Before a port State control inspection

You can prepare in case your ship is inspected during a visit to an Australian port.

AMSA Marine surveyors may board a ship at any time to inspect and detain unseaworthy or substandard ships (under sections 257 and 248 of the Navigation Act 2012).

This is what may happen if you are subject to an inspection.

The Master receives a notice of the ship inspection

Before the start of an inspection, a surveyor will give you a letter to Master PDF941.25 KB, indicating that your ship will be inspected. This will include the certificates and equipment that may be included in the inspection.


We request that you have:

  • all your documentation and certificates onboard ready for inspection—you do not need to take them off the ship as the inspector will come onboard.
  • Prepare equipment for testing.
  • Our surveyors require additional restraints to be fitted before entering a lifeboat if it cannot be demonstrated that the lifeboat arrangements are correctly set.

All Masters and operators need to be aware of the legal reporting requirements of sections 185 and 186 of the Navigation Act 2012.

Staff not needed onboard can take shore leave

We do not require everyone onboard to be present during an inspection unless they are required to operate equipment for testing during the inspection. Seafarers who are not needed can take shore leave to benefit their health and wellbeing (as required by MLC Regulation 2.4.2).

Last updated: 1 November 2023