Exemption 6—Marine Safety (Periodic survey, equipment certification and compass adjustment)

This exemption is relevant to owners of domestic commercial vessels who want flexibility as to when their vessel undergoes periodic or load line surveys, or more time to obtain a new certificate of currency for equipment, or to operate their vessel without compass adjustments that would otherwise be required.

Where your application is related to coronavirus (COVID-19), you will need to declare this to us when making your application.

What this exemption will allow you to do

Extension of time for surveys and equipment certification

Exemption 06 allows us to grant a domestic commercial vessel owner an extension of time for the purposes of completing any of the following:

  • A periodic survey (other than the renewal survey) that must be completed at a particular time in the a domestic commercial vessels survey cycle.
  • A periodic load line survey that must be completed at a particular time in the domestic commercial vessels survey cycle.
  • A current certificate of currency in relation to equipment that the vessel must carry. 

Under this exemption, we may allow you to temporarily operate your domestic commercial vessel for a specified period of time (not more than 90 days) without the need to comply with the conditions and standards associated with the vessel’s certificate of survey or load line certificate. 

A written approval from us is required but you can continue to operate while you are waiting for your application to be decided. To apply for an approval, you must complete and submit an application to operate outside certificate of survey conditions (AMSA 776)

For an approval:

  • for extension of time for the completion of a periodic survey the application must be made in the 90 days before or after the last day of the period in which the vessel is or was required to be surveyed. 
  • to operate without a current certificate of currency for equipment the application must be made in the 90 days before or after the day the certificate is or was to expire.

The application must be made before the certificate of survey expires.  If you require time to complete a renewal survey, you should seek approval under Exemption 07 instead.

Compass adjustments 

We may also exempt a vessel from the requirements relating to having a compass adjusted at specified time intervals, or having an adjustment of any compass on board that is showing a deviation on any heading of more than 5 degrees. You must apply for approval, but you can continue to operate while waiting for us to decide your application.

New division under Exemption 06 – Marine Safety (Periodic survey, equipment certification, compass adjustment and liferaft servicing)

New arrangements to provide greater flexibility to continue operating where liferafts being serviced, repaired or replaced

From December 2021, Exemption 06 provides greater flexibility where a liferaft for a domestic commercial vessel is not able to be used on the vessel because it needs to be serviced, repaired or replaced. These arrangements are set out in the new Division 4.

What are the arrangements?

You can operate your domestic commercial vessel when a liferaft is out of operation due to it being serviced, repaired, or replaced, provided you have enough liferafts to accommodate all persons on board for the voyage. 

What do I need to do?

If you operate your vessel with less liferafts than the full complement under the vessel’s permission due to servicing, replacement or repair, you must ensure the following: 

  • Record the date the liferaft was removed from the vessel in the vessel’s logbook. 
  • Put in place a procedure so that the master and crew know the liferaft has been removed and the maximum number of persons that can be carried on the vessel
  • For each voyage:
    • the vessel carries a quantity of liferafts sufficient for the number of persons on board the vessel
    • the number of persons and liferafts on board the vessel is recorded in the vessel’s logbook before the voyage commences.
  • Evidence demonstrating that the liferaft is not on board as it is being serviced, repaired or replaced, or a copy of the liferafts certificate, must be available on board the vessel for inspection
    • Examples of evidence include: an invoice, receipt, or other correspondence from a liferaft servicer that demonstrates the liferaft is, or soon will be with the servicer for servicing or repair; or a receipt or invoice from a liferaft supplier showing that a liferaft has been purchased or ordered. 

Where the liferaft will be out of service for a period greater than 14 days, you will also need to update the safety management system to cover the above matters.

You do not need to apply to operate under these arrangements, but it is important that you comply with the conditions outlined above. 

Legislation and incorporated material 

Related information


Last updated: 13 November 2023