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Pre Arrival:  Charts | Docs | ISPS
Arrival:  Pilots | DS Pilots
Communications:  Pratique | Pre-Arrival | VTS/Radar
Pollution:  Ballast | Pollution
Security:  Emergency | Regs
Local Info:  Time | Holidays
Shore:  Customs
Report:  Report
General Information for Australia
Geo-political:
Capital City: Canberra.
Nationality: (noun) Australian, (adjective) Australian.
Population: 21,262,641.
Communications:
International Direct Dial Code: 61.
Number of Internal Airports: 325.
Major Languages Spoken: English 78.5%, Chinese 2.5%, Italian 1.6%, Greek 1.3%, Arabic 1.2%, Vietnamese 1%, other 8.2%, unspecified 5.7% (2006 Census).
Economy:
Currency: 1 Australian Dollar (AUD) of 100 Cents.
Main Industries: Mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals and steel.
Environment:
Territorial Sea: 12 n.m.
Other Maritime Claims: Contiguous Zone: 24 n.m. Continental Shelf: 200 n.m. or to the edge of the continental margin. Exclusive Economic Zone: 200 n.m.
Coastline Extent: 25,760 km.
Climate: Generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north.
Natural Resources: Bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas and petroleum.
Natural Hazards: Cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires.
Terrain: Mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast.
Average Temperatures: 
Month High Low
January 28° C 13° C
June 11° C 1° C
September 17° C 3° C
CHARTS:  Nautical charts and publications are issued by the Australian Hydrographic Office. Chart index and issued Notices to Mariners available online at
DOCUMENTS:  Customs Procedures:  First port arrivals, vessel's Master or owner is required to provide Australian Border Force (ABF) with a notice of the ship's impending arrival. An impending arrival report can be made by document or sent electronically. The impending arrival report must include the estimated date of arrival of the ship at the first Australian port or any subsequent port that the ship intends to visit.
Ships carrying cargo must communicate the impending arrival report, actual arrival report and cargo reports to ABF electronically. All goods intended to be unloaded from the ship or remaining on board must be reported. Ships not carrying cargo may report information manually or electronically to ABF.
Shipping representatives or Agents in Australia can also assist with how to meet electronic reporting obligations determined by ABF legislation.
The following forms should be lodged with ABF, via Agent, 96 hours (unless advised below) before vessel’s arrival. It is recommended that forms are submitted to Agent as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days before arrival:
1 Crew Report (Australian Customs Form 3)
1 Ship’s Particulars
1 Ship Pre-Arrival Report (Australian Customs Form 13)
To be presented to Customs on arrival:
1 Crew Effects Declaration (Australian Customs Form b465)
1 Crew Report (Australian Customs Form 3)
1 Ports of Call list
1 Ship Pre-Arrival Report (Australian Customs Form 13)
1 Stores List (Australian Customs Form 5-4)
Forms are available to download at: www.abf.gov.au/help-and-support/forms#
Penalties for non-compliance with Australia's border legislation can be severe. If there are any doubts whether goods on board require a permit or special conditions, vessel is advised to contact the Customs Information and Support Centre. www.abf.gov.au
Cruise Ships:  Cruise ships are subject to customs, immigration and biosecurity controls when entering and/or departing Australia. This includes requiring permission to enter an Australian Non-Proclaimed First port of Entry and/or to enter subsequent ports of call. Maritime Traveller Processing Committee approval is required for cruise ships wanting to enter seaports other than the ports of: Sydney; Melbourne; Brisbane (excluding Tangalooma); Cairns (excluding Yorkeys Knob); Port Adelaide; Darwin; Fremantle; Hobart. Cruise ships wanting to arrive, depart or visit any other seaports (including Tangalooma and Yorkeys Knob) must submit a Maritime Traveller Processing Committee application.
ISPS COMPLIANCE:  Ports of entry within the country are ISPS compliant.
Department of Home Affairs. www.homeaffairs.gov.au
PILOTAGE:  Pilot Transfer Arrangements:  Australia strictly observes the international regulations and recommendations for Pilot Transfer Arrangement. The following apply:
SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 23.
IMO Resolution A 1045 (27).
Where vessels present noncompliant Pilot Transfer Arrangements for boarding they are likely to be denied entry to a port until the deficiencies are rectified.
DEEP SEA PILOTAGE:  Coastal and Reef Pilotage:  Since 2005 the Great Barrier Reef Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) has included the Torres Strait. Licensed pilots are available for the whole of the Queensland coast, including Torres Strait, the Inner Route of the Great Barrier Reef, the Great North East Channel, and the reef entrances at Hydrographers Passage, Palm Passage and Grafton Passage.
Compulsory Pilotage:  The Inner Route of the Great Barrier Reef between Cape York (Lat. 10° 41′ S) and Cairns (Lat. 16° 40′ S), Torres Strait, and also Hydrographers Passage, has been declared a Compulsory Pilotage District. All vessels LOA 70 m. or more and all loaded oil tankers, chemical carriers and liquefied gas carriers, regardless of length, are required to use the services of a licensed Pilot. The compulsory pilotage areas are rigorously monitored by the Authorities.
IMO Recommendation on Pilotage:  The attention of Shipmasters is drawn to the IMO Recommendation A(710) on pilotage in Torres Strait and the Great North East Channel.
The Torres Strait Pilotage Area is bounded on the south by the line of Lat. 10° 41′ S, and on the north by Australia's EEZ, and divided into the following two parts:
Torres Strait Pilotage Area A is bounded by Long. 141° 50′ E and 142° 05′ E.
Torres Strait Pilotage Area B is bounded by Long. 142° 05′ E and 143° 24′ E.
Also see Report
Pilot Boarding:  Vessels requiring a Pilot are to arrange for the Pilot to board at the following locations:
Eastbound vessels of draft of 8.0 m. or more: Booby Island 10° 36′ 18″ S, 141° 49′ 18″ E.
Eastbound vessels of draft less than 8.0 m.: Goods Island 10° 33′ 54″ S, 142° 04′ 16″ E.
Westbound vessels: Dalrymple Island 09° 34′ 00″ S, 143° 24′ 30″ E.
Masters of eastbound vessels with a draft of less than 8.0 m. can request the services of a Pilot from Booby Island if they wish to do so.
Charts:  Vessels embarking a Pilot for a transit of Torres Strait must carry the following Australian charts fully corrected to the latest Notices to Mariners: Aus 289, 292, 293, 296, 839 and 840.
UKC:  Reliance on Charts and Predicted Tides: Prudent mariners navigate with adequate under-keel clearance at all times making due allowances for all the factors that are likely to reduce the depth beneath their keels. To ensure an adequate under-keel clearance throughout a passage, an under-keel allowance may be laid down by a competent authority or determined on board when planning the passage. The factors to be taken into account when determining this allowance are given in the Mariners' Handbook , NP 100, 6th Edition.It has become increasingly evident that economic pressures are causing mariners to navigate through waters of barely adequate depths, with UKC being finely assessed from the charted depths and predicted tide levels.Hydrographic surveys have inherent technical limitations due partly to uncertainties in the tidal reductions in offshore areas. Furthermore, in some areas, the shape, and hence the depth, of the seabed is constantly changing. Nautical charts can seldom, therefore, be absolutely reliable in their representation of depth and, when tidal predictions are applied to the chart as if they were actual tide levels, the uncertainties are clearly compounded.The limitations of hydrographic surveys are discussed at length in the Mariners' Handbook and factors affecting tide levels are described in the introduction to the Australian National Tide Tables.It cannot be too strongly emphasised that even charts based on modern surveys may not show all seabed obstructions or the shallowest depths, and actual tide levels may be appreciably lower than those predicted.
  1. Prudent mariners navigate with adequate under-keel clearance at all times making due allowances for all the factors that are likely to reduce the depth beneath their keels. To ensure an adequate under-keel clearance throughout a passage, an under-keel allowance may be laid down by a competent authority or determined on board when planning the passage. The factors to be taken into account when determining this allowance are given in the Mariners' Handbook , NP 100, 6th Edition.
  2. It has become increasingly evident that economic pressures are causing mariners to navigate through waters of barely adequate depths, with UKC being finely assessed from the charted depths and predicted tide levels.
  3. Hydrographic surveys have inherent technical limitations due partly to uncertainties in the tidal reductions in offshore areas. Furthermore, in some areas, the shape, and hence the depth, of the seabed is constantly changing. Nautical charts can seldom, therefore, be absolutely reliable in their representation of depth and, when tidal predictions are applied to the chart as if they were actual tide levels, the uncertainties are clearly compounded.
  4. The limitations of hydrographic surveys are discussed at length in the Mariners' Handbook and factors affecting tide levels are described in the introduction to the Australian National Tide Tables.
  5. It cannot be too strongly emphasised that even charts based on modern surveys may not show all seabed obstructions or the shallowest depths, and actual tide levels may be appreciably lower than those predicted.
Australian Reef Pilots:  Initial contact shall be made, where possible, at least ten days in advance in order to allow for the relevant arrangements and formalities to be completed. Pilot assistance will be provided for vessel's transit of Hydrographer's Passage, Diamond Islets and Jomard Entrance. Northbound and southbound vessels, Pilot transfer will take place at Torlesse boarding ground, (10° 46′ 00″ S, 152° 13′ 00″ E). Pilot transfer will be by launch rather than helicopter.
The initial message must include IMO number/call-sign, required boarding ground, ETA (UTC +10 hrs), draft, destination, and speed through water.
Pilot will be on board vessel for approx. 50 hours while sailing between Papua New Guinea and Australia. As such, Australian Customs and Immigration require Pilot's details be added to Crew List as a supernumerary at least 24 hours before arrival or departure. Australian Reef Pilots will provide Pilot's details in advance. Tel: +61 (7) 3666 2660. Mobile: +61 4138 78792. operations@reefpilots.com.au
There is currently no change to the pilotage arrangements offered by Hydro Pilots and Torres Pilots.
Pilotage Providers:  Australian Reef Pilots Pty Ltd and Torres Pilots are licensed by AMSA to provide pilotage through the Torres Strait.
Australian Reef Pilots Pty Ltd, PO Box 826, Brisbane, Qld 4001. Tel: +61 (7) 3666 4041. Fax: +61 (7) 3666 4040. operations@reefpilots.com.au DutyPilot@reefpilots.com.au www.reefpilots.com.au/ Contact: Alan Maffina, General Manager.
Torres Pilots, PO Box 674, Bulimba, Queensland 4171, Australia. Tel: +61 (7) 3217 9544 (24 hrs.). Fax: +61 (7) 3217 9722. operations@torrespilots.com.au www.torrespilots.com.au
Hydrographers Passage:  Hydro Pilots, PO Box 4018, South Mackay, QLD 4740, Australia. Tel: +61 (7) 4944 0455. F: +61 (7) 4944 0755. Tlx: AA48105 HPILOT. Voicemail: +61 (7) 4944 0455. hydropilots@hydropilots.com.au Contact: Captain James HC London, Director.
Also see Torres Strait
PRATIQUE:  See Pre-Arrival Information
PRE-ARRIVAL INFORMATION:  All commercial vessels must now use the Maritime Arrivals Reporting System (MARS) for all vessel pre-arrival reporting. Full details and online access to MARS is available at www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/avm/vessels
Biosecurity Reporting Obligations:  Pre-arrival information, and changes, for maritime conveyances (vessels) must be reported in a form approved by the Director of Biosecurity, which is MARS. Electronic offline forms can be used where there is limited connectivity, but they do not constitute the approved form. Your reporting obligations are met once your information has been submitted in MARS.
Vessel Operator Responsibilities:  The operator of the vessel is obligated to report information accurately in accordance with Section 193 of the Biosecurity Act 2015. This information must be lodged in MARS no later than 12 hours prior to arrival.
Shipping Agent Responsibilities:  Where the vessel operator uses a shipping Agent, the Agent is responsible for lodgement of accurate and timely information into MARS. The Agent must ensure that this information is a true and correct representation of the reports provided by the vessel operator, and that any changes have been confirmed with the operator.
Any changes in circumstances during the voyage in Australian waters must be reported to the department as soon as practicable.
Pre-Arrival Report (PAR):  The PAR must be completed by a vessel Master or Agent. It notifies the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of impending vessel arrivals to Australia. The information collected on the PAR is used to assess the biosecurity risk of the vessel. PAR must be submitted via MARS between 96 and 12 hours before the estimated time of arrival of the vessel at the Australian border. The PAR covers vessel’s particulars, arrival details, sanitation, human health and biosecurity.
The Itinerary Update Form is for Agents and Masters to advise the department of changes to a vessel’s itinerary for a voyage. Use this form for changes after a PAR has already been submitted, for changes to a vessel’s subsequent port itinerary. Masters and Agents to complete this form and send to the MNCC to action.
Ballast Water Report (BWR):  BWR must be completed by the Master of the vessel prior to arrival in Australian territory, if intending to discharge ballast using a Ballast Water Management System (BWMS). The BWR is to be submitted via MARS no later than 12 hours before a vessel enters Australia.
BWR can be accessed either from the Submit Applications drop down menu or by clicking on the Ballast Water Report shortcut on the MARS application. Ballast Water Reports may be completed manually in MARS by direct data entry or by uploading an XML data file. A pdf version of the BWR form is available to download at www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/avm/vessels/ballast
Vessels must retain all ballast water reports and any relevant vessel logbooks for a period of two years, and make these available to biosecurity officers on request.
Also see Ballast
Entry to Australian Ports:  Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, vessels that are subject to biosecurity control must enter Australian ports at a first point of entry, unless permission has been granted to the Master or Agent by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to enter a non-first point of entry (under subsection 247(b) of the Act).
Plants, animals and other kinds of goods may only be landed at certain points. International vessels must comply with the Biosecurity Act 2015 and the First Point of Entry Biosecurity Determinations 2016 when entering an Australian port.
First Point of Entry Ports are: Albany; Ardrossan; Botany Bay; Bowen; Brisbane; Broome; Bundaberg; Bunbury; Burnie; Cairns; Carnavon; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Coffs Harbour; Dampier; Darwin; Derby; Devonport; Eden; Esperance; Exmouth; Freemantle; Geelong; Geraldton; Gladstone; Hay Point; Hobart; Launceston; Lord Howe Island; Lucinda; Mackay; Melbourne; Melville Bay; Milner Bay; Newcastle; Port Adelaide; Port Alma; Port Bonython; Port Giles; Port Hedland; Port Huon; Port Kembla; Port Kennedy; Port Latta; Port Lincoln; Port Pirie; Port Walcott; Portland; Spring Bay; Stanley; Sydney; Thevenard; Townsville; Wallaroo; Weipa; Westernport; Whyalla; Wyndham; Yamba.
Contact:  Maritime National Coordination Centre. T: + 1300 004 605 (inside Australia) T: +61 (8) 8201 6185 (outside Australia). F: +61 (8) 8201 6176. maritimencc@agriculture.gov.au www.agriculture.gov.au
VTS/RADAR:  Marine Order No. 63:  Marine Order 63 (vessel reporting systems) 2015 made under the Navigation Act 2012. Compilation No. 1, 11th October 2017.
Included below is some information from the order.
REEFREP:  Area means the area for the mandatory ship reporting system mentioned in IMO Resolution MSC.52 (66), as amended from time to time.
REEFVTS:  Means the service, authorised under Marine Order 64 (Vessel traffic services) 2013 (not reproduced), known as the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service.
6 – Application: 
1. Applies to each of the following vessels in the MASTREP area:
a) regulated Australian vessel
b) foreign vessel from its arrival at its first port in Australia until its departure from its final port in Australia.
Note: MASTREP helps the AMSA to carry out its search and rescue functions. For this reason, domestic commercial vessels fitted with GMDSS and AIS are also encouraged to participate whenever they are in the MASTREP area, even when it is not mandatory for them to do so.
2. Order applies to the following kinds of vessel in the REEFREP area:
a) vessel LOA of at least 50 m.
b) oil tanker
c) chemical tanker
d) vessel carrying at least 200 cu.m. of oil, whether cargo or for vessel use
e) vessel to which the INF Code applies
f) vessel engaged in towing or pushing
i. if it or the vessel being towed or pushed is a vessel mentioned in paragraph a, b, c, d or e; or
ii. if the length of tow is at least 150 m.
7 – Reporting Requirements in MASTREP Area: Vessel in the MASTREP area, Master shall ensure that reports are transmitted in accordance with Schedule 3 if the vessel is mentioned under Application Penalty: 50 penalty units.An offence against subsection (1) is a strict liability offence.A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1) Civil penalty: 50 penalty units.
  1. Vessel in the MASTREP area, Master shall ensure that reports are transmitted in accordance with Schedule 3 if the vessel is mentioned under Application Penalty: 50 penalty units.
  2. An offence against subsection (1) is a strict liability offence.
  3. A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1) Civil penalty: 50 penalty units.
Note: The publication MASTREP and Australian Mandatory Reporting Guide is available at the AMSA website: www.amsa.gov.au
8 – Reporting Requirements in REEFREP Area: Vessel in the REEFREP area, Master shall ensure that reports are made to REEFVTS in accordance with Schedule 4 if the vessel is mentioned in subsection 6 (2). Penalty: 50 penalty units.An offence against subsection (1) is a strict liability offence.A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1) Civil penalty: 50 penalty units.
  1. Vessel in the REEFREP area, Master shall ensure that reports are made to REEFVTS in accordance with Schedule 4 if the vessel is mentioned in subsection 6 (2).
    Penalty: 50 penalty units.
  2. An offence against subsection (1) is a strict liability offence.
  3. A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1) Civil penalty: 50 penalty units.
9 – Prescribed Area:  For the definition of prescribed area in subsection 221 (3) of the Navigation Act:
  1. MASTREP area is prescribed; and
  2. REEFREP area is prescribed.
Schedule 3 – Reports for Vessels in MASTREP Area:  (subsection 7(1))
Position Report:  1 – Information to be Included in Position Report:  A position report shall include the following information about the vessel:
  1. identity
  2. type
  3. position
  4. course
  5. speed
  6. navigational status
  7. any safety related information.
Note: Regulation 19.2.4 of Chapter V of SOLAS requires AIS to provide this information.
    2 – Position Report to be Transmitted by AIS: 
  1. A position report must be transmitted by AIS.
  2. AIS to be operated in accordance with Regulation 19.2.4.7 of Chapter V of SOLAS.
Note: Regulation 19.2.4.7 of Chapter V of SOLAS provides that AIS must be operated taking into account guidelines adopted by the IMO. Relevant guidelines are the Revised guidelines for the onboard operational use of shipborne automatic identification systems (AIS), adopted by IMO Resolution A.1106 (29), as amended from time to time.
AIS Malfunction or Deactivation Report: 
    3 – Reporting if AIS Is Not Operating: 
  1. Any malfunction of the AIS must be reported to JRCC Australia.
  2. If the master of the vessel switches off the AIS, this action and the reason for it must be reported to JRCC Australia, unless the reporting would compromise the safety or security of the vessel.
Schedule 4 – Reports for Vessels in REEFREP Area: 
    1 – Pre-Entry Report: 
  1. To be made at least one hour before a vessel:
    a)  enters the REEFREP area; or
    b)  departs from a port in the REEFREP area.
2 – Pre-Entry Report:  The following information must be given in the order shown:
  1. vessel name, call sign. IMO No.
  2. if near an Entry/Exit Point when entering the REEFREP area, name of the Entry/Exit Point and time (UTC)
  3. if not near an Entry/Exit Point, position (Lat., Long.) and time (UTC) at the position of vessel′s entry to the REEFREP area
  4. if departing port within the REEFREP area, name of the port of departure and estimated time (UTC) of vessel′s arrival at a position near the Entry/Exit Point
  5. last port visited, next port and the route being used
  6. speed (vessel′s anticipated average speed until next report, knots and tenths of a knot) or ETA at next Entry/Exit Point
  7. draft fore, aft and midships (m. and dm.)
  8. name of anticipated final Entry/Exit Point if vessel is near Entry/Exit Point when exiting the REEFREP area, or position (Lat., Long.) anticipated exit REEFREP area, if not exiting near an Entry/Exit Point
  9. if vessel fitted with Inmarsat C — primary Inmarsat C details, Inmarsat Mobile No. (IMN), manufacturer, model
  10. vessel′s satellite T.
  11. cargo information, including normal name of cargo and whether cargo is classified as hazardous
  12. any matters required to be reported in accordance with clause 4
  13. vessel details including type, LOA (m.), g.t.
  14. other information for the navigational safety of shipping in the REEFREP area.
    3 – For Paragraph 2e: 
  1. standard route plan shall be nominated; and
  2. any planned deviation from the standard route shall be identified.
Note: Standard route plans are set out in the REEFVTS User Guide, available at the AMSA www.amsa.gov.au and Maritime Safety Queensland www.msq.qld.gov.au/Shipping Standard route plans have been developed to enable vessels to communicate their intended route through the REEFREP area. They are based on Entry/Exit Points and vessel draft
    2 – Route Deviation Report: 
  1. If there is a deviation from the route mentioned in the Pre-Entry Report, a Route Deviation Report must be made to REEFVTS within 15 min. after the deviation takes place.
    Note: If possible, a Route Deviation Report should be made before the deviation occurs.
  2. Route Deviation Report must contain the information mentioned in paragraphs 1, No. 2a to g.
  3. For paragraph 221 2e of the Navigation Act (not reproduced), a deviation occurs if a vessel uses a leg that is different to a leg of the route stated in the Pre-Entry Report.
3 – Intermediate Position Reports: 
Note: Intermediate Position Reports are also known as En Route position Reports.
1. If a vessel is transiting the REEFREP area, Intermediate Position Reports must be given to REEFVTS.
2. Intermediate Position Reports may be given automatically using:
a) AIS
b) Inmarsat C.
3. If AIS is used, AIS shall be operated in accordance with Regulation 19.2.4.7 of Chapter V of SOLAS.
Note: Regulation 19.2.4.7 of Chapter V of SOLAS provides that AIS must be operated taking into account guidelines adopted by the IMO. Relevant guidelines are mentioned in Schedule 3.
4. If Inmarsat C is used and the vessel is fitted with an Inmarsat C terminal that does not support remote programming, Master shall program the terminal on board so that Intermediate Position Reports are sent automatically.
Note: Instructions for programming terminals that do not support remote programming can be obtained from REEFVTS. For vessels with Inmarsat C terminals that support remote programming, REEFVTS will normally carry this out remotely without any action required by seafarers on the vessel.
5. If Intermediate Position Reports are not given automatically, they must:
a) be given manually by:
i. VHF on channels in accordance with the vessel′s position and as mentioned in the table to subclause 6 (1); or
ii. any other means of communication required by REEFVTS; and
b) be given hourly or as required by REEFVTS; and
c) include the following information:
i. vessel name, call sign, IMO No.
ii. date and time (UTC)
iii. Lat. and Long. of the vessel
iv. speed (vessel′s anticipated average speed in knots and tenths of a knot).
4 – Defect Report: 
1. A Defect Report that includes the information mentioned in subclause (2) must be given to REEFVTS if a vessel in the REEFREP area:
a) suffers damage, failure or breakdown affecting the safety of the vessel or
b) deviates because of damage, failure or breakdown or
c) is required, under the Navigation Act or the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983, to report
i. safety related information or
ii. an incident involving dangerous goods, harmful substances or marine pollutants.
2. The information is the following:
a) vessel name, call sign and IMO No.
b) position (Lat., Long.) and time of reporting (UTC)
c) course
d) speed (vessel′s anticipated average speed until next report, in knots and tenths of a knot)
e) description and details of any damage, failure or breakdown suffered, including:
i. collision, grounding, fire, explosion, structural failure, flooding or cargo shifting; and
ii. failure or breakdown of steering gear, propulsion plant, electrical generating system or essential shipborne navigational aids
f) details, using recognised IMO reporting formats, of:
i. safety messages including on matters such as navigational safety, abnormal weather or unserviceable aids to navigation; and
ii. incident reports involving dangerous goods, harmful substances or marine pollutants.
Note: Clause 3 of Schedule 3 requires vessels to which that Schedule applies to report any malfunction or deactivation of the AIS to JRCC Australia.
5 – Final Report: 
1. A Final Report must be given to REEFVTS when a vessel is:
a) exiting the REEFREP area and
b) arriving at a port in the REEFREP area.
2) Final Report shall include the following information:
a) vessel name, call sign, IMO No.
b) if near an Entry/Exit Point when exiting the REEFREP area, name of Entry/Exit Point and time (UTC)
c) if not near an Entry/Exit Point, position (Lat. And Long.) and time (UTC) of vessel′s exit from the REEFREP area
d) if arriving at a port in the REEFREP area:
i. the name of an Entry/Exit Point if the vessel is near an Entry/Exit Point, or
ii. the position (Lat., Long.) and time (UTC) of arrival at the port;
e) other information for the navigational safety of shipping in the REEFREP area.
6 – Reporting Method: 
1. A report mentioned in this Schedule must be made by one of the following methods:
a) AIS
b) Inmarsat C – through POR LES (212) using special access code (SAC) 861
c) VHF channels in accordance with the vessel′s position and as mentioned in the following table:
Lat. from Lat. to VHF  
(S) (S) Channel  
09° 00′ S 13° 30′ S 14  
13° 30′ S 18° 00′ S 11  
18° 00′ S 20° 00′ S 14  
20° 00′ S 22° 00′ S 11  
22° 00′ S 24° 30′ S 14  
d) T: +61 1300 721 293
e) F: +61 (7) 4721 0633
f) reefvts@vtm.qld.gov.au
Notes: Paragraph b, This service is free of charge.
Paragraph c, REEFVTS is operational 24 hours a day.
2. However, sub-clause (1) does not apply to Intermediate Position Reports.
3. Language to be used for reporting is English, using the IMO Standard Marine Communications Phrases.
4. If failure of a vessel′s equipment prevents reporting, an entry must be made:
a) for radio equipment – in the vessel′s radio log book and
b) for other equipment – in the vessel′s official log book.
7 – Entry/Exit Points:  In This Schedule - Entry/Exit Point Means One of the Following Points: 
Reporting Point Designation Position
Bramble A 09° 15.0′ S, 143° 50.0′ E
Daru B 09° 24.0′ S, 143° 27.0′ E
Thursday Island D1 10° 35.5′ S, 142° 13.5′ E
Booby D 10° 37.0′ S, 141° 49.0′ E
Endeavour E 10° 49.0′ S, 142° 15.0′ E
Cape Flattery M1 14° 54.0′ S, 145° 18.0′ E
Grafton Passage P 16° 40.0′ S, 146° 12.8′ E
Cairns P1 16° 48.0′ S, 145° 51.0′ E
Mourilyan Q1 17° 35.0′ S, 146° 10.0′ E
Palm Passage R 18° 15.0′ S, 147° 05.0′ E
Lucinda R1 18° 29.0′ S, 146° 26.0′ E
Townsville (N) S1 19° 06.0′ S, 146° 54.0′ E
Townsville (S) S2 19° 08.0′ S, 146° 57.0′ E
Blossom U 19° 44.0′ S, 150° 25.5′ E
Abbot Point T1 19° 48.0′ S, 148° 04.0′ E
Cid Harbour V1 20° 15.0′ S, 148° 55.7′ E
Mackay Y1 21° 08.0′ S, 149° 22.0′ E
Hay Point (NE) Y3 21° 12.45′ S, 149° 30.0′ E
Hay Point (S) Y4 21° 14.0′ S, 149° 30.0′ E
Swain Z1 21° 50.0′ S, 153° 10.0′ E
Archer Z2 22° 45.0′ S, 153° 25.0′ E
Sandy Cape Z3 24° 30.0′ S, 153° 35.0′ E
Port Alma Z4 23° 23.0′ S, 151° 03.0′ E
Gladstone (N) Z5 23° 45.0′ S, 151° 31.0′ E
Gladstone (E) Z6 23° 54.0′ S, 151° 45.0′ E
Bundaberg (W) Z7 24° 30.0′ S, 152° 25.0′ E
Bundaberg (E) Z8 24° 30.0′ S, 152° 48.0′ E
Note: Entry/exit points are shown on charts No. AUS490, AUS4620 and AUS4635 as ship reporting points, with designation and position. They are also listed in the Admiralty List of Radio Signals NP286(4) Volume 6.
MASTREP:  The Modernised Australian Ship Tracking and Reporting System (MASTREP) as described in Marine Order 63 Vessel Reporting Systems, effective 1 January 2016, is used to track the location of vessels. Under this system:
  1. positional reporting for vessels is sourced from the vessel’s Automatic Identification System (AIS)
  2. Sailing Plans, Deviation Reports and Final Reports are not required
  3. communications with vessels continue to be available through Inmarsat, HF, satellite telephony and other means
  4. Special Reports are required to support AMSA’s role in shipping oversight and incident reporting management.
MASTREP is operated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) as part of the services offered by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC Australia). JRCC Australia is staffed 24 hours per day.
MASTREP is designed to minimise the reporting requirements on vessels using International Marine Organisation (IMO) mandated AIS technology to provide positional advice to AMSA. It:
  1. increases the timeliness and accuracy of data collected from a much larger number of vessels plying the waters within the Australian Search and Rescue Region (SRR)
  2. provides AMSA with the capability to significantly improve its pollution, marine casualty and search and rescue (SAR) incident responses through faster and more effective management of incidents and resources
  3. ensures that only the closest vessels will be requested to assist in a SAR incident reducing the need for vessels to steam long distances from their intended voyage plan.
Coverage Area:  The area of coverage is identical for both MASTREP and the SRR. Coordinates of this area are:
  1. the coast of the Antarctic continent in Long. 075° 00′ E, thence
  2. 06° 00.0′ S, 075° 00.0′ E
  3. 02° 00.0′ S, 078° 00.0′ E
  4. 02° 00.0′ S, 092° 00.0′ E
  5. 12° 00.0′ S, 107° 00.0′ E
  6. 12° 00.0′ S, 123° 20.0′ E
  7. 09° 20.0′ S, 126° 50.0′ E
  8. 07° 00.0′ S, 135° 00.0′ E
  9. 09° 50.0′ S, 139° 40.0′ E
  10. 09° 50.0′ S, 141° 00.0′ E
  11. 09° 37.0′ S, 141° 01.1′ E
  12. 09° 08.0′ S, 143° 53.0′ E
  13. 09° 24.0′ S, 144° 13.0′ E
  14. 12° 00.0′ S, 144° 00.0′ E
  15. 12° 00.0′ S, 155° 00.0′ E
  16. 14° 00.0′ S, 155° 00.0′ E
  17. 14° 00.0′ S, 161° 15.0′ E
  18. 17° 40.0′ S, 163° 00.0′ E
  19. thence to the coast of the Antarctic continent in Long. 163° 00′ E.
Position Reports:  Mandatory for:
  1. foreign vessels from the arrival at its first port in Australia until its departure from its final port in Australia; and
  2. all regulated Australian vessels whilst in the MASTREP area.
Domestic commercial vessels fitted with Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and AIS technology are also encouraged to participate in the system as MASTREP assists AMSA in carrying out SAR activities.
MASTREP uses Position Reports, which must be transmitted by AIS in accordance with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Chapter 5, Regulation 19.2.4.
    Position Reports must include the following information: 
  1. identity
  2. type
  3. position
  4. course
  5. speed
  6. navigational status
  7. safety related information.
The Master of a vessel must report any malfunction of the vessel’s AIS equipment to JRCC Australia in accordance with Section 186 of the Navigation Act 2012.
REEFVTS:  The Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Ship Reporting System (REEFREP) was established as a mandatory ship reporting system under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS Regulation V/11). REEFREP was formally adopted by the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee in Resolution MSC.52 (66), and later amended by Resolutions MSC.161 (78) and MSC.315 (88).
Australia's Navigation Act 2012 gives the general power to make regulations to implement SOLAS (S339) and the related power to make Australian Marine Orders (S342). The laws about mandatory ship reporting are based on these powers.
Marine Order No. 63 (Vessel Reporting Systems 2015) states that ships which are required to report to REEFVTS must do so whether they are voyaging overseas, between states or within one state.
REEFVTS manages and operates REEFREP.
Interaction:  Ships transiting through the Great Barrier Reef and the Torres Strait must report to REEFVTS.
Where the ship advises it is an AUSREP reporter, then regular position reports are automatically forwarded to RCC Australia. When the vessel departs the REEFVTS area, the Master should revert to reporting directly to RCC Australia. Ships participating in AUSREP will continue to be polled whilst transiting the REEFVTS area.
When a ship departs a port within the REEFVTS area, and intends to report to AUSREP upon exiting the REEFVTS area, a Sailing Plan should be sent to RCC Australia within 2 hours of departure from the port.
If the vessel is an AUSREP reporter and arriving at a port within the REEFVTS area, the Master should advise REEFVTS that it is the Final Report for REEFVTS and AUSREP. REEFVTS will pass this information automatically onto AUSREP on the ship's behalf.
Procedures for reporting to REEFVTS are provided in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service User Guide available from AMSA and Maritime Safety Queensland offices.
Communications with RCC Australia:  Primary Communications:  Ships participating in AUSREP are required to provide several reports:
  1. Sailing Plans
  2. Position Reports (if polling is not available)
  3. Deviation Reports
  4. Final Reports.
    Primary means of communication for reporting purposes: 
  1. Inmarsat C. Messages sent to AUSREP using special access code (SAC 1243) via the Perth LES (Pacific 212 or Indian 312 Ocean Region satellites) will be reverse charged to RCC Australia.
  2. HF DSC. Messages sent via the AMSA HF DSC network will be free of charge. Initial contact through the AMSA HF DSC station is made by using a DSC safety priority call to MMSI 005030001. The AUSREP message can then be passed on an appropriate RT frequency. All reports sent by voice should include the mandatory format fields including the identifying letter.
Note:  If Inmarsat C reports are not sent using SAC 1243 via 212 or 312, it is likely that the messages will not be received by RCC Australia, and charges will apply to the ship.
While reporting to AUSREP, Masters should ensure that the ships Inmarsat-C equipment remains active in the Login mode at all times. Masters of ships being polled as the method of position reporting will still be required to send Sailing Plans, Deviation Reports and Final Reports, so that the system integrity is maintained. Masters are asked not to send manual position reports unless polling is unavailable or they are directed by RCC Australia to do so. Polling is the required method of position reporting when participating in AUSREP.
Masters are required to set up their Inmarsat-C terminals address book with the new Special Access Code (SAC) 1243 via Perth LES 212 (Pacific Ocean) or 312 (Indian Ocean). When setting up the address book entry for sending to SAC 1243, ASCII, 7-bit or IA5 needs to be selected for data presentation or character code.
Alternative Communications:  If for any reason communications are not possible via Inmarsat-C or via the AMSA HF DSC station, the required information must be passed by alternative means to RCC Australia using one of the following:
  1. Other Inmarsat Tel/fax services. Ships will be charged for messages sent to RCC Australia using Inmarsat systems other than Inmarsat-C
  2. Other (non Inmarsat) satellite Tel/fax service. A reverse charge telephone call or fax may be used to pass Sailing Plans and Final Reports when in port.
    Contact details for RCC Australia are: 
  1. T: +61 (2) 6230 6880, 1800 641 792 (free call)
  2. F: +61 (2) 6230 6868, 1800 622 153 (free fax)
  3. rccaus@amsa.gov.au
Masters are reminded that the AUSREP system is a positive SAR system, and any unreported deviations from the Sailing Plan will be investigated.
Also see Torres Strait
Ship Reporting Obligations:  AUSREP Reporting:  The following reports must be provided to AUSREP:
  1. Sailing Plan (SP)
  2. Position Reports (PR) (if polling is not available)
  3. Deviation Reports (DR), where applicable
  4. Final Report (FR)
  5. Special Report Types, where applicable:
    a) Dangerous Goods report (DG)
    b) Harmful Substances report (HS)
    c) Marine Pollutants report (MP)
Defects, Damage, Deficiencies or Other Limitations:  Masters should advise RCC Australia, or the Reef Centre (if in the REEFVTS area) by using the Special Report types when:
  1. damage to the ship or its equipment will affect its operation and or seaworthiness
  2. damage to the ship or its equipment means that a loss of cargo or pollution from the ship is about to, or is likely to, happen.
When making reports about the likelihood of a discharge, Masters should take into account the sea and wind state, and also traffic density in the area at the time and place of the incident.
Report Formats:  The Sailing Plan, Position Reports, Deviation Reports and Final Reports should all be sent using standard IMO message format fields.
Reporting Codes: 
ID Message type (PR, SP, etc.)
A Ship name, call sign and IMO number
C Current position (Lat., Long.)
E Vessel's course
F Speed (planned speed of the ship in knots and tenths of a knot)
G Name of last non-Australian Port of Call (if applicable)
H Date, time (UTC) and point joining the AUSREP system (either Lat., Long. point of entry, or Australian port of departure)
I Next non-Australian port of call and ETA (if applicable)
K Date, time (UTC) of point of departure from the AUSREP system. Either Lat., Long. of point of exit from AUSREP area or Australian port ship is making for
L Route information
M Communication methods, Coast Radio Stations monitored, Inmarsat/DSC No.
N Agreement to use Inmarsat C polling (insert word POLL) or date/time of next report (UTC) if reporting manually (where agreeing to POLL please do not send PRs as well)
P Cargo information may be passed by non-voice means if required:
1. normal name of the cargo
2. indicate Yes/No if cargo is classified as hazardous
Q Defects and damage, other limitations as applicable
R Description of pollution or dangerous goods lost overboard
S Weather conditions in area
T Ships representative (Agent) and/or owner
U Ship type, LOA (m.) and g.t.
V Medical personnel carried
W No. of persons on board
X Remarks. If polling, report make and type of Inmarsat-C terminal
Y Request to relay report to AMVER (RCC Australia will only on pass to AMVER if ship active in.
SP:  SP contains information necessary to initiate a plot and gives an outline of the intended passage. The AUSREP SP should be sent up to 24 hours before leaving an Australian port or entering the AUSREP area, or within 2 hours of leaving port, or crossing the AUSREP boundary. If the ship does not sail or cross the boundary within 2 hours of sending the SP, the original SP must be cancelled and another sent within 2 hours of the revised sailing time.
SP shall contain the mandatory fields A, F, H, K, L, M, N, U and V. Additional fields G, I, Q, R, X and Y should be added if applicable.
Joining Polling:  By inserting the word POLL in section N of the SP, a Master indicates his ship is available to be polled using Inmarsat-C. Masters should not send Position Reports if polling is being used. The inclusion of POLL in the SP authorises the download of a Data Network Identifier (DNID) to the ships Inmarsat-C terminal that allows RCC Australia to poll the ship''s position.
Masters will still be required to enter the word POLL in the SP for any voyage where polling is available. Masters must provide the number of the Inmarsat-C terminal to be polled in section M of the SP. Masters are asked to use the same terminal each time they are polled for AUSREP.
The DNID may remain in the ships terminal, but the ship will only be polled using that DNID while active in AUSREP. Because Inmarsat-C polling uses a rectangular area that extends slightly beyond the AUSREP area, Masters may find that their ship continues to be polled even though they are outside the designated AUSREP area. This happens particularly to the north and NE of the area. The additional polling is not referenced or stored once a Final Report is received from the ship.
PR:  Inmarsat-C polling is mandatory for ships participating in AUSREP. Masters should not send PRs manually whilst the ship is being polled. All costs associated with Inmarsat-C polling are borne by AMSA.
PRs should only be sent where Inmarsat C polling is not available, or when RCC Australia directs a Master to do so. Where required, PRs should be sent at a convenient time from 2200–0800 hrs. UTC as nominated by the Master. Interval between reports must not exceed 24 hours.
AUSREP PRs are processed automatically by RCC Australia. Automatic processing is efficient, but an operator may not always see the message. If a Master has additional important safety information that requires the immediate attention of an operator, the information should be entered into Field X of a PR preceded by the word ALERT. This will send the message to an operator for action. Only use ALERT to identify important safety information for immediate action.
Masters are reminded that fax or email are not suitable for AUSREP PRs.
RCC Australia cannot keep a SAR watch for ships that do not use GMDSS communications at sea (Inmarsat C or HF DSC).
PR shall contain mandatory A, B, C, E, F and N. Additional fields X and Y should be added if applicable.
The information contained in the PR will be used by RCC Australia to update the plot. The PR must reflect the position of the ship at the time of the report. Masters should always ensure that the date/time of next report is appropriate for the ship's time and location on the following day. Speed must be the anticipated speed until the next report time.
ETA for the next Australian port or AUSREP area boundary must be confirmed in the last PR of the voyage. It should also be amended in any report whenever the Master is aware of a revised ETA. If relying on Inmarsat C polling, and the Master becomes aware that there is a revised ETA for the next port or for exiting the AUSREP area boundary, a Deviation Report (DR) should be sent to notify RCC Australia.
Ships Not Intending to Send Position Reports (NOREP):  All ships must report at least daily when sailing between Australian ports. Foreign ships departing an Australian port for overseas need not send position reports outbound. Masters are asked to consider continuing reporting via polling to assist with SAR planning and response.
If the Master of a foreign ship departing on an overseas voyage from an Australian port does not intend sending AUSREP position reports, an SP must be sent to RCC Australia and include the word NOREP in place of the date/time of next report in format field N. Amplifying remarks may be included in field X if required.
Under this option, RCC Australia will not undertake any positive checks regarding the ship's safety. A NOREP ship must comply with the mandatory requirements of REEFREP should the ship enter the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait area.
DR:  DR shall be sent when a ship is more than 2 hours steaming from the position that would be predicted from the last PR or SP.
A DR can also be sent when any other voyage details are altered. The mandatory fields for a DR are: A, B, C, N and X. Additional fields should be included where applicable. The reason for the deviation should be included in Field X.
FR:  FR should be sent:
  1. for ships en route overseas and departing the AUSREP area, at the AUSREP boundary
  2. for ships ending a voyage at an Australian port within the REEFVTS area, at the last REEFVTS reporting point
  3. for ships ending a voyage at any other Australian port, when within 2 hours steaming of the port or pilot station.
Note:  When a ship approaches an Australian destination and arrives at a position where VHF contact is made with the local harbour authority or pilot station, which under normal circumstances is within 2 hours steaming of the pilotage, an FR is to be sent to RCC Australia. Under no circumstances should an FR be sent more than 2 hours before arrival. Alternatively, if the arrival is outside radio watch keeping hours for the port, the FR may be phoned to RCC Australia immediately after berthing, but no later than 2 hours after arrival. If it is known that the ship is to anchor or berth where telephone facilities are not available, then the FR should be sent to RCC Australia via Inmarsat-C or HF DSC.
Mandatory fields for an FR are A and K.
Masters must ensure that an FR is always sent to RCC Australia to prevent unnecessary SAR action and a waste of valuable resources.
Dangerous Goods Reports (DG):  When an incident takes place involving the loss or likely loss overboard of packaged dangerous goods, including those in freight containers, portable tanks, road and rail vehicles and shipborne barges, into the sea.
The primary report should contain message format fields A, B, C, M, Q, R, S, T, U of the standard reporting format. If the condition of the ship is such that there is danger of further loss of packaged dangerous goods into the sea, fields P and Q of the standard reporting format should be reported.
Harmful Substances Reports (HS):  When an incident takes place involving the discharge or probable discharge of oil (Annex I of MARPOL 73/78) or noxious liquid substances in bulk (Annex II of MARPOL 73/78).
In the case of actual discharge, the primary report should contain message format fields A, B, C, E, F, L, M, N, Q, R, S, T, U, X of the standard reporting format.
In the case of probable discharge, field B should also be included.
The Master of a ship engaged in an operation to render assistance or undertake salvage work should report, as far as practicable, format fields A, B, C, E, F, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, U and X.
Marine Pollutants Reports (MP):  In the case of loss or likely loss overboard of harmful substances in packaged form including those in freight containers, portable tanks, road and rail vehicles and shipborne barges, identified in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code as marine pollutants (Annex III of MARPOL 73/78).
In the case of actual discharges, the primary report should contain message format fields A, B, C, M, Q, R, S, T, U, X of the standard reporting format. In the case of probable discharge, field P should also be included.
Overdue AUSREP Reports:  AUSREP is a positive reporting system. If a PR or FR is not received by RCC Australia within 2 hours of the expected time, action is taken to ascertain the ship's whereabouts and confirm the safety of its crew.
What if a Report Cannot be Sent:  If for any reason a Master is unable to send a PR or FR, they should ensure that an attempt is made to pass a message through another ship or harbour or other shore authority as appropriate.
Action Taken by RCC Australia in the Event of an Overdue Report:  Action taken by RCC Australia, if report is not received as expected, will depend upon prevailing circumstances, but will generally include:
  1. internal checks to establish if your ship's report has been received by RCC Australia
  2. for Inmarsat equipped ships, attempts to contact the ship directly
  3. for Inmarsat-C equipped ships, an individual poll of the ship's terminal may be done to confirm the ship's position
  4. attempt to contact ship directly by calling on HF DSC to ship's MMSI
  5. an all station broadcast indicating concern for the safety of the ship due to non-receipt of the PR or FR
  6. extensive communication checks with overseas Coast Radio Stations, owners, Agents and other ships are carried out to trace the last sighting or contact with the ship
  7. at 21 hours overdue an Urgency Signal PAN PAN will be broadcast.
By the time 21 hours have elapsed, search planning will be in progress, and details of the ship included in NAVAREA X and facsimile weather broadcasts via VMC and VMW.
By the time the report is 24 hours overdue, positive SAR action will have been started to locate the ship. This action may include the launching of search aircraft.
Note:  The resources available for an air search decrease with distance from an Australian base.
Reports to AMVER:  While participating in AUSREP, Masters may also wish their reports to be forwarded for inclusion in the AMVER system operated by the United States Coast Guard. The words PASS TO AMVER should be added to format field Y of the Sailing Plan to indicate this requirement. The letters in the word AMVER must not be separated by spaces as this may disrupt the computer processing of the message.
RCC Australia will only forward AMVER reports to the US Coast Guard while a ship is active in the AUSREP system. Masters of ships outside the AUSREP area should make reports to AMVER by email addressed to amvermsg@amver.org or transmit Inmarsat-C message through TELENOR using Aussaguel LES (321) when in the Indian Ocean Region and Santa Paula LES (201) when in the Pacific Ocean Region to ensure the reports are received by AMVER.
Reports to Other Reporting Systems:  Reports from ships to other reporting systems (JASREP, etc.) will not be forwarded by RCC Australia. Ships are requested to pass these reports direct.
Assisting Ships:  Master of any ship engaged in, or requested to engage in, an operation to render assistance or undertake salvage should report, as far as practicable, fields A, B, C, E, F, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, U, X of the standard reporting format.
REEFVTS:  VTS reporting system in place for sensitive sea areas on the NE and east coasts of Australia.
Operator:  Townsville Operations Centre. T: +61 (7) 4726 3428, 1300 721 293. Fax: +61 (7) 4721 0633. reefvts@vtm.qld.gov.au www.msq.qld.gov.au/Shipping/ReefVTS.aspx
Manager, REEFVTS, c/o Maritime Safety Queensland, GPO Box 2595, Brisbane Qld 4001, Australia. reefvts@amsa.gov.au www.amsa.gov.au/
REEFVTS Area:  Described in Marine Order 63 (Vessel reporting systems) 2015. More detailed information on the REEFVTS Area can be found in charts No. AUS4620, AUS4635 and AUS490. Ships required to report to REEFVTS.
General Obligation:  The following categories of ships must report to REEFVTS:
  1. all ships LOA 50 m. or more;
  2. all oil tankers, gas carriers, chemical tankers or ships coming within the Irradiated Nuclear Fuel (INF) Code, including those LOA less than 50 m. and
  3. Ships which are towing or pushing, or being towed or pushed, where either of the ships belongs to category a) or category b), or where LOA of tow is 150 m. or more. LOA of the tow is measured from the stern of the towing vessel to the after end of the tow.
Voluntary Reporting:  Other vessels transiting the REEFVTS area may report on a voluntary basis as defined in this user guide.
Warships, Naval Auxiliaries and Government Ships: SOLAS Regulation V/11 does not apply to any warship, naval auxiliary, or any ship owned or operated by government; however SOLAS does state that ″such ships are encouraged to participate in ship reporting systems″.
The Australian Government fully supports this approach, and all ships of the Royal Australian Navy are encouraged to participate in REEFREP on a voluntary basis, along with other ships owned or operated by the Australian Government.
Master′s Responsibilities:  It is the responsibility of the Master while in the REEFVTS area to:
  1. follow the ship reporting requirements – these are described in Marine Order 63 (Vessel reporting systems) 2015 and outlined in this user guide
  2. confirm that information from REEFVTS has been received when asked to do so
  3. respond appropriately to all information, warnings, and advice given by REEFVTS
  4. keep a listening watch on REEFVTS VHF working channels
  5. make sure that the Inmarsat C terminal is logged into the Pacific Ocean Region (POR) at all times and
  6. as soon as possible, notify REEFVTS of any:
    1.  incident/accident affecting the vessel′s safety
    2.  incident/accident affecting safety of navigation
    3.  circumstance that may cause pollution
    4.  pollutants/containers/packages drifting
    5.  change to route plan.
Correct reporting is essential to enable REEFVTS to facilitate the safe navigation of ships through the REEFVTS area.
Failure to Report:  Any Master, or officer of the watch at the time, who fails to follow the required reporting procedures, or who deliberately transmits information which is incorrect, false or misleading, will have committed an offence and may be fined if convicted.
Section 216 of the Navigation Act 2012 makes it an offence for a person to fail to report the required information or provide false or misleading information. The penalty is up to 240 penalty units (presently AUS40,800) or a civil penalty of 2,400 penalty units (presently AUS408,000).
Mandatory Reporting Requirements:  A ship shall send the following reports to REEFVTS:
  1. Pre-Entry Position Report (PER)
  2. Final Report (FR).
    Additional reports which must be sent to Reef VTS include: 
  1. Route Deviation Report (DR)
  2. Intermediate Position Reports (IP)
  3. Defect Reports (IR).
Reports follow standard reporting formats as per IMO Resolution A.851 (20).
Reporting Codes: 
ID Message type (PER, FR, DR, IP or IR)
A Ship name, call sign and IMO No.
B Date, time (UTC)
C Current position (either the name of the mandatory reporting point, or the current position (Lat., Long.)
E True course
F Speed (planned speed of the ship in knots and tenths of a knot)
G Last Port of Call/Port Departing From (If entering the REEFVTS area for the first time state the
H Date, time (UTC) and point of entry to REEFVTS Area (either name of first mandatory reporting point entering the area, or the position (Lat., Long.) of entry
I Next port of call, name, call date, time (UTC)
J Pilot Company Details (pilot co. name)
K Date, time (UTC) and point of exit from area (either name of last mandatory reporting point leaving area, or the position (Lat., Long.) of exit
L Route information (recommended standard route plans, taking into account vessel draft (Reef VTS - Appendix A))
M Communication methods 1) Primary Inmarsat C details: Inmarsat Mobile No. (IMN), manufacturer and model 2) vessel′s satellite Tel. No.
O Draft, fore and aft and deepest draft, in m. and dm.
P Cargo on board (give the normal name of cargo and state whether it is classified as hazardous (yes or no).
Note: If required, this information may be given by non-voice means before the first Reef VTS report.
Q Defects, damage, deficiencies or other limitations (Describe details of any damage, failure or breakdown:
i. collision, grounding, fire, explosion, structural failure, flooding, cargo shifting;
ii. failure or breakdown of steering gear, propulsion plant, electrical generating system, essential shipboard navigational equipment)
R Pollution/dangerous goods lost overboard (brief details of the type of pollution (oil, chemicals and so on) or dangerous goods lost overboard. State the ship’s position)
U Ship type, LOA (m.) and g.t. (details of the ship, including ship type, LOA (m.), g.t.)
X Remarks (any additional information which would help the navigational safety of shipping in the REEFVTS Area (example, abnormal weather, faulty navigational aid, any Dangerous Goods (DG), Harmful Substances (HS) or Marine Pollution (MP) incident reports)
Pre-Entry Report (PER):  At least one hour before entering the Reef VTS area or departing from a port within the REEFVTS area the following information is to be given:
ID Information required Examples
A ship name, call sign, IMO No.
B date and time (UTC)
C current Position
F speed (planned average)
G last Port of Call/port departing from within the Reef VTS area
H date, time (UTC), point of entry into REEF VTS
I next Port of Call and ETA
K date, time (UTC) and point of exit from area
L route information (REEFVTS - Appendix A)
M communication methods:
1. Inmarsat C details: Inmarsat Mob. No. (IMN), manufacturer & mode
2. Ship's satellite phone number.
O draft
P cargo on board p/bulk chemicals, dangerous goods
Q defects, damage, deficiencies or other limitations (include details as required)
U ship type,, LOA, g.t.
X remarks (give additional information including abnormal weather, dangerous goods etc.)
All mandatory for PER except for C, F and X
Final Report (FR):  Immediately on exiting the REEFVTS area or arriving at a port in the REEFVTS area the following information is to be given:
ID Information required Examples  
A ship name, call sign, IMO No.  
B date and time (UTC)  
K date, time (UTC) and point of exit from area  
All mandatory for FR  
DR:  If the ship needs to deviate from the Route Plan which was given to Reef VTS on entry to the REEFVTS area, this should be reported to REEFVTS before the deviation is made.
However, in situations where a deviation is made without much warning, a report should be sent to Reef VTS within 15 min. after the deviation made. At least one hour before send to REEFVTS before deviation is made, or within 15 min. after if deviation made without sufficient warning.
ID Information required Examples  
A ship name, call sign, IMO No.  
B date and time (UTC)  
C current position  
F speed (planned average)  
K date, time (UTC) and point of exit from area  
L route information (REEFVTS - Appendix A)  
O draft  
All mandatory for DR except for C and F  
Intermediate Position Reports (IP):  Where REEFVTS advises that the ship′s position is being tracked by sensors then intermediate position reports at the mandatory reporting points are not required.
If the ship′s position is not being tracked by sensors, then a brief position report must be given as advised by REEFVTS. Send to REEFVTS before deviation is made, or within 15 min. after if deviation made without sufficient warning.
ID Information required Examples  
A ship name, call sign, IMO No.  
B date and time (UTC)  
C current position  
F speed (planned average)  
All mandatory for IP except for C and F  
IR:  Immediately if a ship suffers damage, failure or breakdown which affects the ship′s safety or Immediately if there is pollution or cargo lost overboard or Special reports as defined by IMO for incidents involving DG, HS or MP.
ID Information required Examples
A ship name, call sign, IMO No.
B date and time (UTC)
C current position
F speed (planned average)
Q defects, damage, deficiencies or other limitations (include details as required)
R pollution/dangerous goods lost overboard
U ship type,, LOA, g.t.
X remarks
All mandatory for PER except for C, F, R and X
The requirement to report all marine incidents including defects and deficiencies using form AMSA 18 and form AMSA 19 remains.
Services Provided by REEFVTS:  Provides an information service (INS) and navigational assistance service (NAS) throughout the REEFVTS Area.
The information that Reef VTS uses comes from AIS, Radar, Automated Position Reporting (APR) via Inmarsat C and the route plans which ships have given to REEFVTS. Route plans are only as accurate as the information that is given in these reports and Masters are encouraged to take care that reports are correct.
REEFVTS may not know about all the hazards in the REEFVTS Area. If a ship encounters any hazard which is not already included in Maritime Safety Information (for example, a faulty navigational aid), it should advise REEFVTS.
Information Services:  An information service is defined by IMO Resolution A.857 (20) as a service to ensure that essential information becomes available in time for onboard navigational decision making.
Ship Encounter Information (SEI):  REEFVTS predicts ship encounters and sends this information to individual ships as SEI, usually through Inmarsat C messaging. SEI is specific for each individual vessel there are no general broadcasts.
    REEFVTS advises individual ships of SEI: 
  1. when the ship enters the REEFVTS area
  2. when there is new or changed traffic information
  3. in an update every 4–6 hrs., depending on the ship’s speed and,
  4. at any other time when the ship asks REEFVTS to provide it.
When a ship enters the REEFVTS area: A ship will receive SEI about predicted ship encounters and Maritime Safety Information (MSI) for the next six hours of its transit. The SEI lists the ship, the time and the location of the predicted encounter.
New or changed traffic information: REEFVTS monitors the transit of a ship to identify any significant changes to the traffic information which REEFVTS has previously given. An example of this could be when a new ship is identified or there is a change in ETA because of an increase or decrease in speed.
If there is new or changed traffic information, REEFVTS gives the ship updated traffic information for the next six hours, listing the predicted encounters as either:
  1. new
  2. changed or
  3. unchanged.
Traffic Information Updates: When a ship has transited the REEFVTS Area for a period of 4 - 6 hrs. (depending on speed) and there has been no new or changed traffic information, REEFVTS gives the ship updated traffic information for the next six hours as described above.
This update will also indicate if there are no predicted ship encounters for the next six hours. A ship may contact REEFVTS at any time to ask for an SEI update.
Receiving ship encounter information: REEFVTS provides SEI in different ways:
Electronic messages to ships:
Inmarsat C: Vessel shall give REEFVTS the make, model and IMN of the Inmarsat C terminal. Please make sure messages from REEFVTS are read when they are received. If a problem exists in receiving electronic messages then contact REEFVTS to arrange for SEI to be provided by VHF communications.
VHF Voice Communications: Ships shall keep a listening watch on the REEFVTS VHF working channels 11 and 14.
Maritime Safety Information (MSI):  :REEFVTS provides ships MSI that is relevant to their location and intended movement. If a ship encounters any hazard that may affect the navigational safety of other ships, it should contact REEFVTS.
MSI is sent to ships with the Ship Traffic Information. MSI is also given in broadcasts from JRCC Australia in the form of navigational warnings (Aus Coast Warnings).
Navigational Assistance Services:  Navigational assistance service is defined by IMO Resolution A.857 (20) as a service to assist onboard navigational decision-making and to monitor its effects. If REEFVTS has information which may help decision-making on board a ship, REEFVTS may contact that ship.
REEFVTS may contact a ship if it believes that the ship is heading into shallow water or deviating from a planned route.
A ship may receive Navigational Assistance Services in all areas within the REEFVTS area.
The Master remains responsible for the safe navigation of the ship at all times and should not rely on the availability of navigational assistance from REEFVTS.
Communication with REEFVTS:  Communication to be in English, using IMO Standard Marine Communication Phrases. The means of communication can be using VHF (voice), Inmarsat C or other means.
VHF Radio:  REEFVTS can be contacted 24 hours a day on either Channel 11 or 14, call sign REEFVTS. Channel to be used will depend on the ship′s position as shown:
Lat. from Lat. to VHF  
Channel  
09° 00′ S 13° 30′ S 14  
13° 30′ S 18° 00′ S 11  
18° 00′ S 20° 00′ S 14  
20° 00′ S 22° 00′ S 11  
22° 00′ S 24° 30′ S 14  
VHF coverage is limited in some areas. If VHF communications cannot be established please communicate via Inmarsat C messaging in the areas between:
  1. Lads Passage and Fairway Channel
  2. Offshore from Gladstone in the SE area.
Inmarsat C:  REEFVTS will pay the cost of messages sent by Inmarsat C if the ship uses the special access code (SAC) 861 via POR LES 212.
When setting up the Inmarsat C address book, select either: ASCII or 7-bit or IA5 for data presentation or character code.
Inmarsat C terminals must be logged into the Pacific Ocean Region (POR).
Other Communications:  If for any reason a ship cannot communicate via Inmarsat C or the VHF working channel, the ship shall send the required information to REEFVTS in another way. The ship can use one of the following:
  1. T: +61 1300 721 293.
  2. F: +61 7 4721 0633.
  3. reefvts@vtm.qld.gov.au Ships will pay for the cost of these messages.
If a ship’s radio equipment fails and the ship cannot send the required reports to REEFVTS, the failure shall be recorded in the ship’s radio log book or the official log book.
Other Rules And Regulations:  Pilotage Areas In The Reef VTS Area:  Under Australian law ′regulated ships′ shall carry a licensed coastal pilot in sections of the Torres Strait and the Great Barrier Reef. Coastal pilots are licensed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. A ′regulated ship′ includes ships with LOA 70 m. or more, and all loaded oil tankers, chemical tankers and liquefied gas carriers (irrespective of length).
A coastal pilot is required for a tug and tow if either the towing vessel or the vessel being towed has LOA 70 m. or more,, regardless of the length of tow.
Masters must ensure that a pilot is on board the ship at all times in these areas (by embarking the pilot prior to entry and disembarking the pilot after exiting the pilotage area).
The Queensland Coastal Passage Plan (QCPP) has been developed as a guide for the conduct of coastal pilotage in these areas.
Further information on coastal pilotage and QCPP is available on the AMSA website www.amsa.gov.au
Great Barrier Reef – Inner Route, Hydrographers Passage and Whitsundays:  All regulated ships must carry a licensed coastal pilot when they are transiting through:
  1. the Inner Route of the Great Barrier Reef between Cape York (Lat. 10° 41′ S) and the vicinity of Cairns
  2. Roads (Lat. 16° 40′ S) or
  3. Hydrographers Passage or
  4. the Whitsundays.
Further information including the boundaries of these pilotage areas can be found in Marine Orders Part 54 (Coastal Pilotage (not reproduced)) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations (1983 (not reproduced)).
Torres Strait – Great North Eastern Channel:  All regulated ships with a draft of 8.0 m. or more must have a licensed coastal pilot on board when transiting Torres Strait Compulsory Pilotage Area A (bounded by 141° 50′ E and 142° 05′ E for ships moving eastward and between 142° 05′ E and 141° 51.70′ E for ships moving westward).
All regulated ships of any draft shall have a licensed coastal pilot on board when transiting Torres Strait.
Pilotage Area B (bounded by 142° 05′ E and 143° 22′ E for ships moving eastward, and 142° 05′ E and 143° 24′ E for ships moving westward).
The outermost boundaries have been established to ensure that a pilot boarding a ship entering the Torres Strait has sufficient preparation time on board prior to entering the respective pilotage area. Further information on coastal pilotage is available in Marine Order 54 (Coastal Pilotage (not reproduced)).
Torres Strait – UKC:  Management: AMSA has introduced a UKC Management (UKCM) System. The goal of this system is to improve the safety and efficiency of shipping through Torres Strait.
Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service (REEFVTS), User Guide 17. This is a web-based system for enhancing the safety of vessels whose keel is close to the seabed in the shallow Torres Strait region.
The use of UKCM system is mandatory for all vessels with a draft of 8.0 m. to max. draft of 12.2 m. However, circumstances may warrant use of the UKCM system for vessels of lesser draft. Responsibility for safe navigation continues to reside with mariners (Masters and pilots) through the appropriate use of the UKCM System.
More information available on www.amsa.gov.au
Designated Shipping Areas in the Great Barrier:  Reef Marine Park:  The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has put in place a Designated Shipping Area and General Use Zones within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park as part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park zoning plan.
Ship operators need a permit from GBRMPA to navigate outside the Designated Shipping Area and General Use Zones.
A penalty of up to 2,000 penalty units (presently AUS340,000 (2017)) for an individual and 20,000 penalty units (presently AUS3,400,000 (2017)) for a body corporate applies if a ship is navigated outside the Designated Shipping Area and the General Use Zones without written permission from GBRMPA.
GBRMPA: T: +61 (7) 4750 0700. info@gbrmpa.gov.au www.gbrmpa.gov.au
Reporting to MASTREP:  Modernised Australian Ship Tracking and Reporting System (MASTREP) is a ship reporting system operated by AMSA and is part of the services offered by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC Australia) in Canberra.
MASTREP is designed to minimise the reporting requirements on vessels by using AIS technology to provide positional advice to AMSA. There is no requirement in MASTREP to send Sailing Plans, Deviation Reports and Final Reports.
Marine Order 63 (Vessel reporting systems) 2015 defines the MASTREP area and lists the ships which must report to MASTREP. The system is mandatory for:
  1. foreign vessels from the arrival at its first port in Australia until its departure from its final port in Australia, and
  2. all regulated Australian vessels whilst in the MASTREP area.
There is no positive search and rescue watch maintained in MASTREP. It is a passive ship reporting system and does not involve shore to vessel communications for normal operation. The requirement to report all marine incidents including defects and deficiencies using form AMSA 18 and form AMSA 19 (not reproduced) remains. Additionally, Information Reports may be sent to JRCC Australia to provide advice relating to items not covered under AMSA 18 or 19 reporting requirements, for example floating navigational hazards.
Further information is provided in the MASTREP and Australian Mandatory Reporting Guide. Available from AMSA offices or the AMSA website www.amsa.gov.au
Pollution Reporting:  MARPOL 73/78 definition of nearest land prohibits operational discharges in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait regions.
    The following should be reported to REEFVTS: 
  1. any quantity of oil (including diesel fuel, petrol and oil products)
  2. any discharge from a ship of chemicals or chemical residues or
  3. garbage (food waste, glass, plastic etc.).
    Information on reporting ship sourced pollution is available on: 
  1. AMSA www.amsa.gov.au
  2. MSQ website www.msq.qld.gov.au/Marine-pollution
Appendix A - Standard Route Plans:  Inner Route:  There are three standard route plans for transiting the Reef VTS area by the inner route between Booby and Sandy Cape. The route plan applies in either direction of the transit and also applies to any portion of the inner route. The standard route plan should be communicated to REEFVTS by stating:
  1. inner route
  2. predefined route by communicating the ship′s draft as deep, moderate or shallow and
  3. name of any alternative legs intended to be taken that vary from the standard route (for example, shaded boxes) for that draft category.
For example, a ship plans to transit the inner route, moderate draft route via Varzin Passage (rather than using the standard route via Gannet Passage). This should be communicated to Reef VTS as ″Inner Route, Moderate Via Varzin″.
Great North East Channel:  Ships transiting the Great North East Channel enter or exit the REEFVTS area in three main locations. These are Booby, Bramble or Daru.
    The standard route plan should be communicated to Reef VTS by stating: 
  1. GNE Channel
  2. the first set of alternative legs intended to be taken and
  3. the second set of alternative legs intended to be taken.
For example, a ship enters at Booby and exits at Bramble, the first leg is via Varzin Passage and the second leg is via west of Coconut Island. This should be communicated to REEFVTS as ″GNE, via Varzin and west of Coconut Island″.
Deep Draft  
Standard Route Alternative  
Booby  
via Varzin Passage via Gannet Passage  
via east of Cairncross via west of Cairncross  
via Fairway Channel  
via Howicks  
via lizard Is./Palfrey  
Two Isles  
Gubbins West via Gubbins East  
via North Holborne via South Holborne  
Sandy Cape, Archer, Swain  
Moderate Draft  
Standard Route Alternative  
Booby  
via Gannet Passage via Varzin Passage  
via east of Cairncross via west of Cairncross  
via Fairway Channel  
via Miles via Howicks  
via Mid- Decapolis  
Two Isles  
Gubbins West via Gubbins East  
via North Holborne via South Holborne  
Sandy Cape, Archer, Swain  
Shallow Draft  
Standard Route Alternative  
Booby  
via Gannet Passage  
via east of Cairncross via west of Cairncross  
via Fairway Channel  
via Miles  
via Petherbridge via Mid- Decapolis  
Two Isles  
Gubbins West via Gubbins East  
via North Holborne via South Holborne  
Sandy Cape, Archer, Swain  
Appendix A – REEFVTS Chartlets:  The following chartlets show:
  1. details of the standard routes and alternatives
  2. VHF working channels
  3. routes where ships may receive both information and navigational assistance services and
  4. routes where ships may receive information services.
BALLAST:  All vessels designed to carry ballast water are required to carry a valid Ballast Water Management Plan (BWMP). A valid BWMP must be approved by either a survey authority, Classification Society, or the Administration of the vessel. For Australian flagged vessels, a management plan must be approved by the Director of Biosecurity, or an approved survey authority. BWMPs should be consistent with the Ballast Water Convention’s Guidelines for Ballast Water Management and Development of Ballast Water Management Plans (G4 Guidelines). Non-commercial vessels that are less than 400 g.t. are exempt from carrying a BWMP. Vessels with sealed tanks may also be eligible for an exemption upon application.
A Ballast Water Management Certificate (BWMC) is required for all vessels to which the Ballast Water Convention applies. The majority of Australian domestic vessels designed to carry ballast water will also need to obtain a BMWC; a BWMC verifies the vessel has been surveyed to a standard compliant with the Ballast Water Convention, and must be consistent with the format described in Appendix I of the Ballast Water Convention (not reproduced). A statement of fact, or a certificate of compliance, is also accepted for vessels flagged to an administration that is not party to the Ballast Water Convention. A valid BWMC must be issued by either a survey authority, classification society, or the administration of the vessel, and be in accordance with Regulation E‐1 of the Ballast Water Convention. For Australian flagged vessels, a management certificate must be issued by the Director of Biosecurity, or an approved survey authority.
Ballast Water Reporting:  International Vessels:  Vessels that are intending to discharge internationally sourced ballast water must submit a Ballast Water Report through MARS at least 12 hours prior to arrival; however, to prevent the discharge of high risk ballast, even vessels not intending to discharge ballast water are strongly encouraged to manage their ballast water, and submit a Ballast Water Report.
The Ballast Water Report will be assessed by the department through MARS, and a response will be issued through the Biosecurity Status Document. The Ballast Water Report should be updated if the ballast water situation changes on board.
Following the first point of arrival, international vessels may uptake Australian sourced ballast water for discharge later in Australia or overseas. The movement of Australian sourced ballast water between Australian ports is prohibited unless it has been managed, or a low risk exemption has been provided by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Vessels can request discharge of Australian sourced ballast water by resubmitting their Ballast Water Report with an updated status about their ballast water tanks. This must occur prior to arrival at the subsequent Australian port.
Domestic Vessels:  Domestic trading vessels that have been released from biosecurity control are still required to manage the movement of Australian sourced ballast water. All ballast water must be managed or receive a low risk exemption from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Vessels can seek a low risk exemption through a Domestic Risk Assessment submitted through MARS. Exemptions will be granted for ballast water which is determined to be low risk based on the date and port of uptake and the date and port of discharge. Once submitted, a Domestic Risk Assessment Outcome document will be issued advising the vessel of the status of the exemption.
Vessel operators should be aware that seasonal changes will affect the outcome of risk based exemptions within Australian ports. Risk based exemptions for Australian sourced ballast water are only issued for a single voyage on the specified dates.
Vessel operators must retain evidence of the exemption notice on board, and may be required to present this on an inspection. If a risk based exemption is issued, the vessel is not required to manage the relevant ballast water prior to discharge at the port specified in the exemption.
Ballast Water Exchange:  Australia is implementing the agreed implementation schedule for the Ballast Water Convention that requires vessels to phase out ballast water exchange in favour of a method that is compliant with the D‐2 discharge standard. In order to achieve this, vessels will be required to install an IMO approved BWMS, or use one of the other approved methods of management. The approved methods of ballast water management are:
  1. use of a BWMS
  2. ballast water exchange conducted in an acceptable area
  3. use of low risk ballast water (such as fresh potable water, high seas water or fresh water from an on board fresh water production facility)
  4. retention of high risk ballast water on board the vessel
  5. discharge to an approved ballast water reception facility.
Ballast water exchange is an approved method only for those vessels that are not yet required to meet the Convention’s Regulation D‐2 discharge standard. Ballast water exchange must be conducted to the equivalent of a 95% (or greater) volumetric exchange, using one of the acceptable methods of ballast water exchange. Acceptable ballast water exchange methods are:
  1. sequential exchange (empty/refill)
  2. flow‐through
  3. dilution.
Ballast water exchanges must be conducted as far from the nearest land as possible, and in all cases within an acceptable area. The safety of the vessel and crew are paramount, all safety considerations must be taken into account when conducting ballasting operations. The Master of the vessel must ensure that the ballast water exchange is conducted in accordance with the vessel’s ballast water management plan to ensure the method is appropriate to manage the risk of transferring pests whilst also ensuring the safety of the vessel and crew.
Acceptable Areas:  Ballast water exchange should be conducted in areas at least 12 n.m. from the nearest land and in water at least 50 m. deep. In addition, ballast water must not be exchanged within 12 n.m. of the Great Barrier Reef, or within the Ningaloo Reef ballast water exchange exclusion area. The waters within the following areas are considered Same Risk Areas and water may be taken up and discharged within these areas:
a) Gulf St. Vincent and the Spencer Gulf:
i. eastern boundary: River Murray Mouth (West Bank) 35° 33′ 26.697″ N, 138° 52′ 28.325″ E ; Intersection with edge of waters acceptable for BW exchange 35° 47′ 44.164″ S, 138° 52′ 30.469″ E
ii. southern boundary (east to west): intersection with edge of waters acceptable for BW exchange (east) 35° 50′ 32.605″ S, 138° 33′ 51.748″ E ; eastern end of Kangaroo Island 35° 50′ 29.078″ S, 138° 08′ 06.428″ E ; western end of Kangaroo Island 35° 52′ 29.632″ S, 136° 32′ 01.042″ E ; intersection with edge of waters acceptable for BW exchange (west) 35° 52′ 31.625″ S, 136° 12′ 29.499″ E
iii. western boundary: Cape Catastrophe 34° 59′ 08.712″ S, 136° 00′ 08.018″ E ; intersection with edge of waters acceptable for BW exchange 35° 39′ 47.805″ S, 136° 00′ 02.63″ E
b) Port Phillip Bay:
i. area inclusive of all waters north of the heads of Port Philip Bay; western boundary 38° 17′ 29.988″ S, 144° 36′ 54.272″ E ; eastern boundary 38° 18′ 06.737″ S, 144° 39′ 02.700″ E.
Vessels are not required to manage ballast water within the two designated Same Risk Areas.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park:  The ports within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and part of the Torres Strait, are known as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - Domestic Ballast Water Zone. This zone includes:
  1. all ports located within the boundaries of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
  2. Weipa
  3. all ports located within the boundaries of the Torres Strait Islands
  4. Bundaberg.
Vessels must abide by additional requirements when conducting ballast water operations within this zone. This applies only to vessels utilising ballast water exchange as their primary method of ballast water management. When a vessel is required to meet the discharge standard under Regulation D‐2 of the Convention and Australia’s ballast water requirements the vessels’ ballast water must be managed in accordance with the Ballast Water Management Plan.
Ballast water management operations must occur prior to entering the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - Domestic Ballast Water Zone, if you plan to discharge water sourced externally at a port within the zone. Vessel operators are not required to manage ballast water sourced within the zone if:
  1. their vessel uses ballast water exchange as their primary method of ballast water management, and
  2. the ballast water was taken up in the zone, and
  3. ballast water exchange is the only practicable ballast water management method available.
Low-risk Ballast Water:  A tank is considered to contain low-risk ballast water if at least 95% of the ballast water in that tank is from a low-risk source. Tanks containing less than 95% low-risk water will be considered high risk, and will need to be managed. Low risk ballast water can be considered as:
  1. fresh potable water sourced from a municipal water supply or from an on board desalination system. Documentation will be required to confirm the source of any potable water otherwise the ballast water will be considered high risk, and must be managed by an acceptable method outlined in this document prior to discharge in Australian seas
  2. water that has been taken up on the high seas, or international waters. This includes water that is greater than 12 n.m. from any land mass and in water that is greater than 50 m. deep
  3. water taken up and discharged within the same place provided that the water comprises 95% or greater of the volume of water in the tank. The same place is considered to be within the port limits of the same port, or within 1 n.m. of the point of uptake. Water taken up and discharged in an area defined as a Same Risk Area is also considered low risk and does not need further management.
Retention of High Risk Water:  Operators may choose to retain high risk water within a ballast water tank if there is no intention to discharge the water in Australian seas; however, carrying high risk ballast water into Australian seas is strongly discouraged, as a vessel’s itinerary may change, or discharge may be necessary in the case of safety or pollution considerations.
Offshore Installations:  Vessels arriving at an offshore oil and gas installation within Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) must manage their ballast water in accordance with one of the acceptable methods of ballast water management, prior to arrival. Vessels using ballast water exchange that are arriving in Australia’s EEZ from a port outside of Australia, the ballast water exchange must be conducted consistent with the requirements outlined above (see Ballast Water Exchange).
Vessels that operate between offshore oil and gas installations and Australian ports are also required to manage their ballast water before arrival at the installation and Australian port. The acceptable area for a ballast water exchange between an installation and an Australian port is in sea areas that are no closer than 500 m. from the offshore installation, and no closer than 12 n.m. from the nearest land. If any vessels are unable to achieve these ballast water exchange requirements, they must contact the MNCC for further advice.
Ballast Tank Sediment:  Sediment must be disposed of in an area outside 200 n.m. from the nearest land, and in at least a depth of 200 m., or at an approved land-based reception facility. Eductors are not permitted to strip ballast tanks in Australian seas, unless a vessel seeks permission to discharge sediment to a reception facility. The discharge of sediment is permitted if:
  1. it is necessary for ensuring the safety of the vessel in an emergency or saving life at sea, or
  2. if the discharge is accidental and results from damage to the vessel or its equipment
  3. where all reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent or minimise the discharge
  4. for the purposes of minimising pollution.
The department must be contacted with details of the disposal within 24 hours of the vessels crew becoming aware of the disposal.
For full details, Australian Ballast Water Management Requirements (latest version) is available at www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/avm/vessels/ballast
POLLUTION:  Australia implements a range of standards and regulations to protect the marine environment from pollution. These standards and regulations ensure international obligations are met. You must comply with these regulations and report marine pollution incidents. Full details available on the Australian Maritime Safety Authority website.
If vessel is required to make a mandatory MARPOL report about a pollution incident, notify AMSA without delay, advising:
  1. name of ship/s involved
  2. time, type and location of incident
  3. quantity and type of harmful substance
  4. assistance and salvage measures
  5. any other relevant information.
Reports can be made by any of the following means:
T: +61 (2) 6230 6811 or freecall within Australia 1800 641 792.
F: +61 (2) 6230 6868.
Inmarsat C: using Special Access Code (SAC) 39 (note that Inmarsat-C Transceivers required to be logged in and reports sent via LES Codes 312 in IOR and 212 in POR) DSC: HF DSC MMSI 005030001.
You should also notify the local port or maritime authority if your ship is in port or in coastal waters at the time of an incident.
Also see Ballast
EMERGENCY RESPONSE CENTRE:  Australian Maritime Safety Authority provides search and rescue capability in Australia. Full details available at www.amsa.gov.au/safety-navigation/search-and-rescue
The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra can be contacted throughtout 24 hours via:
T: +61 (2) 6230 6811 or freecall within Australia 1800 641 792.
F: +61 (2) 6230 6868.
Inmarsat C: using Special Access Code (SAC) 39 (note that Inmarsat-C Transceivers required to be logged in and reports sent via LES Codes 312 in IOR and 212 in POR) DSC: HF DSC MMSI 005030001.
Also see Pollution
REGULATIONS:  Regulations and standards for vessels can be found at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority website.
TIME:  With a land mass close to 7.7 million square kilometres, Australia is the world's sixth largest country and is divided into three separate time zones as follows:
  1. Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 10 hours (UTC +10), and includes Queensland, New South Wales (except Broken Hill), Victoria, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory
  2. Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 9.5 hours (UTC +9.5), and includes South Australia, Northern Territory and the town of Broken Hill in western New South Wales
  3. Australian Western Standard Time (AWST), equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 8 hours (UTC +8), and includes Western Australia.
Daylight Saving Time:  Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of advancing clocks one hour during the warmer months of the year. In Australia, Daylight Saving is observed in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory. Daylight Saving is not observed in Queensland, the Northern Territory or Western Australia. Daylight Saving Time begins at 0200 hours on the first Sunday in October, when clocks are put forward one hour. It ends at 0200 hours (which is 0300 hours Daylight Saving Time) on the first Sunday in April, when clocks are put back one hour.
LOCAL HOLIDAYS:  1 January (New Year's Day); Australia Day; Good Friday; day after Good Friday; Easter Sunday; Easter Monday; 25 April (Anzac Day); Labour Day; first Monday in October (Queen's Birthday); 25 December (Christmas Day); 26 December (Boxing Day).
CUSTOMS:  At first port of call in Australia, each crew member is allowed duty free 250 cigarettes (or equivalent in tobacco products), one bottle of spirits (not exceeding 1.125 litres).
REPATRIATION:  Visas:  Maritime Crew Visa:  A Maritime Crew Visa (subclass 988) is required for foreign crew on non-military ships on international voyages to enter Australia by sea (or air in conjunction with a Transit Visa). You must be outside Australia when you apply for this visa and be an articled (or to be an articled) crew member. It is also for the partner or dependent child of a foreign crew member.
Articled crew members include:
  1. people under contract or subcontract to work on a ship while it is at sea
  2. people doing scientific research on a research ship owned by a foreign government
  3. crew members on board a petroleum export tanker undertaking an international voyage (e.g. departing from an overseas port, recovering product from an offshore production and/or storage facility for export, and departing directly for an overseas port).
The ship must either be:
  1. used for commercial trading
  2. used for carrying paying passengers
  3. owned and operated by a foreign government to do scientific research
  4. approved for 'public vessel status' by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  5. imported or brought to Australia for sale and was registered in the Australian International Shipping Register but has ceased to be registered and you do not leave Australia within five days, obtain another type of visa or sign on to another non-military ship in that time.
Transit Visa:  A Transit Visa ordinarily allows a person to enter Australia and stay for no longer than 72 hours before leaving by air or sea; however, Maritime Crew Visa (subclass 988) holders can use a Transit Visa (subclass 771) to enter Australia by air to join a non-military ship. You have 5 days from arrival by air to sign onto the ship. To apply for a Transit Visa if you are joining the crew of a non-military ship, you must be outside Australia and hold a Maritime Crew Visa and the necessary crew documents. You will need to apply for a new Transit Visa on each occasion you are seeking to enter Australia by air to join a ship. Your Maritime Crew Visa will cease if you do not sign on to your ship within 5 days of arriving in Australia by air on your Transit Visa.
Maritime Crew Visa holders signing off vessel in Australia shall apply for a Transit Visa prior to arrival in Australia. This will permit the Maritime Crew Visa holder up to 5 days from signing-off vessel to depart Australia by air or sea (as a non crew member) or to sign-on to a new vessel as an articled crew member.
Australian Border Force forms B521 (signing-off crew) and B522 (signing-on crew) should be used in conjunction with the necessary visa requirements. www.abf.gov.au/help-and-support/forms#
Medical Treatment Visa:  All crew on board non-military ships coming into port in Australia must have a Maritime Crew Visa. If a crew member requires a medical evacuation from a ship that is not coming into port in Australia but is in Australian waters, then a Medical Treatment Visa (subclass 602) can be issued; however, the Department of Home Affairs recommends that all crew entering Australian waters should apply for a Maritime Crew Visa regardless of whether or not they intend on coming into port. This ensures that there will not be any problem obtaining a visa if a crew member needs to be evacuated to Australia.
IDENTIFICATION CARDS:  MSIC:  Whilst in a maritime security zone, a person shall display a valid MSIC or shall be escorted by a holder of a valid MSIC. Ships' crew members without a valid MSIC are not permitted to enter or remain in a maritime security zone without an escort. A crew member is permitted to disembark the vessel for the purpose of reading vessel's draft or checking mooring lines without an escort; however, the crew member must remain within the wharf apron at all times while performing these duties.
Department of Home Affairs requires that any visitors accessing port facilities must have a Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC). www.homeaffairs.gov.au