Medical and eyesight requirements for seafarers

To apply for or renew a certificate of competency or proficiency, you need to prove that your medical fitness and eyesight meet the required standards.

On this page:

Requirements for seafarers with ring-fenced tickets

To keep working with your ring-fenced ticket

If you’re one of the seafarers who ring-fenced their ticket(s), you will also need a medical certificate to keep working. The medical certificate will be due two years from the date your verification card was issued. You will get a reminder from MNZ before it's due.

When it’s time, here’s what you need to do:

It’s that simple


To apply for or renew a certificate of competency or proficiency, you need to prove that your medical fitness and eyesight meet the required standards.

To do this, you need to have a medical examination and get a certificate of medical fitness from a GP. You may also need to have your eyes tested by a registered optometrist.

Refer to the guideline for the certificate of competency or proficiency you are applying for, to find out the medical fitness and eyesight standards you must meet.

Forms and Guidelines: All seafarer certificates

Medical fitness examinations - who can do them?

National and Ring-fenced certificates

The medical examination for any national or ring-fenced certificate may be conducted by any New Zealand registered GP.

Search the list of registered doctors on the Medical Council of New Zealand website:
Medical Council of New Zealand []

STCW and STCW-F-certificates

The medical examination for any STCW or STCW-F certificate must be conducted by an approved GP.

Approved GPs

Eyesight tests

Engineering certificates and renewals

Eyesight tests for new applicants for engineering certificates and for renewals of all certificates are conducted by a medical practitioner as part of the medical examination. However, if there are any concerns about the test results, they will refer the seafarer to a registered optometrist for further testing.

Deck certificates

Applicants for new deck certificates must have their eyesight and colour vision tested by a New Zealand registered optometrist.

Find an optometrist

If you require an eyesight test by a registered optometrist, search the Optometrist and Dispensing Opticians Board’s online register.

You can search the register for optometrists by name or location:
Optometrist and Dispensing Opticians Board

Find out more

For more information, refer to the guideline for medical and eyesight requirements for seafarers:

Seafarer medical and eyesight requirements[PDF: 180kB, 84 pages]

Resources for GPs and optometrists

For more information, guidelines and forms for GPs and optometrists, click on the link below:

Information for GPs & optometrists

Fees and charges

View all our fees and charges for providing services and activities in the maritime sector
Read more

Get help

For more information, contact the Seafarer Certification team:


New Zealand (toll free):
0508 225 522

Call us now



Seafarer Certification, Maritime New Zealand, PO Box 25620, Wellington 6146