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Draft Merchant Mariner Medical Manual Notification of Availability and Request for Comments

The Coast Guard is seeking public comment regarding the draft Merchant Mariner Medical Manual. The guidance in this manual should assist medical practitioners, the maritime industry, individual mariners, and Coast Guard personnel in evaluating mariner applicants’ physical and medical statuses to meet the requirements of the merchant mariner medical certificate. This draft commandant instruction manual incorporates and consolidates prior guidance on the medical evaluation of merchant mariners contained in several Coast Guard documents. The manual includes guidance on the medical certificate and related processes, including procedures for application, issuance, and cancellation of the medical certificate.

The Coast Guard requests public comment on the draft Medical Manual, with emphasis on its readability, clarity, and ease of use. We welcome suggestions on how the manual can be improved.

We are particularly interested in whether the draft manual adequately addresses safety concerns in situations where the Coast Guard receives information indicating that a medical certificate holder has developed a medical condition that poses a significant risk of sudden incapacitation, or is taking a medication that poses a significant risk of impairment.

pdf of this notice i available here

The Notice of Availability and draft Medical Manual may be viewed on the Federal eRulemaking Portal, under docket number USCG-2018-0041.

Comments must be submitted to the online docket on or before January 14, 2019.

For information about this document, contact Adrienne Buggs, M.D., United States Coast Guard, Office of Merchant Mariner Credentialing by telephone at (202) 372-2357 or by e-mail to


Kirsten R. Martin

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard

Commanding Officer


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