25 March 2020
Who does this notice affect?
This notice is of interest to all vessel masters and shipping agents who represent international commercial and non-commercial vessels for the purposes of Australian biosecurity clearance.
What has changed?
The department has updated MARS with a revised question in the Human Health section of the pre-arrival report (PAR) and also in the Human Health Update report.
The question (2.1.7) of the human health section of the PAR was:
- Persistent coughing and difficulty breathing with no apparent cause and no history or similar symptoms (but not persistent coughing and difficulty breathing caused by asthma, heart disease, obesity, chronic bronchitis or emphysema). Yes or No.
Revised (2.1.7) question is now:
- New coughing illness which developed in the past two weeks (but not caused by an existing chronic disease e.g. asthma, heart disease, obesity, chronic bronchitis or emphysema). Yes or No.
The corresponding offline forms on the department’s website are also updated.
What do you need to do?
Complete your PAR in MARS as per usual. The revised question will appear in the Human Health section of the PAR in MARS.
The corresponding MARS offline forms have been updated for use from Wednesday 25 March 2020. It is only when using any offline forms that you will need to download the latest versions available from the department’s website. Using the most current version of forms will minimise errors when a user is submitting information into MARS.
Where can you find the offline forms?
The updated offline forms are available on the department’s website.
Contact the department’s Maritime National Coordination Centre (MNCC) by email or phone 1300 004 605 (in Australia) or +61 8 8201 6185 (outside Australia).
Information and MARS supporting materials can be found on the department’s website under Vessels.
Vessel reporting requirements and the Biosecurity Act 2015
Vessel masters and shipping agents are reminded:
- To read and understand the BSD directions and conditions, and keep a copy of the current document on board the vessel for the duration of the voyage in Australia.
- Any changes in circumstances during the voyage in Australian waters, particularly changes to the human health of travellers, must be reported to the MNCC as soon as practicable.
- That a failure to report accurately or comply with a requirement under the Biosecurity Act may result in penalties, including infringement notices, civil penalties or criminal prosecutions.