Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service (REEFVTS)


The Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service (REEFVTS) is a coastal Vessel Traffic Service created by the Australian and Queensland Governments to protect the environment and improve the safety and efficiency of vessel traffic.

What is a Vessel Traffic Service?



REEFVTS is operated under joint arrangements between the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ). Its purpose is to:

  • enhance navigational safety by providing shipping with improved information on potential traffic conflicts and other navigational safety hazards
  • minimise the risk of a maritime accident and the consequential ship-sourced pollution and damage to the marine environment
  • help coordinate and facilitate a rapid response in the event of a safety or pollution incident.

Key responsibilities


As the Competent Authority for VTS, AMSA is responsible for Australia’s obligations under SOLAS Regulation V/12 and the Guidelines adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as amended.

In particular, AMSA is responsible for ensuring a VTS Authority complies with its legal requirements.

AMSA has authorised MSQ as the VTS Authority to provide a vessel traffic service for the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait (REEFVTS).

While AMSA maintains a high level strategic role which includes senior officers participating on the Governance Board, AMSA is not directly involved in the day to day operations of REEFVTS.

AMSA contributes funding to the operation of REEFVTS.

Maritime Safety Queensland

MSQ is responsible for:

  • the day-to-day operation and delivery of the vessel traffic service
  • maintaining authorisation as a VTS Authority to provide a vessel traffic service for the REEFVTS area.

MSQ contributes funding to REEFVTS.

Further information

Details about the operation of REEFVTS (e.g. User Guide, mandatory reporting requirements, etc) are available at the MSQ website.

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