1. Merchant shipping (Medical Examination) Rules,1986. 

In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires:  

(a) "Act" means the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958).  

(b) "Annexure" means Annexure appended to these rules.  

(c) "Director" means the Director, seamen's Employment Office Bombay orCalcutta, as the case may be, and included at other places such other Officers as the Director General of Shipping may appointed to perform the functions of the Director under these rules.

(d) " Medical authority' for the purposes of medical examination prior to first Engagement of a seaman means a medical authority appointed under rule 4 And for the purpose of any subsequent medical examination of a seamanmeans a medical officer being a registered medical practitioner, appointed
Or, as the case may be, designated as a medical officer of the owner or
Agent of the shipping Company appointed by the Central Government for that purpose.

(e) "prescribed standards" means the standards of physical fitness as set out in Axnnexure "A".(f) All words and expressions used, but not defined in these rules, shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Act.

3. Application

The following categories of seaman shall be exempted from the provision of these rules  :-

i) Seamen who have been registered in the Home Trade Sector on or before the 31st May 1972.
ii) Deck Officers, Engineers, Radio Officer, Pursers and Clerical Staff, Chief Stewards, medical officers and their staff, Apprentices and Cadets, Hair-dressers, Stewardesses on Passenger ship, Electricians, Fitters, Gunners, Wiremen, Hotel Staff including bazarmen.

4. Appointment of medical Authority.

The Central Government shall appoint such numbers of Medical Authorities at the such ports or places, as it  thinks fit for the purpose of sub – section (2) of section 98 of the Act.

5. Medical Examination.

(1)  Every seaman prior to his registration in the Seamen’s Employment Officer Employment Officer shall appear before the medical authority appointed under rule 4 and obtain a certificate of physical fitness.

(2)  At the time of engagement on board the ship the seaman shall be examined by the Medical authority appointed by the shipping Company duly approve bythe Central Government to be the Medical; Authority for the purpose of theserules.

6. Arrangements for Medical Examination.

(1) On receipt of an application for medical examination, the Director, after   satisfying himself that the applicant is otherwise  eligible, shall cause Particulars of the seaman to be Posted in a register and shall fix a date, time and Place for such medical examination and inform the applicant medical examination and inform the applicant accordingly, He shall also transmit to the Medical Authority a request  for the medical examination of such seaman giving relevant particulars, namely name, age, category, and marks of identification. 

2) On selection of any seaman for engagement on board the ship, the owner or agent of the ship shall cause relevant Particulars of the seaman
namely, name, age, category, mark of identification, registration number and continuous discharge certificate number to be furnished to the Medical Authority and fix date, time and Place for medical examination of the seaman.

7. Appearance for medical examination.

Every seaman referred to in rule 6 shall present himself before the Medical Authority and Produce his registration book and continuous discharge certificate, if held, at the appointed time and place for medical examination and at  such subsequent  date and times as he may required by the Medical Authority.

8. Nature of Medical Examination

Every seaman appearing for medical examination shall be subjected by the Medical Authority to such tests as may be considered necessary for determining his physical fitness in accordance with the prescribed standards as laid down in Annexure ‘A’.

9. Records of medical examination.

The Medical Authority shall maintain a full record of the medical examinations conducted with copies of certificates of physical fitness issued and shall also send weekly returns to the Director showing the result of the medical examination in respect of every seaman examined during the week. The date and result of the examination shall also. be endorsed in the registration book at the place reserved for additional endorsements.

10. Certificate of physical fitness.

(1) On completion of initial medical examination, the Medical Authority shall issue to every seaman satisfying the prescribed standards, a certificate of physical fitness in the Form set out in Annexure ‘B’. 

(2) In the event of seaman failing to satisfy the prescribed standards due to any  temporary defect, which in the opinion of the Medical Authority is likely to be cured after treatment, the Medical Authority shall issue to the seaman a certificate  with the remarks “temporarily unfit” indicating generally. where possible the reasons for such unfitness and with the remarks that the seaman should come for re-examination after the cause of his temporary unfitness are removed. 

(3)  A seaman not satisfying the prescribed standards of physical fitness and found suffering from a disease or physical defect which, in the opinion of the Medical Authority examining him, renders him permanently unfit for sea service, shall be given a certificate of permanent unfitness. 

Note:- Sub-rules (2) and (3) shall not apply to new entrants examined in accordance with the standards prescribed in Part I of  Annexure   ‘A’ 

11. Records of results.

The Director shall maintain a record of the results of Medical examinations in respect of seaman referred by him for medical examination.

12. Validity of certificate of physical fitness. 

Subject to the provisions of sub-rule (2) of rule 5, a certificate of the physical fitness issued by the Medical Authority shall remain valid till such time the seaman is found permanently unfit in any subsequent examination or otherwise.

13. Appointment of the Appellate Authority.

(1) The Central Government may, by order in writing constitute an Appellate Authority comprising of not less than 3 specialists in any branch of medical science. 

(2) Panel of specialists constituting Appellate Authority shall be drawn by the Central Government in consultation with the representative organizations of shipowners and seafarers. No person in the employ of any owner or agent of  a ship or of representative organizations of shipowners or of seafarers shall be empanelled in constituting such Appellate Authority.

14. Appeal against the decision of the Medical Authority.

(1) A seaman may, within a period of sixty days from the date on which he is declared unfit by the Medical Authority, appeal against such decision to the Appellate Authority through the Director: provided that an appeal may be admitted after the said period of sixty days if  the Director is satisfied that the seaman had sufficient cause for not making such appeal within the prescribed period. 

(2) On receipt of the appeal the Director shall refer it to the Appellate Authority  and inform the seaman of the date, time and place of his examination by the  Appellate Authority. 

(3) The decision of the Appellate Authority shall be binding on the seaman as well as owner or agent of the ship. 

(4) A seaman who has put in active service on ships for not less than five years, may apply to the Director, within a period of twelve months from the date on which the Appellate Authority had declared him permanently
unfit  for reviewing his case if he has obtained a certificate of fitness from a specialist in that branch of medical science to which his ailment relates. Provided that the director may admit any application made after the said
period of twelve months if he is satisfied that the seaman had sufficient cause for not making the application within the prescribed period.

15. Fees.

(1) A fee of Rs. 5/- shall be paid by every seaman for arrangements made by the Director for his medical examination. 

(2) A fee of Rs. 5/- shall be charged from the seaman for issue of duplicate certificate of fitness. 

(3) Every application to the Appellate Authority under Rule 14, shall be accompanied by a fee of – 
(a) rupees 15, where the appeal is preferred under sub-rule (1) quality and 
(b) rupees 20, where, the appeal is preferred under  sub-rule (4).

16. Repeal and savings.

(1) The Indian Merchant shipping (Medical Examination) Rules, 1958 are hereby repealed. 

(2) All appointments made, acts done or omitted to be done and the certificates issued under the repealed rules shall be deemed to have been made, done or issued under the corresponding provisions of these rules.



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