Exemption 31—Marine Safety (Expired pre-USL Code certificates)

This exemption is for people who have an expired pre-uniform shipping laws (USL) Code certificate and who work on a domestic commercial fishing vessel.

If you wish to work on a domestic commercial vessel without a certificate of competency, you can apply for approval under Exemption 31 by completing and submitting the AMSA form 758 to DCVapplications@amsa.gov.au with the following information:

  • copy(ies) of your expired pre-USL code certificate(s) of competency
  • vessel name and unique identifier
  • detailed description of the intended operation(s) and geographical area(s)

What this exemption allows you to do

You are eligible for this exemption if you held a pre-USL Code certificate issued by the maritime safety authority of a state or the Northern Territory.

The pre-USL Code certificate must have:

  • been issued before 1 July 2013 and have expired before 1 January 2014, and
  • been based on competencies recognised before the USL Code commenced, and
  • entitle you to be the master, engineer or coxswain of a domestic commercial fishing vessel, based on competencies recognised in a certificate issued before the USL Code commenced.

Option 1: Continue to operate under your pre-USL Code certificate

Exemption 31 may allow you to continue to carry out duties as a master, engineer or coxswain of a fishing vessel if:

  • you have performed the operation in the five years before 30 June 2013, and
  • you have continued to perform the operation in the same capacity within the same limitations on the certificate.

In addition, if your pre-USL code certificate expired before 30 December 2013, you must have accrued qualifying sea service for 120 days on a fishing vessel in the five years before you apply for approval under Exemption 31.

Option 2: Apply for a certificate of competency

As the holder of a pre-USL Code certificate, you may qualify for a certificate of competency without having to re-train, demonstrate sea time or obtain a medical fitness certificate. 

You still must meet the eligibility criteria that applied to the pre-USL Code certificate on 31 December 2008.

Legislation and incorporated material

Related information 



Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Last updated: 27 February 2023