National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV)

The National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) provides standards for vessel design, construction and equipment for domestic commercials vessels.
We maintain a list of current and superseded versions of the NSCV for your information.

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About the NSCV

Read about the application and objectives of the NSCV, how vessels are categorised, how length, draft and tonnage are calculated, as well as definitions of terms used across the standards.

  • Find out about vessel categories, calculating vessel size, and read the dictionary of definitions.
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  • Read about the panel of experts that helps advise on the National Standard for Commercial Vessels.
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Design and construction

A domestic commercial vessel must be built to undertake its intended operation safely. This includes its construction, stability, machinery, electrical and fire safety and LPG systems. Find out more.


A domestic commercial vessel must carry the right equipment to operate safely. This includes marine safety equipment, communications and navigation equipment, and anchoring systems.

Special vessels

Special vessels include fast craft, hire and drive vessels, and special purpose vessels. These vessels have their own unique risks and safety standards for operation.

Novel vessels

We may consider a vessel a 'novel vessel' if it does not have the shape, form, function or propulsion of most vessels of a similar kind. Find out more and read AMSA’s policy for pathways for their certification.

  • Defining a 'novel vessel', their requirements, and pathways to certify them.
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Non-survey vessels

Some vessels with lower-risk operations don’t need to hold a certificate of survey. These non-survey vessels have a separate standard for design, construction, and equipment. Find out about those standards.

Other information

From time-to-time we update the standards to ensure they remain up-to-date. Have your say on upcoming proposed changes, read about past changes and access previous editions of the standards.