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Exemptions we may use during the COVID-19 period

Exemptions are available to help operators and crew continue to operate in exceptional circumstances.

We will update this page as information becomes available.

Certificate exemptions  

For operators and seafarers that find themselves unable to comply with the National Law due to COVID-19, AMSA has a wide range of National Law Act Exemptions that may be of assistance as follows: 

  • Temporary crewing permits :This allows you to operate temporarily below the minimum crewing requirements that apply to the vessel if you experience crewing disruptions due to COVID-19. 
  • Exemption 8- Marine Safety (Temporary Service): This exemption enables masters and crew to temporarily perform functions and duties on a domestic commercial vessel without the required certificate of competency, in specific circumstances (i.e. due to COVID-19). 
  • Exemption 6 Marine Safety (Periodic survey, equipment certification and compass adjustment):This exemption allows for flexibility for owners as to when their vessel undergoes periodic or loadline surveys, or more time to obtain a new certificate of currency for equipment, or to operate their vessel without compass adjustments that would otherwise be required. Where your application is related to coronavirus (COVID-19), you will need to declare this to us when making your application.
  • Exemption 7—Marine Safety (Temporary operations): This exemption is for owners and accredited marine surveyors of domestic commercial vessels who need to be able to operate temporarily without having the required certificates. Where your application is related to coronavirus (COVID-19), you will need to declare this to us when making your application.
  • Exemption 42—Marine Safety (Extension of time—certificates of competency): to assist seafarers during this period, we have extended the duration of all National Law certificates of competency. You do not need to apply for this exemption, it will happen automatically. Where your application is related to coronavirus (COVID-19), you will need to declare this to us when making your application.
  • Exemption 43—Marine Safety (Extension of time—first aid and crewing): we have exempted the master or crew to have a current first aid certificate where it has recently expired.
  • Suspend a certificate of survey and/or load line certificate: You can apply to suspend your certificate for up to 18 months. Where your application is related to coronavirus (COVID-19), you will need to declare this to us when making your application.

We are also providing Australian seafarers impacted by COVID-19 with an automatic six-month extension (see below) on the renewal of certificates of competency under Exemption 42. 

Seafarers who have a certificate of competency that expires between 26 March 2020 and 1 October 2020 will have their certificate automatically extended by six months.  

Extension of time for certificate renewals

Due to the current social isolation restrictions and uncertainty caused by COVID-19, and to assist seafarers during this period, we have extended the duration of all National Law certificates of competency.

If you have a certificate of competency (not suspended or revoked) that expires between 26 March 2020 and 1 October 2020, you have an extension of six months to renew your certificate. You must continue to comply with the conditions of the expired certificate.

You do not need to apply for this exemption, it will happen automatically.  

You will still receive a renewal notice identifying the day the certificate expires, but you can defer this renewal for six months. 

Seafarers who meet the eligibility requirements for revalidation, and can make an application before the expiry date of the certificate, are encouraged to apply to revalidate their certificate before it expires. 

There is no change to the process for applying for renewal of a certificate.

Last updated: 

Wednesday 6 May 2020