AMSA and GBRMPA assess the information provided by an applicant in accordance with the corresponding legislative provisions.
A typical assessment will consider all relevant factors, for example:
- A technical assessment of the vessel, taking into account the navigational safety aspects of the proposal, including the suitability of navigational equipment and aids carried onboard.
- A qualifications and experience assessment, taking into account the suitability of qualifications and experience of the master and navigational watchkeepers nominated as crew members.
- An environmental assessment, taking into account the environmental risks associated with the exemption proposal and the environmental history of the applicant.
As part of the qualifications and experience assessment, applicants are required to provide information about the qualifications of the master and navigational watchkeepers and details of recent navigational experience in the compulsory pilotage area(s).
As a general rule, and subject to its discretion, AMSA considers that a minimum of four (4) passages for watchkeepers and a minimum of six (6) passages for master (in the pilotage area for which the exemption is sought) to be satisfactory. These passages can be conducted as master, navigational watchkeeper, or as an observer performing navigational duties.
For currency purposes, voyages should have been conducted within the last two (2) years prior to the application and must have been conducted on a vessel (or vessels) comparable to the vessel for which the coastal pilotage exemption application is submitted.
Applicants are required to provide details about any previous incidents involving the vessel or the nominated master(s) or navigational watchkeepers (per the prescribed information requirements). AMSA will consider any navigational-related incidents and assess the suitability of the nominated master(s) or navigational watchkeepers to obtain an AMSA Approval on a case-by-case basis.
If the information provided in the application is insufficient to enable a decision to be made, the applicant may be requested to provide further information. The type and extent of additional information required will be specified in writing (usually via email). Requests for additional information may delay processing the application.
Upon completion of all aspects of the assessment, recommendations will be provided to the relevant delegate (in GBRMPA and/or AMSA) as to whether the applicant should be granted a pilotage exemption (or otherwise) and a decision will be made accordingly.
The applicant with then be notified of the decision in writing. If the application is successful, an Instrument of Exemption (in the form of a certificate) will be provided to the owner or master of the vessel, and an AMSA Approval will be provided to approved crew.
These documents will:
- Specify the vessel in respect of which the exemption has been granted.
- Specify the compulsory pilotage area(s) for which the exemption has been granted.
- List any conditions associated with the exemption or approval.
- Set out the basis for potential revocation of the exemption or approval.