The Australian biofouling management requirements (ABFMR) set out vessel operator obligations for the management of biofouling when operating vessels under biosecurity control within Australian territorial seas to comply with the Biosecurity Act 2015.
Operators of all commercial vessels subject to biosecurity control must provide information relating to biofouling management through the mandatory pre-arrival report (PAR). This information is reported through the department’s Maritime and Aircraft Reporting System (MARS). The department uses the information to target vessel interventions.
Our biosecurity officers may check this information during a vessel inspection. Documentary evidence must be available if we ask for it.
Commercial vessel operators who cannot demonstrate accepted biofouling management practices will be further questioned and assessed of the biosecurity risk associated with biofouling on the vessel. We may also conduct inspections of submerged hull and niche areas.
Non-commercial vessels – for information relating to non-commercial vessels, see the non-commercial vessel page.
Proactive biofouling management options
Vessel operators can demonstrate proactive management of biofouling by implementing one of the three accepted proactive biofouling management options:
Option 1: Implementation of an effective biofouling management plan and record book
If you report that the vessel has implemented an effective biofouling management plan and record book, you must be able to provide us with the following documents:
- Biofouling management plan that meets the minimum standards set out in the ABFMR.
- Biofouling record book that meets the minimum standards set out in ABFMR.
A biofouling management plan and record book must meet the department’s minimum standards to satisfy the requirements of option 1.
Biofouling management plan
An effective BFMP must be vessel specific and should be included in the ships’ operational documentation. The BFMP must have sufficient detail for the crew to implement the specified biofouling management activities.
Biofouling record book
The BFRB should contain a complete and up-to-date record of all biofouling management activities undertaken on the vessel and used in conjunction with the BFMP. It should be kept from the date the BFMP came into effect and retained for the life of the vessel. The BFRB may be electronic or in hard copy and available for inspection on request.
Email email@example.com to obtain a biofouling management plan example template.
Option 2: Cleaned all biofouling within 30 days prior to arriving in Australian territory
If you report that the vessel has been cleaned of all biofouling within 30 days prior to arrival in Australian territorial seas, the following documents must be provided:
- cleaning report that meets the minimum standard set out in the ABFMR.
- supporting photographs and/or video that meets the minimum standard set out in the ABFMR.
A cleaning report and supporting evidence must meet the department’s minimum standards to satisfy the requirements of proactive biofouling management option 2.
Option 3: Alternative biofouling management method pre-approved by the department
If you report that the vessel has an alternative biofouling management method, it must be pre-approved by the department and you must provide:
- department issued written approval, specific to the vessel and voyage
- any specified documents in the department issued approval.
Approval of the alternative biofouling management method must be obtained from the department prior to arrival to meet the requirements of proactive biofouling management option 3.
The department will consider applications for an alternative biofouling management method if the vessel operator can provide:
- a proposed alternative method that appropriately manages the biosecurity risk associated with the vessel’s biofouling
- sufficient evidence to substantiate the proposal.
Applications for an alternative biofouling management method must include:
- a completed and signed application form
- the most recent in-water inspection and cleaning reports
- evidence to support your application.
The department may request further information to process the application.
Vessel operators that cannot demonstrate proactive biofouling management practices
A vessel operator that cannot demonstrate proactive biofouling management practices using one of the three accepted management options will be required to provide additional information in their pre-arrival report.
We will use these responses to make a preliminary assessment of the biosecurity risks associated with the biofouling management practices on the vessel. This will determine the actions taken by the department on arrival into Australia.
Australian biofouling management requirements
For more information on Australia’s biofouling management requirements, see the Biofouling Resources page.
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