Australian Maritime Safety Authority

The National Law, marine orders and exemptions

How the National Law and the National System affects you

The Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (National Law) is a key part of the National System.

The National Law

The National Law replaces eight federal, state and territory laws with a single law for the safety of all commercial vessels and their crew in Australian waters. It sets the National Standard for Commercial Vessels for construction, operation and seafarer qualifications. It also establishes AMSA as the single national regulator for commercial vessel safety.

Regulations under the national law provide more details about key definitions and transitional arrangements. Key definitions explain what vessels and structures are covered or excluded under the national law. Transitional arrangements help local industry to move to the new national system and ensure that people and vessels operating under current state or territory legislation can continue business as per usual.

Marine orders

Marine orders under the National Law set out the processes and requirements for national certificates, vessel identification, approved training organisations and administrative requirements. Marine Orders are a type of regulation that allows our laws to keep pace with rapid technical and technological change in marine safety, and implement Australia’s international maritime obligations.


Exemptions from certain elements of the National Law are provided where it is unreasonable to require full compliance with the National Law or where transitional arrangements are required. General exemptions are provided to specific people or vessels, such as heritage vessels or traditional operators. Other exemptions are provided for specific cases, such as special events and temporary arrangements for crewing or vessel operations.

For further information, see AMSA’s policy on Exemptions from the Domestic Commercial Vessel National Law

Product Document

National Law

Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (National Law)

Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Commencement Proclamation 2013 (repealed on 2 July 2013)


Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Regulation 2013

Marine Orders

Marine Order 501 (Administration – National Law) 2013

Marine Order 502 (Vessel identifiers – National Law) 2017

Marine Order 503 (Certificates of survey – National Law) 2013

Marine Order 504 (Certificates of operation – National Law) 2013

Marine Order 505 (Certificates of competency – National Law) 2013

Outcome of the National Standard for Commercial Vessels Part D and Marine Order 505 review

National Regulator Endorsements Approval Amendment 2017

National Regulator Endorsements Approval 2014

Marine Order 506 (repealed on 1 July 2017)

Marine Order 507 (Load line certificates – National Law) 2013


EX01 – Marine Safety (Vessel identifiers) Exemption 2017

EX02 – Marine Safety (Certificates of survey) Exemption 2017

EX03 – Marine Safety (Certificates of operation) Exemption 2017

EX04 – Marine Safety (Recreational use) Exemption 2013

EX06 – Marine Safety (Periodic survey, equipment certificate and compass adjustment) Exemption 2017

EX07 – Marine Safety (Temporary operations) Exemption 2016

EX08 – Marine Safety (Temporary service) Exemption 2013

EX09 – Marine Safety (Temporary crewing) Exemption 2013

EX10 – Marine Safety (Operation of fishing vessels) Exemption 2013

EX11 – Repealed – refer to EX01, EX02 and EX03

EX12 – Marine Safety (Inland waters) Exemption 2016

EX13 – Marine Safety (Wildlife or other sightseeing) Exemption 2013

EX14 – Marine Safety (Sea rangers) Exemption 2013

EX15 – Marine Safety (Scientific research and educational activities) Exemption 2015

EX16 – Marine Safety (Traditional fishing) Exemption 2013

EX17 – Marine Safety (Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Zone) Exemption 2015

EX18 – Marine Safety (Sail) Exemption 2014

EX20 – Marine Safety (Special operations) Exemption 2013

EX21 – Marine Safety (Operator vehicular ferry–in–chains) Exemption 2013

EX22 – Marine Safety (Bareboats) Exemption 2013

EX23 –Marine Safety (Masters or crew without certificates) Exemption 2016
EX24 – Marine Safety (Emergency service vessels) Exemption 2016

EX25 – Marine Safety (Old certificates of competency – local restrictions) Exemption 2016

EX26 – Marine Safety (Expired certificates) Exemption 2013

EX28 – Marine Safety (NSCV Parts E and F) Exemption 2017

EX29 – Marine Safety (Recording activities) Exemption 2016
EX30 – Marine Safety (Navigation Act seafarer qualifications) Exemption 2016

EX31 – Marine Safety (Expired pre-USL Code certificates) Exemption 2014

EX33 – Marine Safety (Sailing vessels with motor propulsion) Exemption 2017

EX34 – Marine Safety (expired perpetual certificates) Exemption 2014

EX35 – Repealed – refer to EX01, EX02 and EX03

EX36 – Marine Safety (Steam-powered vessels) Exemption 2017

EX37 – Repealed – refer to EX01, EX02 and EX03

EX38 – Marine Safety (Low complexity duties) Exemption 2017

EX39 – Marine Safety (Life jacket lights) Exemption 2015

EX40 – Marine Safety (Class C restricted operations) Exemption 2017

and schedules listed below:

Exemption 40 (Operational Area) Determination 2017

Additional maps are available for Tasmania that depict both the C restricted areas as well as sheltered water limits:

EX41 – Marine Safety (Unpowered barges) Exemption 2017

Superseded Exemptions

Superseded Exemptions are now available for reference.

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