THE Australian Maritime Safety Authority has revealed its compliance agenda for the 2022-23 financial year after publishing its third consecutive National Compliance Plan.

AMSA executive director of operations Michael Drake said the regulator’s intelligence-led and risk-based approach to compliance identified focus areas for the forthcoming year.

“Our regulated community is vast and our resources are finite. By using marine incident and inspection data, we can identify emerging risks to safety and focus our compliance efforts where they are most needed,” Mr Drake said.

“This approach has proven to be effective in previous years and we continue to refine it with each iteration of our National Compliance Plan.”

AMSA’s regulatory community includes foreign and regulated Australian vessels, as well as domestic commercial vessels – spanning everything from solo bait fishing operations on remote Queensland beaches, all the way up to 300-metre containerships on global routes.


Mr Drake said compliance focus areas for foreign and regulated Australian vessels include planned maintenance and fire safety around cargo operations, among other areas identified in the plan.

“Nearly three quarters of all marine incidents from the last three years can be linked to failures in planned maintenance, meanwhile nearly 14% of all detainable deficiencies identified during port state control inspections last year related to fire safety,” Mr Drake said.

“Looking closer to home at our domestic commercial vessel fleet, we’ve seen inadequate risk assessments as a contributory factor in around 30% of marine incident investigations conducted by AMSA to-date.

“We’ve also scrutinised our domestic commercial vessel database and identified 1400 overdue periodic surveys – this will be another focus area of our compliance activities for 2022-23.”

Last year’s National Compliance Plan saw AMSA meet or exceeded most of its inspection targets for port and flag state control, including focused inspections on navigational safety, cargo securing and planned maintenance. AMSA inspected over 2200 domestic commercial vessels, and conducted successful safety campaigns focusing on passenger safety, risk assessment on construction barges, marine incident reporting and fatigue.