- Act 28 of 1974
- 13 June 1975
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International Health Regulations Act, 1974
Act 28 of 1974
- Published in South African Government Gazette no. 4219 on 15 March 1974
- Assented to on 1 March 1974
- Commenced on 15 March 1974
- [This is the version of this document from 13 June 1975 and includes any amendments published up to 6 October 2022.]
1. DefinitionsIn this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates -“Republic” includes the territory of South West Africa;“the International Health Regulations” mean the International Health Regulations adopted by the World Health Assembly at Boston on 25 July 1969, and set out in the Schedule.[These 1969 regulations have been largely superseded by 2005 regulations. According to the World Health Organisation: “In response to the exponential increase in international travel and trade, and emergence and reemergence of international disease threats and other health risks, 196 countries across the globe have agreed to implement the International Health Regulations (2005). This binding instrument of international law entered into force on 15 June 2007.” <www.who.int/ihr/publications/9789241596664/en/>][Namibia is a party to the International Health Regulations (2005). <www.who.int/ihr/legal_issues/states_parties/en/>][Article 58(1)(k) of the 2005 regulations states that they “shall replace as between the States bound by these Regulations and as between these States and WHO, the provisions of… the International Health Regulations of 1969 and the amendments of 1973 and 1981”. <http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2008/9789241580410_eng.pdf>.]
2. Application of International Health Regulations in RepublicThe International Health Regulations shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, apply in the Republic.
3. Promulgation of proclamations and regulations by State President
4. JurisdictionAny offence contemplated in section 3(3) shall for the purposes of jurisdiction be deemed to have been committed in any place where the accused happens to be.
5. Application of Act in South West AfricaThis Act and any amendment thereof shall apply also in the territory of South West Africa, including the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel.
6. Repeal of Act 38 of 1952The International Sanitary Regulations Act, 1952, is hereby repealed.
7. Short titleThis Act shall be called the International Health Regulations Act, 1974.
INTERNATIONAL HEALTH REGULATIONS[RSA Proclamation R.139 of 1975 (RSA GG 4741) amends this Schedule to incorporate the amendments to the International Health Regulations, 1969, adopted by the World Health Assembly on 23 May 1973 (which entered into force internationally on 1 January 1974). There were no amendments to the Schedule in South Africa, South West Africa or Namibia to reflect the amendments to the 1969 regulations adopted by the World Health Assembly on 20 May 1981 (which entered into force internationally on 1 January 1982). Since the 1969 regulations have been largely superseded by the International Health Regulations, 2005, to which Namibia is a party, this Schedule has not been checked against the original texts of the 1969 regulations or their amendments. See the annotation note to the definition of “the International Health Regulations” in section 1 of this Act.]
Part I – Definitions
Article 1For the purposes of these Regulations—“Aedes aegypti index” means the ratio, expressed as a percentage, between the number of houses in a limited well-defined area on the premises of which actual breedingplaces of Aedes aegypti are found, and the total number of houses examined in that area;[“Breeding places” is erroneously written as one word in the Government Gazette.]“aerosol dispenser” means a dispenser holding a pressurized formulation which produces an insecticidal aerosol when the valve is opened;“aircraft” means an aircraft making an international voyage;“airport” means any airport designated by the Member State in whose territory it is situated as an airport of entry and departure for international air traffic, where the formalities incidental to customs, immigration, public health, animal and plant quarantine and similar procedures are carried out.[The definition of “airport” is substituted by RSA Proc. R.139 of 1975. The full stop at the end should be a semicolon.]“arrival” of a ship, an aircraft, a train or a road vehicle means—
Part II – Notifications and Epidemiological Information
Article 2For the application of these Regulations, each State recognizes the right of the Organization to communicate directly with the health administration of its territory or territories. Any notification or information sent by the Organization to the health administration shall be considered as having been sent to the State, and any notification or information sent by the health administration to the Organization shall be considered as having been sent by the State.
Article 5Any notification required under paragraph 1 of Article 3 shall be promptly supplemented by information as to the source and type of the disease, the number of cases and deaths, the conditions affecting the spread of the disease, and the prophylactic measures taken.
Article 9In addition to the notifications and information required under Articles 3 to 8 inclusive, each health administration shall send to the Organization weekly:
Article 10Any notification and information required under Articles 3 to 9 inclusive shall also be sent by the health administration, on request, to any diplomatic mission or consulate established in the territory for which it is responsible.
Article 12Any telegram or telex sent, or telephone call made, for the purposes of Articles 3 to 8 inclusive and Article 11 shall be given the priority appropriate to the circumstances; in any case of exceptional urgency, where there is risk of the spread of a disease subject to the Regulations, the priority shall be the highest available under international telecommunication agreements.
Part III – Health Organization
Article 15There shall be available to as many of the ports and airports in a territory as practicable an organized medical and health service with adequate staff, equipment and premises, and in particular facilities for the prompt isolation and care of infected persons, for disinfection, disinsecting and deratting, for bacteriological investigation, for the collection and examination of rodents for plague infections, for collection of water and food samples and their dispatch to a laboratory for examination, and for other appropriate measures provided for by these Regulations.
Article 16The health authority for each port and airport shall:
Article 18Each health administration shall designate those airports which possess a direct transit area as defined in Article 1.
Part IV – Health Measures and Procedure
Article 24The health measures permitted by these Regulations are the maximum measures applicable to international traffic, which a State may require for the protection of its territory against the diseases subject to the Regulations.
Article 25Health measures shall be initiated forthwith, completed without delay, and applied without discrimination.
Article 29Except in case of an emergency constituting a grave danger to public health, a ship or an aircraft, which is not infected or suspected of being infected with a disease subject to the Regulations, shall not on account of any other epidemic disease be refused free pratique by the health authority for a port or an airport; in particular it shall not be prevented from discharging or loading cargo or stores, or taking on fuel or water.
Article 30A health authority may take all practicable measures to control the discharge from any ship of sewage and refuse which might contaminate the waters of a port, river or canal.
Health Measures on Departure
Health Measures Applicable Between Ports or Airports of Departure and Arrival
Article 32No matter capable of causing any epidemic disease shall be thrown or allowed to fall from an aircraft when it is in flight.
Article 35Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in these Regulations except Article 76, no health measure, other than medical examination, shall be applied to:
Health Measures on Arrival
Article 36Whenever practicable States shall authorize granting of free pratique by radio to a ship or an aircraft when, on the basis of information received from it prior to its arrival, the health authority for the intended port or airport of arrival is of the opinion that its arrival will not result in the introduction or spread of a disease subject to the Regulations.
Article 38The application of the measures provided for in Part V which depend on arrival from an infected area as notified by the health administration concerned shall be limited to the ship, aircraft, train, road vehicle, or other means of transport, person, container or article as the case may be, arriving from such an area, provided that the health authority for the infected area is taking all measures necessary for checking the spread of the disease and is applying the measures provided for in paragraph 1 of Article 31.
Article 39On arrival of a ship, an aircraft, a train, a road vehicle, or other means of transport, an infected person on board may be removed and isolated by the health authority. Such removal by the health authority shall be compulsory if it is required by the person in charge of the means of transport.
Article 41Any health measure, other than medical examination, which has been applied at a previous port or airport shall not be repeated at a subsequent port or airport, unless:
Article 42Subject to Article 80, a ship or an aircraft shall not be prevented for health reasons from calling at any port or airport. If the port or airport is not equipped for applying the health measures which are permitted by these Regulations and which in the opinion of the health authority for the port or airport are required, such ship or aircraft may be ordered to proceed at its own risk to the nearest suitable port or airport convenient to the ship or aircraft.
Article 43An aircraft shall not be considered as having come from an infected area if it has landed only in such an area at any sanitary airport which is not itself an infected area.
Article 44Any person on board a healthy aircraft which has landed in an infected area, and the passengers and crew of which have complied with the conditions laid down in Article 35, shall not be considered as having come from such an area.
Measures Concerning the International Transport of Cargo, Goods, Baggage, and Mail
Article 48Except in the case of an infected person or suspect, baggage may be disinfected or disinsected only in the case of a person carrying infectious material or insect vectors of a disease subject to the Regulations.
Article 50A health administration shall ensure as far as practicable that containers used in international traffic by rail, road, sea or air shall, inpacking, be kept free of infectious material, vectors or rodents.
Part V – Special Provisions Relating to each of the Diseases subject to the Regulations
Article 51For the purposes of these Regulations the incubation period of plague is six days.
Article 52Vaccination against plague shall not be required as a condition of admission of any person to a territory.
Article 55In exceptional circumstances of an epidemiological nature, when the presence of rodents is suspected on board, an aircraft may be disinsected and deratted.
Article 56Before departure on an international voyage from an area where there is an epidemic of pulmonary plague, every suspect shall be placed in isolation by the health authority for a period of six days, reckoned from the date of the last exposure to infection.
Article 59A ship shall cease to be regarded as infected or suspected, or an aircraft shall cease to be regarded as infected when the measures required by the health authority in accordance with Articles 39 and 58 have been effectively carried out, or when the health authority is satisfied that the abnormal mortality among rodents is not due to plague. The ship or aircraft shall thereupon be given free pratique.
Article 60On arrival, a healthy ship or aircraft shall be given free pratique, but, if it has come from an infected area, the health authority may:
Article 61If, on arrival of a train or a road vehicle, a case of human plague is discovered, the measures provided for in Article 39 and in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 58 may be applied by the health authority, disinsecting and, if necessary, disinfection being applied to any part of the train or road vehicle which is considered to be contaminated.
Article 62For the purposes of these Regulations the incubation period of cholera is five days.
Article 63[Article 63 deleted by RSA Proc. R.139 of 1975]
Article 65[Article 65 deleted by RSA Proc. R.139 of 1975]
Article 66[Article 66 deleted by RSA Proc. R.139 of 1975]
Article 67[Article 67 deleted by RSA Proc. R.139 of 1975]
Article 68[Article 68 deleted by RSA Proc. R.139 of 1975]
Article 69[Article 69 deleted by RSA Proc. R.139 of 1975]
Article 70Foodstuffs carried as cargo on board a ship, an aircraft, a train, a road vehicle or other means of transport in which a case of cholera has occurred during the journey, may not be subjected to bacteriological examination except by the health authorities of the country of final destination.[Article 70 substituted by RSA Proc. R.139 of 1975 and re-numbered as Article 64.][Articles 71-107 re-numbered as Articles 65-101]
Article 66For the purposes of these Regulations the incubation period of yellow fever is six days.
Article 67[The word “Article” is misspelt in the Government Gazette.]
Article 69A health authority in an area where the vector of yellow fever is present may require a person on an international voyage, who has come from an infected area and is unable to produce a valid certificate of vaccination against yellow fever, to be isolated until his certificate becomes valid, or until a period of not more than six days reckoned from the date of last possible exposure to infection has elapsed, whichever occurs first.
Article 73On arrival of a healthy ship or aircraft coming from an infected area, the measures provided for in subparagraph (b) of paragraph 1 of Article 78 may be applied. The ship or aircraft shall: thereupon be given free pratique.
Article 74A State shall not prohibit the landing of an aircraft at any sanitary airport in its territory if the measures provided for in paragraph 2 of Article 74 are applied, but, in an area where the vector of yellow fever is present, aircraft coming from an infected area may land only at airports specified by the State for that purpose.
Article 75On arrival of a train, a road vehicle, or other means of transport in an area where the vector of yellow fever is present, the following measures may be applied by the health authority;
Article 76In an area where the vector of yellow fever is present the isolation provided for in Article 39 and: in this Chapter shall be· in mosquito-proof accommodation.
Article 77For the purposes of these Regulations the incubation period of smallpox is fourteen days.
Article 81On arrival, a healthy ship or aircraft, even when it has come from an infected area, shall be given free pratique.
Article 82If, on arrival of a train, road vehicle or other means of transport, a case of smallpox is discovered, the infected person shall be removed and the provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 86 shall apply, any period of surveillance or isolation being reckoned from the date of arrival, and disinfection being applied to any part of the train, road vehicle or other means of transport which is considered to be contaminated.
Part VI – Health Documents
Article 83Bills of health, with or without consular visa, or any certificate, however designated, concerning health conditions of a port or an airport, shall not be required from any ship or aircraft.
Article 86The certificates specified in Appendices 1, 3 and 4 shall be printed in English and in French. An official language of the territory of issue may be added.
Article 87A vaccination document issued by the Armed Forces to an active member of those Forces shall be accepted in lieu of an international certificate in the form shown in Appendix 2, 3 or 4 if:
Article 88No health document other than those provided for in these Regulations, shall be required in international traffic.
Part VII – Charges
Part VIII – Various Provisions
Part IX – Final Provisions
Article 96A rejection, or the whole or part of any reservation, may at any time be withdrawn by notifying the Director-General.
Article 99The Director-General shall notify all Members and Associate Members, and also other parties to any conventions, regulations and similar agreements listed in Article 99 of the adoption by the World Health Assembly of these Regulations. The Director-General shall also notify these States as well as any other State, which has become a party to these Regulations, of any additional Regulations amending or supplementing these Regulations, of any notification received by him under Articles 100, 102, 103 and 104 respectively, as well as of any decision taken by the World Health Assembly under Article 101.
History of this document
13 June 1975 this version
15 March 1974
Published in South African Government Gazette number 4219
01 March 1974