Technical Circular No:9/2018

Subject: RMI Marine Notice on Medical Care Onboard and Ashore.

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  • Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) has revised marine notice No. 7-042-1 dated Jan.2018 providing guidance on medical care onboard ship and ashore.
  • The notice addresses Ship’s medicine chest, Recordkeeping and Responsibilities and Training for medical care.
  • Salient points of the notice are as follows:
  1. All RMI flagged vessels are required to carry a medicine chest containing:
    1. Medical supplies and equipment; 
    2. The latest edition of applicable publications, forms and charts;as appropriate to the particular vessel’s route, operation and number of persons onboard.

                 Above requirements of carriage onboard are given in Appendix 1 and appendix 2 of the attached notice.

  1. All vessels greater than 500 gross tons shall be provided with commercially available first aid kits for their engine room and galley.
  1. RMI flagged vessels without a doctor onboard are required to take note of below ship-specific medical inventory guidelines while establishing the contents of their medicine chest as per appendix 1 of the attached notice.


WHO Category

Oceangoing ships

Category A

Coastal, Great Lakes or nearby foreign ports with voyages not more than 24 hours from port of call

Category B

Fishing vessels

• on extended voyages more than seven (7) days

• on voyages of seven (7) days or less and in close proximity to a port of call


Category B

Category C


• on voyages more than 60 miles from safe harbor

• on voyages 60 miles or less from safe harbor


Category B

Category C

Ro-Ro Passenger Ships not normally carrying a medical doctor

Category B and

Emergency Medical Kit per MSC/Circ. 1042

Mobile and immobile floating production, storage and offloading units (FPSOs) and floating storage units (FSUs)

Seek advice of qualified medical practitioner or pharmacist to establish inventory


  1. All vessels including ferries carrying dangerous cargoes or their residue are required to comply with IMDG code and guidance given in the latest edition of Medical First Aid Guide for use in accidents involving dangerous goods (MFAG).
  1. Passenger vessels that do not normally carry a medical doctor, particularly RO-RO passenger ships, are required to carry an Emergency Medical Kit/Bag containing medical equipments and medicines as guided in MSC/Circ.1042.
  1. Following are the categories of controlled drugs out of which Class A and Class C drugs must not be carried in excess quantities unless authorized by the Administrator and are to be kept in Master’s safe or behind a double lock system.
  • Class A includes heroin, morphine, and opium;
  • Class B includes barbiturates and codeine; and
  • Class C includes, among other drugs, anabolic steroids.
  1. All the medicines and medical devices except first aid kits are to be stored under lock and key.
  1. Disposal of non controlled medications and medical supplies

        Expired medicines and medical supplies are to be:

  • Returned to the supplier where possible; or
  • Sent to an approved shore side contractor for disposal.

        In cases where it is not possible to disposed expired medicines as stated above, these may be incinerated at sea by exclusively authorized personnel and records of same are          to be maintained.

  1. Whatever the lawful method is utilized for disposal of controlled drugs, the RMI flagged vessel must comply following conditions:
  • The method utilized must be properly implemented;
  • The entire process from unpacking throughout the final destruction of the controlled drug must be witnessed by at least two (2) persons and documented in the Controlled Drugs Register
  1. Ship’s medicine chest is to be inspected at regular intervals not exceeding 12 months. The documentation/certification of medical chest is to be carried onboard which will be verified during flag state annual inspection to confirm that medicine chests are adequate and have been certified within last 12 months.
  1. Following records are to be maintained onboard RMI flagged vessels for the specific period either in hard copy or in electronic format:
  • Inventory of Medicines
  • Seafarer Injury and Illness Record (Form: MI-105MR)
  • Ship Master’s Report Form:
  • Medical Log
  • Controlled Drugs Register
  1. All vessels are required to have properly trained and certified crew as required by STCW convention.
  1. For RMI flagged vessels which do not carry a medical doctor are require to have onboard:
  • One (1) certified seafarer “Medical Care Person in Charge” responsible for medical care and administering medicine as part of their regular duties; and
  • One (1) certified seafarer “Medical First Aid Provider “designated to undertake the duties of providing immediate first aid in case of injury or illness aboard ship.

       A single individual may serve in both capacities, provided he/she holds the two (2) certifications.

  • Ship owners/ operators and masters are advised to be guided by above.


  1. Republic of Marshall Islands marine notice no. 7-042-1


This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.

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