Maritime Declaration of Health
Any ship calling at a Belgian port must submit a Maritime Declaration of Health within 24 hours before its arrival. This is done by the ship's agent, who uploads the data in the Maritime Single Window (MSW).
This port application sends the required data to the application of the FPS Public Health and other authorities. This way, all authorities receive the necessary information, and the agent only needs to send all information once.
A Maritime Declaration of Health must include the following information:
- date until which the Ship Sanitation Certificate is valid;
- number of passengers and crew members.
It also contains 9 health questions about the crew and passengers on board. As soon as the answer to one of those questions is 'yes', Saniport gets involved.
Through the application Saniport @ Mare, the on-call service of Saniport Seaports is notified in case of a health risk. If necessary, the inspector on duty will consult with the doctor of the Health Surveillance Unit or the Flemish Agency for Care and Health. They will take the necessary measures in cooperation with the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) and inform all nautical partners, including the Harbour Master's Office. Saniport coordinates all follow-up steps.
Saniport inspects seagoing vessels in the Belgian seaports authorised for the issuance of Ship Sanitation Certificates (SSC). The SSC proves that a ship meets the World Health Organization (WHO) requirements for on-board hygiene. Using the quality criteria from the Guide to Ship Sanitation, Saniport checks compliance.
Saniport performs inspections on demand and on an impromptu basis. These must be requested by the ship's agent at least 24 hours before arrival in port and 48 hours before departure from port. Requests must include the following information in order to be considered for inspection:
- ship name
- ETB (expected time of arrival at port)
- ETS (expected time of departure from port)
- berth number
- correct billing information
The most urgent inspections, e.g. for a SSC that is about to expire, are prioritised. If an inspection cannot take place and the ship has an unexpired certificate, the SSC may be extended by one month.
The ports of Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Ostend, Ghent and Nieuwpoort are all authorised for the issuance of SSC by the World Health Organization.