New National Framework for State Commercial Vessels Act

New National Framework for State Commercial Vessel Acts

New laws have passed the National Parliament that bring the states under a national system of governance for Commercial Vessels. The new Act called the Maritime Safety Amendment (Domestic Commercial Vessel National Law Application) Bill 2012 enables the formation of a single maritime safety system to govern the operation of commercial vessels in Australian waters.

It means that the new laws extinguish state responsibility in the areas of survey, registration and competency. In practical terms, it means that a vessel that is registered in Queensland in compliance with the national standards can work in NSW without the necessity of additional inspection and certification.

The new laws will mean greater uniformity in standards, legislation, administration and competency. As state based certificates expire they will be replaced by national ones. It is envisaged to have all state certificates replaced by national ones by year's end 2016.

The changes will not affect the management of ports or harbours or the regulation of waterways. They will not affect Recreational vessels or licensing.

The changes were agreed to at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) IN July, 2009 and implementation of the new system has been delayed to ensure that administrative and policy changes in the states can be affected.

The AMOU welcomes the changes and supports a clearer, more practical, and more transparent approach to maritime administration and governance.

Robert Coombs

AMOU- Industrial Officer