Port Health

Ship inspections

When ships arrive within our area from abroad our officers will arrange to visit and inspect them.

Masters of vessels must report any illness amongst their crew and the presence of any animals or birds aboard. We will investigate any illness and in extreme circumstances we will place ships and their crews in quarantine to prevent disease entering the country.

All ships that travel outside of the UK must have a valid ship sanitation control certificate.

Littlehampton Port (GBLIT) can issue ship sanitation control certificates (SSCC) and ship sanitation control exemption certificates (SSCEC).

The SSCC and SSCEC are valid for 6 months and you can renew it at any port that is authorised to issue renewals.

To apply for a SSCC

You’ll need to apply at least 24 hours before the ship arrives in port, otherwise we will charge you a late application fee.

Along with your application you should send us the following information:

  • ISPS (International Ship Port Security Notification)
  • port waste notification
  • a copy of your last SSCC
  • maritime declaration of health (if applicable)
  • the last set of microbiological water results
  • medical log
  • garbage log
  • food safety management system (temperature records, cleaning schedules)
  • ballast log

We will conduct an inspection as soon as possible after you make the request. An inspection usually takes between one and two hours but this depends on the size of the ship.

Should evidence of vermin be seen the council’s pest control service will be advised and they will organise pest control treatment.

If serious concerns are found about food safety the inspecting officer will either deal with the issue directly or alternatively contact another officer in the food safety team to undertake further investigation.

Ship sanitation control certificate exemption

If a ship arrives in port without a valid SSCC we will inspect the ship. If there is no evidence of a public health risk, we will issue a ship sanitation control exemption certificate.

If you already hold a valid SSCEC then we can extend this for one month.

If a ship arrives in port and there is evidence of a public health risk during the inspection, we will add a note to the current certificate.

If we are inspecting the ship because you need a new certificate, we will expect to complete or supervise the necessary control measures before issuing a SSCC.

If we feel that the control measures are not being conducted in a satisfactory condition, we will note this on the existing SSCC.

You will need to complete the control measures before a further SSCC is issued.

We will allow the vessel to leave the port subject to the following conditions:

  • at the time of the ship’s departure we will inform the next competent authority of the information we have listed in the SSCC
  • the evidence and any control measures required are listed in the SSCC

Approved ports

You can view the list of ports who can issue Ship Sanitation Certificates on the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Ship inspection charges

Ship inspection charges are set by The Association of Port Health Authorities.

We may charge extra charges based on expenses incurred.

Further information

You can find out more information on ship sanitation certificates from the WHO or The Association of Port Health.