New policy for ‘novel’ vessels available

Tuesday 30 August 2022
AMSA has a new policy statement for the assessment and certification of ‘novel’ vessels.
Electric vessel charging station with vessels in the background

The policy includes the types of vessels AMSA considers to be ‘novel’. If you are planning to build or buy a vessel within one of the vessel types set out in the policy, you should contact us for advice on whether it is considered novel and the best certification pathway for the vessel. 

 Vessel types AMSA consider to be ‘novel’: 

  • submarines 
  • passenger-carrying submersibles 
  • dynamically supported vessels (including fully foil-born, and vessels that are partially foil supported) 
  • wing-in-ground effect (WIG) vessels 
  • autonomous vessels greater than twelve metres in length, or those intending to carry people 
  • vessels with alternative fuel technologies including hydrogen, ammonia, and gas-fuelled engines, and 
  • Vessels with electric propulsion and installed battery power exceeding 30kWh*.  

* AMSA may consider larger battery power installations on application. For example, in circumstances where the system is inherently safe and issued a type approval by a recognised organisation based on applicable and relevant rules and type approval schemes for marine battery systems. Applicants must be able to demonstrate competency in design and installation 

Anyone planning to design, buy or build a vessel in one of these categories should email for advice on classification and certification. 

The policy statement provides clarity to the maritime design, construction, engineering and surveying sectors in relation to the assessment and certification of novel vessels. The policy is also relevant to fleet owners and operators thinking about building or buying new vessels that may fall under the novel vessels categories. 

For a copy of the policy and further information please visit the AMSA website, email us at or phone 1800 627 484. 

If you need advice on whether your vessel is considered novel, please email us at