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What You Should Know About Ship Sanitation Certificates

Shippers Guide is the learning page of MMS Plus. Here we answer the five W’s and H of several issues in the shipping industry. This week’s edition focuses on the Ship Sanitation Certificates, how to prepare for inspection of ships, charges for inspection, duration/ validity of certificates, etc.

  • Validity of Deratting Certificates
  • Advice on Ship Sanitation Certificates
  • Implementation of Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate/Ship Sanitation Control Certificate  – Articles 20, 27 39 and Annex 3 of International Health Regulations (2005)
  • Preparation for inspection of ship
  • Request for inspection of ship by Port Health Officials
  • Charges for inspection and issue of Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate/Ship Sanitation Control Certificate

Validity of Deratting Certificates 

Deratting Certificates issued prior to 15 June 2007 remain valid for a maximum of six months after the date of their issuance. Accordingly, in the six month period from 14 June to 14 December 2007 both unexpired DC/DEC and newly issued SSC will be in use. After 15 December 2007, no Deratting Certificate will be valid.

Advice on Ship Sanitation Certificates

As of 15 June 2007 the International Health Regulations (2005) (“IHR (2005)”) have introduced new certification procedures for ships. The new certificates are entitled Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate/Ship Sanitation Control Certificate (“Ship Sanitation Certificates” or “SSC”). These SSC replace the previous Deratting/Deratting Exemption Certificates (“DC/DEC”) provided for under the IHR (1969). The advice that follows is designed to guide and facilitate the implementation of this new health document to the IHR (2005).

Implementation of Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate/Ship Sanitation Control Certificate Articles 20, 27, 39 and Annex 3 of IHR (2005) 

15 June 2007 is the date that the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR (2005)) will enter into force. Among the provisions that apply to conveyances is a new Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate/Ship Sanitation Control Certificate SSCEC/SSCC, a model of which is shown in Annex 3. These certificates will replace the Deratting Certificate/Deratting Exemption Certificate (DC/DEC) issued under IHR (1969) .

The latest date that a Deratting Certificate can be issued is one day prior to the entry into force of IHR (2005) or 14 June 2007. A Derattting Certificate issued on that date is valid for a maximum of six months, or until 14 December 2007. During the six month period from 14 June to 14 December 2007 both unexpired DC/DEC and newly issued SSCEC/SSCC will be in use. After 15 December 2007 no Deratting Certificate will be valid.

As of 15 June 2007 if evidence of a public health risk is found on board a ship and the ship is not able to produce a valid DC/DEC or SSCEC/SSCC, the competent authority may proceed to inspect the ship with one of three possible outcomes.

  1. No evidence of a public health risk is found on board. The competent authority may issue a SSCEC.
  2. Evidence of a public health risk is found on board. The competent authority satisfactorily completes or supervises the completion of the necessary control measures and is required to issue a SSCC. If, in the opinion of the competent authority, the conditions under which control measures are carried out at the port are such that a satisfactory result cannot be obtained, this should be noted on the existing SSCC. The SSCC is valid for a maximum period of 6 months. The control measures must be completed before a further SSCC is issued.
  3. The competent authority extends the SSCEC for a period of one month until the ship arrives at a port at which the Ship Sanitation Control Certificate may be received.

States Parties shall send to WHO a list of ports authorized to offer:

  1. The issuance of SSCC and the provisions referred to in Annexes 1 and 3;
  2. The issuance of the SSCEC only and,
  3. The extension of the SSCEC. State Parties shall inform WHO of any changes which may occur in the status of the listed ports.

States Parties may wish to consider publishing any interim transition arrangements for the certificates (on the web or elsewhere).

Under Article 41 any tariff (or amendment thereto) for applying health measures to baggage, cargo, containers, conveyances, goods or postal parcels (and for measures applied to travellers under Article 40) have to be published at least 10 days in advance of any levy.

In order to facilitate international marine traffic, WHO advises that the Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate/Ship Sanitation Control Certificate in Annex 3 of IHR (2005) be printed and completed in English and/or in French, and may also be completed in another language on the same document in addition to either English or French.

Preparation for inspection of ship

Masters of ships are guided to have available the information listed for the smoothing running of the inspection

Request for inspection of ship by Port Health Officials

Agents can download Request for Attendance of Port Health Officials (doc) and fax to the office indicated.

Charges for inspection and issue of Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate / Ship Sanitation Control Certificate

According to Public Health (Ships) Regulations, 2008 (L.N. 329 of 2008), Regulation 20, as amended by ACT No XIII of 2015 the fee for inspection and issuance of the Ship Sanitation Certificate is as follows:

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