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Conventions underpinning marine orders

We use marine orders to explain and implement the legislative requirements for the maritime industry. Find out about the conventions and standards that marine orders explain.

International conventions

Treaties to which Australia is a signatory are available on the:

and then search for the title or the subject of the international convention. 

Australian Standards

Australian Standards can be purchased online from SAI GLOBAL.

  1. Enter the code (eg IEC 60331-1 Ed 1.0 2009-5) in the search bar.
  2. Select the product and process using the information provided.

Printed copies of all Australian Standards are available in the National Library of Australia and the State Library of NSW.

IEC Standards and ISO Standards

International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) standards and International Standards Organization (ISO) standards can be purchased online from SAI GLOBAL.

  1. Enter the code (eg. IEC 60331-1 Ed 1.0 2009-5) in the search.
  2. Select the product and process using the information provided.

Limited numbers of IEC and ISO standards are available in print format at the National Library of Australia and some state libraries. Contact your state library for availability.

International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)

IMO circulars

Register for a public account on the IMO website then navigate to the 'Circulars' tab to download the document.

IMO circulars relating to EPIRBS or liferafts

  • Register for a public account on the IMO website then navigate to the 'Circulars' tab.
  • Click on ‘MSC’.
  • Under the ‘MSC.1’ tab, scroll to the required circular number.

Load Lines Convention

International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW Convention)

STCW convention base document is available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Australian Treaty Series website.

A consolidated copy of the STCW convention can be purchased from International Maritime Organization (IMO) or through specialist maritime book outlets in Australia. 

Amendments to the STCW convention

  • 1995 amendments adopted the STCW code.
  • 2010 Manila amendments (in STCW/Conference documents – STCW/CONF.2/33)
    1. Register for a public account on the IMO website.
    2. Log in to IMODOCS public area.
    3. Click on ‘Meeting Documents’.
    4. Under ‘Conference’ heading click on 'STCW/CONF Documents'.
    5. Scroll to STCW/CONF2/33.
  • Amendments in IMO Resolutions: MSC.21(59), MSC.33(63), MSC.66(68), MSC.203(81), MSC.373(93)s

STCW code

A consolidated copy of the STCW Code (contains the technical details associated with the Convention) can be purchased from the IMO or through specialist maritime book outlets in Australia.

Amendments to the STCW code

Amendments in IMO Resolutions: MSC.67(68), MSC.78(70), MSC.156(78), MSC.180(79), MSC.209(81), MSC.374(93)

International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969

International Code of Signals

Published by the IMO.

International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (IAMSAR Manual)

Published jointly by International Civil Aviation Organization and the IMO.

  • A copy of the IAMSAR Manual (three volumes) can be purchased from IMO or through specialist maritime book outlets in Australia.
  • To borrow a copy of the IAMSAR Manual from a library in Australia, search for the title on the Australian Libraries Gateway.

International Telecommunications Union (ITU) publications

  • ITU publications are available from the ITU. A printed copy can also be purchased from ITU or through specialist maritime book outlets in Australia.
  • To borrow a copy of the publication from an Australian library, search for the title on the Australian Libraries Gateway.  

International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, (COLREG) attached to the Prevention of Collisions Convention

Ships’ Routeing

Published by the IMO.

  • To borrow a consolidated copy of Ships’ Routeing from a library in Australia, search for the title on the Australian Libraries Gateway.
  • The book can also be purchased from the IMO or through specialist maritime book outlets in Australia.
  • The routeing measures to control the navigation of ships are listed in this publication. Routeing measures are marked on nautical charts used for navigation of vessels.

Code of Practice for the Safe Loading and Unloading of Bulk Carriers (BLU Code)

Download from the IMO website.

  1. Click on ‘Knowledge Centre’.
  2. Navigate to ‘Index of IMO Resolutions’ tab.
  3. Navigate  to ‘Maritime Safety Committee (MSC)’.
  4. Scroll to relevant resolution number.

The BLU Code, BLU Manual and other material relating to loading and unloading are included in the supplement to the latest consolidated edition of the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code.

Medical first aid guide for use in accidents involving dangerous goods (MFAG)

This is included in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. It is also known as the 'Chemicals supplement to the international medical guide for ships'. 

The revised text of this first aid guide was formally associated with the IMDG Code in 1998 by MSC/Circ.857. Refer to the IMO website for the latest edition of the IMDG Code (IMO resolution MSC.328(90) as amended by MSC.372(93)).

International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code 

The Recommendations on the Safe Use of Pesticides in Ships are also reproduced in the Supplement to the IMDG Code.

International Code for the Safe Carriage of Packaged Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes on Board Ships (INF Code)

Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) module

Register for a public account on the IMO website then navigate to Radiocommunications, and Search and Rescue.

Admiralty List of Radio Signals

  • The Admiralty List of Radio Signals NP286(4) Volume 6 can be purchased from United Kingdom Hydrographic Office or through specialist maritime book outlets in Australia.
  • To borrow a copy of the Admiralty List of Radio Signals from a library in Australia, search for the title on the Australian Libraries Gateway.

Accreditation and approval process for VTS training 

Download the accreditation and approval process for VTS training (IALA Guideline No.1014) from the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA).

Standards for training and certification of VTS personnel

Download the Standards for Training and Certification of VTS Personnel (IALA Recommendation V-103) from the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA).

International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)

MEPC IMO Resolutions

1.         Click on ‘Knowledge Centre’ 
2.         Navigate to‘Index of IMO Resolutions’ 
3.         Navigate to ‘Assembly’ or ‘Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)’ 
4.         Scroll to relevant resolution number.

International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972 (CSC 1972)

International Chamber of Commerce Guide to Helicopter/Ship Operations (ICS Guide) 4th Edition (2008)

Last updated: 

Wednesday 12 June 2019