Novel vessels - F3

Defining a 'novel vessel', their requirements, and pathways to certify them.
Full title 

National Standard for Commercial Vessels 

Part F - Special vessels 

Section 3 - Novel vessels 

Current editionN/A

AMSA has a new policy statement for the assessment and certification of ‘novel’ vessels. Read our Novel vessel policy statement PDF560.44 KB

The policy includes the types of vessels AMSA considers to be ‘novel’. If you are planning to build or buy a vessel within one of the vessel types set out in the policy, you should contact us for advice on whether it is considered novel and the best certification pathway for the vessel.   

 Vessel types AMSA consider to be ‘novel’:   

  • submarines   
  • passenger-carrying submersibles   
  • dynamically supported vessels (including fully foil-born, and vessels that are partially foil supported)   
  • wing-in-ground effect (WIG) vessels   
  • autonomous vessels greater than twelve metres in length, or those intending to carry people   
  • vessels with alternative fuel technologies including hydrogen, ammonia, and gas-fuelled engines, and   
  • Vessels with electric propulsion and installed battery power exceeding 30kWh*.  

* AMSA may consider larger battery power installations on application. For example, in circumstances where the system is inherently safe and issued a type approval by a recognised organisation based on applicable and relevant rules and type approval schemes for marine battery systems. Applicants must be able to demonstrate competency in design and installation.  

Announcement If you are planning to design, buy or build a vessel in one of these categories please email for advice on classification and certification.
SupersededNo previous editions.
Assistance and tools 

Guidance Notice - Small unmanned autonomous vessels

Autonomous vessels in Australia

AMSA policy on regulatory treatment of unmanned and/or autonomous vessels


Policy and Regulation Division

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For enquiries relating to an application please email

Last updated: 13 February 2024