AMSA is enforcing Domestic Commercial Vessels Legislation on paddling!
It has recently come to our attention that the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts is conducting a review of the current Domestic Commercial Vessels Legislation. This legislation is administered by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, these rules affect all paddling and sailing providers captured under the legislation. The review is being conducted in two phases, the first focuses on the National Law framework (the draft interim safety report is available at https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/department/media/publications/draft-interim-safety-report-independent-review-domestic-commercial-vessel-safety-legislation ) and the second considers the national system delivery costs and future funding options (Phase 2). The original phase 2 closure was 27 January.
The good news is that Outdoors SA, through collaboration with members of our national peak body the Outdoor Council of Australia (OCA), has requested and received a 6 week consultation extension. We support the submission made by Outdoors Victoria in raising our industry concerns.
We are concerned that the AMSA legislation will have a negative impact around human-powered canoes and kayaks used in the context of camps, outdoor programs and outdoor education.
Outdoors SA will be inviting feedback from South Australian outdoor providers on how the AMSA legislation currently impacts our sector.
Back in 2018, the Federal Government informed the OCA and Outdoors SA through the Prime Minister’s Office that for a period of 3 years, the AMSA system would not be enforced within our sector. We made it clear that their approach was inappropriate to our sector. However, through recent advice from a paddling provider we have become aware that AMSA is now beginning to apply the requirements, and as of now the legislation requires all Domestic Commercial Vessels (DCV’s including canoes and kayaks) to be “registered” as part of the national system.
Current AMSA legislation compliance requirements
Many outdoor providers should comply with the current legislation although there are several vessels that are excluded from the system including:
- a vessel owned and operated by a ‘prescribed community group’ and not hired to or used as a charter for a person who is not a member of the community group
- a vessel owned by a primary or secondary school and not hired or used as a charter for a person who is not a student at the school
- a vessel owned by the Australian Institute of Sport, or a State or Territory government sports institute
The system and the range of exemptions appear rather complex, but based on our investigations and advice from AMSA outdoor providers have two options to meet the legislative requirements.
Option 1: Have the vessel/s covered by a certificate of operation, which will require renewing every 5 years ($212 per fleet). This will allow the vessel/s to be exempted from requiring a unique identifier under Exemption 1 (Vessel Identifiers).
- This option may suit operators with a high number of unpowered vessels that are replaced frequently. It may be more cost and time effective to obtain and renew a certificate of operation once every five years, rather than paying the prescribed fee for applying for a unique identifier per vessel.
Option 2: Apply for a unique identifier for each vessel.
- This option may suit operators who have only a small number of human-powered vessels or human-powered vessels that are not frequently replaced, as UVI’s are issued in perpetuity ($173 per vessel). Exemption 3 can then be utilised for vessels that hold a UVI, meaning there are no ongoing 5 yearly certificate of operation renewals.
- Under Exemption 1 human-powered vessels that obtain a UVI are not required to display them on the vessel.
Finally, under Marine Order 504 all commercial vessels require a safety management system. There is no requirement to lodge this with an application and we believe that operators following the AAAS and Good Practice Guide framework should be able to meet this requirement without further significant effort.
Outdoors SA fully supports endeavours that are aimed at improving safe participation in the outdoors. However it is not clear that Marine Order 504 contributes to this for our sector. Outdoors SA along with the peak bodies in other states will continue to raise concerns about what is clearly an inappropriate application of commercial maritime legislation to human-powered vessels in led outdoor activities.
When the request for feedback comes, we would encourage you all to provide your input.
Our hope is that through a collective national voice our sector will obtain a suitable outcome.
Details on Domestic Commercial Vessels can be found on the AMSA website here.
For further information please contact email@example.com
AMSA Guidelines for a Safety Management System
Australian AAS Enclosed & coastal waters paddle-craft GPG – Canoeing, sit in & sit on top kayaking and stand up paddleboarding on enclosed & coastal waters.
Maritime Safety SA
Independent Review of Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety Legislation and Costs and Charging Arrangements
Thanks to Outdoors NSW and peaks collaborating to host an online discussion with AMSA on current legislation requirements.
The survey is open here