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Exemption 38—Marine Safety (Low complexity duties)

This exemption allows you to perform a range of low complexity duties in particular circumstances, without the certificate of competency that would otherwise by required.

Approvals

To be eligible to operate under Exemption 38, you must both:

  • Be at least 16 years of age.
  • Tell AMSA in writing about any long term or permanent medical condition likely to affect your ability to work on the vessel – and if required undergo any medical examination AMSA considers necessary.

Depending on the circumstances in which you want to work, you will also need to meet additional medical, eyesight and training requirements.

To work in a marina or mooring area

Training requirements 

You must meet either one of the folowing requirements:

  • Hold a recreational boating licence issued by a state or territory and a current marine card issued by the Boating Industry Association Ltd.
  • Meet the requirements for other circumstances described in the next section​​​​​​.​

Medical and eyesight requirements

There are no additional medical or eyesight requirements if you are working in a marina or mooring area.

Circumstances other than a marina or mooring area 

Training requirements 

You must hold a statement of attainment from a registered training organisation for the following units or their equivalents:

  • MARI001 Comply with regulations to ensure safe operation of a vessel up to 12 metres (or equivalent MARI003).
  • MARK001 Handle a vessel up to 12 metres (or equivalent MARK007).
  • MARN002 Apply seamanship skills aboard a vessel up to 12 metres (or equivalent MARN008). 

Equivalent units of competency and registered training organisations can be found at www.training.gov.au.

Alternatively, you may hold a document demonstrating that you have completed a course as determined by AMSA. 

You must also hold a record of your final practical assessment that shows you have been assessed as competent and that you have appropriate knowledge. 

If the vessel will carry passengers – you must also have a first aid certificate HLTAID003 Provide First Aid or equivalent. 

If you will need to operate a radio on board the vessel – you must hold a Marine Radio Operators VHF Certificate of Proficiency issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, or equivalent. 

Medical and eyesight requirements 

You must meet the medical and eyesight requirements for a Coxswain Grade 2 near coastal

You must have an eye test and keep the certificate in case you are asked to present it to authorities. 

However, you do not need to visit a doctor to undergo a medical examination (unless directed by AMSA).  Instead, you must complete a ‘self-declaration of medical fitness’ and keep it in case you are asked to present it to authorities. 

If you have a current AMSA medical (certificate of medical fitness AMSA 303) you can use this in place of the eyesight test certificate and the self-declaration of medical fitness.

Circumstances where you may use Exemption 38

In a marina or mooring area

At any time (day or night) you may command or operate the engines of a vessel that is:

  • Less than 12 metres long.
  • Powered by an inboard engine up to 100 kilowatts, or powered by an outboard engine up to 250 kilowatts.

Inland waters, or within 1 nautical mile of a parent vessel

During daylight hours only, you can command or operate the engines of a vessel that is:

  • Less than 12 metres long.
  • Powered by an inboard engine up to 100 kilowatts, or powered by an outboard engine up to 250 kilowatts.
  • If the vessel is a tender or auxiliary – within sight of and capable of communicating with the parent vessel.

In approved water ski areas

During daylight hours only, you can command or operate the engines of a vessel that is:

  • Less than 12 metres long.
  • Powered by an inboard or outboard engine of up to 500 kilowatts.
  • Only used for towing people.

Other areas

If you are not carrying passengers, you can also work in the following places and areas during daylight hours only:

  • Smooth waters, including inland waters.
  • Any waters within 1 nautical mile from each point of departure and within 1 nautical mile of shore.
  • Any waters of an aquaculture lease approved by a state or territory authority and any approved waters used for the daily transit to and from the aquaculture lease for operation under this exemption.
  • Any waters within 250 metres of a structure fixed to the shore.
  • Sheltered waters within 2 nautical miles from the coast.

In these areas, the vessel must be both of the following:

  • Less than 12m long.
  • Powered by an inboard engine up to 100 kilowatts, or powered by an outboard engine up to 250 kilowatts.

Existing vessels and operations

If you are working on a vessel (any length or engine power) that is either one of the below:

  • An existing vessel.
  • Owned by someone who has replaced an existing vessel with no change in operations and no increased level of risk.

Then you may work on the vessel without a certificate of competency if both the following apply:

  • There is no certificate of competency equivalent to a state or territory issued certificate that would have been required for the existing vessel.
  • You work on the vessel during daylight hours only.

Legislation and incorporated material

Related information

Superseded

Author 

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Last Updated: 

3 May 2019