Proposed Australian biofouling management requirements for internationally arriving vessels

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Public submissions are now closed. Thank you to all those who participated.

We are developing options for mandatory requirements to manage biofouling on internationally arriving vessels in Australian waters.

When biofouling is not managed, it can introduce invasive species into our ecosystem. A new mandatory management system can reduce this risk.

To learn more:

Register in Have Your Say and follow this project for updates.

Here’s how you had your say

We asked for your feedback from 1 April 2019 to 31 May 2019.

You gave feedback through:

Key statistics

  • We emailed 3 notices to over 1000 stakeholders.
  • Over 90 people watched our live webinar.
  • We received 28 online responses.
  • We received 20 email submissions.

What your submissions told us

  • 82% agree the Australian Government needs to provide clearer biofouling requirements for internationally arriving vessels.
  • 77% prefer option 3 (effective biofouling management practices) for managing risk associated with biofouling.
  • 84% agree the phase-in timeframe in option 3 allows enough time for industry to prepare.
  • 55% agreed the Vessel Compliance Scheme is a strong incentive for compliance. 28% disagreed.
  • 78% agree biosecurity risk is appropriately minimised under the preferred option.

Your key priorities

International consistency

You wanted international consistency. You supported the International Maritime Organization’s consistent direction in option 3.

You also wanted a harmonised approach across jurisdictions that already have biofouling regulations. This avoids vessels having to meet multiple different regulations.

National consistency

You wanted national consistency in biofouling requirements. This will ensure smooth passage across jurisdictions and minimise regulatory burden.

Definitions and thresholds

Some of you raised the issue of needing clearer definitions. Clear key terms could provide industry with a tangible and known measure to comply with. It removes uncertainty and ambiguity. We will make definitions clearer where possible and practical to do so.

How to manage in-water cleaning

You see in-water cleaning as important. It’s also interlinked to the introduction of mandatory biofouling requirements. We are currently looking at how to develop an in-water cleaning and treatment standard. This will support Australian biofouling management requirements for international vessel arrivals.

Proposed costings

Some of you raised concern with the underlying assumptions behind the costings. Some of you also expressed concern about potential downstream impacts. Generally, stakeholders accepted Option 3 as having the least cost burden.

Phase-in schedule

There were mixed views about the phase-in schedule. Most of you felt that the proposed schedule allowed enough time to prepare for the changes.

Next Steps

After reviewing your feedback, we will:

  • update and finalise a Decision Regulation Impact Statement.
  • consult on and develop new policies
  • consult on and implement the new biofouling requirements

Public submissions are now closed. Thank you to all those who participated.

We are developing options for mandatory requirements to manage biofouling on internationally arriving vessels in Australian waters.

When biofouling is not managed, it can introduce invasive species into our ecosystem. A new mandatory management system can reduce this risk.

To learn more:

Register in Have Your Say and follow this project for updates.

Here’s how you had your say

We asked for your feedback from 1 April 2019 to 31 May 2019.

You gave feedback through:

Key statistics

  • We emailed 3 notices to over 1000 stakeholders.
  • Over 90 people watched our live webinar.
  • We received 28 online responses.
  • We received 20 email submissions.

What your submissions told us

  • 82% agree the Australian Government needs to provide clearer biofouling requirements for internationally arriving vessels.
  • 77% prefer option 3 (effective biofouling management practices) for managing risk associated with biofouling.
  • 84% agree the phase-in timeframe in option 3 allows enough time for industry to prepare.
  • 55% agreed the Vessel Compliance Scheme is a strong incentive for compliance. 28% disagreed.
  • 78% agree biosecurity risk is appropriately minimised under the preferred option.

Your key priorities

International consistency

You wanted international consistency. You supported the International Maritime Organization’s consistent direction in option 3.

You also wanted a harmonised approach across jurisdictions that already have biofouling regulations. This avoids vessels having to meet multiple different regulations.

National consistency

You wanted national consistency in biofouling requirements. This will ensure smooth passage across jurisdictions and minimise regulatory burden.

Definitions and thresholds

Some of you raised the issue of needing clearer definitions. Clear key terms could provide industry with a tangible and known measure to comply with. It removes uncertainty and ambiguity. We will make definitions clearer where possible and practical to do so.

How to manage in-water cleaning

You see in-water cleaning as important. It’s also interlinked to the introduction of mandatory biofouling requirements. We are currently looking at how to develop an in-water cleaning and treatment standard. This will support Australian biofouling management requirements for international vessel arrivals.

Proposed costings

Some of you raised concern with the underlying assumptions behind the costings. Some of you also expressed concern about potential downstream impacts. Generally, stakeholders accepted Option 3 as having the least cost burden.

Phase-in schedule

There were mixed views about the phase-in schedule. Most of you felt that the proposed schedule allowed enough time to prepare for the changes.

Next Steps

After reviewing your feedback, we will:

  • update and finalise a Decision Regulation Impact Statement.
  • consult on and develop new policies
  • consult on and implement the new biofouling requirements

Ask us a question.

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    Can the department indicate whether a similar policy will be introduced for Domestic Commercial Vessels?

    CMG asked over 1 year ago

    New biofouling requirements will only apply to vessels that are subject to biosecurity control under the Biosecurity Act 2015.

    New requirements will only apply to domestic vessels if they become subject to biosecurity control, for example, by re-entering Australian waters after visiting an international port.

    The department encourages all vessel operators to develop and implement a biofouling management plan and record book to proactively manage the biosecurity risks of biofouling on vessels. Any state and territory requirements for domestic vessels to manage biofouling will continue to apply concurrently with the department’s requirements.

    Learn more about Managing biofouling in Australia.