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Safe crewing (manning) for vessels

We are responsible for ensuring that regulated Australian vessels are safely crewed* and that adequate hours of work and rest are managed to minimise fatigue.

The Navigation Act 2012 provides us with the powers to make a crewing determination for a regulated Australian vessel.

If your vessel is less than 3000 gross tonnage it may be eligible for a separate minimum safe crewing document for near coastal and international operations.

Definition of safe crewing

Minimum safe crewing is the level of crewing that will ensure that a ship is sufficiently and effectively resourced to provide:

  • safety and security of the ship
  • safe navigation and operations at sea
  • safe operations in port
  • prevention of human injury or loss of life
  • the avoidance of damage to the marine environment and property
  • the welfare and health of seafarers through the management of fatigue.

Seafarer certificates and qualifications

Seafarers may only perform duties on a vessel if they have a certificate which permits them to do so. The duties a certificate permits the holder to perform are listed in Schedule 1 of each of the following marine orders:

If your vessel meets the following criteria:

  • Length is less than 80 meters,
  • Total propulsion power is less than 3000 kilowatts, and
  • Operates exclusively within the Australian exclusive economic zone (EEZ),

AMSA may determine that the vessel can be safely crewed with seafarers holding near coastal certificates of competency. The duties permitted for near coastal certificate holders are outlined in Marine Order 505.

Additionally, seafarers with near coastal certificates of competency, forming part of a near coastal crewing determination, must also hold a Certificate of Safety Training (COST) in accordance with Marine Order 70.

If your regulated Australian vessel is crewed with seafarers holding domestic seafarer certificates you must take into consideration that these seafarers may not have completed all of the STCW short courses required for service on the vessel.

Read more about the use of Australian domestic seafarer qualifications on regulated Australian vessels (PDF 230.91 KB).

Apply for or review a minimum safe crewing document

To apply:

  1. complete an Application for a minimum safe crewing document form 93
  2. email it to RAVCrewing@amsa.gov.au including supporting documents.

Crewing fees

Fees are payable for minimum safe crewing applications. Appendix 4: Schedule of fee-based charges (amsa.gov.au)

Crewing queries

All crewing queries and requests should be addressed to RAVCrewing@amsa.gov.au.

Related information

Fact sheet—use of Australian domestic seafarer qualifications on regulated Australian vessels (PDF 230.91 KB) (PDF 230.91 KB)

Managing crew fatigue (amsa.gov.au)

* Derivations of the word 'crewing' are used by AMSA interchangeably with derivations of the word 'manning', as in IMO, ILO, Australian legislative, and other relevant documents.

Last updated: 

Monday 12 February 2024