A seafarer must hold a valid medical certificate to be able to work on board a ship. Losing the medical certificate means that the seafarer cannot make use of his Certificate of Competence (COC), resulting in a lost job at sea. The effect is equivalent to directly losing the COC, and implies financial consequences that usually are challenging for any seafarer. 

In some countries, this is covered by a loss of licence insurance[1]. It has different names in different contexts, like Loss of medical certificate disability insurance or Loss of licence insurance. They differ in content, between different flags and between different employers and their organisations. Hence, there is no worldwide consistency in the cover.

Loss of licence insurance is not discussed in detail here. The importance of mentioning it lies in the fact that a medical examiner should be cautious and fully aware of the consequences for the seafarer who is denied a medical certificate or get a certificate that is limited or restricted.

The decision by the approved doctor could have serious consequences for the seafarer’s working possibilities. It calls for a sound and thorough assessment by the doctor.

[1] The Nordic NIS Agreement