Port Health | Western Cape Government

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Port Health


Port Health Services monitors and evaluates all foodstuffs, cosmetics, disinfectants, hazardous substances and medicines entering the Western Cape through the ports, and controls and monitors the possible entering of all serious contagious diseases into the Western Cape and the rest of South Africa. These infectious diseases include yellow fever, cholera, plague and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Port and Environmental Health is responsible for the three sea ports (Cape Town, Mossel Bay and Saldanha Bay) and the Cape Town International Airport.

Airport Health Control 
If a passenger is suspected of having an infectious disease such as SARS and presents with symptoms during the flight, the crew will alert the Airports Company of SA who will notify the port health officer. On arrival, a metro (emergency services) doctor, in conjunction with a Port Health Official (PHO), will assess the person and the necessary measures will be taken (eg quarantine). Water and food supplies to aircraft are monitored.

Vessel Inspection 
Vessels that seek entry to any of the three sea ports must submit a Maritime Declaration of Health or a practiques 72 hours before entering the harbour. Vessels are checked for rodents and sanitation conditions. A valid Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate (SSCEC) is required. According to international health regulations, an infected vessel must be fumigated. Water and food supplies to vessels are monitored.

Imported Foodstuffs 
Imported foodstuffs are inspected at random for possible hazardous or toxic substances at all ports of entry. When goods are offloaded, they are usually removed under extended health guarantees and only released if the Port Health Official (PHO) is satisfied. All shipments must conform to the Foodstuff, Cosmetic and Disinfectants Act, 54 of 1972.

Pharmeceuticals and Medicines 
Products are checked to see whether they have been registered with the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).

Hazardous Substances 
Consignments are only released if a valid Hazardous Substances license can be produced.

Port Exports 
The port health authority will issue Free Sale certificates for export of foodstuffs under certain conditions.

For more information regarding port health, contact:

Tel: 021 421 1124
Fax: 021 418 5685
E-mail: portctn2@gmail.com

Postal address:
P.O.Box 6489

Street address:
Room 906
9th Floor
Customs House
Cape Town

Cape Town Airport contact details:
Call Centre: 021 937 1200
Flight information: 086 727 7888

Provided At: These facility categories:
Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)
The content on this page was last updated on 29 December 2021