Standards, compliance and planning

Ballast water and shipping industry obligations

Ships’ masters must not cause or permit the discharge of high-risk domestic ballast water into Victorian state waters.

Ship owners and masters must manage their domestic ballast water in accordance with the Waste Management Policy (Ships’ Ballast Water), Environment Protection (Ships’ Ballast Water) Regulations 2017, and the Protocol for environmental management: domestic ballast water management in Victorian state waters (the ‘PEM’, publication 949).

All ship owners and masters must be aware of their ballast water responsibilities prior to entering Victorian state waters, while management of domestic ballast water must not compromise the safety of the ship and its crew.

The Flowchart – domestic ballast water management steps (PDF 31KB) summarises the key steps that ships must take in order to meet their ballast water obligations and comply with the policy.

All ships that intend to visit a Victorian port must send EPA Victorian ballast water report form (PDF 323KB). This report form requires the master of the ship to provide details about the intention to discharge domestic ballast water, ballast water treatment or exchange and risk assessment results. A copy of this form is also provided in the PEM in appendix 1. Ships must exchange their ballast water a minimum of 12 nautical miles off the Australian coastline.

Any ship carrying domestic ballast water must also complete a ballast water log (Word 137KB; PDF 773KB). This log must be completed even if the ship does not intend to discharge the domestic ballast water. A copy of this log is also provided in the PEM in appendix 2.

The Victorian ballast water report form and the ballast water log should be submitted to EPA as soon as possible, preferably 24 hours prior to the ship entering Victorian state waters.

If ships' masters or agents have any difficulties in complying with the domestic ballast water management arrangements they should contact EPA ballast water officers as soon as possible to discuss management options.

No domestic ballast water discharge is permitted in Victorian waters unless approval has been granted in writing by EPA. Submitting forms to EPA before entering Victorian waters will help avoid unnecessary delays.


Owners, operators and managers of Victorian ports play an important support role in implementing the policy. Ports do this by disseminating information about the policy and domestic ballast water management obligations to port users, providing advice to EPA regarding expected shipping arrivals and incorporating domestic ballast water management arrangements into port environment management plans.

Page last updated on 25 May 2017