All commercial vessels must use MARS for vessel pre-arrival reporting.
Commercial vessel types that must use MARS to report noting that some vessels having additional requirements to be met:
|Australian vessels||Cruise||Heavy lift||Ro-Ros (Roll On Roll Off)|
|Barges||Fishing||Livestock||Superyachts - chartered|
|Break bulk||General cargo||Military||Tankers|
Routine vessel inspections
All vessels entering Australian territory from international waters pose a potential biosecurity risk. Routine vessel inspections (RVIs) are undertaken by biosecurity officers to ensure that biosecurity risks are identified and treated accordingly.
Some of the risks associated with international vessels include:
- deaths or illness of passengers or crew occurring in transit
- disembarking crew or passengers
- animals and rodents on board including ships pets or hitchhiking animals or imported animals carrying disease
- Food stores and galleys that could be housing stored product pests or diseased fruit and vegetables
- plants and insects and disease carrying organisms such as souvenirs with plant and animal content and items with feathers and seeds that can carry exotic pests, disease organisms or plant or marine pests in unmanaged ballast water
- marine pests (biofouling)
- biosecurity risk material
- the presence of rodents or insects like the Flighted Spongy Moth Complex or khapra beetle
- Waste (garbage) such as dry stores, cooked and uncooked meat, vegetable scraps and eggs) as a breeding ground for exotic pests and diseases
A vessel's risk level is determined by an assessment of the vessel's past inspection history and the information provided to the department in pre-arrival reporting by the vessel’s master and/or shipping agent.
An RVI includes the inspection of all galleys, pantries, provision stores, management of the vessel's waste facilities, ballast water verification, cabins and inspection of any other areas of the vessel as required, or as deemed appropriate by the biosecurity officer.
Vessels that have a history of poor sanitation are deemed high risk and as such require an increased level of inspection, including areas such as workshops, incinerators, upper deck storerooms, steerage areas. Some vessels have additional reporting requirements.
Assessing the biosecurity risk
On arrival at an Australian port, that is a first point of entry, an inspection of the vessel by biosecurity officers may be conducted to assess and manage potential biosecurity risks.
Barges and towed vessels
Barges and dredges are classified as commercial vessels by the department and are subject to biosecurity pre-arrival reporting requirements. A barge is a flat-bottomed vessel typically pushed or towed for the transport of heavy goods. Towed vessels include, but are not limited to the following vessel types:
- barges (dumb barges; jack-up barges; pipe-laying barges)
- mobile offshore drilling units (semi-submersible rigs; jack-up rigs)
- floatels (floating accommodation barges).
Where vessels are towed from an international port and transferred to an Australian vessel outside Australian territory for delivery into a port, the master of the (Australian) vessel is required to submit pre-arrival reporting. This is the responsibility of the tug or tow vessel operator, in most circumstances.
Livestock vessels entering Australian territory are considered to be of high biosecurity risk due to the nature of the cargo.
Information provided to the department in pre-arrival reporting, such as the Pre-Arrival Report (PAR) and Ballast Water Report and statement by the person in charge of livestock vessel is used to assess the actual risks attributable to individual vessels.
All livestock vessels must undergo inspection on every visit to Australia, irrespective of the vessel’s history or last port of call.
All livestock vessels are inspected at berth. Vessels must also be thoroughly cleaned disinfected, (with Soda Ash) and disinsected prior to arrival, in accordance with biosecurity procedures. For more information see Information for livestock exporters and industry participants.
Refer to the cruise vessel webpage: Cruise vessels - DAFF (agriculture.gov.au)
Refer to the offshore installations webpage: Offshore installations - DAFF (agriculture.gov.au)
Refer to the non-commercial vessel webpage and specific pre-arrival reporting: Non-commercial vessel arrival biosecurity reporting - yachts and private superyachts - DAFF (agriculture.gov.au)
Australian registered vessels
Refer to the Australian registered vessels webpage: Australian registered vessels - DAFF (agriculture.gov.au)