Policy statement by the Deputy Prime Minister on arrangements from 1 July 2018 for the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety

From 1 July 2018, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will be the sole service provider under the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety (national system). States and the Northern Territory will stop delivering services and charges at this time.

The Australian Government remains committed to the national system delivering safety benefits for commercial boating, fishing and tourism operations across Australia. Importantly, industry remains supportive of a national system of maritime safety regulation.

The Australian Government has listened to the concerns of Australia's domestic commercial vessel industries about the cumulative impact of costs and charges on these industries.

In response, I am announcing the Australian Government will provide an additional $10 million funding for the national system, increasing our total contribution to $65 million over ten years, and increasing total funding by all governments to $112.4 million.

This additional funding will mean no levy will be charged to industry for the first three years of AMSA's service delivery to assist all operators as services transition. 

This will provide two more years for AMSA to engage with industry on a range of important matters including:

  • the most efficient and effective ways to deliver services to industry;
  • opportunities to reduce costs to industry without compromising safety; and
  • ways to reduce administrative burden so industry can get on with the job.

Fees for services will commence on 1 July 2018 for the services AMSA will provide to individuals, such as issuing safety certification to vessels and seafarers, and accrediting marine surveyors. 

I am pleased AMSA is already identifying efficiencies in its processes that are reducing costs for Australia's vital tourism, transport and fishing industries.

Efficiencies have already been identified in the processes for AMSA issuing a new Certificate of Survey and the fee for a Certificate of Survey renewal will be reduced from $366 to $206. All other fees will be charged as published in April 2018. 

Unpowered vessels used in commercial hire and drive operations such as canoes and kayaks will be exempt from the levy, and remain exempt from levy.   

A review of all costs and charges for the national system will be conducted in 2020–21 and involve wide public consultation.

The review will consider the appropriateness of fees and charges for the national system in an informed manner, with the benefit of two years of nationally consistent data on the risk and effort required to implement the national system.