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

17 September 2018

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.

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
Credit: Maritime New Zealand
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.”

“Operators – please check that your ring-fenced seafarers have a current Certificate of Medical Fitness – National and/or Ring-fenced Maritime Certificates in either category A(T) or category B. If you have any questions, please contact our certification team on seafarers@maritimenz.govt.nz or (NZ toll free) 0508 732 237.”

How to get your medical assessment in five steps:

  1. Go to your GP – or any GP, if you don’t have your own.
  2. Take a photo ID, information on the tickets you hold and print the Certificate of Medical Fitness – National and/or Ring-fenced Maritime Certificates from our webpage maritimenz.govt.nz/medicalforms
  3. Ask your GP to conduct a medical examination and complete the certificate. (Information on how to complete the certificate is available here:
  4. The GP will assign you a medical category. You need an A, A(T) or B to continue using your ticket.
  5. Keep the medical certificate. You need a copy with you when you are working on a ship as evidence of your fitness and any conditions.


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