What is Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1768?

This refers to a notice that sets out the minimum requirements for all medical stores from UK ships.

This notice applies to MSN1768 suppliers those who own ships, agents, masters, skippers of fishing vessels as well as seafarers

Vessel categories covered in this notice include:

•    Sea fishing vessels, there is no restriction on the length of trips that these vessels can make

•    Sea fishing vessels which make trips of not more than 150 nautical miles from the closest port having carried medical equipment. There is an extension of up to 175 miles but within close range of possible helicopter rescue in case of a rescue mission.

•    Boats and other harbour vessels that are always close to the shore.

Requirements for medical stores

These include:

•    First Aid kits

•    Additional equipment

•    Doctors bag

•    Medication to be carried on a ship

•    Recommended equipment for medical stores.

This notice also outlines the different responsibilities that owners, employers and master have.


It is the responsibility of the owner to incur costs for any medicine as well as medical equipment while replacing the same to keep everything up to current

Seafarers Employer

The employer incurs costs associated with incurred outside the UK for medical treatment as well as dental treatment especially if these would have reduced the efficiency of the seafarer.

The master

In case a ship from the UK does not carry a doctor as one of the employees, it is up to the master to give medical attention or appoint someone to undertake the same. They also have to manage medical supplies and ensure that there are safe for use at all times.


These are also covered under this notice and the master has to ensure that all their workers are protected at all times. They are supposed to take all preventative measure which includes getting their workers immunization as an MSN1768 supplier