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London Port Health Authority

This page contains important updates about Covid-19. For the latest information on other topics go to the specific pages

COVID-19 imports

London Port health Authority (LPHA) is running as normal service as possible with most staff working from home. Routine examinations of imported food and feed have been stopped but consignments of high risk non-animal origin(HRNAO) food and products of animal origin (POAO) are subject to normal checks.

It may not be possible to produce original official certificates and LPHA has made the following decision following guidance given to border control posts in OVS Note 2020/11 (122KB) and was updated on 1 May 2020 in OVS Notes 2020/14 .

For all of the following, we must have:

  • A written undertaking from the clearance agent, by email to the Port Health Team is acceptable, that hard copy original documents, where required by legislation, must be provided as soon as they become available.
  • Clearly legible attachments i.e. good quality scans to avoid delays caused by requesting different copies. A PDF format is preferred.

Organics

We can accept copies of CoI in Traces in NT and emails of the Pre-note without a signature, the person completing the prenote should print their name in the box instead.

PDDs

The declaration can come through PHILIS as normal and again where there is a signature requirement, please print your name in the box. The lab reports and declarations can be emailed.

IUU

Copies by email are acceptable if they have been signed by the agent/ importer. We will respond using the original email, which included the attachments, to confirm all have been approved for clearance.

HRNAO

Electronic copies of health certificates emailed from the originating authority are accepted, unless they are created in TRACES NT. We are accepting emailed copies of analytical reports. The CHED-D can be retrieved from Traces NT and we expect the agents to retrieve the validated copy from TRACES NT at their end.

PoAO

Electronic copies emailed from the originating authority except for fresh, frozen, minced or preparations of porcine origin (ABP or PoAO), where we must have the original certificate. We will retrieve the CVED from Traces and we expect the agents to retrieve the validated CVED from TRACES at their end.

COVID-19 vessels

Vessels arriving in the Port of London District from outside UK waters are required to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (170KB) (MDH) to the London Port Health Authority until further notice. The completed MDH should be emailed not more than 12 hours and not less than four hours before the vessel arrives to the Port Health Team.

The LPHA position is to offer a 30 day extension wherever possible, but this can only be done if the current Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate (SSCEC) has not expired. The WHO has issued a joint statement (631KB) which allows for extensions to be given on one or more occasions as necessary.

We cannot extend SSCEC's that have expired and no extension will be given to an existing extension. On request for an extension we ask that agent forward the following documents by email to the Port Health Team.

  • Maritime Declaration of health
  • Ports of call list
  • Most recent water testing certificates of analysis
  • Copy of most recent ship sanitation certifoicate
  • Ships particulars
  • Crew list
  • Medical log
  • Pest control log
  • Cooks food hygiene cert
  • Outbreak control plan

We would not extend the current SSCEC if we deemed there to be something specifically wrong on the vessel. Should the agent or the LPHA decide there may be a valid reason requiring us to board the vessel we will first consult our Port Health Management Team and a decision will be made.

The London Port Health Authority's responsibilities

The London Port Health Authority is responsible for all port health functions on the Thames, including the ports at: London Gateway, Tilbury, Thamesport, Sheerness and the London City Airport. The district also includes, to the south, the lower reaches of the River Medway with the ports of Queenborough and Ridham Dock and to the north, parts of the River Crouch, the River Roach and its tributaries.

Functions include:

  • imported food and feed controls
  • infectious disease controls
  • food safety and hygiene including water quality
  • shellfish controls
  • vessel inspections and issue of ship sanitation documentation
  • environmental controls

Prepare for European Union exit after 31 December 2020

Go to the Government’s transition web page for information for information on the UK's current position.

The Manorway House Office adjacent to London Gateway serves all ports and the Denton office deals with shellfish control work and is the base for the launch service. The authority operates two launches, "Lady Aileen" and "Londinium III", and two Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB).

We use the services of public analysts, consultants in communicable disease control and Boarding Medical Officers. We also use the services of Public Health England.

Working with the Port of London Authority

We work closely with the Port of London Authority (PLA) which is responsible for navigational safety and related matters on the 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington in west London.

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