Ship Sanitation and Port Health | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Ship Sanitation and Port Health

Vessels arriving at Northland ports from overseas must have been issued permission (known as Pratique) by the Health Protection Officer (HPO) to enter the port.   Vessels are also required to have a valid Ship Sanitation Certificate under the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005).

Free Pratique Licence

Free Pratique is issued by the On-call Health Protection Officer (HPO) when the Master of a vessel declares the vessel and its occupants are free from any contagious diseases before it enters Northlands Ports. The Port Health Authority Pratique Procedure ensures that a ship is held liable to necessary quarantine controls as set out in the Health Act 1956.

Vessels must request Free Pratique from the on-call Health Protection Officer via within 12-24 hours of arrival.

Requirements for vessels to receive Free Pratique:

  • The New Zealand Border Agencies’ Advance Notice of Arrival (ANOA)' form is received within the prescribed time,
  • A ‘No Change of Health Status Report’ and request for Pratique is received within 12–24 hours of arrival. Click here for a ‘No Change of Health Status Report’ form,
  • If Medical Officer of Health or a Health Protection Officer is satisfied there is no disease subject to quarantine or other public health threat on board the ship, Free Pratique is granted.

A ship with an illness on board that is not subject to quarantine, or does not constitute a grave danger to public health, will usually still be granted pratique. The Medical Officer of Health will liaise with the incoming vessel prior to arrival to determine whether any measures are required to manage potential public health risks.  

Health information covered by the Advance Notice of Arrival

Key health-related information covered by the Advance Notice of Arrival Form includes:

  1. The last port of call and the date of departure from that port,
  2. Health conditions on board, including details of:
    • any death other than by accident during the voyage,
    • illness during the voyage where a person had a temperature, rash, glandular swelling, or
      jaundice persisting for more than 24 hours,
    • any diarrhoea or vomiting (apart from that associated with sea sickness),
    • the presence of symptoms suggestive of any notifiable infectious disease as listed in the
      Health Act 1956.
Ship Sanitation Certificates (SSCs)

These certificates (previously referred to as ‘deratting’ certificates), must be renewed every six months, and are managed by Northland Public Health Service. This certificate may be awarded to a vessel after satisfactory completion of an on-board audit. The audit covers (among other things), the vessels’ waste management, medical, and water sanitation facilities, as well as a thorough physical inspection of the ship. On completing the physical inspection the HPO will report to the Ship’s Master or Executive Officer to discuss the ship’s condition and any directives for remedial or control measures. This inspection helps ensure vessels remain in a condition unlikely to spread diseases to and from international ports.

Click here for more information: Border health | Ministry of Health.

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