Consultation: alternatives to carrying a float-free EPIRB, for vessels less than 7.5 metres

Have your say by 28 February 2019.

Have your say on the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) Part C7B—Design and Construction—Equipment—Communications Equipment). This relates to the carriage of float-free EPIRBs on domestic commercial vessels.

This consultation applies to domestic commercial vessel owners and operators of vessels less than 7.5 metres long, operating in B waters (offshore operations) or C waters (restricted offshore operations), where the vessel does not have level flotation.

Submissions can be made anytime up until Thursday 28 February 2019.

From 1 January 2021, more domestic commercial vessels will be required to carry a float-free emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB). 

For vessels less than 7.5 metres long without level flotation operating in B waters or C waters, we understand it may not be practical or feasible to carry a float-free EPIRB on these kind of vessels and have proposed several alternative options. 

The options we propose include:

  • Option 1: carry a float-free EPIRB (no alternative)
  • Option 2: wear a personal locator beacon (PLB), in addition to carrying a manually activating EPIRB 
  • Option 3: carry a manually activating EPIRB and wear a lifejacket
  • Option 4: carry a manually activating EPIRB in a buoyant storage device

AMSA is also seeking feedback on any additional alternative options, which stakeholders consider will achieve an equivalent or acceptable level of safety.

AMSA will publish the details of the approved alternative options for smaller vessels, as well as the feedback received. AMSA anticipates this will occur in March 2019. The requirement for specified vessels to carry a float-free EPIRB does not become mandatory until 1
January 2021, however the standards allow for operators of vessels affected by the changes to commence transitioning from 1 January 2019.

Consultation paper

Read the consultation paper—alternative options for vessels less than 7.5 metres long.

How to have your say

Or... have your say in writing using our public comment form.

 If using this form, then you can either:

  • email the form to or
  • post the form to: 
    • Business Support, Standards
      Australian Maritime Safety Authority
      GPO Box 2181
      Canberra ACT 2601

Last updated: 

Monday 14 January 2019