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Maritime Medical Service

Responsibilities of the Maritime Medical Service

The Maritime Medical Service is part of the Ship Safety Division with its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. It covers the following areas of responsibility:

  • Leading and administering medical check-ups establishing whether a captain, officer or crew member has the physical and mental preconditions required to work aboard an ocean-going vessel; the check-up is administered according to criteria set up by traffic medicine, according to the German Seemannsgesetz, the law establishing the rights and duties of crew members and according to the Verordnung über die Seediensttauglichkeit, the Regulation on requirements for working on an ocean-going vessel, which includes an instruction referring to the German Infektionsschutzgesetz, the Infection Diseases Prevention Act, concerning those sailors employed in catering service
  • Leading and administering medical check-ups establishing whether a sea pilot has the physical and mental preconditions required according to the German Seelotsenuntersuchungsverordnung, the Regulation on requirements for working as a sea pilot
  • Dealing with objections by candidates who have been declared unfit for service at sea as well as becoming involved in the complaints proceedings at the court
  • Taking a leading role in updating the German Krankenfürsorge-Verordnung, the Ordinance for the Medical Care on Seagoing Vessels – in particular updating the supplies of the on-board pharmacies – as well as cooperating to establish the following based on the Ordinace: guidelines, leaflets and recommendations, expert advice to the participating German Ministries, a significant contribution to help pharmacies ashore providing supplies, port health authorities, shipping companies, institutions for training and refresher courses as well as supporting the radio medical advice service
  • Contributing to the establishment of curricula for the medical training provided at nautical colleges as well as refresher courses for ship’s officers and administering training and courses
  • Advising and contributing to all basic issues concerning maritime medicine – by means of working in a number of national and international committees, working teams, conferences and symposia – thereby influencing the development of maritime medicine; this can also be achieved through new ideas, supervising and realising research
  • Updating and renewing the medical handbook "Anleitung zur Krankenfürsorge auf Kauffahrteischiffen", the "German Medical Guide for Ships". This manual is used as an instruction book for the medical training of ship’s officers and is, at the same time, an instruction manual for medical health care on vessels without a ship's doctor.



Dienststelle Schiffsicherheit Dienststelle Schiffsicherheit Dienststelle Schiffsicherheit Seeärztlicher Dienst Ship Safety Division Ship Safety Division Maritime Medical Service
Maritime Medical Service

Information on Medical fitness examinations for seafarers

Changing to German flag

Information on changing to German flag

Port State Control

Inspection of foreign ships


Download of information and forms of Ship Safety Division

Contact / Location

Ship Safety Division including Maritime Medical Service

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