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New requirements for vessels carrying passengers

Friday 28 February 2020
AMSA has clarified and strengthened requirements for monitoring and counting passengers and managing missing passenger situations.
person overboard

These measures are aimed at improving passenger safety and are in response to recent fatal and serious incidents involving missing passengers.

The new changes have been made through Marine order 504 (Certificates of operation and operation requirements – national law) Amendment 2020

From the 31 May 2020, any domestic commercial vessel that carries passengers must meet new requirements for passenger safety. 

If you operate a vessel that takes passengers, you must:

  • Include a procedure in your safety management system to ensure passengers are monitored and accounted for during a voyage. The procedure must allow the master to be able to identify how many passengers are on board at any time.
  • Include an emergency procedure in your safety management system that deals with the a missing passenger.
  • Some operators will need to ensure that their procedures include a count of all passengers on board the vessel where one or more passengers embark on, or disembark from, the vessel—including when the vessel departs a landing point along the way or departs a site where passengers may have left the vessel to undertake a water activity.
  • You must also keep a record of the results of any passenger counts in the vessel’s logbook.  

AMSA will be holding a series of information sessions around the country during the transition period to explain the new requirements and provide advice on how to meet and be compliant with the new requirements. 

Make sure your safety management system adequately addresses your passengers’ safety.

Read more about the regulatory changes to Marine order 504.

The consultation feedback report will be available on the website soon.