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Why Biofouling Management Plans & Record Books?


Regulatory agencies around the world  (e.g. The International Maritime Organisation, Australia, New Zealand and State of California) are developing biofouling and IMS requirements. Most Australian State and Territory Governments have also recently amended existing or developed new legislation to manage the unwanted spread of IMS.

To assist with the realisation of new and changing requirements, regulatory bodies and agencies around the world have developed biofouling management guidelines;

IMO Guidelines

The International Maritime Organization (IMO)

"Guidelines for the control and management of ships biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species"

International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IPIECA) “Guidance for the prevention and management of alien invasive species and the oil and   gas industry”

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) “National biofouling management guidelines for Commercial, Non-Trading and Petroleum Production and Exploration Industry”

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These guidelines suggest vessel owners/operators develop Biofouling Management Plans and Record Books for each vessel.                

These Management Plans and Record Books have two purposes:

   • To assist owners and operators manage the IMS transfer risk of their vessels.
   • To assist border control agencies assess whether vessels pose a potential marine biosecurity risk.

Vessels that are able to provide authentic and up-to-date Biofouling Management Plans or Record Books on regulator's request will potentially reduce processing times, prevent delays and uncertainty and save money.

Biofouling Management Plan Options

BFS has a range of cost-effective Biofouling Management Plan options that can be tailored to the needs and budget of individual clients, vessels or fleets.

We offer the following Biofouling Management solutions:


Management Plans can be developed remotely from our offices, with no requirement for an inspection or on-board visit by our staff. In this instance a questionnaire and list of required documentation is sent to the client. On receipt the individual vessel Management Plan is developed and then returned to the vessel. The Plan is accompanied by information for the responsible crew member on how it should be implemented and maintained. The quality and effectiveness of this Management Plan implementation is dependent on the quality of information supplied.

Based on a previous IMS inspection
Given our IMS inspectors collate all the information relevant to biofouling management during an IMS inspection, which we then retain on file, we can develop a Management Plan for any vessel previously inspected by BFS.

In conjunction with a proposed IMS inspection

The development of a Management Plan can be combined with a proposed IMS inspection.



A Management Plan can be developed on board by a staff member who collates all the necessary information during an assessment visit to the vessel. The staff member also carries out a brief inspection of the accessible vessel areas and provides training for the crew member responsible for maintenance of the plan.


Continued services

Any Management Plan developed by BFS also has the option of continued support by the BFS team. With this option the Plan is maintained on an annual basis by our staff and the vessel is given preference over others if an IMS inspection is required. This option also includes advice from BFS about IMS requirements for movement of the vessel between jurisdictions, should it be required. 

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