Transporting livestock from Australia

Operators of Regulated Australian Vessels (RAV) and Foreign Vessels, as well as the shippers of livestock, have obligations when loading and transporting livestock from Australia.

We have responsibility for the application of Marine Order 43 (Cargo and cargo handling—livestock) which outlines the requirements to carry livestock from Australia by ship. These requirements cover the structure and operation of the ship.

All vessels permanently equipped for the carriage of livestock are required to carry an Australian Certificate for the Carriage of Livestock (ACCL) issued by AMSA. View the template of the ACCL.

The ACCL is accompanied by the Record of Equipment and Arrangements which is an attachment to the ACCL. This is to be prepared by the ship owner or operator and submitted to AMSA for consideration.

Marine Order 43 imparts a number of obligations on all regulated Australian vessels and foreign vessels carrying livestock that are required before, during, and after a livestock voyage, including:

  • The requirement to notify AMSA in writing of the intention to load livestock.
  • On completion of a livestock voyage—other than a short voyage which is less than 24 hours—the master is obligated to make a report to AMSA in writing.
  • The master must inform AMSA by the most expedient means when the mortality level for a species of livestock carried is exceeded, or expected to be exceeded.

Apply for an Australian certificate for the carriage of livestock

To apply for an ACCL, the below steps need to be followed

  1. An application in writing to the Manager Ship Inspection and Registration by email to
  2. The assessment of applications are charged within the guidelines of marine services fees and charges. The cost is A$272 as per the Fees determination.
  3. The application must provide all information required in order for a certificate to be issued.
  4. Three copies of each of the following documents must be submitted to AMSA:
  • Scale drawings providing details of:
    • the design, materials, methods of construction and arrangement of fittings for the containment and movement of the livestock
    • ventilation arrangements, including current test measurements, together with the gross volume of enclosed spaces
    • lighting
    • the provisions for storage and distribution of fodder and water
    • drainage arrangements
    • arrangements of main and secondary supplies of power
    • the provision of fire-fighting appliances
    • the general arrangement of the vessel, both before and after modification to carry livestock, if a converted vessel, and
    • the structural fire protection plan of the vessel, both before and after modification to carry livestock, if a converted vessel.
  • Stability data for the vessel with livestock on board.
  • A documented maintenance program related to:
    • the livestock containment structure—including accessways, ramps between decks and vessel/shore livestock accesses
    • ventilation, lighting and drainage arrangements for the livestock areas of the vessel, including main and secondary sources of power
    • the arrangements for storage and distribution of fodder and water
    • the making of potable water on board (if this is required to provide for the necessary quantity of water to supply the livestock), and
    • the fire-fighting appliances in the livestock areas of the vessel.

Related information

Last updated: 

Monday 2 December 2019