Ship Sanitation

The Ships Sanitation service began on the 9th October 2015. The Environmental Agency is one of the “competent authorities” tasked with the responsibility to enforce the Public Health (International Health) Rules 2014, the others being the Gibraltar Port Authority and the Borders and Coastguard Agency.

Ship Sanitation Certificates (SSCs) are of particular importance for the prevention and control of public health risks on board ships on international voyages. They provide internationally recognised documentation regarding the sanitary conditions of a ship, while reducing the need for further and more frequent inspections of the ship during the period for which the certificate is valid. SSCs are used to identify and record all areas of ship-borne public health risks (not limited to rodents). They require the application of comprehensive and detailed inspection procedures and techniques by personnel who are trained in public health issues.

Vessels or their agents requiring an SSC should in the first instant fill in and send this application form  along with the Maritime Declaration of Health. Once the application has been accepted we require the SSC Renewal Form – COVID-19 arrangements.

We require full completion of this form which should then be emailed to

Telephone messages are not accepted and forty-eight hours’ notice is required.

In response to the current Coronavirus pandemic, EAG need to make changes to the way that we carry out inspections for the above to minimise the risks to both our staff and seafarers on board vessel. The change is a move to try to assess more of the documents and systems on the ship by electronic means. This is to minimise the time that our officers spend on board which should in turn reduce the risk. We therefore ask for the information requested on the  SSC Renewal Form – COVID-19 arrangements. to be provided as soon as possible.

Whilst we appreciate that there is a lot of information that we would normally see during an inspection, the more that we can see beforehand, the less intrusive the on-board inspection needs to be.

Please therefore complete the questions and supply as much of the requested information as you can to facilitate the inspection process and to make it as smooth as possible.

This fully completed form, Application for Ship Sanitation, should be emailed to us at along with all requested documents and photos.

Other information

The Master of the ship or other senior officer must be available to meet the inspector and conduct a pre-inspection meeting.
Officers or suitably knowledgeable persons must be available to accompany the inspection staff (minimum 2 ) in the inspection of the ship
A pre-inspection safety induction needs to be given by the Master at the pre-inspection meeting

The legislation governing ship sanitation certificates are the Public Health (International Health) Rules 2014.

Detailed guidance on these Regulations is contained in the Handbook for Inspection of Ships and Issuance of Ship Sanitation Certificates issued by the World Health Organization.


Charges for SSCEC inspections

No fees will be charged for the inspection of vessels and the issue of Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificates and extensions between 0900 hrs to 1630 hrs from the second week of September to the second week in June (winter hours) and between of 0800 hrs to 1430 hrs from the start of the third week of June to the end of the first week of September (summer hours), Mondays to Fridays (except bank holidays and public holidays).

Should there be a need to take a water sample (because a recent water analysis report is not available) or a request has been made to have water samples taken the following charges apply irrespective whether they were taken during or after working hours:

  • Biological analysis – £75
  • Chemical analysis – £80
  • Full analysis – £140*
  • Presence of Legionnaires  - £100

Only water samples collected by our inspectors on board the vessel will be submitted for analysis.

*If it is found during an inspection that there is no valid water analysis certificate the full analysis will be carried out as required by the International Health Regulations 2005.

Should the vessel delay after 16.30 hrs, there is a flat rate overtime charge depending on the ship’s gross tonnage or passenger capacity and is as follows:



The following overtime rate based on tonnage will apply:

1 month extension of the SSEC £ 68.00
Ships up to 1,000 GT £ 105.00
Ships from 1,001 to 3,000 GT £ 162.00
Ships from 3,001 to 10,000 GT £ 243.00
Ships from 10,001 to 20,000 GT £ 323.00
Ships from 20,001 to 30,000 GT £ 369.00
Ships over 30,001 GT £ 483.00


The following overtime rate based on passenger capacity will apply:

Vessels with the capacity to carry between 50 and 1000 persons £ 483.00
Vessels with the capacity to carry more than 1000 persons £ 805.00



*Fees correct as of 22nd December 2022 as per Legal Notice No. 342 of 2022