Safety equipment carriage standards for domestic commercial vessels (NSCV C7A)

Have your say on proposed changes to NSCV C7A

Consultation closed 27 November 2023

About NSCV C7A

We want to know what you think about the proposed changes to the standards for the type, installation, stowage, marking and quantity of safety equipment to be carried on domestic commercial vessels (DCVs).  

Part C7A of the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) contains the safety equipment carriage standards. 

We are updating this standard to reflect recent advances in safety equipment technology, updates to national and international conventions and codes, and lessons learnt through industry experience.

Learn more about the background of this regulatory consultation

Key dates

Consultation opens:

3 October 2023

Consultation closes:

27 November 2023

Proposed commencement of revised NSCV C7A:


Key proposed changes

The proposed changes to the draft NSCV C7A affect these standards.

Liferaft standards   

  • Alternative options for liferaft type on <15m vessels in open waters.
  • Provision for certain <7.5m open waters vessels the option of no liferaft, if they meet additional conditions.
  • Clarification of when existing vessels that are not currently required to carry liferafts must carry liferafts and the timeframe to comply.
  • Description of correct liferaft securing methods.

Lifejacket carriage standards 

  • Carriage of infant-size lifejackets aligned with Australian and international standards (ISO, SOLAS, AS).  
  • Greater choice of lifejacket type (ISO or AS of 275N) for vessels operating in B waters.  
  • Carriage of spare gas cylinders and salt tablets for inflatable lifejackets to meet tables 2, 3 or 4 in C7A.
  • Carriage of additional lifejackets for redundancy when all lifejackets carried to meet tables 2, 3 or 4 in C7A are of the inflatable type.
  • End of grandfathering arrangements for kind of lifejackets vessels must carry. Existing vessels still carrying lifejackets that do not meet the NSCV standard will have 2 years from the start of the new NSCV C7A to carry ‘coastal’ lifejackets.
  • To assist operators in remote areas carrying inflatable lifejackets to meet NSCV C7A, increased flexibility for location of annual servicing of inflatable lifejackets.

Note: Users of Exemption 39 (marine safety) – Lifejacket lights will need to comply with passenger lifejacket requirements once the exemption expires in 2025.

First aid 

  • Updated first aid and medical scales to align with current Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) requirements, including for codeine, which now requires a prescription.
  • Clarification that B-waters vessels must seek advice from medical practitioners or pharmacists to determine when they need to carry additional first aid / medical supplies.

Other proposed changes

  • Updates to reflect recent advances in safety equipment technology, updates to international conventions and codes, and lessons learnt through industry experience
  • Revised guidance on the use of personal locator beacons (PLBs) in high-risk operations and their registration with AMSA
  • Consolidation into NSCV C7A of requirements from across multiple referenced documents into C7A (AMSA General Equivalent Solutions, Marine Order 25, SOLAS, IMO resolutions, and AMSA Exemptions)
  • Updated standard for distress flares to comply with the SOLAS / LSA Code or AS2092:2004
  • Clarified definitions and improved readability. 

View the changes in more detail.

Who these changes affect 

  • DCV owners and operators
  • Certificate of competency holders
  • Anyone working or travelling on a DCV
  • Accredited marine surveyors
  • Safety equipment service agents.   

Find out more about the proposed changes to NSCV C7A

Your feedback is essential to ensure the changes are fit for purpose.  
View the proposed changes and submit your feedback by 11:59 pm 27 November 2023.