Vessel sanitation program: Deratting exemption certificates; consolidation of United States ports,


[Federal Register: April 9, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 68)]


[Page 17427-17428]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Consolidation of United States Ports Designated To Conduct Rodent Infestation Inspections and Issue Deratting and Deratting Exemption Certificates

AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, HHS.

ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: In accordance with International and U.S. Federal regulations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has, for many years, inspected ships for rodent infestation and issued Deratting and Deratting Exemption Certificates at 18 major U.S. ports, as well as, by special arrangement, more than 100 smaller ports. To streamline these operations and increase cost effectiveness, CDC has consolidated the ports where it conducts these activities. As of October 1, 1997, CDC began conducting these inspections only at the ports of Baltimore, MD; Honolulu, HI: Houston, TX; Jacksonville, FL; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Savannah, GA; and Seattle, WA.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 1997.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David F. Rogers, Acting Chief, Program Operations Branch, Division of Quarantine, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mailstop E-03, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, (404) 639-8107, FAX (404) 639- 2599, E-mail


Purpose and Background

This announcement provides notification of CDC's consolidation of the ports in the U.S. where rodent infestation inspections of ships are conducted and Deratting and Deratting Exemption Certificates are issued.

In accordance with Article 17 of the International Health Regulations, published by the World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, the United States is required to (1) ensure that a sufficient number of U.S. ports have the capacity to inspect ships for the issue of Deratting Exemption Certificates and (2) depending upon the volume and incidence of international traffic, approve a number of these ports and maintain the capacity to perform rodent infestation inspections and issue

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Deratting Certificates. The U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), specifically CDC, is delegated the responsibility for providing these services, as provided in 42 CFR Section 71.46.

Until a major restructuring in the 1970's greatly reduced the number of ports at which PHS assigned staff, these services were regularly performed by PHS staff at 18 large ports and more than 100 smaller ports, as manpower permitted. Since 1977, almost all inspections have been performed under contract by qualified pest control operators at these same ports, at no cost to the owners or agents of the ships inspected. In contrast, most nations pass along the costs associated with these services to those who benefit from them.

Deratting Exemption Certificates Not Required Since 1985

Because of worldwide derat certification activities and modern rat- proofing of ships, CDC determined in 1985 that no adverse impact on the public health would result from not requiring vessels from foreign ports to have a valid Deratting Exemption Certificate. As a result, the United States has not required Deratting Exemption Certificates for the last twelve years. This change resulted in a more economical rodent inspection program without any adverse consequences or increased risk to the public health.

Consolidation of Inspections and Deratting Certificate Issuance

CDC has now determined that consolidation of the number of ports at which inspections are conducted and Deratting Certificatess are issued will further economize the program without jeopardizing the public health.

Accordingly, beginning October 1, 1997, CDC started conducting rodent infestation inspections at eleven specified ports. Six of these ports were selected because of the proximity of PHS staff who can conduct inspections as necessary and ensure quality control. The five additional ports add geographic dispersion and provide additional opportunities for those seeking inspection services.

Article 20 of the International Health Regulations requires that notice be given to WHO when the list of ports designated in application of the International Health Regulations is changed. This notification has been made.


The list of ports at which rodent infestation inspections are conducted and Deratting and Deratting Exemption Certificates are issued represents the only ports designated for this purpose. CDC staff or contract representatives are not available to conduct inspections at any other port.

Dated: April 3, 1998. Joseph R. Carter, Acting Associate Director for Management and Operations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

[FR Doc. 98-9334Filed4-8-98; 8:45 am]