Commercial vessel biofouling requirements
AVOID FURTHER DELAYS FROM PORT CONGESTION
Ensure you have a clean hull before your vessel leaves for New Zealand
A clean hull may reduce any additional biosecurity-related costs and delays, should unforeseen itinerary disruptions occur.
- Get ahead of your biofouling: organise an underwater inspection and act on all biofouling found.
- Ensure that your most recent underwater inspection or underwater cleaning report is supplied to MPI.
- Ensure that all other relevant paperwork is supplied to MPI.
- Let MPI know as soon as a delay becomes likely.
- Reach out to MPI prior to departure for New Zealand if you are unsure of whether to carry out biofouling, or to seek further advice.
Following these 5 steps improves the likelihood of MPI granting a request to extend your itinerary.
If you have any questions, email:
What are commercial vessels?
Commercial vessels generally move at medium to high speeds and aren't likely to be stationary for long periods of time.
- commercial cargo vessels
- trading ships
- container ships
- cruise vessels.
What you must do
Most commercial vessels fall under MPI's short-stay category when arriving in New Zealand. Short-stay vessels are those planning to be in New Zealand for 20 days or less and only visiting designated ports.
Short-stay vessels should meet the CRMS requirements by providing evidence of continual hull maintenance following best practices.
- Download the Craft Risk Management Standard for Biofouling [PDF, 529 KB]
- Download the guidance document for the CRMS [PDF, 1.5 MB]
- Download the CRMS frequently asked questions [PDF, 1.7 MB]
Continual maintenance of commercial vessels
Continual maintenance involves ongoing management of biofouling, including:
- developing and maintaining a Biofouling Management Plan specific to the vessel
- keeping records of biofouling management in a biofouling record book
- coating the hull and niche areas with antifouling paint appropriate to the operating profile of the vessel
- regularly inspecting and cleaning the hull and niche areas
- having contingency plans in place to minimise fouling if the vessel falls out of its operational profile.
Providing evidence of continual maintenance
Before you arrive, MPI will ask to see evidence that you've used the above measures. Evidence must be verifiable and may include:
- your Biofouling Management Plan and record book
- dates and reports of dry docking
- current antifouling system certificates
- vessel operational history
- evidence of independent inspections and ongoing maintenance (such as cleaning or treatment) by suitably qualified people.
Use suitable hull antifouling
The vessel hull should be painted with antifouling that can prevent biofouling between dry dockings. When choosing an antifouling paint, you should take into account:
- the planned time between dry dockings
- the ship's speed and activity
- any periods that the vessel will be stationary.
Where antifouling paint is damaged, consider in-water repair of the paint in the area, even if minor.
Maintain, inspect and clean niche areas
Niche areas are protrusions, recesses, or unpainted areas of the hull, that are particularly susceptible to biofouling. It is important to show evidence that you've managed all niche areas for biofouling.
- Paint internal surfaces with antifouling paints suitable for the flow of seawater.
- Use marine growth prevention systems (MGPSs), such as chemical dosing systems, where possible.
- Regularly use steam blow-out pipes if fitted in sea chests to reduce biofouling growth.
Sea inlet pipes and outlets
Apply antifouling paint inside pipe openings and pipework. Antifouling paint adheres and lasts longer if:
- all sea inlet pipes and outlets have rounded surfaces – avoid corners where possible
- grates on seawater intakes are made with round bars.
Hull appendages as niches
Any hull appendages can be niche areas, even when painted with effective antifouling. You should include them in your maintenance and cleaning programme. Hull appendages include:
- dry docking support strips
- bow and stern thrusters
- bilge keels, cooling scoops and propulsion scoops
- rudder hinges and stabiliser fin apertures.
Hull appendages that can't be painted with antifouling paint – because it affects their operation – may need additional maintenance and cleaning. These include:
- velocity probes
- echo sounders.
Internal seawater systems
Effective marine growth protection systems (MGPSs), such as chemical dosing systems, can be fitted to internal seawater systems prone to biofouling. Use these systems regularly and monitor them to make sure they're working well. If MGPSs haven't been fitted or haven't prevented biofouling, treat internal systems before arriving in New Zealand.
Craft Risk Management Plans
Some commercial vessels, such as cruise vessels, may not be able to meet the requirements of the CRMS using one of the methods outlined in the standard. These vessels are encouraged to develop a Craft Risk Management Plan (CRMP) that outlines alternate but equivalent ways of managing biofouling.
Find out more
- CRMS for commercial vessels – fact sheet [PDF, 463 KB]
- Biofouling guidance for cruise vessels – fact sheet [PDF, 508 KB]
- Technical guidance on biofouling management for vessels arriving to NZ [PDF, 402 KB]
- Guidelines for diving service providers inspecting vessels arriving to New Zealand [PDF, 2 MB]
- What to put in a biofouling management plan [PDF, 1009 KB]
- Biofouling requirements for all vessels
Who to contact
If you have questions about biofouling requirements for commercial vessels, email firstname.lastname@example.org