Australian registered vessels

It is common for Australian registered vessels to ply waters beyond the 12 nautical mile limit as part of their daily activities or operations. Vessels that exceed this limit and which are exposed to another conveyance (vessel or aircraft), or go to an international port will be subject to biosecurity control when returning to Australian territory.

The department regulates all vessels arriving in the Australian territory. These vessels may or may not, as part of their activities, come into contact or be exposed to international ports, international vessels or installations. Vessels that are subject to biosecurity control must comply with biosecurity requirements. These requirements may vary due to vessel type.

If a vessel is exposed, it will become subject to biosecurity control. (Vessel stores and waste may become subject to biosecurity control if an Exposed Goods Order is issued by a biosecurity officer).

If a vessel is not exposed, it is subject to an exception and will not be subject to biosecurity control.

Australian vessels may include but are not limited to:

  • Commercial fishing vessels
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection vessels
  • Royal Australian Navy vessels
  • Cargo carriers
  • Commercial tugs
  • Rig tenders
  • Non-commercial fishing vessels
  • Tour and charter vessels
  • Research vessels
  • Privately owned yachts and cruisers
  • Any Australian registered vessel

Australian vessel reporting requirements

  • Ships masters are required to submit a Pre Arrival Report (PAR)​​ prior to arrival.
  • Private non-commercial vessels and cruisers subject to biosecurity control, must contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the department prior to arrival.
  • All vessels are also required to manage their ballast water with a department approved method.
  • All disembarking crew and passengers will need to have their personal effects available for inspection by a biosecurity officer prior to leaving the vessel.
  • If a vessel is subject to biosecurity control, masters must decide if they wish the vessel to remain in international status or request a release from biosecurity control (Coastal stripping).
Last reviewed: 5 March 2021
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