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Ship sanitation

29 juni 2021

From 15 June 2008, it is possible to apply for Ship Sanitation Certificates (SSC) from the Port of Amsterdam authorities.

ship sanitationFrom 15 June 2008, it is possible to apply for Ship Sanitation Certificates (SSC) from the Port of Amsterdam authorities. This certificate replaces the Deratting Certificate. The Ship Sanitation Certificate has been a compulsory requirement on board ships sailing in international waters since 15 June 2007 and was introduced to prevent the worldwide spread of infectious diseases.

Applications for Ship Sanitation Certificate inspections can be submitted to the GGD Amsterdam (Medical Health Service). The GGD Amsterdam is responsible for issuing Ship Sanitation Certificates at both Amsterdam and Zaanstad ports in partnership with the Amsterdam Port Authorities.

Inspections are conducted on the basis of requirements laid down by the World Health Organization (WHO) and as incorporated under Dutch Law into the Public Health Act.

Types of certificate

Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate (SSCEC): A ship has been inspected and everything is in order. The ship is then exempt from further sanitary inspections for a period of six months.

Ship Sanitation Control Certificate (SSCC): A ship has been inspected and certain shortcomings discovered. The shortcomings are listed on the certificate. These must then be repaired, or otherwise resolved, and resubmitted for inspection. If due to circumstances a requested inspection cannot be carried out, then an Extension of the Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate (ESSCEC) may be issued in exceptional circumstances. In so doing, a month's respite is granted offering an opportunity to request and conduct a new inspection.

WHO Standards

WHO inspection guidelines stipulate that the following areas of the ship must be in order (The term in order is understood to mean no sign of infection or contamination, which includes vermin in any stage of development; animal reservoirs for vermin and pests; microbiological, chemical, radioactive substances or other hazards to human health; and inadequate hygiene measures):

  • galley and food areas
  • pantry and storage rooms
  • holds
  • officer and crew accommodation
  • drinking water
  • sewage system
  • ballast tanks
  • waste (inc. medical waste)
  • standing water
  • engine room
  • medical facilities, swimming pools and spas

All WHO standards have been included in a 'Handbook for Inspection of Ships and Issuance of Ship Sanitation Certificates’. An inspection checklist is provided for the levels required to meet these standards as inspected by the GGD.

> Handbook for Inspection of Ships and Issuance of Ship Sanitation Certificates


This memorandum describes the minimum conditions, tasks and responsibilities of shipping companies and the GGD / GHOR involved in preparing for / at (the suspicion of) COVID-19 on board a cruise ship in the Netherlands. This concerns both river and sea shipping.
> Download supplementary (PDF, 236 kB)

Inspection requests

Requests for a Ship Sanitation Certificate should be sent in at least 24 hours in advance through the application form below. Inspections are carried out from Monday - Friday 8.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. Please complete the application form to request an inspection. A GGD inspector will contact you as soon as possible to make an appointment.

> Application Form

The table below lists the inspection costs from Juli 1st, 2021. The rate of the inspection will be indexed each year on the 1st of July, according to the CBS wage index figure.

Working hours

Costs 2021

Inspection costs from Monday to Friday, 08.00 - 20.00

€ 114,92 per hour

Inspection costs from Monday to Friday, 20.00 - 06.00, also on Saturday

€ 172,39 per hour

Inspection costs on Sunday € 229,84 per hour

Call-Out Fee

€ 28,73 per 15 minutes

Extension Certificate

€ 114,92

There is a maximum amount of hours that can be charged, depending on the amount of people on board. The maximum amount of hours are:

  • 4 hours for vessels with less than 50 people (excluding crew) on board,
  • 8 hours for vessels with 50-500 people (excluding crew) on board,
  • 12 hours for vessels with more than 500 people (excluding crew) on board.

Rates are indexed annually on the basis of the CBS wage index for the public sector.

No VAT is charged on inspection costs.