Renewal of ship sanitation certificates suspended

27/04/2020 - 2:53 | Author: Proinde

Update 12 May 2020: ANVISA is now renewing ship sanitation certificates remotely. Read more here.

All foreign vessels operating in Brazilian waters must carry a valid Ship Sanitation Certificate (SSC), as specified in the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), which is valid for six months, extendable for one month.

SSCs may be in the form of SSCC (Ship Sanitation Control Certificate, when a health risk is detected and control measures have been satisfactorily completed) or SSCEC (Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate, when there is no evidence of health risk and the vessel is free of vectors, reservoirs, infection or contamination). These are issued or extended only by ports authorised by WHO. Certificates issued by a port not mentioned in the list of IHR authorised ports are not accepted as proof of compliance with international health regulations.

On 22 April 2020, WHO, IMO and ILO issued a joint statement urging States to take measures to minimise unnecessary interference with global traffic and trade insofar as ship and crew certificates are concerned. The statement encourages international authorities to grant extensions of SSCs “on one or more occasions as necessary, provided that no authorised port along the ship’s route is able to conduct ship inspection and issuance of sanitation certificates; and provided that such exceptional extension does not extend beyond the termination of the current public health emergency of international concern by the WHO Director-General”.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, several port health authorities around the world, including Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), suspended the issuance of SSCs and are offering only 30-day extensions. It is paramount that the extension is obtained before the expiration of the certificate, otherwise, the vessel will not receive free pratique. ANVISA is not providing extensions for vessels arriving with the SSC already expired unless the shipowner can prove, at ANVISA’s discretion, that, due to vessel’s rotation, no renewal or extension could have been timely arranged in the ports called before arrival in Brazil.

More information on the measures adopted in Brazilian ports and airports can be found on our COVID-19 dedicated page.

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