Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Maritime Labour complaints resolution

You can make a complaint about the living and working conditions on an Australian vessel or a foreign flagged vessel in Australian waters either in person to an AMSA inspector or online.

Make a complaint

Submit an on-line complaint or download the form AMSA469 and email to

AMSA will investigate the matter and make sure that the confidentiality of the seafarer making the complaint is maintained.

Onboard and onshore complaints systems

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) has set the employment and social standard for seafarers globally. Among the essential elements of the MLC is the right to decent working and living conditions onboard, fair terms of employment and a safe and secure workplace.

All vessels must have an onboard procedure for seafarers to be able to make a complaint without fear of recourse. It is recognised that it may not always be appropriate for a seafarer to use the onboard complaint system or the complaint may not be able to be resolved at the shipboard level.

Seafarers can make complaints directly to AMSA or any other organisation directly involved in the welfare of seafarers, and no action can be taken against a seafarer because he or she has made a complaint.

A complaint about the living and working conditions onboard a vessel may be made to AMSA by a seafarer, a professional body, an association, a trade union or any person with an interest in the safety of the ship. A complaint may be made directly to an AMSA inspector in port, or using the above link.

When AMSA receives a complaint, it will:

  • undertake an initial investigation, which may include a visit to the vessel
  • determine whether the on board complaints system has been used ¬†and examine the records of the matter
  • promote resolution of the complaint at ship board level if appropriate
  • notify the flag State if the complaint has not been resolved seeking resolution, advice or corrective action within an agreed timeframe
  • AMSA may also do a more detailed inspection of the vessel

Related information

More information about on board complaints systems on Australian vessels can be found in Sections 7.11 and 9.0 the Guide for the implementation of the MLC in Australia and Marine Order 11 (2013) Division 5.

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