Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Service Charter

This Service Charter was developed in consultation with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's (AMSA) stakeholders and staff.

It covers the whole of AMSA and sets out: the services provided; the level of service that a stakeholder can expect to receive; and the process by which a stakeholder's concerns may be addressed.

The Charter was implemented in July 1998.

AMSA's mission statement

AMSA is committed to continuous improvement in provision of its safety and environment protection services and maintaining constructive relations with our stakeholders in government, industry and the community.

AMSA's services

AMSA was established under the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Act 1990 as an Australian Government authority in the Infrastructure and Transport Services portfolio.

AMSA is Australia's national safety agency with a primary role in maritime safety, protection of the marine environment and aviation and maritime search and rescue and is largely self-funded through levies on the commercial shipping industry.

AMSA's role

AMSA's role is to enhance safety and marine environment protection through:

  • Participating in the development and implementation of national and international marine safety and environment protection standards.
  • Monitoring compliance with operational standards for ships in Australian waters to promote their seaworthiness, safety and pollution prevention.
  • Administering training standards and competency of seafarers and coastal pilots.
  • Providing the national network of marine aids to navigation and navigation systems.
  • Operating Australia's Rescue Coordination Centre to coordinate maritime and aviation search and rescue.
  • Maintaining maritime distress and safety communications services.
  • Providing two ground stations and Mission Control Centre for the Cospas Sarsat distress beacon detection system.
  • Administering the Australian Ship Reporting (AUSREP) system.
  • Managing Australia's National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies.
  • Regulating, monitoring and coordinating maritime casualty management and emergency towage capability.
  • Delivering related services including:
    • Exercising occupational health and safety inspectorate functions.
    • Administering Australia's ship registration system.
    • Conducting safety and pollution prevention public awareness and education campaigns.
    • Providing public access to ship safety and environment protection standards and policies.

Our stakeholders

  • Shipping industry.
  • In relation to search and rescue, aviation Industry, rescue service providers, fishing industry, recreational boating community and distress beacon owners.
  • Australian Government, State and Territory Governments and their agencies.
  • Australian community.

AMSA's client service responsibilities

AMSA's clients should expect in their dealings with AMSA:

  • Professional, quality and timely delivery of AMSA's services.
  • Staff members who identify themselves and give courteous and respectful consideration of a clients' views.
  • Timely, understandable and accurate advice and information from AMSA.
  • Information about clients' rights, obligations, entitlements, and any costs for services, where appropriate.
  • Respect for the clients' privacy and appropriate treatment of their confidential information.
  • Explanation of how decisions have been made and information about their rights to have decisions reviewed, where relevant.
  • Handling of feedback, including complaints, in a professional and fair manner, as outlined in this charter.
  • Advice about other relevant organisations that can assist where AMSA does not provide the service requested.
  • Consultation during AMSA's reviews of functions and performance, as appropriate.

Standards of service

AMSA will strive to:

  • Respond to telephone inquiries within two working days.
  • Respond to written and electronic communications within 20 working days and where this is not possible, inform clients of the time needed to respond to their request.
  • Use plain language that is clear and easy to understand.

Client responsibilities

AMSA seeks the support and cooperation of its clients in achieving its service standards. It is expected that clients will:

  • Provide timely and accurate information.
  • Treat AMSA staff with courtesy and respect.
  • Fulfil any financial and other obligations in a timely manner.
  • Be honest and fair in their dealings with AMSA.
  • Provide appropriate feedback on AMSA's service delivery.

Feedback – compliments, suggestions and complaints

It is important to AMSA that our clients and stakeholders have the opportunity to provide feedback, including compliments, suggestions for improvement of our services and complaints, to foster continuous improvement in our service delivery.

AMSA seeks formal feedback through several channels, including through established consultative committees, industry meetings and consultations, reviews of our functions and performance, and the holding of conferences and workshops.

In addition, AMSA welcomes stakeholder feedback on the quality of its service delivery. If a stakeholder is not happy with the service received:

  • Contact should be made with the staff member with whom they have been dealing in the first instance.
  • If the complaint cannot be resolved by that staff member, contact should be made with the Manager responsible for that service or function.
  • If the complaint has not been resolved by either of these actions, write to:
    Chief Executive Officer
    Australian Maritime Safety Authority
    GPO Box 2181
    or email
  • If dissatisfied with the way that the complaint has been handled by AMSA, contact can be made with:
    Commonwealth Ombudsman
    GPO Box 442
    Telephone: (02) 6276 0111
    Toll Free: 1300 362 072
    Internet site

Monitoring and review

AMSA regularly reviews its client feedback mechanisms, including the currency of its service charter to ensure that it continues to reflect client and stakeholder needs and expectations.

AMSA monitors its performance under its service charter through the AMSA Management System, including:

  • AMSA Annual Report; and
  • AMSA-wide Management Review process.
The results are published in the AMSA Annual Report each year.


Administrative decisions and Freedom of Information

This service charter deals with the quality of service that AMSA provides to its clients. If a client is not satisfied with an administrative decision that affects that client, the client may have the right to seek review of that decision. AMSA notifies clients of such rights of review and appeal when advising them of an administrative decision.

The public also are entitled to apply for access to documents that fall within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. Further information about making a Freedom of Information application is available by contacting AMSA.


AMSA's head office is open during normal business hours (8.30 am to 5.00 pm local time) Monday to Friday, except public holidays.

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