Australian seafarers receive qualification extension amid COVID-19

Tuesday 7 April 2020
Australian seafarers with both domestic and international qualifications will receive an automatic six-month extension on their qualifications in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Media Release

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Chief Executive Officer, Mick Kinley, said AMSA was committed to supporting Australian seafarers and the maritime industry both in Australia and abroad during this difficult time.

Under Australia’s domestic maritime law – Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 – seafarer certificates of competency will be given the six-month extension.

"We have around 28,000 seafarers qualified to work domestically in Australia and of those, around 2,900 will have their certificates of competency expire over the next six months," Mr Kinley said.

"Giving our domestic seafarers an automatic six-month extension on the timeframe to renew their certificates of competency will hopefully alleviate some stress while the impacts of COVID-19 are being felt hardest by these industries.

"We’re also effectively delaying what would have been a normal cost to these industry professionals for a period of six months."

Under Australia’s international maritime law – Navigation Act 2012 – seafarer qualifications and medical certificates will be given the six-month extension as well.

"We have around 16,000 seafarers who are qualified to work internationally, and of those, around 2000 will have their qualifications expire over the next six months," Mr Kinley said.

"Of the 16,000, we also expect around 30-50% will also have their medical fitness certificates expire as well. That’s why we’ve taken a similar approach to reducing regulatory burden on our internationally-qualified seafarers with this six-month extension."

More information on what AMSA is doing to support the maritime industry during COVID-19 is available online at