The Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions has implemented the Vessel Check online biofouling risk assessment portal which we are encouraging vessel operators and agents to use.
Vessel-Check captures a range of information regarding biofouling management including:
- anti-fouling coating information
- biofouling management plans
- record books.
It is an offence under Victorian legislation to bring in or release declared noxious aquatic species into Victorian waters. We recommend that operators follow the National Biofouling Management Guidelines and the Anti-fouling and in-water cleaning guidelines prior to entering Victorian coastal waters.
How does it work?
The Vessel-Check portal provides an indicative risk assessment for a vessel, based primarily on the documented management practices used to mitigate the transfer of invasive marine species. It follows the ‘best practice’ set out by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) guidelines (Biofouling Guidelines).
The Vessel-Check portal risk assessment is achieved through the following approach:
1. The vessel company registers on the portal (free to register and use for vessels), and sets up appropriate users for a vessel operator/company (for example, vessel operations managers/officers, vessel masters, vessel agents)
2. A vessel user creates a vessel profile and uploads all biofouling management information specific for their vessel.
3. A vessel profile documents biofouling management practices (captured in its biofouling management plan) and characteristics of the vessel (for example, is there an antifoulant coating?). Refer to the IMO’s Biofouling Guidelines
4. A vessel biofouling management profile is only created once, with the user only needing to update the biofouling record book when relevant changes occur or when biofouling management actions are implemented for that vessel (for example, recording that a scheduled clean has occurred in the record book section of the vessel's profile)
5. An indicative biofouling management risk of the vessel (based on the information provided in the vessel's profile) is automatically calculated when the vessel designates a Victorian port as its destination via its onboard AIS system or can be manually initiated through the Vessel-Check portal.
6. Vessel users can download a risk report for their vessel which contains a summary of the vessel’s information and a range of general management options that could aid in reducing the vessels biofouling risk status.
The Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions can also view the vessel’s information and any associated indicative risk report. The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions is also notified of the vessel's arrival into Victorian ports using an automated notification based on the AIS data. If deemed necessary by the department pro-active advice will be provided to vessels to ensure Victoria maintains aquatic biosecurity, as well as minimise impacts to vessel operations.
Who should use Vessel-Check?
Vessel-Check is intended for use by owners, operators, agents and managers of commercial vessels for all international and interstate movements to Victoria.