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Home / Bare Acts / Central Acts and Rules / Transport Laws / Merchant Shipping Act,1958 / Merchant Shipping (Medical Examination) Rules, 2000

Merchant Shipping (Medical Examination) Rules, 2000

The Merchant Shipping (Medical Examination) Rules, 2000

Published vide Notification No. G.S.R. 57(E), dated 19th January, 2000

Act2686

Ministry of Surface Transport

(Department of Shipping)

G.S.R. 57(E). – In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (3) of section 98 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958), the Central Government hereby makes the following rules, namely :-

  1. Short title and commencement.– (1) These rules may be called the Merchant Shipping (Medical Examination) Rules, 2000.

(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.

  1. Definitions.– (1) In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires.-

(a) “Act” means the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958):

(b) ” Annexure” means Annexure appended to these rules;

[(c) “Medical Examiner” means a qualified medical practitioner approved under provisions of rule 4;

(d) “standards of physical fitness”, means the standards specified in Annexure-I, Annexure-II and Annexure-III.]

(2) Words and expressions used in these rules and not defined but defined in the Act shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Act,

  1. Application.– These rules shall apply to, –

(a) Masters, officers and ratings; and

[(b) seafarers employed or engaged in any capacity on board ship as part of ship’s complement including young persons.]

[4. Approval of Medical Examiner. – An official of the Directorate General of Shipping duly authorised by the Director General shall approve such numbers of Medical Examiners at such ports or places, as deemed necessary for the purpose of sub-section (2) of section 98 of the Act.

  1. Medical examination.– Every seafarer, for the purposes of sections 98(2) and 111 of the Act, shall be subject to the following medical examinations, as may be applicable, namely:-

(a) Pre-sea medical examination: This medical examination is conducted before a person embarks upon a seafaring career and includes Pre-sea Eye Test as per the standards of physical fitness specified in Annexure-I and standards of Eye Sight standards specified in Annexure-II.

(b) Periodic medical examinations: This medical examination is conducted at periodic intervals during the seafarer’s career as per the standards specified in Annexure-I and Annexure-III.

(c) Periodic Eye Test: This Eye Test is conducted on seafarers appearing for Nautical Grade Examinations for issue of Certificate of Competency as per the standards specified in Annexure-III]

OLD LAW 6
  1. Arrangements for medical examination.– (1) On being selected for pre-sea training for medical examination, the Director or the officer in-charge of the pre-sea training institute, after satisfying himself that the applicant is eligible, shall cause the particulars of the seaman namely full name, age, category, Continuous Discharge Certificate and passport number to be entered in a register kept for that purpose and shall fix a date, time and place for his medical examination and inform the medical examiner designated by the training institute and the applicant accordingly.

(2) On selection of a master or seaman, as the case may be for engagement on board the ship, the owner or agent of the ship shall cause the particulars of the seaman namely, full name, age, category continuous discharge certificate number, passport number and mark of identification to be furnished to the medical examiner and fix date, time and place for medical examination of the seaman in accordance with these rules.

  1. Appearance for medical examination.– Every master or seaman, as the case may be referred to in rule 6 shall present himself before the medical examiner and produce his registration book and continuous discharge certificate, if held, at the appointed time and place for medical examination and at such subsequent dates and times as he may be required by the medical examiner.
[8. Conduct of medical examination. – (1) Every person appearing for medical examination shall report to the medical examiner and may be subjected to such minimum number of tests as may be considered necessary for determining fitness in accordance with the standards laid down in Annexure–I, Annexure–II and Annexure–III as applicable.

(2) The seafarer may also be required to take the required vaccinations, if applicable.

(3) The expenses for periodic medical examinations [pre-sign-on and post-sign-off (when required)] and vaccination, if applicable, for employment purposes shall be borne by the concerned shipping company.

  1. Records of medical examination.– (1) The Medical Examiner shall maintain records of all medical examinations conducted along with copies of certificate of physical fitness issued for the period specified by the Director General.

(2) The records shall also be maintained in electronic format.

(3) The records shall be available for inspection or verification whenever required by surveyors of the Mercantile Marine Department and the Directorate General of Shipping.

  1. Certificate of physical fitness.– (1) On completion of medical examination as required under rule 5, the persons satisfying the standards of physical fitness shall be issued a medical certificate as follows:-

(a) in case of pre-sea medical examination, as specified in Annexure – IV and Annexure V;

(b) in case of periodic medical examination, as specified in Annexure – IV; and.

(c) in case of periodic Eye test, as specified in Annexure-V.

(2) If the person appearing for medical examination does not satisfy the standards of physical fitness, the Medical Examiner shall issue the person a certificate indicating temporary or permanent unfitness, as may be applicable, clearly stating the reason for such temporary or permanent unfitness.]

OLD LAW 6
  1. Records of results.– The Director of officer incharge of pre-sea training institute shall maintain a record of the results of Medical examinations in respect of seaman referred by him for medical examination.

[12. Validity of certificate of physical Fitness. – (1) Unless a shorter period is specified by reason of certain duties to be performed by the seafarer, the medical certificate shall be valid for a maximum period of two years, unless the person is under the age of eighteen years of age; in which case, the maximum period of validity of the medical certificate shall be one year.

(2) If the period of validity of the medical certificate expires in the course of voyage, then the medical certificate shall continue to be in force for a period not exceeding three months from the date of expiry, or until the next port of call where an approved Medical Examiner is available, and the seafarer can get examined and obtain renewed medical certificate from that Medical Examiner.]

OLD LAW 6
  1. Appointment of the Appellate Authority.– (1) The Central Government may, by order in writing, constitute an Appellate Authority comprising of not less than three specialists in any branch of Medical Science.

(2) The panel of specialists constituting the appellate authority shall be drawn by the Central Government in consultation with the representative organisations of shipowners and seafarers. No person in the employment of any owner or agent of a ship or of representative organisations of shipowners or of seafarers shall be empanelled in constituting such appellate authority.

  1. Appeal against the decision of the medical examiner.– [(1) A person undergoing medical examination under the provisions of these rules may, within a period of sixty days from the date on which the person is aggrieved by the decision of medical examiner, appeal against such decisions to the Appellate Authority through the Director, Seamen’s Employment Office:

Provided that, an appeal may be admitted after the expiry of the period of sixty days, if the appellant satisfies the Director, Seamen’s Employment Office that the person had sufficient cause for not making such appeal within the specified period.]

(2) Every appeal made under this rule shall be accompanied by a copy of the order appealed against.

(3) On receipt of the appeal the Director, Seamen’s Employment Office shall refer it to the appellate authority immediately and if ordered inform the seaman of the date, time and place of his examination by the appellate authority.

(4) The appellate authority, before disposing of an appeal, shall give a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the appellant.

(5) An appeal shall be disposed of as expeditiously as possible but within a period of sixty days from the date of filing of the appeal.

(6) The appellate authority may confirm, modify or reverse the order, appealed against.

(7) The decision of the appellate authority shall be binding on the seaman as well as owner or agent of the ship.

(8) A seaman who has put in active service on ships for not less than five years, may apply to the Director, Seaman’s Employment Office within a period of one year from the date on which the appellate authority had declared him permanently unfit for reviewing his case if he has obtained a certificate of fitness from a medical specialist in that branch of medical science to which his ailment relates. Provided that the Director, Seamen’s Employment Office may admit any such review application made after the said period of one year if he is satisfied that the seaman had sufficient cause for not making the application within the said period.

[15. Suspension or cancellation of approval as Medical Examiner. – (1) The approval of a Medical Examiner under rule 4 may be suspended or cancelled in case of serious lapse, misconduct, unethical conduct or non-professional conduct in contravention of the provisions of the Act or the rules made there under including that of Merchant Shipping Notice or Order of the Directorate issued from time to time:

Provided that in case of procedural lapse, a cautionary note may be issued to the Medical Examiner: Provided further that, no order shall be passed under this rule, unless a reasonable opportunity of being heard is provided to the Medical Examiner.

(2) The Medical Examiner aggrieved by the decision of suspension or cancellation may appeal against the decision within fifteen days from the date of passing such order of suspension or cancellation to the Director General.

(3) The decision of the Director General shall be final and binding on all parties concerned.

(4) No order shall be passed under this rule, unless a reasonable opportunity of being heard is provided to the Medical Examiner.]

OLD LAW 6
  1. Repeal and savings.– (1) The Indian merchant Shipping (Medical Examination) Rules, 1986 are hereby repealed.

(2) All medical reports and certificates issued under the repealed rules shall be deemed to have been issued under the corresponding provisions of these rules.

[Annexure-I]

Assessment of minimum, entry level and in-service physical abilities for seafarers

Table B-I/9 of the Standards, Training, Certification and Watch keeping (STCW) Code

Shipboard task, function, event or condition Relative physical ability A medical examiner should be satisfied that the candidate
(1) (2) (3)
Routine movement around vessel:

– on moving deck

– between levels

– between compartments

Note 1 applies to this row

Maintain balance and move with agility climb up and down vertical ladders and stairways

step over coamings (e.g., load Line

Convention requires coaming to be 600 mm high)

open and close watertight doors

Has no disturbance in sense of balance.

Does not have any impairment or disease that prevents relevant movements and physical activities.

Is, without assistance, able to:

– climb vertical ladders and stairways

– step over high sills

– manipulate door closing system

Routine tasks on board:

– Use of hand tools

– Movement of ship’s stores

– Overhead work

– Valve operation

– Standing a four-hour watch

– Working in confined spaces

-Responding to alarms, warnings and instructions

– Verbal communication

Note 1 applies to this row

Strength, dexterity and stamina to manipulate mechanical devices

Lift, pull and carry a load (e.g., 18 kg)

Reach upwards

Stand, walk and remain alert for an

extended period

Work in constricted spaces and move through restricted openings (e.g., SOLAS regulation II-1-3-6.5.1 requires openings in cargo spaces and emergency escapes to have the minimum dimensions of 600mm x 600mm)

Visually distinguish objects, shapes and signals

Hear warnings and instructions

Give a clear spoken description

Does not have a defined impairment or diagnosed medical condition that reduces ability to perform routine duties essential to the safe operation of the vessel

Has ability to:

– work with arms raised

– stand and walk for an extended period

– enter confined space

– fulfil eyesight standards (table A-I/9)

– fulfil hearing standards set by competent authority or take account of International guidelines

– hold normal conversation

Emergency duties on board:

– Escape

– Fire-fighting

– Evacuation

Note 2 applies to this row

Don a life-jacket or immersion suit

Escape from smoke-filled spaces

Take part in fire-fighting duties, including use of breathing apparatus

Take part in vessel evacuation procedures

Does not have a defined impairment or diagnosed medical condition that reduces ability to perform emergency duties essential to the safe operation of the vessel.

Has ability to:

– don life-jacket o immersion suit

– crawl

– feel for differences in temperature

– handle fire-fighting equipment

– wear breathing apparatus (where required as part of duties)

Notes: (1) Rows 1 and 2 of the above table describe (a) ordinary shipboard tasks, functions, events and conditions, (b) the corresponding physical abilities which may be considered necessary for the safety of a seafarer, other crew members and the ship, and (c) high level criteria for use by Medical practitioners assessing medical fitness, bearing in mind the different duties of seafarers and the nature of shipboard work for which they will be employed.

(2) Rows 3 of above table describes (a) ordinary shipboard tasks, functions, events and conditions (b) the corresponding physical abilities which should be considered necessary for the safety of a seafarer, other crew members and the ship, and (c) high-level criteria for use by Medical practitioners assessing medical fitness, bearing in mind the different duties of seafarers and the nature of shipboard work for which they will be employed.

(3) This table is not intended to address all possible shipboard conditions or potentially disqualifying medical conditions. Parties should specify physical abilities applicable to the category of seafarers (such as “Deck officer” and “Engine rating”). The special circumstances of individuals and for those who have specialized or limited duties should receive due consideration.

(4) If in doubt, the medical practitioner should quantify the degree or severity of any relevant impairment by means of objective tests, whenever appropriate tests are available, or by referring the candidate for further assessment.

(5) The term “assistance” means the use of another person to accomplish the task.

(6) The term “emergency duties” is used to cover all standard emergency response situations such as abandon ship or fire fighting as well as the procedures to be followed by each seafarer to secure personal survival.

[Annexure-II]

Eye Sight Standards for Pre-sea Medical Examination

The Pre-sea Eye Sight standards for medical examination are as given below. There shall be no evidence of any morbid condition of either eye or of the lids of either eye which may be liable to risk of aggravation or recurrence.

  1. Nautical Department (Deck Department) includes GP Crew:
  2. Distance vision (unaided 1.0 *(6/6) in better eye and 0.67*(6/9) in other eye; and
  3. Normal colour vision shall be tested by Ishihara test chart.
  4. Engine Department :
  5. Distance vision (unaided 0.5 *(6/12) in each eye or 0.67*(6/9) in better eye and 0.33 *(6/18) in other eye; and
  6. Normal colour vision shall be tested by Ishihara test chart.
  7. Catering/Hospitality Department (including Bhandaries and Utility Hands):
  8. Distance vision (unaided 0.33 *(6/18) in each eye or 0.5*(6/12) in better eye and 0.25*(6/24) in other eye; and
  9. Normal colour vision shall be tested by Ishihara test chart.
  10. Radio Officers or Audio officers, Electrical Officer/Electronic Officer:
  11. Distance form vision (unaided 0.5 *(6/12) in each eye or 0.67*(6/9) in better eye and 0.33*(6/18) in other eye; and
  12. Normal colour vision shall be tested by Ishihara test chart.

* Values given in Snellen Decimal Notation.

[Annexure-III]

Minimum in service eyesight standards for seafarers

Table A-I/9 of Standards, Training, Certification and Watch keeping (STCW) STCW Code

STCW Convention regulation Category of seafarer Distance vision aided Near/ immediate vision Colour vision Visual fields Night blindness Diplopia (double vision)
One eye Other eye Both eyes together, aided or unaided
I/11

II/1

II/2

II/3

II/4

II/5

VII/2

Masters, deck officers and ratings required to undertake look-out duties 0.5 0.5 Vision required for ship’s navigation (e.g. chart and nautical publication reference, use of bridge instrumentation and equipment, and identification of aids to navigation) See Note 6 Normal Visual fields Vision required to perform all necessary functions in darkness without compromise No significant condition evident
I/11

III/1

III/2

III/3

III/4

III/5

III/6

III/7

VII/2

All engineer officers, electro technical officers, electro technical ratings and ratings or other forming part of an engine room watch 0.4 0.4 (see Note5) Vision required to read instruments in close proximity, to operate equipment, and to identify systems/ components as necessary See Note 7 Sufficient visual fields Vision required to perform all necessary functions in darkness without compromise No significant condition evident
I/11

IV/2

GMDSS Radio operators 0.4 0.4 Vision required to read instruments in close proximity, to operate equipment, and to identify systems/ components as necessary See Note 7 Sufficient visual fields Vision required to perform all necessary functions in darkness without compromise No significant condition evident

Note :- (1) Values given in Snellen decimal notation.

(2) A value of at least 0.7 in one eye is recommended to reduce the risk of undetected underlying eye disease

(3) As defined in the International Recommendations for Colour Vision Requirements for Transport by the Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage (CIE-143-2001 including any subsequent versions).

(4) Subject to assessment by a clinical vision specialist where indicated by initial examination findings.

(5) Engine Department personnel shall have a combined Eye Sight Vision of at least 0.4.

(6) CIE colour vision standard 1 or 2.

(7) CIE colour vision standard 1, 2 or 3.

[Annexure-IV]

Medical Certificate for Service at Sea

[Issued under the Authority of Directorate General of Shipping, Govt. of India under Rule 4 of M.S. (Medical Examination) Rules, 2000 as amended]

_______________________________
(Seafarer Name: Last, First, Middle)
Colour
Photograph
40 mm x 30 mm
___________________
Date of Birth :(dd/mm/yyyy)
__________________
Gender: (Male/Female)
Seal of Medical Exam

_______________________________________________             Indian/_____

(Number of: CDC/Passport/other valid identification document – with type of document)             (Nationality)

has been examined by_____________________________________ (Name of Medical Examiner and approval no.)

and has been found fit/unfit* for service at sea in the job of________________________________

* If unfit, reasons to be specified. Also, to specify whether temporary/permanent unfitness.

(a) The hearing and sight of the seafarer concerned, and the colour vision in the case of a seafarer to be employed in capacities where fitness for the work to be performed is liable to be affected by defective colour vision, are all satisfactory; and

(b) The seafarer concerned is not suffering from any medical condition likely to be aggravated by service at sea or to render the seafarer unfit for such service or to endanger the health of other persons on board.

(c) The Seafarer complies with the requirements specified in Table A-I/9 of STCW Code (i.e. Minimum in service eyesight standards for seafarers), Table B-I/9 of the STCW Code (i.e. Assessment of minimum entry level and in-service physical abilities for seafarers) and Regulation 1.2, Standard A-1.2 & Guideline B-1.2 of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006.

______________________________

(Date & Place of Medical Examination)

___________________________

(Signature of the Medical Examiner)

___________________________

(Serial number of the Certificate)

__________________________

(Address with E-mail ID & Contact No.
of Medical Examiner)

This Certificate expires on* _______________________ (Day, Month, Year)*

Official Stamp of the Medical Examiner

(* Not more than 2 years from the date of issue, unless the seafarers is under the age of 18, in which case the maximum period of validity of the Medical Certificate shall be 1 year).

If the period of validity of the medical certificate expires in the course of voyage, then the medical certificate shall continue to be in force for a period not exceeding three months from the date of expiry, or until the next port of call where an approved Medical Examiner is available, and the seafarer can get examined and obtain renewed medical certificate from that Medical Examiner.

(Address with E-mail ID & Contact No.
of Medical Examiner)

[Annexure-V]

Reference No. _____________________________ Form B :
Full Name _____________________________
Colour
Photograph
  Seal of
Medical
Examiner
Rank _____________________________
PP/CDC/ID No. _____________________________
Date & Place of Birth _____________________________
Colour of Eyes _____________________________
Identification Notes _____________________________

 

Right Eye Left Eye Both Eyes Result
Distance Vision Unaided
Aided
Near Vision Unaided
Aided
Field of Vision Horizontal Plan
Vertical Plan
Colour Vision Ishihara
Lantern/ Others

I, Dr. ___________________________________________ hereby certify that the above mentioned candidate has met/ not met*, the eye sight standard for his/ her designated rank/ position as set out in Annex-II*/ Annex-III* for seafaring occupation.

_________________

Candidate’s Signature

____________________________

Signature of the Medical Examiner

Date ____________ at _______________

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