Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Simplifying the rules for domestic working boats

New safety laws

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has introduced eight rule changes since September 2014. Most of the key streamlining reforms will be in place by December 2015.

Streamlining review

AMSA conducted a streamlining review in June 2014 and identified 13 ways to make it easier for industry to comply with new safety laws for the domestic commercial fleet.

AMSA shared those proposals with industry in 27 national meetings, asked for industry comment and pledged to keep industry members informed as it made the reform changes.

Please see the relevant class below for your vessel updates


Class 1

  • Exemption 39 exempts Class 1C vessels from the requirement to fit lights to passenger life jackets.


Classes 1 – 3

  • New low complexity duties Exemption 38 allows crew who would otherwise require a Coxswain 1 or 2 to operate a new vessel under arrangements similar to those in place for operating an existing vessel.
  • Exemption 07 allows immediate operation pending issue of a Certificate of Survey, and also allows for the temporary operation of vessels without certificates for the purposes of sea trials, periodic slipping of the vessel and relocations.
  • Exemption 04 allows vessels under 12m to operate recreationally without making an application.
  • An equivalent solution GES 2014/04 for construction of inflatable boats.
  • An equivalent solution GES 2014/03 for stability and buoyancy of sail vessels.
  • An equivalent solution GES 2015/02 for compass adjustments.

Class 4

  • An equivalent solution GES 2014/03 for stability and buoyancy of sail vessels.
  • An equivalent solution GES 2014/04 for construction of inflatable boats.
  • An equivalent solution GES 2015/02 for compass adjustments.
  • Exemption 02 now includes all human powered vessels, small sail craft and personal watercraft to the non-survey category.

New reforms

Class 1, 2 and 3

  • Creation of a new "Restricted C" vessel class will include scaled-down requirements for fishing and non-passenger vessels operating close to shore.
  • New endorsement to enable a Master <35m to operate a vessel <45m, subject to minimum sea service requirements.

Streamlining Feedback document PDF size
Lizard island research station [pdfPDF: 461 Kb]
MIPEC [pdfPDF: 755 Kb]
Pearl Producers [pdfPDF: 525 Kb]
Levato Fisheries [pdfPDF: 81 Kb]
Port & Coastal Marine Services [pdfPDF: 7 Kb]
Marine Fishers Association Inc. (MFA) [pdfPDF: 517 Kb]
Bunbury Boat Cruises [pdfPDF: 517 Kb]
Department of Fisheries Western Australia [pdfPDF: 481 Kb]
The University of Adelaide [pdfPDF: 118 Kb]
Collaborated streamlining feedback [pdfPDF: 612 Kb]
Stradbroke Ferries and Aurora Marine [pdfPDF: 135 Kb]

Streamlining video

Related information

The Statement of Regulatory Approach describes the regulatory approach of the National Regulator. The streamlining reforms are the first steps to align the rules, regulations and processes of the National System with this approach.

You can read the feedback [pdfPDF: 712 Kb] and submissions received from those that attended the streamlining information sessions as well as the feedback report [pdfPDF: 1.22 Mb].

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