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Ships Sanitation

Why Do I Need a Ships Sanitation Certificate

Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate/Ship Sanitation Control Certificate are issued by the Authority to identify and record all areas of ship-borne public health risks, together with any required control measures to be applied.

The certificates are valid for a six month period and can be renewed at any port authorised to issue renewals. The full list of authorised ports can be viewed on the WHO website, view the list of authorised ports.

What Documentation Do You Require

Prior to arrival at the designated Port, it is essential that the Authority is presented with relevant documentation to assist with the completion of the Ships Sanitation Inspection.  The documents that should be presented to this Authority include:
  • ISPS (International Ship Port Security Notification)
  • Port Waste Notification
  • A copy of the previous Ships Sanitation Certificate
  • Maritime Declaration of Health (if applicable)

This information should be emailed to

What Happens During An Inspection

Once an agreed time and date have been confirmed an officer will attend and carry out a Ships Sanitation Inspection, during the visit it will be expected that various areas of the vessel will be inspected, these may include:
  • Galley
  • Crew Accommodation
  • The Bridge
  • Deck Areas
  • Waste Storage

A detailed inspection will be undertaken; this is to ensure the ship poses no danger to public health and has controls in place to prevent the spread of illness. If the inspection reveals no evidence of a risk to public health, a Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate will be issued which will be valid for 6 months.

Should evidence be found of a public health risk a Ship Sanitation Control Certificate will be issued outlining the control measures required.

Is There A Charge For A Ship Sanitation Certificate

The fee for the certificates is reviewed by the Association of Port Health Authorities (APHA) annually and recommends a national rate to its members.

The charging regime for Ships Sanitation Certificates is based upon the gross tonnage of the vessel.  A charging review was undertaken involving member authorities and a standard charging policy for the UK was agreed at the Environmental Health and Hygiene committee in December 2007.

What is a Ship Sanitation Extension

Sanitation Certificates are valid for a maximum of six months. This period may be extended by one month if the inspection or control measures required cannot be accomplished at the port. An extension allows a ship to reach a port at which the inspection and necessary control measures can be performed, without the necessity to travel with an expired certificate.

An extension may be granted up to 30 days before the expiry date of the existing SSC. However the SSC cannot be extended for longer than 30 days after the expiry date of the certificate