As the largest island nation in the world, Australia is reliant on sea transport to facilitate our international trade. Australian ports receive more than 25,700 visits from internationally registered ships each year. It is important that ships trading in Australian waters are seaworthy, have competent crews, and are able to safely navigate through pristine marine environments such as the Great Barrier Reef.
To achieve this outcome, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority maintains a strong international presence and actively promotes continuous improvements to international shipping practice. We achieve this in our region through regular bilateral contact with our counterpart maritime safety agencies, and cooperation and engagement with neighboring nations through multilateral regional agreements and fora such as the Asia-Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies (APHoMSA), the Indian Ocean MoU on Port State Control, and the Tokyo MoU on Port State Control.
AMSA is also active in a large range of international standard-setting maritime organisations such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Association of the Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
AMSA’s technical cooperation program has a strong emphasis on Australia’s geographic neighbourhood, which includes the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific regions. It recognises the importance of key trading partners but also the requirements of less-developed countries in the region.
International engagement in search and rescue
AMSA coordinates aviation and maritime search and rescue operations for a vast region spanning 10 per cent of the Earth’s surface and encompassing many remote ocean regions. AMSA works closely with neighbouring and regional search and rescue agencies to provide the most effective response to locate, support and rescue persons in distress in the event of an accident.
International engagement in Maritime environmental emergencies
AMSA’s role includes protection of the marine environment from pollution from ships and other environmental damage caused by shipping.
International engagement in port State control
AMSA conducts port State control inspections in accordance with international guidelines and within the constraints of its authority.