18 December 2023
Who does this notice affect?
This notice is of interest to all vessel owners, operators, masters and shipping agents who represent international vessels for the purposes of Australian biosecurity clearance.
What has changed?
18-month biofouling management requirements education phase ending.
The Biosecurity Amendment (Biofouling Management) Regulations 2021 (biofouling regulations) entered into force on 15 June 2022. This introduced requirements for operators of all vessels to provide information on biofouling management practices prior to arriving in Australia.
On 15 December 2023, the department’s 18-month ‘education phase’ for biofouling requirements will end. The next phase of implementation is focused on transitioning to business-as-usual management of biofouling, which includes operating under the department’s established compliance policy.
There are no changes to how commercial vessel operators provide information about the management of biofouling. Our inspection processes have been improved to help streamline the inspection process for compliant vessels, while gathering additional information from non-compliant vessels to help assess the biosecurity risk the vessel presents.
The Australian biofouling management requirements provide details of Australia’s pre-arrival reporting requirements and guidance for operators of international vessels that are subject to biosecurity control while in Australian territorial seas. We have updated the Australian biofouling management requirements to provide clearer guidance based on feedback from vessel operators, agents and peak industry bodies over the last 18 months. Version 2 of Australian biofouling management requirements is available on our website.
Non-commercial vessel reporting
Non-commercial vessel operators arriving in Australian territorial seas can now submit a non-commercial vessel pre-arrival report. When the non-commercial vessel operator submits a PAR, questions relating to the biofouling management practices on the vessel must be answered. The responses provided in the 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 biosecurity risk associated with biofouling on arrival and take necessary actions to manage unacceptable biosecurity risks.
Information relating to the new policy for biofouling management requirements is available on our website.