Ship Sanitations

Dover Port Health Authority conducts ship sanitation inspection on board cruise ships, Ro-Ro ferries, merchant vessels, that dock at Dover Port.

Why do I need a ship sanitation certificate?

Ship sanitation control exemption certificates/ ship sanitation control certificates are issued by the port health authority to identify and record all areas of a ship-borne public health risk, together with any required control measures to be applied. The certificates are valid for six months period and can be renewed at any port authorised to issues renewals.

What documentation do you require?

It is essential that the port health authority is presented with relevant documentation to assist with the completion of the ship’s sanitation inspection. The documents that should be presented includes:

  • A copy of the previous ship’s sanitation certificate
  • Maritime Declaration of health (if applicable) _ provide in advance
  • The last set of microbiological water results
  • Medical log
  • Garbage log
  • Food safety management system (temperature records, cleaning schedules)
  • Ballast Log

This information should be made available during the inspection.

What happens during an inspection?

Once an agreed time and date have been confirmed an officer will attend and carry out a ship sanitation inspection, during the visit it will be expected that various areas of the vessel will be inspected, these ay include:

  • Gallery
  • Crew and Passengers accommodation
  • Desk areas
  • Waste storage
  • Hospital
  • Swimming pool/ spas
  • Ballast water
  • Childcare facilities
  • Cargo hold

Is there a charge for a ship sanitation certificate?

The charge regime for ship sanitation certificates is based upon the gross tonnage of the vessel.

Current charges are listed on our port health charges page.

Extra charges may be added for cost such as launch hire (at the discretion of the port operator/ harbour master), out-of-hours duties and extended or re inspections of the ships due to ‘controlled measures.

What is a ship sanitation extension?

Ship sanitation certificates are valid for a maximum of six months. This period may be extended by one month is the inspection or control measures required cannot be accomplished at the port. An extension allows a ship to reach a port at which the inspection and necessary controlled measures can be performed, without the necessity to travel with an expired certificate.

An extension may be granted up to 30 days before the expiry date of the existing ship sanitation certificate. However, the ship sanitation certificate cannot be extended for longer than 30 days after the expiry date of the certificate.


Can you take samples as part of your visit?

We can take water samples for bacteriological testing including analysis for E. coil, coliforms, Aerobic colony counts or legionella on request. These are currently limited to visits on Monday to Thursday. A laboratory report will be providing when available.

A charge is made for this service. Please refer to our port health charges page.

How do I request a ship sanitation inspection?

Please enquire about availability by calling 01304 872216 or email with the subject line: ‘Ship Sanitation Request’.


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