Complete NTM 04/21

There is currently a pandemic of a novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) which is affecting the UK among other countries. This situation has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization Emergency Committee, under the International Health Regulations.

This NTM provides mariners with an update regarding the requirement for vessels arriving from a foreign port to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH).

In addition to submitting a health declaration there are several obligatory and legal reporting requirements that must be fulfilled by Masters when arriving in UK ports. The Consolidated European Reporting System (CERS) Workbook is used by Masters, shipping agents and port authorities to provide mandatory port call, dangerous and polluting goods (hazmat) information, waste information and security information to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The CERS workbook is a collection of various forms that are required under UK and European Law to be submitted by all commercial vessels over 300 GRT, recreational, traditional or fishing vessels of 45 metres in length and over.

Using the scope of the CERS reporting requirement as the prerequisite to also require submission of an MDH, those vessels to which this applies are as follows (excepting vessels providing scheduled domestic ferry services):

  • Ships of 300 Gross Tonnage and upwards;
  • Fishing vessels, traditional ships and recreational craft, where the length of the fishing vessel, traditional ship, or recreational craft is 45 metres and above; and
  • All ships engaged on international voyages

 that has:

  • visited another port in the past 14 days; and/or
  • had a (personnel or location) crew change in the past 14 days; and/or
  • the presence on board of a person who is suffering from an infectious disease or who has or had symptoms which may indicate the presence of an infectious disease, particularly coronavirus (COVID-19);

For vessels that are required to submit an MDH to the PHA as above, prior to arrival in the port of call the Vessel owner, Master or Agent must confirm to the relevant harbour office that such submission has been made and declare any health concerns at the first opportunity. Failure to do so may result in a delay of permission to berth.

Masters must note, if anyone on board any vessel is seriously unwell and coronavirus (COVID-19) infection is suspected, and the case is a medical emergency, you must call 999 for medical assistance and you must inform attending services on their arrival that the patient is a suspected COVID-19 case.  DO NOT disembark the patient or arrange alternative transport to a hospital until advised to do so. DO NOT disembark any other crew or passengers. Also ask the Harbour Master to inform the NHS Public Health (local Health Protection Team) and the Port Health Authority (the local authorities).

If the suspected case is not seriously unwell, you must notify the relevant NHS Health Protection Team (See Table 1 overleaf).   Contact details for the case must be provided with sufficient information to allow the Health Protection Team to determine follow up action.  This will include symptoms, duration, contacts and travel history. DO NOT disembark the suspected case.

Please note, CMAL harbours are predominantly lifeline ferry ports for island communities and are operated by CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL) on behalf of the competent authority. Each port can be contacted via VHF 12 or by the email address used for submission of CERS information.

Further information can be found on the Scottish Government, Health Protection Scotland and World Health Organization websites.

This NTM will remain in force until further notification is issued.

Issued on behalf of the Harbour Master

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited


Table 1 – Scottish Port Health Authority (PHA) Contacts for CFL Operated Harbours where Relevant Vessels are Accepted:

Port Location Local / Port Health Authority PHA Telephone No. (24hr) PHA Email
Armadale, Highland Council 01349 868 489

Brodick North Ayrshire Council 01294 310 000
Castlebay Comhairle nan Eilean Siar 01851 701 702
Coll Argyll & Bute Council 01436 658 988
Colonsay Argyll & Bute Council 01436 658 988
Largs North Ayrshire Council 01294 310 000
Lochboisdale Comhairle nan Eilean Siar 01851 701 702
Port Ellen Argyll & Bute Council 01436 658 988
Tarbert (Harris) Comhairle nan Eilean Siar 01851 701 702
Tiree Argyll & Bute Council 01436 658 988
Tobermory Argyll & Bute Council 01436 658 988


Further Information:

Health Protection Scotland Maritime section

World Health Organization

UK Government 


Categories: Notice to Mariners, Piers and harbours