Service charter

Our service charter sets out the role of AMSA and the standard of service you can expect to receive from us.

Our service charter has been developed in consultation with our stakeholders and staff. It covers the whole of AMSA and sets out:

  • the services we provide
  • the level of service that a stakeholder can expect to receive from us
  • the process by which we will address a stakeholder's concerns.

Mission statement

We are committed to continuous improvement when providing safety and environment protection services, and maintaining constructive relations with our stakeholders in government, industry and the community.

Our services

We were established under the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Act 1990 as an Australian Government authority in the Infrastructure and Transport Services portfolio.

We are Australia's national safety agency with a primary role in maritime safety, protection of the marine environment, and aviation and maritime search and rescue. Our operations are largely self-funded on a cost recover basis from fees and levies on the commercial shipping industry. For these purposes, we operate under ABN 65 377 938 320. We also receive community service obligation funding from the Australian Government for aviation and maritime search and rescue operations, and boating safety education.

We are committed to providing the highest quality services, minimising adverse environmental impacts and upholding exemplary standards of Workplace Health and Safety. We are certified in three international standards:

  • ISO 9001:2008 quality
  • ISO 14001 environment
  • AS/NZ 4801 work health and safety.

Our role

We deliver safety and marine environment protection by:

  • participating in the development and implementation of national and international marine safety and environment protection standards
  • monitoring compliance with operational standards for ships in Australian waters to promote their seaworthiness, safety and pollution prevention
  • administering training standards and competency of seafarers and coastal pilots
  • providing the national network of marine aids to navigation and navigation systems
  • operating Australia's Rescue Coordination Centre to coordinate maritime and aviation search and rescue
  • maintaining maritime distress and safety communications services
  • providing two ground stations and Mission Control Centre for the Cospas Sarsat distress beacon detection system
  • administering the Australian Ship Reporting (AUSREP) system
  • managing Australia's National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies
  • regulating, monitoring and coordinating maritime casualty management and emergency towage capability
  • delivering related services including:
    • exercising occupational health and safety inspectorate functions
    • administering Australia's ship registration system
    • conducting safety and pollution prevention public awareness and education campaigns
    • providing public access to ship safety and environment protection standards and policies.

Our stakeholders

  • Shipping industry.
  • Aviation industry, rescue service providers, fishing industry, recreational boating community and distress beacon owners for search and rescue.
  • Australian Government, state and territory governments and their agencies.
  • Australian community.

Our client service responsibilities

When dealing with us, you should expect:

  • professional, quality and timely delivery of our services
  • staff members who identify themselves and give courteous and respectful consideration of your views
  • timely, understandable and accurate advice and information
  • information about your rights, obligations, entitlements, and any costs for services, where appropriate
  • respect for your privacy and appropriate treatment of your confidential information
  • explanation of how decisions have been made and information about your rights to have decisions reviewed, where relevant
  • handling of feedback, including complaints, in a professional and fair manner, as outlined in this charter
  • advice about other relevant organisations that can assist where we do not provide the service requested
  • consultation during our reviews of functions and performance, as appropriate.

Our standards of service

We will strive to:

  • respond to telephone inquiries within two working days
  • respond to written and electronic communications within 20 working days and where this is not possible, inform your of the time needed to respond to your request
  • use plain language that is clear and easy to understand.

Your responsibilities

We seek the support and cooperation of you as our client in achieving our service standards. It is expected that you will:

  • provide timely and accurate information
  • treat our staff with courtesy and respect
  • fulfil any financial and other obligations in a timely manner
  • be honest and fair in your dealings with us
  • provide appropriate feedback on our service delivery.


It is important that our clients and stakeholders can give us feedback, including compliments, suggestions for improvement of our services, and complaints to foster continuous improvement in our service delivery.

We receive feedback through several channels, including through established consultative committees, industry meetings and consultations, reviews of our functions and performance, and conferences and workshops.

In addition, we welcome your feedback on the quality of our service delivery. If you are not happy with the service received:

  • Contact the staff member you have been dealing with.
  • If the complaint cannot be resolved by that staff member, contact the manager responsible for that service or function.
  • If the complaint has not been resolved by either of these actions, write to:
    Chief Executive Officer
    Australian Maritime Safety Authority
    GPO Box 2181
    or email
  • If you are dissatisfied with the way that we have handled your complaint, contact:
    Commonwealth Ombudsman
    GPO Box 442
    Telephone: 02 6276 0111
    Toll Free: 1300 362 072

Monitoring and review

We regularly review our client feedback mechanisms, including the currency of our service charter, to ensure that it continues to reflect your needs and expectations.

We monitor our performance against our service charter through the AMSA Management System, which includes a review process. We regularly publish information and publications about our functions, our governance, and planning and reporting:

Administrative decisions and Freedom of Information

This service charter deals with the quality of service that we provide to you, our clients. If you are not satisfied with an administrative decision that affects you, you may have the right to seek review of that decision. We notify you of your rights of review and appeal when delivering an administrative decision. The public also are entitled to apply for access to documents that fall within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. Read more about making a Freedom of Information application.

Last updated: 8 November 2017
Last reviewed: 8 November 2017