Non-commercial vessels arriving in Australian territorial seas will have the option to submit a non-commercial vessel pre-arrival report (NCV PAR). If an NCV PAR is submitted, questions relating to the biofouling management practices on the vessel must be answered.
The responses provided in the NCV PAR will inform the department's policies for management of biosecurity risks associated with biofouling on non-commercial vessels. Biosecurity officers will continue to assess the level of biosecurity risk associated with NCV biofouling on arrival and may take necessary actions to address these risks.
Help reduce the risk of biofouling
If you’re arriving in Australian waters with your recreational vessel, refer to the guidance on the Marine Pests website and the IMO guidance on biofouling management for recreational boating. To help reduce the risk of marine pests entering Australian waters on your vessel we recommend you apply the principles of the National Biofouling Management Guidelines for Recreational Vessels:
- your hull should have an effective anti-fouling coating that is less than 12 months old
- you should clean your vessel hull and any equipment that has been in contact with seawater at your last port of call or within one week prior to arriving in Australia. (Biofouling removal should take place at a registered haul-out facility using a high-pressure water cleaning system.
We recommend you check internal seawater systems, including your sea strainer and other on-board systems that use seawater, and clean any build-up of marine growth. Seek assistance from your mariner if required.
High risk areas to target on your vessel
These areas are risks for biofouling on yachts:
- Ancillary gear - During extended port stays biofouling can build up and attach to ancillary gear. Routine maintenance is recommended for al ancillary gear in contact with seawater.
- Internal Water System – Seawater is drawn into yachts for use in internal water systems such as engine cooling, toilet flushing and galley sinks. Port environments can provide the opportunity for marine species to enter internal seawater systems. It is recommended that inspection and maintenance be carried out regularly.
- Underwater hull areas – With prolonged exposure to seawater, areas on the hull pose the greatest risk from biofouling. The correct application and maintenance of antifouling paint is highly recommended to prevent build-up of biofouling. A regular maintenance program for the antifouling paint system will also reduce inspection time, when arriving in Australia.
The department recommends that you establish a voyage history and biofouling maintenance log, which includes details of your last hull clean and anti-fouling renewal. Keeping these records will assist in best practice biofouling management and will also assist biosecurity officers during your first port inspection.
All boat owners have an obligation to act in a responsible manner on our waterways. Visit the Boat Owners page for more information on things you can do to help ensure pests and diseases are not spread throughout our waterways.
You can also learn more from a national survey that was conducted of recreational boat owners, co-owners or crew (operators) about their boat maintenance practices here.