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Old 09-05-2018, 13:09   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vanuatu
Boat: Whiting 29' extended "Nightcap"
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NZ and Oz biofouling regs

A lot of scuttlebutt over the years so, as it's relevant to our business in Vanuatu, I decided to find out the truth.
"Thank you for contacting the department for advice on managing the anti-foul and biofouling on your vessel.

The department does not have specific requirements for a vessel to have an anti-foul system or have been recently cleaned. The Biosecurity Act 2015 that has taken the place of the Quarantine Act 1908 states that a vessel cannot be an unacceptable biosecurity risk but does not give specific actions that an operator needs to undertake to manage their biofouling. The department recommends the use of the Australian Government National Biofouling Management Guidelines as a voluntary measure to encourage best practice for biofouling management of vessels and submersible structures operating in Australia. Development of biofouling regulations consistent with the direction set by the International Maritime Organization is currently underway by the department. Please follow the link below if you would like to be added to the stakeholder consultation list.

If your vessel has recently had an anti-foul system applied or has recently been cleaned documentation such as receipts from the purchase of the paint or from the marina for the application, or receipts from the diver service are good records to have available should a Biosecurity Officer ask about your biofouling management. The use of a biofouling management plan and record book as outlined by the IMO are considered best practice and strongly encouraged by the department.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us directly."

Kind regards,


Marine Pest Unit
Animal Biosecurity Branch
Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
7 London Circuit, CANBERRA ACT 2601 Australia
PO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601 Australia"
Beware of service providers who offer AQIS certification, there is currently no such thing.
NZ has recently introduced regulation but in typical government fashion it is wishy washy and not very definitive, leaving the way open for a grumpy bureaucrat to ruin your day with their interpretation. As usual it holds yachts to a higher standard than the real danger of commercial shipping.
Requirements | MPI - Ministry for Primary Industries. A New Zealand Government Department.
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Old 29-05-2018, 01:49   #2
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Re: NZ and Oz biofouling regs

Yup. We’re in New Zealand now having arrived last December. Our experience was:

- A field on a form where you may (but are not obliged to) write down where and when you last antifouled (ours was about a year previously).

- They took a look at the waterline from the surface.

- They asked us about the state of our bottom.

We had no problems, but we had just given the bottom a scrub at Minerva Reef about 10 days prior to arriving. There are stories of people being forced to haul out their boats due to excessive fouling, but in reality this very rarely happens. Just give your bottom a bit of a clean.

The thing that often gets confused with the arrival requirements is that there is a big push to try to prevent the spread of a pest called the Mediterranean Fan Worm, which has infested the areas around Auckland but has not yet made it North. No problems going South. But, if you come back North again from the Auckland area you may have issues. They may want to see proof that you have antifouled within the last year, or powerwashed within the last month, or whatever they decide the most prudent requirements are at the time. No problem for arrival though. No-where near as bad as Galapagos.
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Old 29-05-2018, 02:02   #3
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Re: NZ and Oz biofouling regs

Since your arrival the biofouling "punish the small guy" guidelines have become law in NZ. Wait for the end of this cruising season to see if they flex their new muscles and make an example of yachties whilst they do nothing about the ships.
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