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Ship Sanitation Certification

Details of the ship sanitation inspection and certification process from Heysham Port Health Authority.


The Public Health (Ships) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2007 came into force on 15th June 2007. These regulations implement the requirement of the International Health Regulations 2005.

Heysham Port Health Authority has been authorised to issue ship sanitation control and exemption certificates and has the designation of GBGLD. The certificate will involve a detailed inspection, which will include checks for vectors of illness and controls in place to minimise the risk of the spread of any illness.

If the inspection reveals no evidence of a risk to public health, a ship sanitation exemption certificate will be issued which will be valid for 6 months. With the option to extend by one month if requested in writing (there is no charge for the extension).

Should evidence of infection or contamination be found (including: vectors in all stages of growth; animal reservoirs for vectors; rodents or other species that could carry human disease, microbiological, chemical and other risks to human health; signs of inadequate sanitary measures), a ship sanitation control certificate will be issued outlining the vector or reservoir and treatment undertaken.

Before staff can inspect a vessel for the purpose of undertaking a ship sanitation inspection the following information should either be emailed or faxed to the port health staff.

When on board the vessel we ask to see the following:

  • The last set of microbiological water results.
  • Medical log
  • Garbage log
  • Master handover log
  • Medicine and narcotics list
  • Food safety management system
  • Ballast log

We can take and submit drinking water/ice/swimming pool water samples for bacteriological examination on request. There will generally be a small charge for this service and a laboratory report will be provided together with a certificate. See below.

Ship sanitation inspection charges

Table of charges - 01/04/2024

Gross tonnage of vessel Charge (£ Sterling)
From 01/04/2024 SSC (non-vatable) inc. water and Legionella test £144 (vatable) 24/25 
Up to 1,000  135 321 (346.80 inc. VAT)
1,000 to 3,000 185 380 (405.80 inc. VAT)
3,000 to 10,000 270  465 (490.80 inc. VAT)
10,000 to 20,000  355 550 (575.80 inc. VAT)
20,000 to 30,000  450 645 (670.80 inc. VAT)
Over 30,000  520 715 (740.80 inc. VAT)
Vessels with the capacity to carry between 50 and 1000 persons  520 715 (740.80 inc. VAT)
Extension of a Ship Sanitation Certificate  105 -

Ship Sanitation Charges are set Nationally by the Association of Port Health Authorities. Extra charges may be added for exceptional costs such as launch hire (at the discretion of the port operator/harbour master), out-of-hours duties and extended or re-inspections of ships due to 'Control Measures'

Should your microbiological water test report be older than six months, we suggest you should have a new water test at a charge of £60 as part of the ship sanitation inspection. If more tests are requested these can be undertaken for £59 per sample inclusive. As part of the inspection we will undertake a free-chlorine test to establish if the level is between the recommended level of 0.2ppm to 0.5ppm chlorine.

A water sample request at any other time will cost £120   if requested at Glasson Dock and £99 at Heysham Port.

Specific Legionella tests can also be conducted one test incurs a fee of £69 if part of a Ship Sanitation inspection. Should an independent test be requested we charge  £128 at Glasson Dock and £86 at Heysham Port, all water charges exclusive of VAT. 

Should additional validation tests be required these can be undertaken upon request Iron content checks are £53 for the first sample then  £47 if part of a ship sanitation certificate visit however, Outside this the first charge would be £85 and £47 thereafter.

From the 1st April 2023 we will introduce a single charge of £66 for samples to be couriered to the Laboratory directly. 

This list is updated regularly.

Extending exemption certificates

We do realise that sometimes it may not be practical or safe to conduct an inspection of a vessel. Should the sanitation certificate be close to the six months expiry date officers can extend the certificate by a period of one month once a request has been received in writing (see contact details), and an officer must visit the vessel to extend the current certificate. A charge for this will be levied - please see the table above.

Last updated: 02 April 2024

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