Ballast Water

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  • 1. Ballast Water

Ballast Water

Mariners’ Guide to Ballast Water Regulation in Australia Australia has had mandatory ballast water management requirements (the requirements) since 2001. The requirements are intended to reduce the threat of introducing non-indigenous species to Australia’s marine environment through ballast water imported from overseas. The success of the requirements relies heavily on mariners’ good will and their diligence in conducting ballast water management to the required standard. The Australian requirements have the same intention as those of the IMO Convention dealing with the management of ballast water and tank sediments but the Australian requirements are more specific than those in the convention in some areas – for the sake of clarity. If any mariner is in doubt about any aspect of Australia’s mandatory ballast water management requirements, advice may be sought from the National Ballast Water Adviser telephone: +61 409 604543; +61 2 6272 3276 (fax); e-mail: ballastwater@aqis.gov.au The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) is the lead agency of the Australian government for the regulation of ballast water.Details of the Australian requirements, and all prescribed forms for reporting ballast water management to AQIS may be found on the AQIS website: www.aqis.gov.au/shipping What follows is an explanation of how mariners must report their ballast water management to AQIS every time a vessel returns to Australia from an overseas place. 1) The Quarantine Pre-Arrival Report (AQIS Form 6): All vessels bound for Australia from any overseas place must report to AQIS about a range of issues of concern to Quarantine between 12 and 96 hours prior to arrival at their first Australian port of call. The required reporting must be done on the Quarantine Pre-Arrival Report (QPAR) form. A QPAR must be completed by the Master of each vessel. The completed form is usually transmitted to the vessel’s Australian agent who then submits the form to AQIS – usually by fax. If the vessel is equipped with fax, the original form should be signed by the Master. If the form is sent by e-mail or other means, the agent is authorised to sign on the Master’s behalf. Regardless of who signs the form – be it Master or agent – the information supplied on the QPAR is considered to be a sworn statement by the Master of the true situation about which the report is being made. It is an offence to provide a false or misleading statement to AQIS. The only question on the QPAR that relates to ballast water is: 29. Have you complied with Australian Ballast Water Management Requirements? In response to the QPAR, AQIS sends back a document known as “Approval to Berth”. On the Approval to Berth form, a number of conditions will be expressed in relation to what has been reported about the vessel by its Master. For ballast water, one standard response and one of two alternative responses will be included on the Approval to Berth form: BALLAST 1: Ballast Water may be discharged in a port in Australia, the Cocos Islands or Christmas Island, or Australian waters if an AQIS approved management option has been undertaken. BALLAST 2: No ballast water may be discharged in a port in Australia, the Cocos Islands or Christmas Island, or Australian waters without written permission from AQIS. BALLAST 3: The AQIS Ballast Water Management Summary (Form AQIS026) and your vessel’s real time records of Ballast Water Management must be ready and available for inspection by a Quarantine Officer on arrival into Australia and throughout the vessel’s stay in Australian waters. The original AQIS Ballast Water Management Summary (with AQIS endorsement/comments) must be retained on board the vessel for 2 years. If you answer ‘yes’ to Question 29 on the QPAR, your Approval to Berth will include Ballast 1 and 3 above. If you answer ‘no’ to Question 29 on the QPAR, your Approval to Berth will include Ballast 2 and 3 above. Soon after your vessel...

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