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Manchester Port Health Authority
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Each year there are over 4000 ship movements on the Manchester Ship Canal. These ships carry many different categories of cargo, from all over the world.

There are a number of reasons for inspectors to visit a ship, these include: the completion of checks on crew and passenger health; infectious disease control; food hygiene inspections; water and food sampling; assessment of the sanitary condition of the ship; pest control; to inspect cargo and investigate pollution incidents and the issuing of ship sanitation certificates under the International Health Regulations. We are also responsible for checking the presence of animals on board and taking enforcement action as necessary. Each inspection is completed in accordance with a risk based approach.

The main legislation available to Port Health Officers in executing these duties is as follows: The Public Health (Ships) Regulations 1979 (as amended from 15 June 2007), The International Health Regulations 2005, The Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Food Safety Act 1990. This legislation is available from: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/

Ship Sanitation Certificates

The International Health Regulations replace the deratting/deratting exemption certificates previously issued under the 1969 Regulations with ship sanitation control/ exemption certificates. Ship sanitation certificates are designed to prevent international vessels from causing a public health risk and cover all areas of ship borne public health risks including vector control, potable water and ballast water and food safety controls.

Ship sanitation certificates are issued by port health officers and environmental health officers following an inspection of the ship and are valid for 6 months. Ship sanitation certificates may only be issued at ports that have been authorised to do so. A list of authorised ports can be found HERE.

If the ship inspection is satisfactory, a ship sanitation exemption certificate will be issued. If public health risks are found on board the port health authority will issue a ship sanitation control certificate stating the controls that are required to remedy the risks.

Technical guidance on the issuance of ship sanitation certificates can be found HERE. The Handbook for Inspection of and Issuance of Ship Sanitation Certificates can be found HERE

Charges for Inspection of Ships

The Association of Port Health Authorities (Environmental Health and Hygiene Committee) agreed at its meeting of 6th December 2007 to recommend to its members a standard charging regime for the issue of Ship Sanitation Exemption and Ship Sanitation Control Certificates.  These charges were reviewed on 1st April 2021.


Ship inspection charges – as of 1 April 2023

Gross Tonnage Old Rate (2022/23) New Rate (2023/24)
Up to 1000 £110 £125
1001 to 3000 £150 £170
3001 to 10000 £220 £250
10001 to 20000 £285 £325
20001 to 30000 £365 £415
Over 30000 £425 £480
Vessels with 50 – 1000 persons £425 £480
Vessels with 1000 Persons £725 £820
Extensions £80 £95


Extra charges may be added for exceptional costs such as launch hire, length journeys to the port or laboratories, out of hours visits and samples taken.

If you would like to arrange for a new Ship Sanitation Certificate to be issued, please complete the CONTACT US 

See what ships are on the canal now HERE.