About the national system

We are responsible for the safety of vessels and the seafarers who are operating in the domestic commercial industry.

The National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety provides a consistent approach to safety for owners, operators, and crew of commercial vessels working in Australia.

Commercial vessels working in Australia need to have a certificate of survey and a certificate of operation—unless exempt. People working on these vessels must have a certificate of competency.

Transition of services

From 1 July 2018, we are the one point of contact for most services for domestic commercial vessels and crew.

Read more about the transition to a national system for domestic commercial vessel safety.

History of the national system

On 1 July 2013, the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety commenced. The national system brought eight sets of rules together into one regulatory scheme and is based on nationally‐agreed standards for commercial vessels.

The broad coverage of the national system and the diverse nature of stakeholders means that many of the regulatory and standards changes affect a wide variety of class 1, 2, 4 vessel owners and operators, and fishing industry representatives who have diverse interests, business models and widespread geographic distribution.

We developed a series of committees to speak on behalf of the different industry groups about our regulations and standards related to the national system.

These committees are:

Advisory groups are a critical part of the process to make sure that safety standards and regulations adequately and appropriately address risks associated with domestic commercial operations and the impact of changes on other sectors.

Last updated: 

Friday 12 October 2018