Role statement - Australian Maritime Safety Authority

About the Australian Maritime Safety Authority

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is a Commonwealth Government statutory agency and an emergency first responder agency with a public safety focus.
The Commonwealth Government has a responsibility under a number of international conventions to provide:

  • a maritime and aviation search and rescue service, within the Australian Search and Rescue Region covering 52.8 million square kilometres of land and sea
  • a response to pollution in the marine environment
  • that these obligations have been nationally legislated
  • measures for ship and crew safety.


Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Develop and implement legislation to enhance safety of ships and crews, and maintain qualifications of crews


Prevent and mitigate pollution from ships


Build awareness of aviation and maritime safety by participating in seminars, aircraft, boat and 4WD shows, safety campaigns and journal articles


Promote and register distress beacons for safety in aviation, maritime and remote land activities including bush walking

1.4, 1.5

Participate in national emergency planning, preparedness and mitigation measures


Participate in relevant aviation, maritime, emergency management and critical infrastructure forums, exercises, and training


Participating agency for the following maritime emergency (non-search and rescue) mitigation activities:

  • condition surveys for vessel class, commercial charter, and insurance requirements
  • international Maritime Organisation licensing requirements and audits for vessel crews
  • implementation of International Safety Management code requirements (e.g. safety management system)
  • State and national audits and inspection of commercial vessels, port infrastructure, offshore facilities (note vessel condition monitoring is undertaken by the Commonwealth)
  • Navigational systems including charts, Vessel Tracking Service, Dynamic Under Keel Clearance system, marks, aids to navigation (wave, wind, tide, swell etc.), personal pilotage units etc.

Table 8: Participating agencies for mitigation

Response (including Relief)

Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Control Agency for aviation and maritime search and rescue, and distress beacon detection


Table 9: Control agencies for response

Control Agency for marine pollution response originating from ships within Australian waters falling outside of a state or the Northern territory


Control Agency for ship casualty within Australian waters falling outside of a state or the Northern Territory


Develop and maintain maritime navigation safety


Promote aviation and maritime search and rescue and develop associated arrangements


Manager of the National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies including management of oil spill response equipment stockpiles, an aerial dispersant capability and a national team of trained responders and emergency managers 

12.4, 16.5


For recovery activities, refer directly to the agency for further information.

Assurance and Learning

For assurance and learning activities, refer directly to the agency for further information.