Australia has one of the world’s largest mixed market economies and the largest continental landmass surrounded by water. Australia’s national livelihood depends on ensuring maritime trade to and from the country remains safe, efficient and compliant with all relevant international conventions. Australia relies on sea transport for the majority of its imports and exports by weight. Port State control (PSC) is an essential element in ensuring the safe operation of ships and protection of the marine environment.

This report summarises the PSC activities of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), detailing the performance of commercial shipping companies, flag States and Classification Societies for the 2020 calendar year.

AMSA is a statutory authority established under the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Act 1990 (the AMSA Act).

AMSA’s principal functions are:

  • promoting maritime safety and protection of the marine environment.
  • Protecting life at sea by enforcing the safe operation of ships.
  • Preventing and combatting ship-sourced pollution in the marine environment.
  • Providing infrastructure to support safety of navigation in Australian waters.
  • Providing a national search and rescue service to the maritime and aviation sectors.

To meet government and community expectations, AMSA is empowered to perform compliance and enforcement functions, regulating maritime trade in Australia through the implementation of rigorous flag State control (FSC) and PSC regimes. Professional and consistent FSC and PSC regimes are essential in ensuring ships comply with minimum standards of maritime safety, seafarer welfare and protection of Australia’s 60,000 kilometre coastline (including approximately 12,000 islands) from environmental damage.

AMSA works in close cooperation with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and PSC partner nations across the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions, sharing PSC information and actively participating in international policy development. These efforts are aimed at ensuring AMSA remains a transparent, trusted and consistent member of the international maritime community.

As the flag State for Australian ships, AMSA is responsible for maintaining the operational safety standards of Australian-registered ships, wherever in the world they may be operating.

Noting that information related to AMSA’s PSC activities is used by a diverse range of stakeholders on a regular basis, AMSA delivers current information to stakeholders via the AMSA website. This information includes monthly ship detentions, details of ongoing PSC activities, current shipping trends and emerging issues. We also detail and promulgate government regulation and important information through marine orders and marine notices respectively.

Office locations

map of port state control offices


The Australian Maritime Safety Authority encourages the dissemination and exchange of information provided in this publication.

Except as otherwise specified, all material presented in this publication is provided under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

This excludes:

  • the Commonwealth Coat of Arms
  • this agency’s logo
  • content supplied by third parties.

The Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence is a standard form licence agreement that allows you to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this publication provided that you attribute the work.

The details of the version 4.0 of the licence are available on the Creative Commons website, as is the full legal code for that licence.


AMSA’s preference is that you attribute this publication (and any material sourced from it) using the following wording:

Source: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Port State Control Australia 2020 Report

More information

For enquiries regarding copyright including requests to use material in a way that is beyond the scope of the terms of use that apply to it, please contact us through our website.

This report and AMSA detention data available online.