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IMPORTANT: The Quarantine Act 1908 is to be repealed on 16 June 2016 and replaced by theBiosecurity Act 2015. The department has endeavoured to ensure that legislative references are current. However, due to administrative and technical constraints, maritime reporting documentationwill continue to contain references to the Quarantine Act 1908. Any references to the Quarantine Act 1908 and its subordinate legislation are outdated, and the department and its officers are now undertaking functions and duties and exercising powers pursuant to the Biosecurity Act 2015.

What is the impact?

There will be no change to maritime reporting processes until the implementation of the Maritime Arrivals Reporting System (MARS) in late 2016.

Why haven't the changes been made to all vessel related documentation yet?

The continued use of current maritime forms including reporting, first point of entry permission and ship sanitation certifications, will reduce the impact on industry, by requiring only one change to reporting processes that is aligned to the implementation of MARS. This approach has been consulted with national peak maritime industry bodies.

See the Import Industry Advice Notice for more information.

Vessels entering Australia could unknowingly carry unwanted pests and diseases that can threaten our unique flora and fauna, our aquaculture and agricultural industries as well as human health. Australia accounts for approximately 10 per cent of the world’s biodiversity so it is important that the spread of pests and diseases is prevented - making Australia's biosecurity laws among the strictest in the world.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources makes sure that all vessels arriving in Australian territory from overseas comply with International Health Regulations and that all biosecurity risks posed by the vessel are properly managed.

This is achieved by monitoring, assessing and managing the risks associated with vessels, crew, marine pests and ballast water of all international vessels arriving in Australian territory, including wharf surveillance activities.

Many types of vessels enter Australian territory. Our legislation manages them in two streams:

As a cost-recovered organisation, the department must charge for all activities it undertakes to protect Australia’s biosecurity. A full list of fees associated with vessel biosecurity services are set out in the department’s charging guidelines.

View a map of Australia's first points of entry for vessels

Last reviewed:
20 Jun 2016