Military vessels

​All military vessels arriving in Australia must undergo a routine vessel inspection by a biosecurity officer at their first point of entry into Australian territory (unless invoking sovereign immunity). The inspection includes health status of crew, vessel sanitation, stores, waste management and ballast water verification (if applicable to the vessel).

Pre-arrival reporting

Military vessels entering Australian first points of entry, along with non-first points of entry points are required to submit pre-arrival reporting and ballast water reporting within 96 to 12 hours of entry at a first Australian point of entry using MARS.

  • Using MARS, vessel masters must advise the department of changes to previously reported information about crew/passenger movements, human health and waste disposal.
  • Where illness on board the vessel is reported, the vessel master will be required to answer additional questions to assess the public health risk associated with the vessel prior to arrival at the port.
Report plants on board using the Live Plants Conveyance Log.

Depending on the vessel's compliance with biosecurity requirements, military vessels may be subject to further biosecurity inspections whilst in port.

The department may undertake surveillance to ensure that all biosecurity waste arrangements are strictly adhered to by military vessels. Service charges will apply for any military vessel found to have breached biosecurity requirements whilst in an Australian port - these charges can be found on the department's website.

Military vessels which invoke sovereign immunity cannot be boarded for the purpose of the department carrying out a full vessel inspection and/or verification of vessel papers. While the military vessel is in port, any biosecurity waste, baggage, food products, plant or animal material carried off the vessel by officers and/or crew will be subject to biosecurity inspection as they disembark.

Non-compliance with biosecurity requirements will result in increased mandatory gangway watches and monitoring by the department for the duration of the military vessel’s stay in port.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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