Seafarer medical examination

Seafarer medical examination for inland shipping and sea shipping

  • If you want to apply for or renew a European Union qualification certificate or dienstboekje (service booklet) for inland shipping, you need a medische keuring binnenvaart (seafarer medical examination for inland shipping).
  • To work as a crew member onboard a seagoing vessel registered in the Netherlands, you need a medische keuring zeevaart (seafarer medical examination for sea shipping) every 2 years.

Medical examinations are not compulsory for vocational or tertiary students, however they are recommended. Without the medical examination, students will not be able to start an internship or work on a ship.

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Examination by medical examiner

For the examination, you must visit a medical examiner who is authorised by the ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat, IenW (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management). This cannot be your general physician (GP), a consulting physician nor your company doctor.

During the examination you can identify yourself with a passport or valid identification document (ID). A service book or monsterboekje (seaman’s book) is not considered a valid form of ID in this situation.

The medical examiner will check whether you meet the examination requirements. You answer questions about your health and previous examination results.

Result of the seafarer medical examination

You will either receive from the medical examiner:

  • A Geneeskundige verklaring (medical certificate) upon passing your medical examination.
  • A Verklaring van medische ongeschiktheid (declaration of medical unsuitability) if you do not pass your medical examination.

If your application is suspended pending a re-examination, you must visit the same medical examiner for the re-examination. A medical examination conducted by a different medical examiner is not valid.

If your application is denied or cancelled, re-examination or exemption is sometimes possible.