Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Ship safety

The Australian Government is committed to the protection of life and property at sea and to the preservation of the marine environment.

To help the shipping industry maintain our marine environment, and look after the welfare of seafarers, the Australian Government through the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), implements and enforces a number of legislative requirements on the industry.

Flag State administration – Australia

A flag State is responsible for make sure ships comply with international conventions.

An Administration offering ship registration is referred to as the ‘flag State’.

Flag States maintain the responsibilities and obligations imposed by international conventions for ships flying their flag.

Port State control in Australia

Port State control is one of the strategies used to protect the Australian coastline and to look after the safety and welfare of seafarers.

Responsibility for the safety and operation of an individual vessel lies with shipowners and flag States.

Cargoes and Dangerous Goods

AMSA is responsible for implementing the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations for all safety related aspects for marine carriage of all types including:

  • bulk liquid and solid cargoes
  • dangerous goods
  • general cargoes
  • containers
  • standards and operations concerning cargo lifting gear.

Incident Reporting

There are three incident reporting categories for the shipping industry in Australia.

These are determined by what sort of incident has occurred.

Some incidents will require more than one report.

For example, a collision that also results in the release of oil and/or dangerous cargo into the environment would need both a general and a MARPOL report.

International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM) Code

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is responsible for the ISM Code certification for Australian registered vessels.

OHS Inspectorate

AMSA appoints trained OHS inspectors under the OHS (MI) Act who perform a range of functions, including:

  • audits
  • investigations of accidents and dangerous occurrences
  • issue of improvement and prohibition notices
  • advising employers on their duty of care
  • providing advice on health and safety matters.

AMSA has the authority to initiate prosecutions for serious breaches.

Regulated Australian Vessels

A ship declared to be a regulated Australian vessel operates under Australian legislative requirements and standards. 

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