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Domestic seafarer

You'll need to be qualified, know your reporting obligations and understand registration and compliance requirements to work on a domestic vessel.

We consider you to be a domestic seafarer if you are one of the following:

  • an owner of an Australian vessel working in Australian waters
  • an operator of an Australian vessel working in Australian waters
  • a crew member on an Australian vessel working in Australian waters.

If you're a domestic seafarer, you can access qualifications and training materials, and find out about registration and compliance requirements for your vessel. Make sure you know your reporting obligations if you see, or are involved in, and incident at sea.

Qualifications and training

To operate or be a crew member on a domestic commercial vessel you will need to have the appropriate certificate(s) of competency.

Find out how to get the right certificate to allow you to do your job on a vessel in Australian waters. There is also information on how to renew your existing certificate, and the endorsements available and how to get them.

Ship registration

As an owner or operator of an Australian vessel working in Australian waters, you will need to make sure your vessel is properly registered. Registering your vessel has advantages in Australia and overseas and grants your vessel Australian nationality.

Find out how to register your vessel.

Vessel compliance

If you own an Australian domestic commercial vessel working in Australian waters you will need to make sure it is compliant under Australian standards and legislation.

Find out more about keeping your vessel compliant.

Report an incident

As an owner, operator, or crew member on an Australian vessel in Australian waters, you have an obligation to report accidents you either observe, or are involved in as soon as possible.

Find out how to report an incident.

Report pollution

As an owner, operator, or crew member on an Australian vessel in Australian waters, you have an obligation under international and domestic law to report pollution incidents as soon as possible. You must report pollution you have observed, and any pollution activity your vessel has been involved in.

Find out how to report ship sourced pollution.

Health and safety

As an owner, operator, or crew member on an Australian vessel working in Australian waters, you can report any health and safety concerns to us. Under the Maritime Labour Convention, if you cannot resolve any operational health and safety issues using the onboard ship procedures, you can contact us for help.

Find out about your health and safety obligations as an owner or operator of a commercial fishing vessel.

Find out about your health and safety rights if you are working on a commercial fishing vessel and have a complaint you have been unable to resolve.

Last updated: 15 March 2018
Last reviewed: 15 March 2018