What’s the Difference Between an ML5 and ENG1 Medical?

In order to work at sea you must have a medical certificate. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) accept two certificates, dependent on what sort of work you are doing. They are known as the ENG1 and the ML5. You will need one or the other to receive a commercial endorsement.

An ENG1 medical certificate must be issued by a doctor approved by the MCA.  The medical is fairly standard with blood pressure and urine samples taken as well as an eye test. Hearing may also be tested. The medical shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.

You will also be required to take along a photo ID (eg passport), your previous medical certificate (if you have one), your local doctor’s name, address and contact details, any medication you’re taking and your glasses or contact lenses (but not colour correction lenses).

An ENG1 medical certificate is required if you are;

  • a seafarer
  • in charge of a ship
  • serving on a merchant ship or yacht

The doctor will give you an ENG1 certificate if you pass the examination.

You need an ML5 medical certificate if you’re:

  • the master of a passenger ship that doesn’t go to sea (Class IV or V)
  • the master of a commercial vessel that doesn’t go to sea
  • the master or a crew member of a small commercial vessel certificated for Area Category 2 to 6 (no more than 60 miles from a safe haven)
  • a crew member or anyone else (eg catering staff) who normally works on a domestic passenger ship (Class VI or VIA) that goes to sea

There isn’t a set ML5 fee but an ENG1 has a maximum cost of £80.

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