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Visiting Torres Strait? Special quarantine rules apply for vessels over seven metres
The islands of the Torres Strait provide a potential route to mainland Australia for many serious quarantine pests present in countries to our north. Australia's quarantine laws are designed to manage the risk of exotic pests, weeds and diseases entering the Torres Strait, or spreading from the Strait to mainland Australia.
If you've visited or operated in the Torres Strait you must contact DAFF to arrange a vessel inspection – preferably at Thursday Island before you leave the Strait, or you can report to another DAFF office up to four days before you first make landfall on the mainland. You can contact DAFF via phone, email, VHF (channel 16) or through local harbour authorities.
Quarantine notification numbers
DAFF will issue you with a Quarantine notification number after you advise intention of arriving at a mainland destination or following clearance procedures in the Strait. Record this number in your vessel's logbook as proof that you have met quarantine requirements.
Movement of items
The following quarantine zones apply to the Torres Strait:
You CAN’T move the following prohibited items from:
- the Torres Strait Protected Zone to the Special Quarantine Zone, and
- any Torres Strait island to mainland Australia
without a DAFF permit.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, or live plants sourced from the mainland or mother ships, will be classed as quarantine risk items once they pass into the Torres Strait.
Vessels transiting through the shipping channel and not stopping in the Torres Strait are exempt from these reporting and inspection requirements.
Before you leave mainland Australia for the Torres Strait:
- contact the nearest DAFF office for the latest information about quarantine laws in the Strait
- provision with only enough fresh produce to last until you plan to depart the Strait.
Before you leave the Torres Strait for mainland Australia:
- contact DAFF Thursday Island, giving one full working day's notice, for advice on DAFF clearance requirements and to arrange a vessel inspection before departure.
Getting clearance at Thursday Island will allow you to travel with no further quarantine reporting requirements.
For more information
13 Feb 2013