Various regulations in Title 46, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 10, 12, and 13 require individuals to be physically qualified to hold certain merchant mariner’s licenses and documents. With the exception of visual acuity and color vision, these regulatory requirements are not specified. The physician conducting the physical examination makes the initial determination whether or not the seaman is “fit for duty,” that is, physically qualified to carry out his or her duties and responsibilities. However, there are medical conditions that cannot be routinely detected during a physical examination, unless the mariner discloses the symptoms or conditions, such as sleep disorders. It is recommended that medical personnel conducting physicals question mariners about these areas.

PURPOSE. The purpose of this Circular is to provide guidelines for evaluating the physical condition of an applicant for a merchant marine license or document.

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