The sections below outline a summary of proposed changes to NSCV C7A according to topic. Click on the topic to see the relevant information. 

In the sections that follow, we refer to vessel classes and operational areas (b waters, c waters, etc). These are defined on the vessel classes and service categories page.

Lifejackets 

Lifejacket carriage

Summary of changes to lifejacket carriage
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Who is affected Impacts
Kind of lifejackets to be carried Annex I, table 5.1 equipment to be carried –  Lifejackets Existing vessels will have 2 years from commencement of edition 4 of C7A to comply with kind of lifejackets carried.  Currently, existing vessels must upgrade their lifejackets only if “acquired or replaced”. This change will reduce likelihood of a fatality occurring due to non-compliant lifejackets or lifejackets in poor condition failing when needed.  Existing vessels carrying lifejackets which do not meet current standards. Medium cost impact to some vessels.
Lifejacket carriage in B waters Chapter 5 – equipment to be carried, Tables 2, 3 and 4 - Lifejackets Require infant size lifejackets to be carried on all class 1B vessels, and for the # of infants on board for class 2B and 3B vessels. To increase safety outcomes for infants and align with the latest international and Australian lifejacket standards.
  • Any 1B vessels which are not carrying infant size lifejackets already
  • Any 2B / 3B vessels when carrying infants
Small cost impact to some 1B vessels to purchase infant size lifejackets for the greater of 2.5% of complement, or actual # of infants on board.
Lifejacket carriage options Chapter 5 – equipment to be carried, Tables 2, 3 and 4 - Lifejackets Allow B waters vessels to choose lifejackets that meet: 
  • SOLAS
  • AS 4758.1 (275N)  
  • ISO 12402-2 (275N).
Align C7A with SOLAS / LSA Code amendments from 2010, and AS 4758.1:2022. B waters vessels Allow greater choice to comply without reducing safety.  
 
Lifejacket carriage options Chapter 5 – equipment to be carried, Tables 2, 3 and 4 - Lifejackets Allow C, D and E waters vessels to choose SOLAS 150N lifejackets as well as coastal lifejackets. Allow greater flexibility without reducing safety C, D and E waters vessels Allow greater choice to comply without reducing safety.
Lifejacket carriage Chapter 5 – equipment to be carried, Tables 2, 3 and 4 – Lifejackets – Key (J1)

If all lifejackets carried for purposes of C7A are inflatables:  

  • a vessel with complement < 20 must carry one additional lifejacket as a backup
  • a vessel with complement of 20 or more must carry an additional two lifejackets as back up.
Increase likelihood that a functioning inflatable lifejacket can be located in time of need Vessels which choose to carry only inflatable type lifejackets as survival equipment
  • Vessels that choose only inflatable lifejackets will be required to carry 1 or 2 extra lifejackets as back up in case of failure of an inflatable lifejacket in time of need.  
  • Small cost impact to vessels that choose to carry only inflatable lifejackets.  
  • No impact if they choose to carry non-inflatable / inherently buoyant lifejackets. 
Lifejacket carriage Chapter 5 – equipment to be carried, Tables 2, 3 and 4 – Lifejackets – Key (J2) In B or C waters, where any inflatable lifejackets are carried for purposes of C7A, the vessel must also carry a re-arming kit for each inflatable lifejacket. Increase likelihood that inflatable lifejackets carried will function in time of need Any B and C survey vessels which choose to carry inflatable lifejackets for purposes of C7A. Small cost impact. 
Some B and C waters vessels will need to carry re-arming kits.
Lifejacket carriage Chapter 5 – equipment to be carried, Tables 2, 3 and 4 – Lifejackets – Key (J3)
  • All lifejackets carried to satisfy table 2 should have the same donning method.  
  • If a vessel has a mix of inherently buoyant and inflatable lifejackets, they should also have more than one set of donning instructions on display.
To avoid confusion and delays in an emergency, a vessel must not carry more than two different styles of lifejackets.  Vessels currently carrying a variety of styles of lifejacket.
  • Small cost impact to any vessel that currently has more than 2 types of lifejackets onboard. 
  • They will need to purchase additional lifejackets and / or display appropriate donning instructions. 

Lifejacket servicing

Summary of changes to lifejacket servicing
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Who is affected Impacts
Lifejacket servicing Chapter 6 - Servicing, 6.4 Inflatable Lifejackets
  • Increase flexibility for annual servicing of inflatable lifejackets which are carried to meet requirements of C7A.
  • Allow them to be serviced by a ‘competent person’ (at any location rather than only at an “approved servicing station”)     
  • Previous wording prescribed where they must be serviced. This was a major issue and cost for remote area operators to comply with.   
  • Inflatable lifejacket servicing location is irrelevant to safety.
Vessels that choose to carry inflatable lifejackets to meet requirements of C7A.     
  • Significant cost and time saving especially to operations in remote areas.
  • Less down time for the vessels due to removing the need to transport all inflatable lifejackets from the vessel to a ‘service agent’ which may be a long way away.

Medical and first aid

Summary of changes to medical and first aid
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Who is affected Impacts
Medical and first aid Annex H – Medical / First Aid supplies, H2 – General Vessels in C, D or E survey can choose to comply with C7A’s medical and first aid scales, or the WHS code of practice for first aid in the workplace. Reduce complexity of regulatory regime by absorbing content from a GES 2015/01 into the standard and phasing out the GES over time. Vessels in C, D or E survey. Save time by including all options for compliance into the one document.
Medical and first aid Annex H – Medical / First Aid supplies, H2 (3) Class B vessels must seek advice of medical professionals or pharmacists regarding any additional first aid or medical supplies required on their vessel. In response to industry feedback, clarifying by replacing the word “should” with the word “must”.  
 
(Note: B waters vessels do not have the option to comply with WHS code of practice) 
B waters vessels that do not currently seek advice of medical professional for first aid / medical items to be carried. Once off cost impact to affected vessels.
Medical and first aid Annex H – Medical / First Aid supplies, H2
  • Correcting known error in tables H.1 and H.2. 
  • Update table H.3 with status of codeine as a prescription drug. Offer alternative to product containing codeine, based on advice from TGA.
  • Fix error in current edition.
  • Codeine has become a prescription drug.
Most vessels. Make compliance easier and save time for industry and AMSA dealing with enquiries.

Liferafts

Liferaft type

Summary of changes to liferaft type
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Who is affected Impacts
Liferaft type

Chapter 5 – equipment to be carried, Tables 3, 3A, 4 and 4A, and table 1, and new Annex O – ISO type 2 liferafts.

Permit non-“coastal” liferafts on <12m 2C and 3C vessels if the vessel carries: 

  • an ISO type 2 liferaft, or an alternative type of L/R which is approved by AMSA
  • a grab bag with additional items (including EPIRB) as specified in new Annexes. 
  • Respond to stakeholder feedback about coastal liferafts being impractical on small vessels.  
  • Grab bag contents to include any additional items of equipment needed to align with equipment required for coastal rafts.
2C and 3C vessels <12m without level flotation that are required to carry coastal (ISO 4+ person) liferafts.
  • Increase options for compliance without reducing safety. 
  • Save space and weight on small open water vessels. 
  • Allow smaller, lighter liferafts option for vessels in certain areas of operation only if other conditions are met (Float-free EPIRB etc). 
Liferaft type

Chapter 5 – equipment to be carried, Tables 3, 3A, 4 and 4A, and Table 1, and new Annex P – Alternate non-ISO liferafts.

Create new annex proposing standards for new ‘alternate  liferaft’ (non-ISO) option on <7.5m 2C and 3C vessels.

Note: AMSA is seeking feedback on alternate design / construction standards that are available and could be deemed appropriate. Feedback is welcomed via the attached questionnaire.  

Respond to stakeholder feedback about coastal liferafts being impractical on small vessels.   2C and 3C vessels <7.5m without level flotation that are required to carry coastal (ISO 4+ person) liferafts.
  • Increase options for compliance without reducing safety
  • Cost saving for eligible vessels
  • Save space and weight on small open water vessels
  • Allow smaller, lighter liferafts option for vessels in certain areas of operation only if other conditions are met (Float-free EPIRB etc).
Liferaft type

Chapter 5 – equipment to be carried, Tables 3, 3A, 4 and 4A, and Table 1, and new Annex Q - alternate arrangements to carriage of liferafts.

Create new annex proposing new ‘alternate arrangements to carriage of liferafts’ option on <7.5m 2C and 3C vessels without level flotation:

Instead of carrying liferaft or having level flotation: everyone on board must wear a lifejacket and: 

  • the vessel must not operate in ‘hazardous waters’
  • the vessel must have basic flotation with grab lines fitted or buoyant appliances for # of POB
  • float-free EPIRB or GNSS EPIRB
  • the vessel’s documented SMS risk assessment has demonstrated that it is safe to do so.
Respond to stakeholder feedback about coastal liferafts being impractical on small vessels. 2C and 3C vessels <7.5m without level flotation that are currently required to carry coastal (ISO 4+ person) liferafts.
  • Increase options for compliance without significant reduction in safety
  • Cost saving for eligible vessels 
  • Save space and weight on small open water vessels
  • Allow alternative to liferaft carriage on small vessels in certain areas of operation only if other conditions are met (not in hazardous waters, everyone wears a lifejacket at all times, basic flotation / grablines, and Float-free EPIRB etc).  

Liferaft carriage

Summary of changes to liferaft carriage
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Who is affected Impacts
Liferaft carriage  Annex D – Standards for coastal liferafts Clarify current standards and align content with latest ISO standard. Update to align with May 2022 edition of ISO 9560-1.  All vessels required to carry liferafts. Save time when dealing with liferafts suppliers by referencing updated details in current edition of ISO 9560-1.
Liferaft carriage  1.4 – Definitions Clarify that level flotation describes a performance outcome, which can be achieved by various means. Stakeholder feedback that for the purpose of C7A, the level flotation meets the definition used in NSCV C6B, not necessarily the DTSS in C6B.   This means USL, NSCV or other standards can be used to determine level flotation status. Owners / operators of DCVs in open waters that would be required to carry liferafts if they did not meet the definition for level flotation.
  • Cost saving
  • This will give owners / operators clarity regarding which vessels are required to carry liferafts. 
  • It is also hoped this will result in time saving for industry to make enquiries and for AMSA to deal with the number of enquiries.
Liferaft carriage  1.4 – Definitions Revise definition for hazardous waters, remove reference to ‘sharks’ and ‘hazardous flora’. Make it easier for industry to comply with the standard, by addressing stakeholder feedback that NSCV C7A is overly complex and difficult to understand. DCV owners / operators who operate in or near ‘cold’ waters, or waters that are known to contain saltwater crocodiles or box jelly fish.
  • Cost saving
  • The revised definition clarifies and reduces the geographical areas deemed “hazardous waters”, and number of vessels required to carry liferafts instead of buoyant appliances in those areas.
Liferaft carriage  5.3 – Class 1 vessels in hazardous sheltered waters Clarify the intention of existing standards for 1D and 1E vessels that operate in hazardous waters. 
 
Note: definition of hazardous waters is also revised.
Make it easier for industry to comply with the standard, by addressing stakeholder feedback that NSCV C7A is overly complex and difficult to understand. Owners / operators of 1D and 1E vessels in hazardous waters. This will give owners / operators clarity regarding which vessels are required to carry liferafts, and what is required if they do not wish to carry liferafts.
Liferaft carriage  Annex I, table 5.1 equipment to be carried –  Liferafts Set an end date for compliance with liferaft carriage on existing vessels. 
Provide a transition period of 2 years from commencement of edition 4 of C7A.
Respond to stakeholder feedback that this transitional arrangement was not clearly stipulated. 
Reduce likelihood of fatality occurring due to no liferaft being available when needed.
Existing vessels who were intended to carry liferafts by the current standard, but still do not comply because of previous wording. 
Does not impact the subset of those vessels who may not be required to carry liferafts under the new proposed changes.
Medium cost impact to some vessels.  

Liferaft stowage

Summary of changes to liferaft stowage
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Who is affected Impacts
Liferaft stowage Chapter 4 – Installation of safety equipment, 4.3 Stowage of Liferaft Clarify options for correctly securing liferafts Previous wording resulted in a high number of enquiries seeking clarification on securing liferafts. Every vessel that carries a liferaft.
  • This will reduce the possibility of liferafts not releasing and inflating automatically when needed, by requiring liferafts secured by a hydrostatic release unit (HRU)  to be secured correctly.  
  • It is also hoped this will result in time saving for industry to make enquiries and for AMSA to deal with the number of enquiries. 
Liferaft stowage Annex E – Standards for open reversible liferafts Clarify that open reversible liferafts must be stowed as per other types of liferaft. Make it easier for industry to comply with the standard, by addressing stakeholder feedback that liferaft stowage requirements were inadequate and difficult to understand. Vessels carrying open reversible liferafts that are not stowed and secured compliantly. Minimal impact. No new standard to comply with. This changes just clarifies the intent of current standards.
Liferaft stowage Annex G – Standards for hydrostatic release units and weak links New annex creating one location for standards relating Hydrostatic release units and weak links.  
Standard for weak links aligns with SOLAS.
Respond to stakeholder feedback that liferaft stowage requirements were inadequate and difficult to understand. All vessels that are required to carry liferafts. Save time for industry to make enquiries and for AMSA to deal with the number of enquiries.
Liferaft stowage

Annex I - Transitional arrangements for existing vessels to comply with C7A

Table I.1 – Annex E – standards for open reversible liferafts

Provide 2-year transitional period for open reversible liferafts on existing vessels to meet the stowage requirements. Allow existing vessels time to transition. Existing vessels which carry open reversible liferafts that are currently not stowed as per requirements for coastal liferafts. Minimal time and cost impact to any affected existing vessels.

Liferaft capacity during servicing periods

Summary of changes to liferaft capacity
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Who is affected Impacts
Liferaft capacity during servicing periods 5.5 - Alternative standard for liferaft capacity
  • Absorb ‘new’ arrangements from EX06 for reduced liferaft capacity in certain circumstances.
  • Consider removing this from EX06 in future to streamline.
Incorporate new arrangement into the standard after first being trialled in a general exemption. Vessels required to carry liferafts, which previously needed to read EX06 and C7A.     
  • Time saving
  • Make it easier for readers by putting all the details of available options in the one document. 

Lifebuoys

Summary of changes to lifebuoy
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Who is affected Impacts
Lifebuoy carriage Chapter 5 – equipment to be carried, Tables 3 and 4 - Lifebuoys
  • Clarify number of lifebuoys to be carried on <15m 2D, 3D, 2E and 3E vessels.
  • If they already carry lifebuoy/s as part of their buoyant appliances minimum capacity, do not need to carry additional lifebuoy/s for person overboard  purposes.
Respond to industry feedback regarding carriage of additional lifebuoys to fulfill the person overboard requirement, including on vessels with only 1 person on board.  <15m 2D, 3D, 2E and 3E vessels that currently carry additional lifebuoy/s for person overboard  purposes.
  • Time, cost and space saving without impacting safety. 
  • Time saving for industry and AMSA to deal with the number of enquiries.
Lifebuoy carriage

Annex I - Transitional Arrangements for Existing Vessels

Table I.1 – Ch 3 

Clarify that lifebuoys must meet SOLAS standard including being a highly visible colour.  
Provide 2-year transition period.
Respond to stakeholder feedback that this was not clearly stipulated. Vessels who are carrying non-compliant lifebuoys. Small cost impact. 

Buoyant appliances

Summary of changes to buoyant appliances
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Whois affected Impacts
Buoyant appliance carriage Ch 5 – table 2 – buoyant appliances Key (B2) – reworded to clarify intent regarding which type of 1E vessels must carry buoyant appliances for 100% complement, instead of 40% Respond to feedback that this was not clear in the current standard. Some 1E vessels of flood risk category (FRC) II. No change. Clarify original intent.
Buoyant appliance carriage Annex F – Standards for buoyant appliances (excluding lifebuoys)  Include specifications from current GES for buoyant storage devices in C7A.  Reduce complexity of regulatory regime by absorbing content from a GES 2017/01 into the standard and phasing out the GES over time. Operators who may wish to carry buoyant storage devices in lieu of carley floats. Save time by including this current option for compliance into the one document. 

'Person overboard’ retrieval equipment

Summary of changes to 'person overboard' retrieval equipment
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Who is affected Impacts
Person overboard retrieval equipment carriage Tables 2, 3 and 4 Clarify existing standard for person overboard  retrieval equipment, moving it from the ‘key’ to the table into the table itself. Respond to feedback that this was not clear in the current standard and was not being complied with. < 25m D and E waters vessels. No change. Clarify original intent.

Inshore fishing vessels

Summary of changes to inshore fishing vessels
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Who is affected Impacts
Equipment carriage inshore fishing vessels 5.4 - Alternative standards for specific inshore fishing vessels Absorb ‘new’ arrangements for “warm waters” and “beach fishery” vessels from EX02 into C7A. Incorporate new arrangements for ‘survey type’ vessels into the standard. New ‘survey type’ vessels that previously needed to read EX02 and C7A.
  • Time saving
  • Make it easier for readers by putting all the details of available options in the one document.

Non-SOLAS rescue boats

Summary of changes to Non-SOLAS rescue boats
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Who is affected Impacts
Non-SOLAS rescue boats Annex I - Transitional arrangements for existing vessels to comply with C7A Require non-SOLAS rescue boats on exiting vessels to be a highly visible colour only when acquired or replaced. Respond to feedback that a non-SOLAS rescue boat should not be required to be replaced only because it does not meet the colour requirements. Existing vessels carrying non-SOLAS rescue boats that are not a highly visible colour. Cost saving by not needing to replace existing rescue boats of wrong colour that are still in serviceable condition.

General content improvement 

Summary of changes for general content improvement
Topic Chapter Proposed change Reason for the change Who is affected  Impacts
Content improvement Annex A - Standards for marine safety equipment 

Remove the table which previously sent readers to Marine Order 25, then SOLAS, then LSA Code or IMO resolutions to find the technical specifications.  

This information is now located at beginning of document in Table 1 and / or new annexes which have been added where needed to provide, as far as practical, all the required specifications in the one document.

Readers currently need to have access to and search multiple other documents to know what is needed to comply.  
 
(Note: annex A needs to stay as it is referenced in other documents). 
All readers of C7A. Time and cost saving for most readers. 
Content improvement Annex I – transitional arrangements for existing vessels to comply with C7A Simplify / streamline I1 to I4.   Make it easier for industry to comply with the standard, by addressing stakeholder feedback that Annex I preamble was difficult to understand. Existing vessels that are still transitioning to full compliance with C7A. Save time by clarifying the wording.
Content improvement Annex I, table I.1 Cull items whose due dates have expired. Make it easier for industry to comply with the standard, by removing outdated content. Existing vessels that are still transitioning to full compliance with C7A. Save time by streamlining the table.
Content improvement Annex J - SOLAS Chapter III requirements Listed in a new annex, the content from SOLAS that readers may need to access. Remove as far as possible the need for readers to search multiple other documents. All readers of C7A. Time and cost saving for most readers.
Content improvement Annex K – Guidelines for fitting retro-reflective material Listed in a new annex, the content from relevant IMO resolution that readers may need to access. Remove as far as possible the need for readers to search multiple other documents. All readers of C7A. Time and cost saving for most readers. 
Content improvement Annex L - Alternate standards for inshore ‘warm waters’ fishing vessels Create new annex with equipment and arrangement standards from EX02 Sch 2 for operators wishing to utilise new permissions for inshore warm waters fishery vessels in 5.4  Align safety equipment carriage requirements for vessels of same size conducting same operations regardless of whether they are in survey or non-survey (EX02). Operators of inshore warm waters fishery vessels that are in survey. Cost and space saving.
Content improvement Annex M - Alternate standards for beach fishery vessels Create new annex with equipment and arrangement standards from EX02 Sch 2 for operators wishing to utilise new permissions for beach fishery vessels in 5.4 Align safety equipment carriage requirements for vessels of same size conducting same operations regardless of whether they are in survey or non-survey (EX02). Operators of beach fishery vessels that are in survey. Cost and space saving.
Content improvement Annex N - Alternate standard for liferaft capacity  (when liferafts are being serviced, repaired or replaced) Create new annex in C7A listing conditions (from EX06)  that must be met if operator wishes to utilise the reduced liferaft capacity allowance in 5.5 Remove as far as possible the need for readers to search multiple other documents.  Operators of vessels required to carry liferafts. Time saving for those operators.