Association of Port Health Authorities

Ship Inspection

The International Health Regulations came into force on 15th June 2007. One of the changes from the previous regulations is the replacement of deratting and deratting exemption certificates with ship sanitation control and control exemption certificates. The requirement for a ship sanitation certificate has been implemented in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales by an amendment regulation to the Public Health (Ships) Regulations. View the legislation.

Guidance l Forms/Templates l Charging l Approved Ports l Sharing Information l Legislation

Interim guidance on the new ship sanitation certificates can be found on the WHO website. It is hoped that WHO will publish the final guidance early in 2008.

The APHA Ship Inspection toolbox may also be useful. The Toolbox is available to download or as part of the Ship Inspection CD which is free to members. If you have not received a copy then contact APHA.

The Toolbox covers the following areas:-

  • Water supply
  • Food Safety
  • Pest Control
  • Structure and Equipment
  • Swimming Pools/ Spa Pools
  • Waste Disposal
  • Crew Accommodation
  • Pollution Control

Training material from the recent IHR implementation training seminar is available here. The seminar included sessions on the practicalities of issuing ship sanitation certificates as well as an overview of the implications of the IHRs for port health.

You may also find our Frequently Asked Questions page useful.

Useful Forms/Templates

Ship Sanitation Control/Control Exemption Certificate- based on WHO template
Maritime Declaration of Health- based on WHO template
APHA Ship Inspection Report- supplementary inspection report
Pre-Inspection Letter- template letter which can be provided before a ship inspection to ensure that the Master is aware of what information will be needed.
Letter to Ships Masters- template letter which can be provided after an inspection to explain the changes in certificate implented by the IHRs 2005

The amended Public Health (Ships) Regulations remove the requirement for the Department of Health to set charges for ship inspection. However, APHA feel that a standard charging policy across the UK is important. From 1st January 2008 it is hoped that all ports will adopt the charging policy agreed by APHA members at the Environmental Health & Hygiene Committee. These charges were based on the costs estimated by UK ports who had issued ship sanitation certificates in the first 6 months after the IHRs came into force.
SSCC/SSEC Charges Jan 2008

Approved Ports
The list of ports approved to issue SSCs globally is available on the WHO website.

Contact details for port health at UK ports is available on our website.  The World Health Organisation has not published contact details for other ports globally.  If you have an issue with a certificate or inspection from a non UK port please raise this with the Health Protection Agency which is the UK focal point for the International Health Regulations.  You can contact the National Focal Point by emailing . 

Sharing Inspection Information
APHA is developing a database to record ship inspections. This will enable APHA member authorities to access the historical data on particular ships, and programme essential inspections to avoid duplication and waste resources. For more information see the Ship Inspection Management System page.


Public Health (Ships) Regulations
The Public Health (Ships) Amendment Regulations 2007 are available to download on the OPSI website.
Northern Ireland

Food Safety on Ships
The changes to the food safety legislation in 2003 extended the definition of premises in The Food Safety Act 1990 to certain ships and aircraft. For more information see the food safety page. This gave authorised officers the power to enforce food hygiene and specified temperature control requirements, and the power of entry to ships and aircraft to carry out food hygiene inspections.

The Food Safety (Ships and Aircraft) (England and Scotland) Order 2003
The Food Safety (Ships and Aircraft) (Wales) Order 2003
The Food Safety (Ships and Aircraft) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

If you have still not found the information you need try our Frequently asked questions section..

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