TasPorts Vessel Traffic Services achieves international certification

A commitment to ensuring the highest standards of maritime safety in Tasmanian port waters has led to TasPorts receiving certification as a Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) Authority by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).


05 February 2021

TasPorts is only the eighth organisation in Australia to receive an Instrument of Authority from AMSA, which is recognised internationally as a navigational safety measure through the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea 74/78 (SOLAS). The certification applies to 10 distinct areas across Tasmania, accounting for almost 40% of Australia’s certified VTS areas.

VTS is the primary tool used by TasPorts to manage the safe and efficient movement of vessels approaching and operating within Tasmanian port limits and pilotage areas. The service also provides information to vessel masters and pilots to effectively manage ship traffic and scheduling functions at the state’s primary ports.

TasPorts Chief Executive Officer Anthony Donald said the company was pleased to have received the certification.

“This result follows a significant body of work over the last 18 months and is testament to the skill, dedication and commitment of our people to ensuring the highest standards of maritime safety in port waters, pilotage areas and also VTS areas,” he said.

“This achievement went hand-in-hand with the relocation of TasPorts VTS operations from Bell Bay, to Launceston in 2019 enabling co-location with our state-wide Security Operations Centre. This has been underpinned by a $3 million investment which has included IT improvements and field equipment upgrades.

“Alongside this, TasPorts has recently completed the implementation of PortMate, a contemporary port management information system that will continue to improve the level of service to our customers on a day-to-day basis.”

Mr Donald said the TasPorts VTS Authority has a number of objectives to meet as part of its operations, including assisting with safe and efficient vessel movements, enhancing navigational safety, minimising the risk of maritime incidents and potential environmental harm, as well as ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.

“A certified VTS will provide the communications platform to ensure enhanced response capabilities in the event of any safety or pollution incident.”

The TasPorts VTS Centre is operated 24/7 and has AIS and VHF coverage of the VTS Areas.

TasPorts has received Authority as an Information Service (IS) and a Traffic Organisation Service (TOS) for the Ports of:

  • Hobart
  • Bell Bay
  • Devonport
  • Burnie
  • Port Latta
  • Stanley
  • Grassy

TasPorts has received Authority as an Information Service (IS) only for the Ports of:

  • Strahan
  • Coles Bay
  • Lady Barron

Information Service (INS): a service that provides essential and timely information to assist the on board decision-making process, and

Traffic Organisation Service (TOS): a service to prevent the development of dangerous maritime traffic situations and to provide for the safe and efficient movement of vessel traffic within the VTS Area.

The level of service for each Port was determined via risk assessment, however, should the risk profile of our Ports change at any time in the future, TasPorts can apply to change its service.

More detailed information about TasPorts VTS, including contact details, call signs and vessel forms can be found here: Port access Terms and Conditions

Tas Ports081220 640
Tas Ports081220 635
Tas Ports081220 639