The Ship Sanitation Certificate (SSC) regime came into effect on 15 June 2007. The certificates are required by the International Health Organization in place of the Deratting Certificate, which ceased to be valid as of 15 December 2007.
Under the SSC regime, Ship Sanitation Certificates (which are valid for a six-month period) are used by national authorities to identify and record all areas of ship-borne public health risks (not only those limited to rodents), together with any required control measures to be applied.
There are generally three documents that can be issued under the regime:
- a Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate, which is issued when no evidence of a public health risk is found on board the ship;
- a Ship Sanitation Control Certificate, which is issued when evidence of a public health risk has been detected on board the ship, and after some required control measures have been satisfactorily completed;
- an extension of the Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate, which is issued when the inspection or control measures required cannot be carried out at a given port and the ship must proceed to another port in order to do so. Such extension, which lasts 30 days, can only be issued if the existing certificate has not expired. If the certificate has expired, an inspection will be required to issue a new certificate.
It is worth noting that the U.S. is not a signatory to the International Health Regulations and cannot issue Ship Sanitation Certificates or exemptions.
The standard inspection costs associated with this regime are currently calculated at CAD 125 per hour, with a benchmark of 6 hours to carry out each inspection. Thus, a standard inspection will amount to CAD 750, with this figure rising to CAD 937.50 if the inspection is done on short (less than 48 hour) notice. Meanwhile, the cost of obtaining an extension to a Ship Sanitation Certificate (which does not involve a physical inspection) is CAD 300.
The Minister of Health amended the fees that are payable for the issuance on Ship Sanitation Certificates, Ship Sanitation Certificate Extensions, as well as the short notice rate, effective 26 August 2008 as follows:
|Ship Sanitation Certificate Standard Rate
|Ship Sanitation Certificate Extension
|Short notice service (less than 24 hours notice weekdays, less than 48 hours weekends)
As published in the August 16th edition of the Canada Gazette, Part I.
The International Health Regulations designate the ports of Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Saint John, St. John’s, Toronto and Vancouver as ports at which SSC inspections can be carried out (and certificates issued) without any additional travel costs. Inspections at all other ports will involve additional costs in the form of travel expenses incurred by Health Canada personnel in order to get to the ship.
Source: The Shipping Federation of Canada