Preventing the Importation of Diseases to the UK

When vessels arrive within the Port Health Authority's area from abroad Port Health Officers may make arrangements to visit and inspect them.

Masters of vessels are under an obligation to report any illness amongst their crew and the presence of any animals or birds aboard. Any illness amongst crews is investigated by Dorset Council - Weymouth Port Health Authority and in extreme circumstances ships and their crews would be placed into quarantine to prevent disease entering the country.

Ship Sanitation Inspections

All ships undertaking international voyages must have a valid ship sanitation certificate to prevent the spread of serious infections across state boundaries. Certificates are valid for 6 months from the date of issue.

Dorset Council – Weymouth Port Health Authority is a designated approved port for the issue of Ship Sanitation Exemption and Control Certificates, and Extensions in accordance with the International Health Regulations 2005 and is included on the WHO list of authorised ports.

Inspections take place weekdays between the hours of 9am and 5pm subject to officer availability.

Should you require a ship sanitation inspection please contact us at least 24 hours prior to the proposed inspection time. The following information should be made available at the time of request:

Vessel Name, Gross Tonnage, IMO number, Estimated Date and Time of Arrival, Estimated Date and Time of Departure, Agent contact details.

There is a charge for Ship Sanitation Inspections and Certificates. This is a standard UK wide charging policy based on the Gross Tonnage of the vessel. An additional charge maybe made to cover officer time in the case of the vessel not being present at the arranged time and date.

Payment is not required prior to the inspection. Following completion of the inspection an invoice will be issued to the local agent acting on behalf of the vessel.

Port Health Ship Sanitation Charges 2024/2025

Gross Tonnage of Vessel


Up to 1,000


1,001 - 3,000


3,001 - 10,000


10,001 - 20,000


20,001 - 30,000


Over 30,000


Vessels with 50 - 1,000 persons


Vessels with over 1,000 persons




Microbiological and chemical water samples can be taken if requested in advance. There is an additional charge for this service outlined below.

The Inspection

Officers will carry out the inspection in accordance with World Health Organization Guidelines to determine the extent of any public health risks on board and identify any necessary controls.

This will include an inspection of all areas of the vessel including accommodation, galley, medical facilities, deck, engine room and if accessible hold. An assessment will also be made of controls in place in relation to food safety, potable water, waste management and infection and vector control.

Following the inspection an officer will issue either a Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate or a Ship Sanitation Control Certificate (with Evidence Report Form).

Dorset Council - Weymouth Port Health Authority 

Ships Water Sampling Fees

Financial Year 2024/25

Charges for Ship’s Bacteriological Water Sampling £101, additional samples £33.50 per sample.

Charges for Ship’s Water Sampling for Legionella £102.20, additional samples £36.30 per sample

Charges for Ship’s Bacteriological Water Sampling and Water Sampling for Legionella £198.07 additional samples £69.80 for both samples.

Samples will be taken as part of the ship sanitation inspection or at the request of the ship’s agent / master.

Resamples taken once remedial actions have been taken following an unsatisfactory result, will be charged at the same rate.