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September 30, 2023

Ghana to fine $3,500 to vessels with unvaccinated crew members

By Priti naik

In what comes as latest news, Ghana Port Health Service had stated it will impose a fine of $3,500 on any vessel with unvaccinated seafarers or passengers arriving in the country. Previously, the fine was noted to be levied on the vessels from January 15, but now the authorities have decided to allow for a grace period, length of which is still not determined

Local port authorities have noted that it was unclear if the fine applied to the vessels as whole or for each individual unvaccinated crew member or passenger. After the payment, all the unvaccinated people will be given the Johnson and Johnson dose from the local health authority. However, the process till now is bit unclear.

It is recommended to have crew vaccinated by any WHO approved vaccine, which is accepted by Ghana officials, if a vessel was to be calling to Ghana. In an alert, it mentioned that the recommended owners whose vessels are planning to call ports in Ghana will have to check if the crew members onboard are fully vaccinated and are carrying their vaccination certificate.

Previously, it came to notice that many international seafarers remain unvaccinated due to slow rollouts in their home countries and difficulties in getting vaccinations for shipboard crew in many parts of the world. Top ship managers providing information to the Neptune Crew Change Indicator report that 59.8% of seafarers have been vaccinated, although figures for the industry as whole could be lower.

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