Incident and inspection data on emerging risks to safety, continues to sharpen the compliance focus of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) with the release of its third consecutive National Compliance Plan on 1 July 2022.

Compliance focus areas for 2022-23 seek to improve compliance and maritime safety by analysing safety data to identify areas of concern. AMSA will prioritise its tailored compliance initiatives and allocate resources in the most efficient and effective way to achieve the best safety outcomes.

While these areas are our primary focus, we may broaden and adjust our efforts to other areas in response to new data and emerging trends

The trends and data analysis in each of the identified focus areas inform the risks and the actions we will take to improve safety outcomes. Within these focus areas, AMSA has identified responses and activities that are:

  1. Focus area 1: Port and flag State control
  • Deficiency and detention rates: AMSA will continue to conduct PSC inspection rates based on vessel priority according to the table below. We will increase the number of FSC inspections performed across the year by 10% and continue to conduct Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Act inspections where the Act applies.
  • Planned maintenance: AMSA will continue to focus on the maintenance of vessels visiting Australian ports and will conduct an educational campaign including publication of a safety bulletin informed by the outcomes of the focussed inspections. We will continue to conduct detailed planned maintenance inspections on vessels throughout the year.
  • Fire safety: AMSA will develop and publish a maritime safety bulletin in 2022/23 on fire safety with a focus on adapting fire prevention and firefighting practices to the cargo being carried onboard.
  • Water/weather tight integrity and conditions: AMSA will carry out a safety compliance campaign focusing on water/weather tight integrity and will conduct detailed inspections targeting water and weather tight integrity throughout the financial year.
  • STCW Tokyo MoU Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC): AMSA will participate in the Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Concentrated Inspection Campaign.
  • Cargo securing on ships: AMSA will continue to focus in this area with an ongoing education campaign using the results of the 2021 focused inspections. AMSA will also continue its inspection focus on cargo securing throughout the financial year with 200 detailed cargo securing inspections on container vessels.
  1. Focus area 2: Maritime Labour Convention
  • Living and working conditions: AMSA will Continue to play a leading role in the Australian Seafarer Welfare Council (ASWC) to promote seafarer welfare services available in Australian ports through port welfare committees to support and protect seafarers; Continue to publish the annual MLC report to present an analysis of MLC complaints, compliance and follow up actions undertaken in Australia; Enhance our audit program for Australian seafarer recruitment providers in line with MLC requirements.
  1. Focus area 3: Domestic commercial vessels
  • DCV inspection targeting: AMSA will conduct 2,450 inspections of domestic commercial vessels based on vessel priority. In addition, AMSA will conduct a minimum of 60 days at sea as a part of joint operations with our compliance partners targeting the crew and fleet of DCVs.
  • Risk assessment: AMSA will conduct a safety compliance campaign which will include education and focused inspections on risk assessment, targeting Class 2 (non-passenger vessel) operations in port limits, including towage and vessel transfer operations.
  • Overdue periodic surveys: AMSA will engage with stakeholders directly and notify them of alleged overdue surveys, record the outcomes and update its records accordingly. The need for education and follow up activity will be guided by the response of the stakeholders. The focus of this campaign is to communicate to its stakeholders the importance of survey from both a risk to the safety of the vessel, and compliance perspective.
  • Planned maintenance: In 2021/2022 AMSA will be working with operators to ensure planned maintenance schedules and plans are being put into practice to maintain the material state of the vessel, its equipment and certification. AMSA will also conduct a safety compliance campaign focusing on vessel maintenance which will also include lifejackets and safety equipment.
  • Certificates of competency – national law, 2023 amendments: AMSA will conduct an education campaign raising awareness of the changes in requirements surrounding crew certification in the period leading up to and following the new requirements coming into force.
  1. Focus area 4: Search and rescue
  • Inadvertent beacon alerts in DCVs: AMSA will conduct a targeted education campaign providing information on the importance of correct handling and stowage of float-free EPIRBS to prevent inadvertent activation.
  1. Focus area 5: Environmental
  • Ship sulphur analysis: In addition to manual fuel oil sampling, AMSA will utilise airborne sulphur sniffing equipment on remotely piloted aircraft to detect possible non-compliance with Annex VI of MARPOL.