All domestic commercial vessels are required to have a Certificate of Operation. The Certificate of Operation identifies the kinds of operations and area(s) of operation for one or more vessels.
Certificate of Operation will normally be issued for five years to a person, or business, who can demonstrate competency and capacity in relation to the safe operation of domestic commercial vessels. The competency and capacity requirements are based on the certificate holder having a safety management system meeting the current National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) Part E. This will be incrementally introduced.
Commercial Leisure Craft are vessels that permit members of the public to enjoy boating without having to own a boat.
Prior to commencement of the national system, MAST applied a regulatory system of licensing commercial leisure craft operators. The licence ensured that an operator developed a Safety Management Plan to be certain that the safety of the customer is considered before and whilst they are on the water, and that the vessels used in the operation are approved for use in a commercial activity.
Under the National System, existing licensed operators are deemed to have a Certificate of Operation until expiry of the licence or a Certificate of Survey or Registration of a vessel within their fleet.
When that occurs, an application must be made for a national system Certificate of Operation which will replace the existing leisure craft licence.
For Safety management, Certificates of Operation and information on how to apply, see the AMSA website – Certificates of Operation
It has been demonstrated that an effective Safety Management Plan is a tool that will help to manage risks associated with vessel operation and will improve safety.
Since 2003, passenger vessels have operated in Tasmania with safety management plans in place.
The National system will have a focus on operators managing operational risk.
Under the National system, operations using vessels with an existing Certificate of Survey, registration or other approval to operate are deemed to have a Certificate of Operation until the current approval expires.
On expiry of the current approval, the owner is required to apply for a Certificate of Operation.
For existing vessels, from commencement of the National system, a Certificate of Operation will be based on an operator’s declaration that there is a system in place for identifying hazards, assessing risks and taking remedial action to reduce the level of risk to as low as reasonably practical.
For operations involving existing vessels and licence holders, the safety management requirements that apply now will continue.
Prior to 2016, existing vessel operators and licence holders are required to comply with the new NSCV Part E, however crewing requirements may be grandfathered.
For operations involving new passenger vessels, a safety management plan in accordance with NSCV Part E will be required from 1 July 2013.
Safety management, Certificates of Operation and information on how to apply can be accessed on the AMSA Website:
The AMSA website provides some background information on the Certificate of Operation and provides safety management plan examples and other information
The following link is to the relevant NSCV Part E standard which details the operational requirements relevant to a vessel that should be included in a SMP.
AMSA (Liaison Officer Tasmania)
32A Salamanca Square, Battery Point
Mobile – 0439 406 436
TSIC is developing a template for Safety Management System (SMS) for smaller open dinghy operations. The template will be available to industry when approval is given by AMSA.
For further assistance contact:
Julie Gathercole on 6235 8819 (0419 588 561).
The Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessels) National Law Act 2012 (National Law) requires that both the owner and master of a Domestic Commercial Vessel that is involved in a marine incident, report the incident within the time frames provided for by the National Law, to the National Regulator.
Whether you are communicating an Initial Report, or submitting a Written Report, these should be directed to Marine and Safety Tasmania.
For further information, visit the AMSA website – Incident Reporting
Training vessels are vessels owned by sailing and boating clubs and other organisations to provide practical accredited recreational boating education courses for the general public.
Prior to commencement of the National system, MAST issued training vessel licences to operators with safety management plans in place.
Under the National system, existing licensed operators are deemed to have a Certificate of Operation and may continue to operate under the existing training vessel licence, using existing vessels that are attached to a licence.
When an existing training vessel licence expires, an application must be made for a National system Certificate of Operation.
New training vessel operators must apply for a Certificate of Operation from commencement of the National system and new training vessels must meet the requirements of the NSCV Part G.
Safety management, Certificates of Operation and information on how to apply can be accessed on the AMSA website.
The National system defines the use of both tender and auxiliary vessels as follows:
A tender vessel:
- May be used to transport goods or people between the shore and its parent vessel or between its parent vessel and another vessel; or
- Does not move more than 1 nautical mile from its parent vessel (or another distance determined by the National Regulator).
An auxiliary vessel:
- Does not move further than 5 nautical miles from its parent vessel if it does not carry passengers;
- Does not move further than 2 nautical miles from its parent vessel if it does carry passengers;.
- Is less than 7.5 metres in length (or another length determined by the National Regulator);
- Carries up to 12 passengers (or another number determined by the National Regulator);
- Is not powered by a petrol inboard engine.
Pre-existing Tasmanian legislation applied to the design standard and operation of auxiliary vessels.
One or more auxiliary vessels may already be recorded with your operation. If your operation will continue to involve use of tender and/or auxiliary vessels from a parent vessel, the National system requires these to be recorded on an application for a Certificate of Operation.
More information on tender and auxiliary vessels can be accessed via the AMSA website.