123-2019 - Managing international goods on non-commercial vessels

31 July 2019

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is of interest to all vessel masters, crew, passengers and shipping agents who represent non-commercial vessels for the purposes of Australian biosecurity clearance.

What has changed?

The risk of international goods on board non-commercial vessels can now be managed in two ways while in Australian territory:

Option 1: The vessel is released from biosecurity control, following the removal of all biosecurity risks material (goods) from the vessel (formally known as a coastal strip).

Option 2: The vessel remains subject to biosecurity control with goods secured on board until such time as the vessel departs Australian territory. This option requires the securing of biosecurity risk material on board the vessel by a biosecurity officer for the duration of the vessel’s visit. This option may be dependent on the length of time the vessel intends to remain in Australian territory.

To be eligible for Option 2, the vessel must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Provide a pre-arrival report to the department at least 12 hours prior to arrival using the department’s Maritime Arrival Reporting System (MARS)
  2. Record an itinerary while in Australia, report any changes to the itinerary and obtain prior permission to moor at any non-first point of entry ports.
  3. Pay all fees for biosecurity services attributed to the vessel through MARS.
  4. Have separate storage facilities where goods can be segregated/secured (refrigerator, freezer, locked storage area) as directed by a biosecurity officer while in Australian territory.
  5. Secure plants within the vessel, as directed by the biosecurity officer while in Australian territory.
  6. Depart Australia from a determined first point of entry where there is a permanent biosecurity presence, and where the goods can be inspected prior to departure to ensure biosecurity conditions have been met.

If the vessel cannot meet all of these eligibility requirements, then all biosecurity risk must be removed from the vessel (Option 1).

The Biosecurity Status Document issued through MARS will communicate these directions and expectations during the vessel’s Australian voyage.

Any vessel that remains under biosecurity control may be subject to further intervention and directions for the management of goods, including restrictions on itineraries and use of goods.

Conditions and directions applied to non-commercial vessels remain at the discretion of the attending biosecurity officer.
It is an offence not to follow the directions of a biosecurity officer.

Further information

If you require further information, please call 1300 004 605 or email Maritime NCC.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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