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Anti-fouling and in-water cleaning guidelines

​​On 26 June 2013, the Standing Council on Primary Industries endorsed the ‘Anti-fouling and in-water cleaning guidelines’. The guidelines replace the ‘Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council Code of Practice for Antifouling and In-water Hull Cleaning and Maintenance, 1997’.

The guidelines were jointly developed by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources​, the Department of the Environment, and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, in conjunction with industry stakeholders from Australia and New Zealand.

About the guidelines

There are two parts to the guidelines:

  • Part 1 is about application, maintenance, removal and disposal of anti-fouling coatings at shore-based maintenance facilities.
  • Part 2 is about in-water cleaning. Where practical, vessels should be removed from the water for cleaning, in preference to in-water operations. However, the guidelines recognise in-water cleaning as an option to remove some types of biofouling, providing the risks are appropriately managed.

The guidelines apply to vessels and moveable structures such as oil and other exploration rigs, floating dry docks, pontoons, aquaculture installations and navigational structures.

Using the guidelines in Commonwealth waters

Applicants who wish to in-water clean in Commonwealth waters should familiarise themselves with the principles and recommendations contained in the guidelines. View some general recommendations about in-water cleaning in Commonwealth waters.

Applicants should then visit the Department of the Environment website for information about their obligations under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act).

If the activity does not need to be referred under the EPBC Act, then applicants should self-assess their activity using the Decision Support Tool  in Appendix 1 of the guidelines.

The Invasive Marine Species Program (IMSP) can provide advice to applicants about the biosecurity risk of a proposed activity. Please email the Invasive Marine Species Program.

Applicants should contact the antifouling paint manufacturer for advice about the suitability of a cleaning method for a particular paint type. Other matters relating to chemical contaminant risk are a Department of the Environment responsibility, and the Department of the Environment should be contacted for this advice.

Please email the Department of the Environment Community Information Unit.

Further information

If you require further information about the guidelines or their development please email the Invasive Marine Species Program.