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Ghana to fine vessels with unvaccinated crew

Photo - Daniel Schludi: Unsplash daniel-schludi-mAGZNECMcUg-unsplash.jpg
Ghana is set to fine vessels that have unvaccinated crew or passengers onboard warn P&I Club Gard.

In an alert Gard said it’s local correspondents in Ghana, Sheringham P&I Services, advised that Ghana Port Health Service would impose a $3,500 fine on any vessel with unvaccinated seafarers or passengers arriving in the country.

An original implementation date of 15 January was set, however, the authorities have now decided to allow for a grace period, which is yet to be determined in length.

Gard noted it was also unclear if the $3,500 fine applied to the vessel as whole or for each individual unvaccinated crew member or passenger. Upon payment of the fine all unvaccinated personnel will receive the Johnson & Johnson jab from the local health authority, although the club noted the procedure for this is unclear.

The club recommended having crew vaccinated with any WHO approved vaccine, all of which will be accepted by Ghanaian officials, if a vessel was to be calling Ghana.

“We recommend owners whose vessels are planning to call ports in Ghana check to see if the crew onboard are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and are carrying vaccination certificates as proof to avoid any delays or other issues upon arrival in Ghanaian ports,” the alert said.

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.