Standards, compliance and planning

Ballast water compliance requirements


EPA runs a compliance monitoring program that assesses ships’ compliance with Victoria’s domestic ballast water management rules. We inspect randomly chosen ships that have entered Victorian state waters at any time of day or night.

We use our enforcement powers to deal with ships that break the rules.

Ships that do not comply with ballast water rules

Under the ballast water Regulations, there are penalties for ships that do not comply with the Victorian ballast water requirements.

However, if ships cannot fully comply with the domestic ballast water arrangements due to safety or structural limitations, some special arrangements may apply.

If a ship cannot comply with domestic ballast water management arrangements on a particular voyage (for example, because of poor weather), then the ship’s owner or master must contact EPA immediately and demonstrate prior to entering Victorian state waters that the ship cannot comply for that particular voyage. In consultation with the ship’s master, we may determine alternative arrangements for the management of that ship’s ballast water.

Environment improvement plans for ships

For ships that cannot comply with the ballast water management obligations, and regularly operate in Victorian waters, an environment improvement plan (EIP) must be developed and implemented.

An EIP is a tool specified in the Environment Protection Act 1970, produced in accordance with EPA’s Guidelines for the preparation of environment improvement plans (publication 739). It must include a specific assessment of the ship's design by a classification society and list actions that will be taken to comply with the Waste management policy (ships' ballast water) and include contingency plans.

EPA will work with non-compliant ships to identify and implement alternative arrangements for ballast water management.

To date, all ships have been able to comply with this policy. EPA will work with any non-compliant ships on alternative arrangements for ballast water management.

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Page last updated on 25 May 2017