Increased intervention and a stronger enforcement approach is currently in place to keep African Swine Fever (ASF) out of Australia. Passengers and crew must not remove jerky, biltong and other pork products from the vessel. See Keeping ASF out of Australia.
The department is responsible for the biosecurity assessment and management of international crew members permanently leaving a vessel from Australian territory ports.
Crew members must report any intended crew changes under (s48(2)f) of the Biosecurity Regulation 2016.
Crew are not permitted to take biosecurity risk items off the vessel. Biosecurity risk items are any items that pose a risk of introducing any exotic pests or disease into Australian territory.
What needs to be reported?
The vessel master and/or shipping agent is required to notify the department of crew leaving the vessel permanently (disembarking) and whether they have biosecurity items to declare.
- Crew disembarkation cannot proceed until pratique is granted. Refer to Pratique.
- The vessel master or agent must not allow crew to remove items from the vessel without permission from a biosecurity officer.
Biosecurity risk items
Goods and activities of biosecurity concern include:
- meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy, fruit, vegetables.
- grains, seeds, bulbs, straw, nuts, plants, parts of plants, traditional medicines or herbs, wooden articles.
- animals, parts of animals, animal products including equipment, pet food, eggs, biologicals, specimens, birds, fish, insects, shells, bee products.
- soil, items with soil attached or used in freshwater areas; e.g. sports/recreational equipment, footwear.
- recent travel that involved contact with farms, farm animals, wilderness areas, or freshwater streams/ lakes etc. in the last 30 days.
When and how to report disembarking crew
Vessel operators and/or agents must notify the department if any crew will be permanently leaving the vessel in Australian territory as soon as this becomes known.
There are two ways that a vessel master or agent can notify the department of crew disembarkation - pre-arrival and post arrival.
Read the Quick Reference Guide for applying for disembarkation from the MARS communications and training materials webpage.
After vessel arrival, biosecurity officers at the arrival port, will assess the reported crew disembarkation information. Biosecurity officers will determine whether a disembarking crew inspection will be conducted.
Where an inspection is required, it is the vessel operators and agent’s responsibility to arrange a suitable inspection time with the local biosecurity office. It is important to confirm with a biosecurity officer when crew members will be available for the inspection, prior to their departure from the vessel.
At the time of inspection, all disembarking crew member goods including baggage may be inspected by a biosecurity officer who will advise crew members on suitable actions to manage any risk.
In most cases crew will be directed to leave the biosecurity risk items on the vessel. Crew members leaving the vessel may also be cleared by biosecurity officers as part of the routine vessel inspection of the vessel.
Biosecurity officers will notify the master operator and/or agent, and provide written permission, for the crew to disembark the vessel.
Fees and charges
A fee for disembarking crew service requests are charged according to the fee for service rate. This fee is in addition to that charged for the routine vessel inspection or other inspection activities. For more information on fees, refer to the department’s charging guidelines.