Ring-fenced seafarers;get a medical certificate to keep working

Maritime NZ is reminding the 7,200 seafarers who have ring-fenced their ‘tickets’ they need a medical certificate to keep working.

“The medical certificate is due two years from the date your seafarer verification card was issued,” says Maritime NZ Personnel Certification manager Lou Christensen. “We recommend waiting until two months before it’s due to get it and send it to us.”

The medical certificate process is straightforward. You can go to your GP - or any GP, if you don’t have your own.

Life on board a ship poses challenging conditions and tasks such as living and working in the limited spaces, poor weather and keeping watch at varying times of day and night.

“The assessment is reassurance for you – and us – that you can handle whatever your job throws at you,” Lou says.

“We know from the ring-fencing project, how important this is for seafarers – it’s their life and livelihood. We want to give people as much of a head’s up as possible.”

Lou Christensen with a Verification of Status card and one of the forms that a seafarer's doctor needs to fill in.

Maritime NZ ring-fenced over 10,000 legacy seafarer certificates by the 1 September 2017 deadline.

The requirement to have a certificate of medical fitness is in Maritime Rule 34.20 and the Maritime Transport Act 1994.

“If you have already had a medical and it is still current, or are not currently using your ring-fenced ticket, then you won’t need to get a certificate of medical fitness,” Lou says.

“In the future, if you decide you wish to work, you will need to get a Certificate of Medical fitness before commencing work.”

How to get your medical assessment in three steps:

1. Make an appointment with your GP - or any GP, if you don't have your own.

2. Get the two forms below, available from our webpage maritimenz.govt.nz/medicalforms. You will need to complete the seafarer declaration on the medical examination form.

- Medical examination form

- Certificate of medical fitness

3. Take the forms with you to your appointment and ask your doctor to complete both forms.

Your Doctor will give you the original certificate of medical fitness and will email the copy to: medicals@maritimenz.govt.nz

Maritime NZ do not require a copy of the medical examination form.