Zika virus: Regulations for vessels calling at China

Zika virus

Published: 31 August 2016

We refer to our web article on 18 March 2016 and we have received the following update from China P&I Management.

China P&I Management has made further research and enquired with the officials of AQSIQ and our local contacts in some major domestic ports, and we have learnt the latest update of specific implementation of Zika, as following:

  1. Disinfection Certificate
    Following the announcement of seven ministries and commissions (CIQ, MPS, Department of Commerce, National Health and Family Planning Commission, Customs head office, National Tourism Administration, CAAC), the health and quarantine department of AQSIQ have since 14 March 2016 demanded that all vessels coming from a Zika epidemic area should provide a Disinfeciton Certificate issued by the government or a qualified inspection institution.
    The Disinfeciton Certificate shall include the basic details of the vessel, such as: the name of vessel, port of loading, port of destination, the nature of the cargo, time of loading, etc.. In addition, the Disinfection Certificate should include the following statement:
    "The Disinfection Certificate shall certify that the subject vessel was disinfected against mosquitos before departure."
    As per current information received, the port authorities and third party in epidemic areas are generally reluctant to provide such kind of disinfection certificate for ocean going vessels, but relevant institutes would provide such kind of certificate upon requested by aircrafts (to which the regulation also applies). Thus, it is suggested that the vessel seek assistance from the local agent on this issue. Normally, a qualified fumigation company can assist with such kind of service.

  2. The handling of disinfection
    As per latest information disclosed, there are a total of about 56 countries listed as the epidemic area of Zika. If the vessel depart from the epidemic area and intend to call at a Chinese port and has no valid Disinfection Certificate, the local CIQ will carry out disinfection treatment to the vessel, especially the containers onboard if any. In addition, if the vessel is actually holding a valid Disinfection Certificate and the CIQ inspectors still find mosquitos during a quarantine inspection upon the vessel's arrival, the vessel shall be also subject to a disinfection treatment in some Chinese ports.
    Vessel disinfection:
    - Handling method: Mainly spraying disinfectant, usually CIQ will appoint a fumigating company or designated company to perform the task.
    - Disinfection area: Mainly spraying disinfectant in accommodation.
    - Period of disinfection: Spraying for 2 hours, disinfectant volatilizing 2 hours, totally 4 hours.
    - Tariff: RMB 5 Cents per GT (this may differ slightly in some ports).
    Container disinfection:
    - Method: Fumigation.
    - Period of disinfection: according to the disinfectant concentration, generally 2 to 3 hours will be required, disinfectant volatilizing 24 hours, totally 26 hours.
    - Tariff: RMB200/20FT, RMB400/40FT.

  3. The main points during the inspection by CIQ
    The inspectors of CIQ will focus on:
    Whether there is a sick crewmember onboard.
    Whether the crew have any symptoms of illness.
    Mainly focus on accommodation, including galley etc. and forecastle deck and poop deck to check whether there are any living organisms, nit or casual water, etc..
    The CIQ inspector will pay particular attention to the light bulbs onboard as light bulbs easily attract mosquitos and the mosquitos may spawn surrounding the light bulbs.

Above is for your reference. Meanwhile the exact situation in China may vary from port to port. We would suggest that the members check with ship agents for details before vessel calling Chinese ports.

The Association is grateful to China P&I Management for contributing to this article.