Regulatory plan—five-year regulatory outlook

This five-year outlook of future action covers specific industry issues, international developments, priorities for standards, and legislative expiries.

Autonomous vessels

AMSA is currently mapping out a short, medium and longer-term approach to the regulation of autonomous domestic commercial vessels. Within the next five years, AMSA anticipates it will be better positioned to cater for the emerging role of autonomous vessels in the National Law regulatory framework. 

We will work with industry to understand the application of these vessels and the safety and environmental implications of their operation in Australian waters. It is anticipated that legislative change will be required in order for AMSA to appropriately deal with autonomous vessels within the National Law regulatory framework.

The IMO will also develop a position on the regulation of autonomous vessels operating across international waters. AMSA will look to apply that position consistent with our international treaty obligations.

Introduction of drug and alcohol regulations for regulated Australian vessels

In 2015, AMSA added a new work program item for the implementation of drug and alcohol requirements under the Navigation Act 2012 and consistent with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

AMSA remains committed to the implementation of this initiative and will consult closely with industry on its implementation.

Priorities for the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV)

AMSA will prioritise those Standards identified through industry feedback as being difficult to interpret or apply, together with those that provide insufficient guidance to our diverse domestic vessel industry (e.g. special purpose vessels).

As AMSA gathers and analyses incident data from its state and territory marine safety partners post 1 July 2018, we will be able to take a more targeted, risk-based approach to regulatory amendments moving forward.

International regulations under development

Amendments arising from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will be progressively due for implementation over the next five years.

Maritime Labour Convention – implementation of 2018 amendments related to payment of wages to seafarers held captive.

Regulations and Standards due to expire

In the next five years, the following Marine Orders will require a full review as they reach their legislative expiry date in 2023/2024:

  • Marine Order 4 (Transitional modifications) 2013
  • Marine Order 15 (Construction – fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction) 2014
  • Marine Order 18 (Measures to enhance maritime safety) 2013
  • Marine Order 19 (Tonnage measurement) 2014
  • Marine Order 35 (Additional safety measures for bulk carriers) 2014
  • Marine Order 50 (Special purpose vessels) 2012
  • Marine Order 54 (Coastal pilotage) 2014
  • Marine Order 64 (Vessel traffic services) 2013
  • Marine Order 70 (Seafarer certification) 2014
  • Marine Order 71 (Masters and deck officers) 2014
  • Marine Order 72 (Engineer officers) 2014
  • Marine Order 73 (Ratings) 2014
  • Marine Order 97 (Marine pollution prevention – air pollution) 2013
  • Marine Order 98 (Marine pollution – anti-fouling systems) 2013

The various parts of the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) will also be reviewed once every five years. The Legislation Act 2003 provides that a Marine Order (as a legislative instrument) is automatically repealed 10 years after its registration unless further legislative action is taken to extend or remake the Order. While this provision does not apply to the NSCV, AMSA is committed to regularly reviewing these standards.

Last updated: 22 September 2020