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.

Latest news on fishing medicals

Following extensive consultation with the industry, the government has listened and will waive the requirement for routine medical checks for fishermen on vessels measuring 10 metres and under.

While the safety of fishermen remains the top priority, the government is delivering this pragmatic change so that small-scale fishing businesses aren’t unduly forced ashore and financially burdened by the cost of medical assessments, allowing them to continue fishing without restriction.

It remains a legal requirement for fishers on vessels over 10 metres to have a medical certificate.

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).

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.