New requirements for managing biofouling on international vessels arriving in Australia will begin on 15 June 2022.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is working closely with Australian and international shipping industries and recreational vessel operators on a number of initiatives.
Operators of all vessels subject to biosecurity control will be required to provide information on how biofouling has been managed prior to arriving in Australian territorial seas. This information will need to be reported through the department’s Maritime Arrivals Reporting System (MARS).
The department will use the information to target vessel interventions, an update from port agent GAC stated.
Vessel operators will receive less intervention for biofouling if they comply with one of the following three accepted biofouling management practices: implementation of an effective biofouling management plan; or cleaned all biofouling within 30 days prior to arriving in Australian territory; or implementation of an alternative biofouling management method pre-approved by the department.
A vessel operator that has not applied one of the three accepted biofouling management practices will be subject to further questions and assessment of the biosecurity risk associated with biofouling on the vessel.