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Source: Australia Government Statements – Agriculture

179-2020 – Bulk cabotage cargo of fertiliser, grain and stockfeed
Tue, 2020-10-20 16:24

21 October 2020

Who does this notice affect?

Shipping agents and people involved in managing the transport of domestic dry bulk commodities (with agricultural end use) between Australian ports on board international vessels.  

What has changed?

The department will use the Maritime Arrivals Reporting System (MARS) from 28 October 2020 to manage certain elements of the cabotage process, this includes inspection management and billing.  These changes will mean that invoices emailed to cabotage agents from this date will now be a standard department generated invoice. There is no requirement from industry to provide new financial details for this change.

The Cabotage forms have also been updated and published on the departmental website:

  • New fields for vessel IMO and voyage number have been added to assist with identifying vessels,
  • The notification form has had the cargo trading history table removed and instead a cargo trading history can be attached as a separate document in the submission email. This will remove the requirement for vessel agents to type out the cargo trading history onto the original department form.

The cabotage reporting process has not changed, and should still be managed via the email submission of the Notification of pending cabotage movement form.

The department has also published updated information on the Bulk cabotage cargo of fertiliser, grain and stockfeed webpage and industry are encouraged to check the site to ensure they are aware of the updated requirements and processes.


Cabotage is the movement of domestic cargo between domestic ports on board an international vessel.  International bulk carriers that have previously carried actionable cargo are considered to be a contamination risk as the vessel holds may harbour exotic plant material, pests or diseases. This risk increases when domestic bulk in-ship agricultural commodities (fertiliser, grain or stockfeed) are moved between Australian ports on these vessels.

Further information

Contact our Bulk Commodities National Co-ordination Centre (BCNCC) for questions related to cabotage at