THE AUSTRALIAN Maritime Safety Authority has released its National Compliance Plan 2023-24 outlining plans to strengthen focus on maritime issues in Australian waters.

The compliance plan aims to give maritime industries and compliance partners insight into the priority focus areas going forward.

According to the latest publication, AMSA’s focus areas for Australian and foreign-flagged vessels are deficiency and detention rates, fire safety and planned maintenance.

“Planned maintenance has been on the compliance radar for the last two years as this issue continues to persist and pose a safety risk,” AMSA said.

“In the last 12 months, propulsion machinery and vessel equipment failures have increased by 34% since 2020 and these have been attributed to failures in planned maintenance.

“Living and working conditions under the Maritime Labour Convention will continue to be a focus area for regulated Australian and foreign-flagged vessels in 2023-24, demonstrating AMSA’s ongoing commitment to upholding modern working and living conditions for seafarers.”

AMSA said it uses inspection and incident data to refine the focus of its compliance activities, a data-driven risk-based approach to improving safety outcomes for the people who work in maritime industries across Australia.

Its key focus areas for domestic commercial vessels include safe navigation, electrical safety, reporting culture and fire safety.

“New requirements around operational safety, specifically on risk assessments, crewing and safety management systems, which come into force from 1 August 2023, have also made the priority list,” AMSA said.

“A survey of domestic commercial vessel operators in 2022 highlighted the need for improved understanding of marine pollution requirements, introducing MARPOL Annex V (Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships) as a focus area for 2023-24 as well.

“AMSA is committed to a data-driven, pragmatic and risk-based approach to compliance that allows for continual improvement and collaboration with maritime communities to achieve a shared mission of safe, clean seas and saving lives.”