Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Countries

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Points of Entry Meeting in Procedures for Inspection and Issuance of Ship Sanitation Certificates
2008-10-30 14:56:49

This workshop was held on June 17-19, 2008 for all the English speaking Caribbean countries, to standardize, the issuance of the ship sanitation certificate, which came into effect in June 2007 through the International Health Regulations 2005.



The First International Health Regulations came into force in 1951 and were followed by the 1969 revised and consolidated version. It was primarily intended to monitor and control six serious infectious diseases: cholera, plague, yellow fever, smallpox, relapsing fever and typhus. After some later amendments, in 1973 and 1981, the International Health Regulations (1969), kept only cholera, plague and yellow fever as notifiable diseases, meaning that States were required to notify WHO if and when these diseases occur on their territory. 

Among its provisions, since 1951, there was the Deratting Certificate/Deratting Exemption Certificate. It was a required document for international public health control to ships visiting ports. This certificate helped reduce the international spread of rodent-borne diseases, specially plague. All ships undertaking international voyages were required to renew this certificate every six months, and this renewal required that all areas of the ship were inspected. 

The resurgence of some well known epidemic diseases in the early 1990s, such as cholera in parts of South America, plague in India and the emergence of new infectious agents such as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, resulted in a resolution at the 48th World Health Assembly in 1995 calling for the revision of the Regulations. The World Health Assembly adopted the new Regulations on 23 May 2005 by way of resolution WHA58.3, and entered into force on June 15th, 2007 for all Member States who not rejected or made reservations to them within a limited period. 

With the coming into force of the 2005 revised edition of the International Health Regulations, a new model with broader scope (not just only for rodents control) of Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate / Ship Sanitation Control Certificate replaced the previously Deratting Certificate / Deratting Exemption Certificate, which after the 15th December 2007, is no longer valid.


The purpose of the inspection is adoption of health measures to prevent and control public health risks on ships, which could lead to the international spread of disease.  At the completion of the inspection, new Ship Sanitation Exemption Control Certificate - SSCEC or Ship Sanitation Control Certificate - SSCC is to be issued, or the existing certificate has to be extended by one month, once only if the inspection or control measures required cannot be accomplished at the port.  As provided in the Regulations there will be no distinction on the issuance of all Ship Sanitation Certificates - SSC according to size, type or flag of the ship, but consideration will be given to the itinerary of the ship and its voyage.  Representatives making presentations came from:


  • Center for Disease surveillance
  • World Health Organization
  • Health Canada
  • Port of Hamburg Health authority
  • Vessel sanitation Program Miami  

Similar work shops were held in Hamburg Germany in May 2008 for all European countries, and later in Brazil for the South American countries. 

The intent of these workshops was to have all entities issuing ship sanitation certificates, practicing the same procedures.

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Virtual Campus of Public Health

ECC Countries

Dayrells Rd & Navy Garden, Christ Church, Barbados
Tel: 001-246 434-5200 Fax: 001-246 436-9779