Transitional arrangements for people holding or operating under an Exemption 38 (Low complexity duties)

With the introduction of a new revised Marine Order 505 (Certificates of competency) on 1 January 2023 following extensive industry consultation, Exemption 38 (Low complexity duties) will be phased out and replaced by a new Coxswain Grade 3 Near Coastal certificate of competency (CoC).

The new Coxswain Grade 3 Near Coastal CoC will professionalise this qualification, but like all new certificates under the revised Marine Order 505, it will also require persons to hold a valid certificate of medical fitness and first aid certificate.  The only instance that a first aid certificate is not required will be if the crew member is working exclusively in a marina or mooring environment.

A transition period of 12 months will be in place from 1 January 2023 until 1 January 2024 to allow adequate time for people to book in and obtain a certificate of medical fitness. This will be facilitated by a transitional exemption which affected persons do not need to apply for.

Exemption 38 holders also don’t need to formally apply for, or hold, a new Coxswain Grade 3 in order to work as one on a domestic commercial vessel. Persons undertaking the duties of a Coxswain Grade 3 are automatically able to undertake these duties provided they meet the pre-requisite requirements provided in Schedule 3 of the new Marine Order 505.

Provided a person meets the pre-requisites, there is no requirement to hold the formal CoC.

Of course, persons can formally apply to AMSA for this new CoC if they wish to hold the physical card, but again, they will need to ensure they have met all the requirements including a certificate of medical fitness and first aid prior to submitting a formal application.

Coxswain Grade 3 can carry no more than six people including crew and master, unless the vessel is a tender. Persons who were previously working with an Exemption 38 and carrying more than six people may need to obtain a higher qualification such as a Coxswain Grade 2 or obtain a special exemption.

For more detailed information about the new Coxswain Grade 3, read the guidelines (PDF 1.12 MB) document on the new revised Marine Order 505.

Last updated: 

Wednesday 2 November 2022