Apply to enter the coastal waters of Western Australia – higher risk vessels

The Master, Operator, Charterer or Agent of a vessel from a higher risk location must submit a declaration before arriving into Western Australian coastal waters.

The State Emergency Coordinator issued the Regulated Entry of Higher Risk Vessels into Western Australia Directions (PDF) on 21 October 2021.

These Directions outline the requirements for vessels to enter WA if they have been in a higher risk location in the 28 days before they arrive into WA coastal waters. These vessels are referred to as Higher Risk Vessels.

These Directions are related to a recent Notice published by the WA Government. Further details are available at Notice to Shipping Industry.

Guidelines to Industry are available at Industry Guidelines Vessels from Higher Risk Locations (PDF)

Higher Risk Locations

The Chief Health Officer may deem some jurisdictions as posing a higher risk of bringing COVID-19 into the Western Australian community. Locations identified as such will be classified as higher risk locations for a period of 3 months from notification unless otherwise determined by the Chief Health Officer. The Chief Health Officer determination of Higher Risk Locations is available at CHO Designated Higher Risk Locations (PDF).

Current Locations deemed to be higher risk locations for the purposes of commercial shipping are:

  • ports on the Indonesian Islands of Java, Kalimantan, the Riau Islands, Bangka Belitung Islands, Lampung and Sulawesi. Vessels that are expected to arrive into WA coastal waters within 28 days, from these locations from 5 November 2021 onwards, must comply with these directions.

Higher Risk Vessels

Higher Risk Vessel means a vessel :

  • that enters a port at a Higher Risk Location; or
  • that loads or unloads any thing at a Higher Risk Location; or
  • if any person has boarded the vessel at Higher Risk Location,

at any time in the 28 days before the vessel enters the coastal waters of WA.

Higher Risk Vessel Declaration

Before a higher risk vessel may enter the coastal waters of WA, it must lodge a declaration form that declares it has complied with WA Government requirements. It must be made by a person authorised by the relevant operator, charterer or agent. It relates to the 28 days prior to the entry of the vessel into the coastal waters of WA and includes statements confirming that:

  • no crew member boarded or left the vessel at a Higher Risk Location; and
  • any person who boarded the vessel at a Higher Risk Location wore a disposable surgical mask or particulate filter respirator that covered their nose and mouth when on the vessel; and
  • all crew onboard the vessel have received a negative Rapid Antigen Test result at the time of departure from the last port prior to entry into WA.

Download the Vessel Declaration form (PDF)

The declaration must be in the prescribed format and must be submitted to:

Department of Transport, Shipping Declarations

Email: COVIDshippingdec@transport.wa.gov.au .

COVID-19 Vessel Management Protocols

While not mandatory, it is highly recommended that the shipping industry lodge COVID-19 Management Protocols at least 28 days before the vessel’s proposed arrival into WA. The COVID-19 Management Protocols may be vessel specific or relate to multiple vessels owned or operated under the same corporate structure.

COVID-19 Management Protocols should include details to show the following factors are being managed to industry best-practice standards:

  • crew change arrangements
  • shore leave
  • interaction with port workers
  • health screening regime
  • vaccination status.

Once submitted, the COVID-19 Management Protocols will be reviewed and if they address the WA requirements will be approved and issued with a Protocol Record Number.

This Protocol Record Number should be included on the declaration form for vessels when they apply to enter the coastal waters of WA from a higher risk location.

By adopting the approved protocols, a vessel arriving from a higher risk location will be able to ensure they can submit a compliant declaration.

COVID-19 Management Protocols should be submitted to:

Department of Transport, Ports Management

Email: COVIDprotocols@transport.wa.gov.au

Approved protocols

The following COVID-19 management protocols have been approved:

  • Protocol Record Numbers will be listed as they are approved
Page reviewed 29 November 2021