Ghana is to impose fines on ships arriving at its ports with unvaccinated personnel, according to the latest directive by the Ghana Health Service.

Maritime insurance provider Gard’s local correspondent, Sheringham P&I Services, has advised that Ghana Port Health Service will levy a fine of USD3,500 on any vessel arriving with crew or passengers not fully vaccinated against Covid-19. 

The directive was initially due to be implemented from January 15, 2022, onwards. However, to allow owners sufficient time to vaccinate their crew, authorities have decided to allow a grace period, and the actual date of implementation is yet to be confirmed.

Gard added that it is unclear whether the fine is per vessel or per unvaccinated person onboard. 

“After the fine has been paid, all unvaccinated personnel onboard will be vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the local health authority. The process and technicalities around the vaccination are still unclear. We have approached our correspondent for further information. It has also been reported that free pratique may not be granted until all crew are vaccinated and vessels may face delays as a result,” said Gard.

“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. They may also wish to contact their local agents prior calling Ghana to obtain further information on this directive issued by the Ghana Health Service.”