Medical waivers are granted for conditions documented on the physical examination form or supporting documentation submitted by the applicant when the condition has been identified as not posing a significant risk to maritime safety.
When granting a waiver, the NMC may apply a requirement or limitation to the waiver. It is the mariner’s responsibility to read the waiver letter and any applicable requirements/limitations in order to maintain the waiver. 46 CFR does not specifically address the innumerable diagnoses with possible associated requirements. NVIC 04-08, however, does state that one of the outcomes of the NMC medical review may result in a determinate that “the application does not possess the vision, hearing or general physical condition necessary, but a credential may be issued with appropriate limitation, waivers and/or other conditions for issuance of the credential specified by the NMC.”
The waiver is an acknowledgement by the NMC that the condition was identified and places a responsibility on the mariner to report any change in the identified condition. Conditions that have progressively worsened may potentially affect a mariner’s fitness for certification.
The mariner should carry this waiver letter at all times while acting under the authority of the credential.
Waivers may be rendered invalid due to changes in a mariner’s medical condition and/or if a mariner fails to comply with waiver requirements.