In compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW Convention) and Maritime Labour Convention, as amended (MLC, 2006) the opinion regarding medical fitness of seafarers for work on board ship shall be provided only by the medical practitioners recognised by the Registry of Seamen.
Procedure of recognition
The criteria and procedure of recognition of medical practitioners of seafarers, and those for withdrawal of recognition, as well as duties of medical practitioners of seafarers are prescribed by the Cabinet Regulation No. 811 “Regulations regarding recognition of medical practitioners of seafarers” adopted 20 December 2016.
In order to be recognised as a medical practitioner of seafarers, the medical practitioner shall submit an application to the Registry of Seamen (Annex 1 to the Regulations No. 811). The following documents shall be appended to the application:
- a copy of a valid certificate of a medical practitioner in occupational health and occupational diseases;
- a copy of one of the following documents certifying work experience:
- documentary evidence of at least one year of work experience in the position of a ship’s doctor;
- documentary evidence of at least two years of work experience in providing opinions in conformity with the requirements of the STCW Convention;
- if the medical practitioner is an individual member of the International Maritime Health Association, documentary evidence of at least five years of work experience as a medical practitioner in occupational health and occupational diseases;
- confirmation by a recognised medical practitioner of seafarers that the medical practitioner has worked under his / her supervision for at least two months (for medical practitioners who submit a document certifying work experience in compliance with the requirements specified in sub-paragraph 1 or 3 of the above paragraph);
- two copies of samples of the signature and seal impression of the medical practitioner; and
- descriptions of the quality management system procedures referred to in sub-paragraph 8.6 of the Cabinet Regulation No. 811.
By submitting the application, the medical practitioner certifies that:
- the information indicated in the application and the documents appended thereto is true and not misleading;
- when providing the opinion, he/she is professionally and financially independent from the seafarer, the employer of the seafarer and seafarer employment organisations;
- he/she is familiar with the requirements of national regulatory enactments and international regulatory enactments binding to Latvia regarding medical examination of seafarers and candidates for qualification of seafarer, and has become acquainted with the guidelines of IMO and ILO “Guidelines on the medical examinations of seafarers”, their future editions and other applicable international guidelines published by ILO, IMO or WHO;
- he/she is familiar with the specifics of seafarers’ job and working and living conditions on board ship;
- he or she has access to the required facilities (for example, premises, medical equipment), in order to assess the conformity of the health of seafarers for work on board ship in compliance with the requirements of national regulatory enactments and international regulatory enactments binding to Latvia; and
- is informed that the processing of his/her personal data is performed by the Registry of Seamen in connection with the fulfillment of the duties thereof;
- he/she, during professional activity, observes regulatory enactments governing the field of medical care.
After processing of application, the Registry of Seamen carries out an assessment of the medical practitioner in compliance with the requirements of paragraph 6 and 7 of the Cabinet Regulation No. 811.
The period of recognition of the medical practitioner of seafarers does not exceed the period of validity of the certificate of medical practitioner in occupational health and occupational diseases.
Additional information can be found in the “Guidelines on the medical examinations of seafarers” published by IMO and ILO:
Guidelines on the medical examinations of seafarers (IMO/ILO, 2013 Edition, English)
Norādījumi par jūrnieku veselības pārbaudi (IMO/ILO, translation of 2011 Edition, Latvian)