Modernised Australian Ship Tracking and Reporting System

The Modernised Australian Ship Tracking and Reporting System (MASTREP) is a ship reporting system designed to contribute to safety of life at sea.

Participation in MASTREP is mandatory for certain vessels and others are encouraged to participate. The International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue was opened for signature in 1979.

By becoming a signatory to the search and rescue (SAR) convention, Australia has accepted SAR responsibility for the Australian SAR Region (SRR).

The MASTREP system is used to track vessels in the SRR and allows Australia to meet its SAR obligations.

MASTREP provides positional data on vessels transiting Australia’s region through automatic identification system (AIS) technology which ensures that only the closest vessels are requested to assist in a SAR incident, reducing the need for vessels to travel long distances from their intended voyage plan.

Given the vast area of Australia’s SRR, merchantmen are often the only resources available that can quickly respond to an incident.


Australia's Search and Rescue Area
Australia's Search and Rescue Area

Concept of operations

MASTREP uses automated position reports transmitted by AIS.

Positional data is updated at intervals between five minutes and five hours depending on the location and source.

There is no requirement in MASTREP to transmit:

  • sail plans
  • deviation reports
  • final reports.

MASTREP is a passive ship reporting system and does not involve shore to vessel communications.


The Commonwealth of Australia Navigation Act 2012 and Marine Orders Part 63 makes the provision of position reports mandatory for certain vessels.

Vessels that must report to MASTREP are:

  • foreign vessels from the arrival at its first port in Australia until its departure from its final port in Australia
  • all regulated Australian vessels while in the MASTREP area.

Voluntary participation

Vessels participating in MASTREP transmit positional data to us. This helps identify vessels in the vicinity of SAR incidents.

Masters are strongly encouraged to report to MASTREP voluntarily even where it is not mandated. Participation enhances safety.

Domestic commercial vessels fitted with Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and AIS technology are also encouraged to participate.

Related information

Last updated: 18 December 2017
Last reviewed: 18 December 2017