If a vessel is on an international voyage and intends to enter a port, it is important that it is clear whether there is a patient with an infectious disease on board. When the master of the vessel suspects that there are one or more patients on board with an infectious disease, he must report this to the Harbour Coordination Centre (tel. +31 (0)10 252 1000) as well as the pilot as soon as possible. This is in accordance with the Public Health Act. The Harbour Coordination Centre will coordinate the steps to take.
The WHO advises masters to notify in case of the following criteria:
Fever, persisting for several days, whether or not in combination with:
• Decreased consciousness
• Glandular swelling
• Cough or shortness of breath
• Unusual bleeding
One of the symptoms below, with or without fever:
• Any skin rash or eruption
• Severe vomiting (other than sea sickness)
• Severe diarrhoea
• Epileptic seizures
(source: Maritime Declaration of Health)
Maritime Declaration of Health
The master must fill out and sign the Maritime Declaration of Health. The international standard form should be filled out to this end.
The following information must be supplied on the standard form:
• Expiration date of the Ship Sanitation Exemption / Control Certificate;
• Number of passengers and crew members.
In addition, the following questions must be answered:
• Did a person die during the voyage, with the cause of death being something other than an accident?
• Is there a sick person on board or was there a sick person on board during the international voyage of which you suspect it was a infectious disease?
• Was the number of sick persons during the voyage larger than normal or than you would expect?
• Is there currently a sick person on board?
• Has a doctor been consulted?
• Are you aware of a situation on board that could lead to infection or the spread of a disease?
• Were any sanitary / hygiene measures taken (such as quarantine, isolation, disinfection, decontamination)?
• Have any stowaways been found on board?
• Is there a sick (pet) animal on board?
In case the answer to any of these questions was 'yes', the master must inform the agent, pilot and the Harbour Coordination Centre. The master should mail the Maritime Declaration of Health to PortHealthAuthority@portofrotterdam.com or fax it to number +31 (0)10 252 1600.
The completed form must be kept on board and at all times be available for presentation. The person responsible for medical care on board the vessel must be available to answer any additional questions.
Notification of infectious diseases
Download the international Maritime Declaration of Health standard form.
Employees in the port of Rotterdam
In case a pilot, agent, employee of the customs, port police, military police or patrol vessels of the Harbour Master or any other employee in the port of Rotterdam, perceives signs that a patient with an infectious disease is on board of a vessel, he/she should ask the vessel to contact the Harbour Coordination Centre. In addition, the above-mentioned employees can also discuss signals regarding infectious diseases themselves with the HCC. The HCC will forward the question to the right partners within the Port Health Authority.
Physicians working in the port of Rotterdam
In addition to the general practitioners working in the port of Rotterdam, there are also many physicians working as company doctors for specific companies. These physicians are requested to notify the Harbour Coordination Centre in case of a suspected notifiable infectious disease. Moreover, according to the Dutch Public Health Act, these physicians are obliged to contact the Municipal Public Health Services Rotterdam-Rijnmond in case of a notifiable infectious disease.
Contact the Harbour Coordination Centre.