Australia: AMSA Guidelines

Port State Control

Published: 24 February 2015

Members are asked to take note of AMSA Marine Notice 03/2015, which sets out guidelines for directions by this authority for access and refusal of access to Australian ports.

AMSA Guidelines

Members will be aware that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has a rigorous approach to vessel inspections and the application of laws and conventions concerning maritime safety and standards.

In Marine Notice 03/2015, AMSA outlines its approach to the enforcement of standards as well powers it has under the Australian Navigation Act 2012 which include:

  • ordering a vessel to not enter a port or to enter the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
  • comply with specific requirements of AMSA for entering or leaving any port or the EEZ

If AMSA decides that a vessel has a poor Port State Control (PSC) record, or concerns about the operator / owner of the vessel, then access may be refused. AMSA may order a three month refusal, a 12 month refusal as well as a 24 month refusal.

It is important to note that AMSA will focus particularly on protection of the marine environment as well as compliance with the Maritime Labour Convention, as well as navigational issues when conducting an inspection, but that does not mean other failures to comply will be ignored or treated with less severity.

Details of AMSA's policy and approach can be found in Marine Notice 03/2015, republished alongside this advisory.

Further reading and guidelines

Members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the latest Marine Notice from AMSA, as well as the further information published on AMSA's website.

This includes information and guidance to Port State Control inspections, such as an introductory video and other material.

The Association would reiterate that AMSA conducts inspections rigorously and applies standards tightly.

With respect to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), Members are reminded that this will be applied by the PSC of a ratifying nation, irrespective of whether or not the vessel's flag state has ratified it.

Skuld has a dedicated MLC resource section for members' further reference.

For vessel specific enquiries, members are asked to contact their usual Skuld business unit.

The Association is grateful to correspondents Ausship P&I for their assistance with this update.