Australia’s “Biofouling Management Regulations” for foreign ships have been in effect for nearly half a year. Although AMSA claims to prioritize education for the time being, they still use reports and intelligence information submitted before the ship’s arrival to determine whether to carry out interventions such as underwater inspections.
In the shipping industry where time is money, this means that ships that fail the information review must bear significant time and cost losses
Last year, a British Shipping Company cargo ship heading to Australia had to transfer its cargo to another ship and return the same way due to non-compliance with biofouling management requirements, resulting in a 6-week delay in delivery.
01-Official estimate: Single loss of up to $300,000!
In the Australian AMSA impact statement on the regulation, it estimates that ships failing the information review face additional costs totaling up to $300,000.
The document indicates that the average cost of an underwater inspection in Australia is $7,500 (at the ship operator’s expense). After the underwater inspection, AMSA will further assess the ship’s biosecurity risk. During this time, the ship may be forced to stay in port for up to 48 hours, with the resulting berth, charter, and operating costs estimated to average $120,000.
If the inspection results show that the level of biofouling exceeds AMSA’s allowable range, the ship will be prohibited from docking or required to be cleaned within 48 hours.
The cost of cleaning a medium-length container ship in an Australian dry dock can exceed $160,000.
02-High requirements, high standards
Most ships cannot pass! For most ships, it is difficult to avoid the cost of underwater inspections and the resulting detention costs.
This is because the documents required to be submitted before the ship’s arrival involve all processes and operational details of hull cleaning, detailed records of biofouling, and more than 100 items in 40 categories, with extremely strict review standards. The hull cleaning standard under this regulation is also extremely high, requiring all microbial contamination species on the underwater hull to be cleaned, including special areas often overlooked in regular ship cleaning operations.
This has led many ships that have already been cleaned before departure to either leave immediately or re-clean after undergoing underwater inspections in Australia. Regardless of the choice, it’s a “huge loss” for shipping companies.
03-Australia:Great benefits for fuel saving too!
Australia points out that the operational pressure on shipping companies is not just beneficial for the country’s ecology, as ships affected by biofouling have far greater fuel expenses compared to those with clean hulls.
In their analysis of Australian naval vessels, they found that ships with medium biofouling levels experience a 10.3% increase in annual fuel consumption due to increased drag, raising fuel costs by approximately $1.15 million.
Recently, a 120,000-ton bulk carrier departing from a port in North China successfully entered an Australian port through the “Neptune Annual Assurance Program (ANZAC Specialized)”, saving around 10% of fuel consumption while avoiding expenditures of $120,000 to $300,000. Neptune is familiar with New Zealand MPI and Australian AMSA marine biofouling management standards, providing biosecurity-level robotic hull cleaning services and professional, detailed cleaning reports to assist clients in completing compliant documentation. They offer customized annual care services for ships, ensuring smooth entry into New Zealand and Australian ports at any time.