Certificate of recognition

The Danish Maritime Authority issues certificates of recognition based on the seafarer’s foreign competency

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A Danish certificate of recognition is a certificate issued to a seafarer who has not completed a Danish exam or does not hold a Danish certificate of competency, who would like to be engaged on a ship flying the Danish flag.

All foreign officers must hold a certificate of recognition; ratings are not required to have a certificate of recognition. The Danish Maritime Authority also issues certificates of endorsement for foreign ship's cooks.

  • Senior officers must have completed a Danish maritime law course.
  • Masters must have completed a Danish maritime law course for masters.
  • The Danish Maritime Authority can issue a CRA (confirmed receipt of application), which is a temporary certificate valid for up to 3 months. CRAs are issued only upon request following the filing of an application. CRAs are not issued to masters.

All seafarers must have a medical certificate, from a country that has implemented the STCW convention and ratified the MLC.

In order to be able to work on board Danish ships, including fishing vessels, you must regularly be subject to a medical examination and be found fit for ship service at this examination.

If you are between the age of 16 and 18, you must be examined at maximum intervals of 12 months. If you have turned 18 years of age, an examination every second year will normally be sufficient.

Health certificates on the basis of medical examinations are only issued to seafarers or fishermen.

The maritime medical practitioner always decides whether a seafarer is fit for ship service, possibly with limitations.

The decision is made in consideration of the seafarer's or the fisherman's health and safety, the rest of the crew and the ship's safety.

Special regulations apply to divers. The same is the case with sight and hearing tests for yachtsmen.

Medical examination in Denmark

In Denmark, medical examinations of seafarers and fishermen must be performed only by maritime medical practitioners appointed by the Danish Maritime Authority.

A list of approved medical examiners is available on this page.

It is recommended that the seafarer or the fisherman makes an appointment with the maritime medical practitioner in due time and brings the following to the medical examination:

  • Identification (discharge book, passport, driving licence or any other photo ID)
  • Health certificate if they are in possession of one already

The maritime medical practitioner issues and endorses the health certificate following the medical examination.

If the seafarer or the fisherman is found unfit for ship service, the maritime medical practitioner is still obliged to issue a health certificate containing an endorsement to this effect to the seafarer or fisherman.

If a medical practitioner who has not been appointed a maritime medical practitioner performs a medical examination, it is not valid. 

Seafarers and fishermen must not be issued with health certificates or take up service on Danish ships on the basis of such an examination.

Medical examination abroad

Health certificates issued by a foreign authority can be used on Danish Ships if it is issued in accordance with the Danish rules.

Seafarers must be in possession of a valid health certificate when serving on board a Danish ships.

The seafarer must be able to present a valid health certificate at all times during their employment. It is up to the shipmaster and the shipping company to ensure that the health certificate meets the necessary requirements.

The health certificate must be issued by an authority that has implemented the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping (STCW) and in accordance with the provisions of the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC).

Medical examination in Greenland

For health certificates issued in Greenland, the Danish medical certificate must continue to be used and the master shall issue or endorse the health certificate in accordance with the medical certificate.

Retrieve the form and guidelines regarding 'Medical certificate for examination of seafarers'.

The seafarer or the fisherman is recommended to make an appointment with the medical practitioner and bring the following for the medical examination:

  • Identification (discharge book, passport, driving licence or any other photo ID)
  • Health certificate if they already have one

The master is required to report the result of the medical examination by sending an email to the Danish Maritime Authority:

Health certificate

Health certificates are issued following a medical examination by a maritime medical practitioner in Denmark or by the master abroad.

The Danish health certificate is in full compliance with the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) and the STCW Convention.

If a health certificate has gone lost, the Danish Maritime Authority can issue a new certificate:

Unfit for ship service

If you have, as a seafarer or fisherman, been found unfit for ship service, you must not arrange for a new medical examination by a maritime medical practitioner.

However, you can forward an application to the Danish Maritime Authority requesting a permit to be subjected to a new medical examination. Applications for new medical examinations should be forwarded by email:

The following information should be given in the email:

  • Name and date of birth.
  • When were you examined by a medical practitioner?
  • Have you been issued with a health certificate previously?
  • Why would you like to be granted this permit? Remember to enclose any documentation.

Please observe that it is also possible to complain about the decision made by the maritime medical practitioner if you have been found unfit for ship service.

Payment for medical examinations

  • Seafarers and fishermen must pay for the medical examination themselves, but it is possible for them to have the amount refunded by their employer if they present a bill. This is also the case with students who have concluded a training agreement.
  • If you do not have an employer when the medical examination takes place, it is possible for the first employer who hires you to refund the amount upon presentation of the original bill from the maritime medical practitioner.
  • The Danish Maritime Authority pays the fee for medical examinations of students at nautical colleges, fishing schools and training ships where they are required to present a health certificate when being admitted to the maritime training programme.

File a complaint about medical examinations

Danish Shipping Tribunal

Complaints can be made to the Danish Shipping Tribunal about medical examinations performed by maritime medical practitioners in either Denmark or abroad. 

Seafarers, fishermen, the shipowner or the Danish Maritime Authority can file complaints. The complaint must have been filed no later than 8 weeks after the date of examination.

Complaints should be forwarded to:

The Danish Shipping Tribunal, the Secretariat
The Danish Appeals Boards Authority (Nævnenes Hus)
Toldboden 2
DK-8800 Viborg

Tel. +45 72 40 56 00

Email: anke@naevneneshus.dk

Start Apply for a certificate of recognition

Typically, shipowners and agents will apply for certificates of recognition on behalf of the seafarers. If you are a citizen of the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you yourself can apply for a Danish certificate of recognition.

If you apply as a shipowner or an agent, you are to use the shipowner's CVR number.

When applying, you must have your MitID or your employee signature as well as your credit card at hand. We request a fee of DKK 855 (2023) for certificates. You must attach a digital photo against a uniform background meeting the requirements for passport photos.

At the moment, we need an average of 5 days to consider applications, but you should always remember to apply well in advance.

Once you have applied, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application, a case number and confirmation of receipt of your payment.

Should you have any questions or need to forward additional documentation for your case, you should answer the email received together with your case number.

Last updated: 02 January 2024