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Final recommended shipbuilding construction guidelines for cruise vessels destined to call on U.S. ports
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    As a result of several major disease outbreaks on cruise vessels, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) in 1975, as a cooperative activity with the cruise ship industry. This program assists the cruise ship industry in fulfilling its responsibility for developing and implementing comprehensive sanitation programs to protect the health of the traveling public. The VSP fosters cooperation between government and industry in order to define and reduce health risks associated with cruise ships and to ensure a healthful and clean environment for ships’ passengers and crew. Every vessel that has a foreign itinerary and that carries thirteen (13) or more passengers is subject to twice-yearly inspections and, when necessary, re-inspection by VSP personnel. It should be noted that VSP operations are supported entirely by user fees.

    The VSP also provides construction plan reviews for “new buildings” and “major retrofits,” and on-site construction reviews when VSP determines it is necessary. Construction reviews are normally conducted when a ship is near completion or when it first enters a U.S. port. As a public health agency, CDC places a high value on this service, especially as it relates to the prevention of illness aboard cruise ships. Shipbuilders pay the costs and expenses of VSP staff traveling to shipyards to conduct on-site construction reviews.

    The primary objective of this document is to provide a framework for consistency in the sanitary design, construction, and construction inspections of cruise ships. CDC is committed to promoting the highest construction standards for public health related areas and believes compliance with these construction guidelines will help ensure a healthful environment on cruise ships. In developing this document CDC reviewed several standards, regulations, and criteria from a variety of sources for general guidance.

    The CDC Recommended Shipbuilding Construction Guidelines for Passenger Vessels Destined to Call on U.S. Ports will apply to all new buildings (i.e., ships) in which the keel is laid after February 1, 1997. The construction guidelines will also apply to major retrofits planned after February 1, 1997. A major retrofit is defined as any change in the structural elements of the ship (e.g., galleys, pantries, dinning rooms, water treatment systems, plumbing systems, waste management systems, pools, spas). These guidelines will not apply to minor retrofits. Minor retrofits are small changes like equipment replacement, installation or removal of single-use equipment (e.g., refrigerator units, bains-marie units), or single pipe runs.

    ConstructionGuidelines1997.pdf

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