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Portsmouth is a UK Border Control Post. Our Port Health Authority team is responsible for food safety and the control of infectious diseases at Portsmouth Port.

What we do

We check imports of goods entering the UK through Portsmouth Port for food safety. This can include document and physical checks. We also monitor the control of infectious diseases at the port. This means we take water samples and inspect ships for cleanliness.

World Health Organisation (WHO) Declaration of Health

In any case of suspected infectious disease or death on board any vessel, the masters of ships arriving from foreign ports must:

Download a Maritime Declaration of Health

Organic goods

All organic goods must be reported to Portsmouth Port Health Authority 24 hours before the vessel arrives.

There must be a certificate of inspection with each shipment. Certificates must be presented to our office along with a payment of £45.

All invoicing for organic certification will contain:

  • information relating to the Certificate of Insurance (COI) number;
  • the vessel carrying the shipment
  • the exporter

All notifications should be accompanied by a completed Notification Certificate with this information. We should receive this authority at least 24 hours ahead of the vessel arriving in the Port. You will be charged a late fee if we are notified less than 24 hours in advance.

Download an Organics Notification Certificate


  • Charge per certificate to authorise the import of organic food from third countries – £45 (national rate)
  • Notification less than 24 hours in advance will incur a late fee – £50 per certificate

Ship sanitation certificates

Portsmouth Port Health Authority issues ship sanitation certificates. A certificate will only be issued after an inspection of the vessel. This includes checks for diseases and controls to prevent illnesses from spreading.

When on board we’ll ask to see the following:

  • The last ship sanitation certificate
  • The last set of microbiological water results.
  • Medical log
  • Garbage log
  • Master handover log
  • Medicine and narcotics list
  • Food safety management system
  • Ballast log

Water sampling

We can test drinking water, ice or swimming pool water samples on request. There’s a cost for this service and a laboratory report will be provided with a certificate.

If your water test report is older than six months, we suggest you have a new water test as part of the ship sanitation inspection.

Ship sanitation and water sampling fees

Ship sanitation charges 2020-21

Gross tonnage of vessel:

  • Ships up to 1,000 – £100
  • Ships from 1,001 to 3,000 – £135
  • Ships from 3,001 to 10,000 – £205
  • Ships from 10,001 to 20,000 – £265
  • Ships from 20,001 to 30,000 – £340
  • Ships over 30,000 – £400
  • Vessels with 50-1000 Persons – £400
  • Vessels with over 1000 Persons – £680
  • Extension – £70

Water sampling charges

  • Potable bacteriological per sample – £103.68
  • Potable chemical – £289.12
  • Legionella – £195.27

Contact us

Portsmouth Port Health Authority
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square

Tel: 023 9268 8653