Ballast water is water carried in ships’ ballast tanks to improve stability, balance and trim. It is taken up or discharged when cargo is unloaded or loaded, or when a ship needs extra stability in poor weather.
EPA no longer regulates domestic ballast water management in Victoria. The management was taken over by the Commonwealth on 8 September 2017. This means vessels visiting a Victorian port no longer need to provide ballast water documentation to EPA Victoria.
All vessels are now required to manage their ballast water and sediments in accordance with the Convention and Biosecurity Act 2015.
The Australian Ballast Water Management Requirements, available from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, explain how vessel operators should manage ballast water while in Australia.
Historic ballast water management in Victoria
Prior to September 2017, ships' ballast water was managed under the Victorian domestic ballast water management system.
The system was designed to protect Victoria’s marine environment by minimising the risk of introduction of marine pests. These domestic ballast water management arrangements were introduced by the Victorian Government in 2004.