Enhancing efforts to ensure safe port access

TasPorts is committed to the provision of safe port access and works closely with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).


29 September 2023

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is committed to being a risk-based and intelligence-led modern regulator of shipping. With the release of an enhanced model for ship inspections, the AMSA will target sub-standard vessels scheduled to enter Australian ports.

The enhanced model was developed in response to the increasing complexity and diversity of the global shipping fleet and the need to focus inspection resources on the areas where they are most needed.

What does the enhanced model entail?

The enhanced model will provide authorisation for AMSA surveyors to inspect a ship recorded as ‘sub-standard’ to be inspected more frequently.

A vessel inspection database assists AMSA surveyors calculate the risk factor of a ship, allowing the surveyors to target elevated-risk vessels for inspection.

As inspections are recorded, ships that consistently meet or exceed safety standards may be inspected less in the long term.

In Tasmania, AMSA has a number of surveyors who operate statewide, ensuring ships that enter our ports are compliant with all necessary standards.

The enhanced model takes into account Australia’s Port State Control measures.

What is Port State Control?

As part of Port State Control in Australia, ships may be subject to inspection to identify any deficiencies. If a ship is found to have a deficiency, it may be detained until the issue is resolved.

Ports State Control is in place to ensure ships visiting Australian ports are in working order, compliant with legislation and safe.

Throughout the year, the AMSA will undertake focused inspection campaigns (FIC), providing advice to ship owners and masters of the campaign theme. In previous years, campaigns have focused on:

  • Livestock ships departing Australian ports
  • Proper stowage and securing of cargo containers
  • Areas on ships that commonly have deficiencies
  • Visibility and collision avoidance
  • Crew living conditions
  • Safety of navigation applies to foreign-flagged ships and Regulated Australian Vessels (RAVs) arriving at Australian ports.

Ship inspections

When selecting a ship for inspection, the AMSA consider several factors:

  • Environmental risk
  • Vessel complaints
  • AMSA risk-based vessel inspection targeting scheme

Vessels become eligible for inspections every six months; however, as mentioned above, the AMSA may reduce this period if deemed necessary.

The AMSA enhanced model for ship inspection is an important part of AMSA’s commitment to maritime safety. The model helps to ensure that ships operating in Australian waters are safe and compliant with international standards.

TasPorts is proud to work alongside the AMSA as they continue to deliver this innovative and risk-based approach to shipping, which has been praised by the international maritime community.

Visit the Australian Maritime Safety Authority website for more information.