen working on vessels of 10 metres and under should be exempt from holding a valid medical certificate.

The potential concession is being considered by the Secretary of State for Transport after listening to the concerns of those in the fishing industry, so medical exemptions are delivered safely and small-scale fishermen aren’t unduly forced ashore.

The consultation is open until 11:59 on Tuesday 27 February.

To have your say and find out more, visit the website here.

More information

  • Find answers to a range of questions on the medical certificates on website here.
  • Read the Seafarers certification guidance here.
  • Learn more about the ENG1 and ML5 certifications here.