Australian Maritime Safety Authority

The Modernised Australian Ship Tracking and Reporting System (MASTREP)

Saving lives

The Modernised Australian Ship Tracking and Reporting System (MASTREP) is a Ship Reporting System designed to contribute to safety of life at sea.

About MASTREP

MASTREP is operated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) through AMSA Search and Rescue in Canberra.

Australia's SAR Area

Australia's Search and Rescue Area

Participation in MASTREP is mandatory for certain vessels but others are encouraged to participate.

The International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) was opened for signature in 1979.

By becoming a signatory to the SAR Convention, Australia has accepted SAR responsibility for the Australian Search and Rescue Region (SRR).

The MASTREP system is used to track vessels in the SRR and allows Australia to meet its search and rescue obligations.

MASTREP provides positional data on vessels transiting Australia’s region via Automatic Identification System (AIS) technology which ensures that only the closest vessels are requested to assist in a SAR incident, reducing the need for vessels to steam long distances from their intended voyage plan.

Given the vast area of Australia’s Search and Rescue Region, merchantmen are often the only resources available that can quickly respond to an incident.

Concept of operations

MASTREP uses automated Position Reports transmitted by AIS.

Positional data is updated at intervals between five minutes and five hours depending on the location and source.

There is no requirement in MASTREP to transmit:

  • Sail Plans (SP)
  • Deviation Reports (DR)
  • Final Reports (FR).

MASTREP is a passive ship reporting system and does not involve shore to vessel communications.

Participation

The Commonwealth of Australia Navigation Act 2012 and Marine Orders Part 63 makes the provision of Position Reports mandatory for certain vessels.

The following vessels must report to MASTREP: 

  • foreign vessels from the arrival at its first port in Australia until its departure from its final port in Australia
  • all regulated Australian vessels whilst in the MASTREP area.

Voluntary participation

Vessels participating in MASTREP transmit positional data to AMSA Australia.

This helps identify vessels in the vicinity of search and rescue incidents.

Masters are strongly encouraged to report to MASTREP voluntarily even where it is not mandated.

Participation enhances safety.

Domestic commercial vessels fitted with Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and AIS technology are also encouraged to participate.

Further Information

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