A New National Safety Management Starts 1st July 2018


From the 1 July 2018, access to commercial vessel safety services will be available from the Australian Marine Safety Authority (AMSA).

From 1 July 2018, the quickest and easiest way to apply, renew or pay for vessel survey certificates and other permits will be online via amsa.gov.au.

If you prefer to talk to someone call the AMSA Connect team to answer a question or guide you through any of the application processes. This service is available from 8 am to 5 pm (WA time) from Monday to Friday on 1800 627 484.

AMSA has established offices in Fremantle, Geraldton, Karratha and Port Hedland where staff will be on hand to assist you with new processes and systems for applying and renewing for certificates and qualifications as well as technical advice about vessel and operations safety requirements. The Fremantle, Geraldton and Karratha will be open from 9 am to 4.30 pm weekdays and Port Hedland will be open by appointment

  1. Applying, renewing & paying for vessel certificates and crew qualifications

Towards the end of June 2018, the Department of Transport (WA) will begin transferring existing applications in their possession across to AMSA for final processing.

AMSA will begin processing new applications from July 2018 and provide documentation as soon as possible after receiving the appropriate fee.

Vessel Certificates of Survey and Certificates of Operation

From 1 July 2018, operators can apply online through amsa.gov.au to apply for the following range of vessel certificates using new AMSA forms including:

  • renew and pay for your survey and operation certificates;
  • exemptions;
  • equivalent means of compliance; and,
  • intentions to build a vessel

When lodging applications online you will be provided with an option to pay using VISA or MasterCard, direct through your bank or via Australia Post.

Note: When renewing a Certificate of Operation you will be asked to declare that you have on board a documented Safety Management System (SMS) in place that:

  • identifies the risks to the vessel safety and risks from fishing operations;
  • includes procedures to eliminate or minimise the identified risks, so far as is reasonably practicable; and
  • establishes emergency procedures, training for these procedures and evidence of regular on-board drills of these emergency procedures

Certificates of Competency – Crew Qualifications

From the 1 July 2018 you can make an application in person at one of the 18 participating Australia Post shops around Western Australia. You will need to use the new forms (AMSA436) available from amsa.gov.au that will outline any other documentation you need to provide.

You will also need to provide proof of your identity and pay the fee at the time of lodgement.

 2. Simplified Vessel Survey Frequency Regime Starting from July 2018

In early June, AMSA will begin contacting vessel owners who hold a Certificate of Survey to let you know what the new vessel survey frequency regime changes mean for you.

The amendments propose to simplify regulations and introduce vessel survey requirements that are better aligned with risk. When implemented, AFMA estimates the changes will result in savings to industry of approximately $150 million over the next decade.

The amendments to vessel survey arrangements include:

  • determining a reduction in survey frequency on a vessel-by-vessel basis;
  • flexibility to reduce the number of ‘out-of-water’ surveys required where safety risks are managed through other measures (eg safety management systems, 
training etc);
  • aligning ‘out-of-water’ surveys with other vessel maintenance activities. 
The new scheme will provide an incentive for operators to pro-actively manage vessel safety and maintenance. It will enable survey frequency to be tailored to each individual vessel based on their performance during the period of time between surveys. AMSA will identify when an individual vessel will be eligible to move to a reduced survey frequency or meet a more onerous survey requirements.

AMSA will be issuing an updated certificate of survey outlining your vessel’s new survey frequency category and new survey dates. AMSA is aligning the expiry date of new Certificates of Survey with your current certificate.

Under the new survey regime your renewal survey will require both an in water and an out of water survey, including fully withdrawing both the propeller shaft and the rudder stock and bearing. The renewal survey is required every five years and needs to be completed before you can renew your Certificate of Survey for the next five-year period. You can complete your renewal survey up to six months prior to the expiry date on your certificate, which gives you flexibility to plan slipping your boat and organising an AMSA accredited surveyor to conduct the required surveys.

Note: If you have not heard from AMSA and you have a survey due soon which requires you to fully withdraw your propeller shaft from your vessel, you should make preparations to have this survey done as your new Certificate of Survey renewal date will be based on this survey activity occurring.

 3. Fees for services

The schedule of fees for services is currently being finalised following the feedback received during industry consultation earlier in 2018.

The final fees will be available on amsa.gov.au as soon as they become available.

Find out more

Visit https://www.amsa.gov.au/vessels-operators/transition-national-system for more information and updates about these changes or follow us on Facebook.