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The National System – 5-Years of service delivery by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority

On 1 July 2013, the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel (DCV) Safety commenced.

A 5-year transitional period began, whereby the marine safety agencies of each state and territory acted as delegates for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) under the Marine Safety (DCV) National Law Act 2012 (NL Act).

The National System replaced 8 sets of rules with one regulatory scheme and is based on nationally agreed standards for DCVs.

In 2018, AMSA took on the service delivery of the National System.

Now 5 years on, AMSA Chief Executive Officer Mick Kinley reflects on this milestone and some of the initial changes the transition incorporated, which continue to serve the organisation in its mission to ensure safe vessel operations.

“The tools and procedures multiple teams implemented to improve efficiency, consistency, awareness and the allocation of resources have proven invaluable towards ongoing safety improvements and the reduction of fatalities associated with DCV operations,” he said.

“We reached out to industry with a single regulatory focus and vision, and developed communication processes and systems to strengthen our stakeholder relationships.”

Mr Kinley further highlights the importance of collaboration and industry engagement.

“We established national and regional safety committees early to represent different industry groups and help ensure amended or new regulations and compliance expectations effectively address the risks their operations face,” he said.

“The establishment of such committees to inform the way we continually refine our legislative safety standards has been integral to their progressive improvement, and AMSA’s approach as a modern regulator.”

The National System to date has encompassed multiple regulatory changes and safety initiatives.

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