Friday, May 8, 2009

Reporting H1N1 Cases

Due to alot of questions I've been fielding from the industry concerning the reporting requirements of vessels calling on US ports, I've put together some guidance:

Vessels, in accordance with 42 CFR 71.21 and 71.35, are required to comply with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reporting requirements. Vessel owners/ operators/ and agents can VOLUNTARILY supply this information (via eNOA/D or other means) to the Coast Guard if they choose, but this does not relieve them of their reporting requirement to CDC.

According to 33 CFR 160.215, vessels are required to notify the Coast Guard of an illness if it affects the safety or safe navigation of the vessel; as this would constitute a hazardous condition requiring immediate reporting. However, the hazardous condition is dependant on the safe operation of the vessel and the impact on the port (an example could be where half the crew was unable to conduct vessel work because they were too ill to stand their watches). Absent further guidance from CDC, a crew member suspected ofhaving H1N1 does not automatically make it a hazardous condition.

So, hopefully this clears up some of the confusion...hopefully

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