Revised Marine Order 504

Consultation process

A new version of Marine Order 504 is now in effect.

A revised Marine Order 504 (Certificates of operation and operation requirements – national law) 2023 (MO504) will come into effect on 1 August 2023.

AMSA has worked closely with industry to review MO504, identifying a series of improvements to strengthen operational safety outcomes.


MO504 is made under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 and provides for the: 

  • certificate of operation application requirements 
  • safety management system requirements  
  • operational requirements such as minimum and appropriate crewing as well as minimum baseline training requirements for crew  
  • application requirements for temporary crewing permits
  • additional operational requirements for Class 4 (Hire and Drive) vessels.

The key changes to Marine Order 504 commencing 1 August 2023:

Crewing requirements

  • Aligning the crewing provisions with the certificate of competency arrangements in the new Marine Order 505 (Certificates of competency – national law) 2023 (MO505)
  • Simplifying the minimum crewing requirements table format.

Risk assessment requirements

  • Fatigue must be adequately considered when determining risk-based crewing levels 
  • Owners must ensure the risk assessment (including the appropriate crewing determination) is accessible to the master, crew and enforcement personnel 
  • Owners must consult with master and crew in the development of the risk assessment. 

Safety management system requirements

  • Additional onboard training and drill requirements for emergency procedures and associated record-keeping requirements
  • A copy of the vessel’s safety management system must be kept onboard and with onshore personnel 
  • The designated person must have access to clear and direct reporting pathways for the escalation of issues
  • Lifejacket wear requirements must be addressed in the vessel’s risk assessment and written procedures in the safety management system.  

A two-phased review of Marine Order 504

This review of MO504 was prompted by the re-issue of MO505.

Since there are linkages between the crewing arrangements in MO504 and the crew competency requirements in MO505, a review of MO504 was required to ensure that both marine orders remain aligned. 

The review of MO504 has been split into two phases. This first phase is focused on improving crewing arrangements and clarifying existing lifejacket wear requirements. The second phase will focus on safety management system provisions.  

As part of the first phase, AMSA in collaboration with industry identified several workability issues and gaps in MO504 that needed to be addressed to improve operational safety.