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Department of Agriculture Notice to Shippers

31 Jan 2020 4:58 PM | Anonymous

Information for international vessels regarding the novel coronavirus 

Dear shipping agents

In response to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019 –nCoV) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, the Department of Agriculture is requesting that shipping agents provide information to all vessels arriving in Australia.

You may have already received an email asking you to provide factsheets to vessel masters and crew following the lodgement of pre-arrival reporting. This factsheet includes information about coronavirus. It is important that all crew have access to this fact sheet, particularly crew who have been in mainland China. A copy of that fact sheet is available here: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-information-for-travellers-arriving-in-australia-from-china-zhi-cong-zhong-guo-di-ao-lu-ke-you-guan-xin-xing-guan-zhuang-bing-du-de-xin-xi

The Department of Agriculture conducts risk assessments of human health on international vessels on behalf of the Department of Health. Mandatory pre arrival reporting of human health on board international vessels must be undertaken at least 12 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival into Australian territorial waters. This reporting is an important part of preventing the spread of the virus and promoting the health and safety of crew, port workers, and the general public. The Vessel Master must also update the human health status on board the vessel if any changes occur while the vessel is in Australian waters.

Where pre-arrival reporting indicates a human health risk, biosecurity officers will conduct an assessment, and where necessary work with state and territory health departments to manage the risk to the ill person, healthy passengers and crew, seaport personnel, border staff and health professionals.

The Department of Health has dedicated resources related to 2019-nCoV available here: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources. These resources may help you, your staff, and your clients to understand the virus and its implications for your business. Information on this page is updated regularly to reflect the most up-to-date information about the illness.

If you have questions regarding the novel coronavirus, please email coronavirus@agriculture.gov.au.

Kind regards,


Guy Bursle


Conveyances and Ports | Compliance Controls

Department of Agriculture

Ph: +61 2 6272 5301 | +61 466 792 851

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