Maritime navigation and health

Maritime navigation and health

Health requirements

In order to work on a ship, the ship's crew must fulfil the necessary requirements for their task.

A medical certificate provided by a recognised medical practitioner is used to ensure the medical fitness of the crew member to engage in work taking place on a vessel. In principle, the medical certificate is valid for two years from its date of issue. In exceptional cases, the period of validity of a medical statement may be restricted, for instance, due to an illness. A medical statement issued for a person under 18 years of age is valid for one year. A medical statement on colour vision is valid for six years.

A person working on a Finnish vessel must have a certificate on his or her medical fitness to engage in work on a ship issued by a recognised medical practitioner.

When the person first enters the industry, he or she must undergo the so-called pre-sea examination. For international voyages, the pre-sea examination must take place at a health centre for seafarers. For domestic voyages, the pre-sea examination can be performed by a recognised medical practitioner. Periodic examinations of seafarers engaged on both domestic and international voyages are performed by recognized medical practitioners.

Recognized medical practitioners

In Finland, there are around 450 recognized medical practitioners for seafarers. The authority to approve and supervise medical practitioners for seafarers was transferred from the National Authority for Welfare and Health to Trafi on 1 July 2018.

Medical certificates for seafarers are prepared by recognized medical practitioners and submitted to the shipping company or owner. When applying for a certificate of competence, the medical certificate for seafarers must be appended to the application submitted to Trafi.


On substantial grounds, Trafi may grant a dispensation to engage a seafarer on board a ship although the seafarer has not been considered fit for service at sea at a pre-seaexamination. For extraordinary reasons, Trafi may grant a seafarer a dispensation to continue service on board although the seafarer has not been considered fit for service at sea at a periodic examination.

Trafi may grant a dispensation for no more than two years at a time and, if necessary, add limitations or conditions concerning the period of validity, trading area or duties to be performed by the seafarer. Dispensations concerning colour vision may,however, be granted for no more than six years at a time.


A decision made by a recognized medical practitioner may be appealed filing a claim for a revised decision to Trafi. Trafi´s decision with respect to the claim and decisions on dispensation made by Trafi may in turn be appealed in the administrative courts.

Price list

Approval of medical examiners of seafarers €100/approval period (negative decisions are also charged for).

A decision on dispensation (both positive and negative) by Trafi costs EUR 120 (VAT 0%).

The recognised medical practitioner carrying out the examination shall determine the price of the medical certificate provided by a recognised medical practitioner; this fee is not regulated by the Decree on fees by Trafi.


Contact information

Contact information of the Traffic Medicine Unit
liikennelaaketiede (at)

Trafi's general contact information





Page updated 10/17/2018