Exemption 12—Marine Safety (Inland waters)

This exemption is for people who want to work on certain kinds of domestic commercial vessels on inland waters.

You do not need to apply to use this exemption.

You will need to keep all the supporting documents on board and ready to be presented to authorities if required.

What this exemption will allow you to do

Exemption 12 will allow you to operate beyond the geographic restrictions of your current certificate of competency.

You are exempt from the restriction to inshore operations if you hold a: 

  • Coxswain grade 1 near coastal certificate of competency and command or operate the engines of the vessels in inland waters.
  • Master less than 24 metres near coastal certificate of competency and act as a chief mate or deck watchkeeper in inland waters. 
  • Master less than 35 metres near coastal certificate of competency and are the master of the vessel in inland waters.


Inshore operations are vessel operations conducted within 15 nautical miles seaward of the baseline of the Australian mainland, the Tasmanian mainland or a recognised island; or within 15 nautical miles seaward of sheltered waters limits. 

Inland waters means non-tidal waters.

For information on sheltered waters boundaries (D or E operational areas) in any state or territory, contact your local marine safety agency.

Legislation and incorporated material

Related information


Exemption 12 – In force 1 July 2016 (PDF 137.47 KB)
Exemption 12 – In force 9 July 2015 (PDF 24.84 KB)


Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Last Updated: 

30 June 2020