Frequently asked questions and answers
National System FAQ
Do you have a question about the National System? Answers to many commonly asked questions are below. Please click on the question to reveal the answer.
How do I lodge my application?
All applications must be lodged with a local Marine Safety Agency, who will process it on AMSA’s behalf
How can I find out where my application is up to?
Does my <7.5m vessel require survey?
Most vessels less than 7.5 metres are exempt from survey, however if your vessel carries passengers, operates outside of sheltered waters or is otherwise high risk, it not exempt from survey.
For further information, please see Exemption 02 of the National law.
What are the survey requirements for my vessel?
For details on survey requirements for your vessel, please contact your local Marine Safety Agency.
What are my manning requirements?
Manning requirements are set out on your Certificate of Operation. For further information on your specific vessels requirements, contact your local Marine Safety Agency.
How can I get a builders plate for my vessel?
Boat builders will supply Builders Plates with the vessel. If you built the vessel yourself, you will need to contact your local Marine Safety Agency for further information.
How do I gain / renew / revalidate my certificate?
To renew or revalidate your current qualification, you will need to lodge your application with your local Marine Safety Agency.
Do I need a Certificate of Competency if I am operating a small tinny within inland waters?
You may not need a Certificate of Competency if your vessel is <7.5m and you are within 100m of shore. See Exemption 20 of the National Law for further details.
What is required when proving my sea service?
Sea service may be provided in the following formats:
- a declaration;
- an approved sea service log book or taskbook; or
- a letter from the operator, owner, master or chief engineer of a vessel detailing the sea service accrued by you.
What medical certification do I need?
A self-declaration of medical fitness must be completed for all applications (first time and renewal) for General Purpose Hand, Coxswain Grades 1 and 2, Master <24m, Master (Inland Waters) and Marine Engine Driver Grades 2 and 3.
A certificate of medical fitness, to be completed by a doctor, is required for all applications (first time and renewal) for Master <35m, Mate <80m, Master <80m, Marine Engine Driver Grade 1 and Engineer Class 3.
Where can I get a taskbook?
Task books are available from AMSA Connect (via email AMSAConnect@amsa.gov.au or telephone 02 6279 5000) and some approved training organisations (please see the Approved Training Organisations page). Task books may be purchased at any time during the process of gaining certification. There is no requirement to be enrolled in a course at a training organisation to obtain a task book.
Where can I undertake training to achieve my domestic qualification?
All training is provided by approved training organisations. For a list of training organisations, and the courses they offer, please see the Approved Training Organisations page.
I have a qualification from another country, what Australian qualification am I eligible for?
If you hold a New Zealand qualification, AMSA will recognise it under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement 1997. You will need to complete a Notice of Registration, which you can find on the Forms page, and submit it, along with supporting material, to a Marine Safety Agency, who will process your application on AMSA’s behalf.
AMSA does not recognise qualifications from other countries for the purpose of acquiring an Australian domestic qualification. However, an Approved Training Organisation may be able to offer you recognition of prior learning for some modules of their course.
Who can I speak to about international qualifications?
Contact email@example.com or 02 6279 5080. Otherwise, visit the International section of the AMSA website.
I have experienced conflicting information about the National System from regional state offices. What can I do?
If you have experienced miscommunication or conflicting information, email firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your concern. Your email will be actioned within 5 days to resolve the issue.
Why do the time frames for applications differ between states?
Each Marine Safety Agency is a delegate of AMSA, and process all applications on our behalf. Application processing times are subject to the workload of the local Marine Safety Agency with which the application was lodged.