National Law Act 2012

We administer the national law, regulations and marine orders in implementing the national system.

National law

The Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (the national law) replaces eight federal, state and territory laws with a single regulatory framework for the certification, construction, equipment, design and operation of domestic commercial vessels inside Australia’s exclusive economic zone.


The Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Regulation 2013 (the regulations) sets out:

  • infrastructure not considered to be a vessel or a domestic commercial vessel for the purposes of the national law
  • the definition of vessel
  • details and requirements of the accredited marine surveyor scheme
  • fees that may be charged under the national law.


Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Commencement Proclamation 2013 (repealed on 2 July 2013)

Marine orders

Marine orders made under the national law set out the specific requirements in relation to certification, vessel identification, and administrative requirements. Marine orders also applies vessel safety standards. Read the National Law Act marine orders.

The consolidated Regulatory Plan PDF794.95 KB for domestic commercial vessels and their crew under the Maritime Safety National Law (September 2012) came into effect in 2013. Read the Regulatory Plan consultation feedback report PDF555.41 KB (May 2012).

General exemptions

These exemptions may be issued on our initiative. General exemptions typically apply to vessels, persons and operations that meet the relevant criteria and conditions in the general exemption.

Last updated: 21 October 2020