ML5 Seafarers Service

Who needs an ML5 Medical Fitness Certificate?

  • The master of a passenger ship that does not go to sea (Class IV or V)
  • The master of a commercial vessel that does not go to sea
  • The master or a crew member of a small commercial vessel certificated for Area Category 2 to 6 (no more than 60 miles from a safe haven)
  • A crew member or anyone else (for example catering staff) who normally works on a domestic
    passenger ship (Class VI or VIA) that goes to sea
  • Master or Crew of a fishing vessel under 24m* (from 30th November 2023)

*An ML5 certificate is valid for fishermen working on fishing vessels under 24m, operating not more than 200 miles from the coastline of the UK or beyond the Continental shelf, and that are not at sea for more than 72 hours.

Boatmasters working as a Master on a seagoing passenger ship require a full seafarer medical certificate (ENG1) following examination by an MCA Approved Doctor. An ENG 1 is always an acceptable alternative to an ML5 certificate.

RYA applicants are advised to be medically assessed before starting any training, to ensure they meet the fitness andeyesight standards. Applicants such as these can send their completed ML5 application directly to the MCA Medical Admin Team with a covering letter explaining their circumstance and why they wish to be assessed prior to completing their training.

Attending your ML5 medical

  • Please come to your medical wearing comfortable clothes you can move easily in as you may be required to do a step test..
  • Please remember to bring photographic ID and your glasses (do not wear contact lenses for your examination).
  • Avoid loud noise for 16 hours before your medical as this may affect your hearing test.
  • You will be asked to provide a urine sample as part of the medical. This is not a drugs test.

What you will need to bring:

  • A print out of the ML5 documentation, having already completed your personal details on pages 1, 2 and 13. Link to form
  • Photo ID (passport, driving licence or Seaman's Discharge Book).
  • GP's name, surgery address and contact details.
  • Details of any medication you're taking.
  • Your glasses or contact lenses if you wear them (though not colour correction lenses). You will need to remove contact lenses during examination.
  • Your previous medical certificate if you have one.
  • Comfortable footwear and clothes to enable you to undertake exercise test if needed.

What does the medical involve?

  • Urine sample so that your kidney function and blood sugar levels can be tested.
  • Measure your height and weight.
  • Take your blood pressure.
  • Test your eyesight and check for colour blindness.
  • Physical examination.
  • If you have any previous medical history then the doctor will discuss this with you too.
  • Sometimes other tests are needed such as a step test, an ECG or spirometry (breathing test).

How long will it take?

The appointment usually lasts 30-60 minutes

How do I get my ML5 certificate?

At the end of the examination the doctor will complete the medical declaration and certification of fitness within your MSF 4112 form. You will then need to send your entire form to your local Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) office or the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) who will endorse your ML5 certificate.

What happens if I fail my ML5 medical?

If you have a medical condition which prevents the doctor signing the ML5 certificate of fitness and you wish to continue with your application then you need to complete part D of MSF 4112 and send the entire form to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) or Royal Yachting Association. Your application will then be reviewed by an independent MCA medical assessor.

How long is my ML5 valid for?

Your ML5 certificate is valid for a maximum of five years from date of issue or until your 65th birthday, whichever comes soonest. It is valid for one year for those over 65 years of age.

Click! to download the ML5 form now