127 - 02/00 - Ballast Water Exchange - Spot Checks - Australia
AQIS, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, has announced it is to check the accuracy of information on ballast water exchange provided by vessels upon arrival in Australia.
The survey will be part of the preparations for the introduction of mandatory ballast water management arrangements that are expected to become effective in mid-2001. Only 400 ships are to be inspected in a period of 12 months commencing March 1, including 100 bulkers, 100 tankers, 100 container ships and 100 others. They will be selected at random by the AQIS Vessel Monitoring System database, which manages the quarantine inspection programme. The checks will be carried out at the same time as the quarantine inspection and no charges will be levied. As the procedures are voluntary they say that no action will be taken against vessels that are found not to be exchanging ballast water.
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