Enhanced yellow fever inspection regime in China

North P&I Club has reported that the Chinese Quarantine Authorities have started a new enhanced inspection regime for certain vessels, due to an outbreak of yellow fever in Nigeria, Peru and certain areas of Brazil. Vessels arriving in China from these areas will be subject to new requirements, the quarantine authority said. The new regime came into effect on January 19th and will affect the vaccination requirements for crew members, as well as new requirements for vessels and any containers being carried on board.

Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe are excepted from the new regulations.

According to the announcement, any person aged nine months or above from the listed countries will need to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to the entry-exit inspection and quarantine institutions when entering China. For those without valid vaccination certificate, a six-day observation period, calculated from the date they left the above countries/areas at their domicile will be required.

Should any person from above mentioned countries be found to display symptoms of yellow fever (fever, chills, headache, muscle pain and other symptoms), a declaration will have to be made to the entry-exit inspection and quarantine institutions. Body temperature monitoring, medical checks, sampling, testing and other health and quarantine work will then take place.

If insects are found in containers, waste and used articles and cargo; or the aircrafts, vessels and containers are found without a valid disinfection certificate, a distance of no less than 400m will have to be maintained away from the land and other vessels before disinfection treatment is undertaken.

China Quarantine told a local correspondent that proof of mosquito eradication was required if the vessel had called at any of aforementioned countries/areas during the same voyage.

The quarantine announcement will be valid for three months.

The correspondent said that it had checked locally and that requirements of local quarantine authorities might vary from port to port. At some ports, such as Xiamen, mosquito eradication measures would be conducted at berth. Whether or not a written proof on effective disinfection of mosquito was presented when entering China. At some ports such as Hainan, Longkou, Laizhou, Yantai, Qingdao and Rizhao, mosquito eradication certificate has to be presented during port entry formalities; otherwise the local quarantine authorities would require mosquito eradication measures to be conducted at anchorage before ship’s berthing. The above requirements may change as epidemic situation develops. The cost of disinfection could also vary from port to port. The correspondent said, that as far as it was aware, disinfection might be charged by vessel GT, ship type or other standard. North P&I Club recommended that vessels sailing from ports within the affected countries/areas to China obtain a mosquito eradication certificate before departure from affected countries/areas, if at all possible. “We also suggest owners check with local agent about local CIQ’s requirement before ship’s calling so as to avoid any possible delay or trouble when calling China”, the Club concluded.