International vessels, aircraft, persons and goods arriving at installations operating within or outside Australian territory present possible pathways for exotic pests and diseases to enter Australia.
The jurisdiction of the Biosecuirty Act 2015 is the Australian Territory which includes:
- Christmas Island
- the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
- any external Territory
- the airspace and the coastal sea of these areas which generally extends to 12 Nautical Miles (NM).
Installations operating outside of Australian territory will not come into the department’s control. However, any conveyance which leaves Australian territory and is not subject to biosecurity control, and which interacts with a conveyance outside of the Australian territory will become an exposed conveyance. In the context of interactions with an installation, a conveyance is a vessel or aircraft.
A conveyance becomes exposed by being in physical contact with, in close proximately to or being contaminated by another conveyance. When the exposed conveyance returns to Australian territory, it becomes subject to biosecurity control and it must pre-arrival report and notify if it intends to unload goods.
The department acknowledges that there are many conveyance interactions outside Australian territory that present minimal biosecurity risk. The department’s policy approach is that when these low risk interactions occur, the exposed conveyance should not become subject to biosecurity control when returning to Australia, or have to pre-arrival report or notify to unload goods.
The Biosecurity (Exposed Conveyance – Exceptions from Biosecurity Control) Determination 2016 (the Determination) gives effect to the department’s policy approach. The Determination is a legislative instrument made under section 196(2) of the Act.
Where a conveyance can meet the conditions of the Determination, it is excepted from being subject to biosecurity control when returning to Australian territory. Additionally, the conveyance qualifies for exceptions to pre-arrival reporting and notification to unload goods under the Biosecurity Regulation 2016.
For more information on installations and associated conveyances, refer to the Offshore Petroleum Installations Biosecurity Guide.