National Law

The Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (the National Law) and the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law (Consequential Amendments) Act 2012 commenced on 1 July 2013.

The National Law implements the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on Commercial Vessel Safety Reform signed by Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Ministers on 19 August 2011 to develop a national approach to regulating the safety of all domestic commercial vessels and to establish the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) as the single national regulator for domestic commercial vessel safety in Australia.

The National Law replaces current state and territory laws governing the operational safety of domestic commercial vessels. A national approach supported by one national law will ensure that standards, rules and subordinate legislation such as regulations and Marine Orders are applied consistently around the country.

The National Law is also designed to apply the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) throughout Australia. The NSCV is a set of standards covering commercial vessel operation, construction and crew qualifications developed by State and Territory transport agencies and agreed by Transport Ministers. The NSCV is being implemented through subordinate legislation made under the National Law.

As the National Regulator, AMSA is responsible for the development and implementation of national domestic commercial vessel standards covering vessel construction, operation and crew qualifications. However, under the National Law, AMSA will delegate certain functions to State and Territory maritime safety agencies which undertake day-to-day interaction with the domestic commercial vessel industry.

On 1 September 2016, the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Amendment (Cost Recovery) Regulation 2016 commences. In compliance with the Australian Government’s Cost Recovery Guidelines, AMSA have published a cost recovery implementation statement (CRIS) outlining the policy and legislative authority to cost recover for these services and the approach to introducing this cost recovery mechanism:

AMSA is currently holding a series of question sessions around Australia for stakeholders to talk one-on-one with an AMSA representative about cost recovery under the National Law. Consultation will continue until 10 October 2016 and submissions can be made through AMSA's consultation page:

AMSA Consultation


Last Updated: 2 January, 2018