AMSA Annual Inspections Report provides safety snapshot of domestic and international vessels in Australia


The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has released its Inspections Annual Report, highlighting a significant increase in maritime safety regulatory activity. 

The Inspections Annual Report covers AMSA’s inspection activities on domestic commercial vessels (DCVs) such as fishing boats and ferries, as well as regulated Australian vessels and foreign-flagged shipping vessels under port State control.  

Domestically, AMSA reported a significant increase in DCV detentions in 2023, with passenger vessels and fishing boats having the highest rates of non-compliance. 

DCV detentions often related to deficient life-saving equipment (such as lifejackets, life buoys or life-rafts) and safety management systems. 

Encouragingly, foreign-flagged vessels had a decrease in detainable deficiencies related to labour conditions between 2022 and 2023.  

These rates fell from 7.3% to 4.2%, indicating that AMSA’s firm stance on enforcing seafarer rights is having tangible impacts on their working and living conditions. 

However, the year resulted in an overall increase in foreign-flagged vessel detentions, with heavy load carriers representing the poorest performing vessel type.  

Structural and equipment deficiencies were most prevalent deficiencies identified on these vessels. 

AMSA Executive Director of Operations Michael Drake said these results are a testament to Australia’s rigorous port State control regime.  

“Our inspection regimes are fundamental in our process of identifying where we need to focus our efforts to uphold maritime safety,” he said. 

“The community has an expectation that vessels, whether small domestic boats, or large international ships, will meet their minimum safety and environmental protection standards. 

“AMSA staff do an outstanding job of keeping our seas safe. 

“But the report isn’t all bad news – we highlight high performing operators that consistently passed inspections with few deficiencies throughout 2023.” 

This is AMSA’s second Annual Inspections Report. Prior to 2022, AMSA released a Port State Control Annual Report, which only reported on foreign-flagged vessel inspections. 

The data and findings from the 2023 Inspections Annual Report will be incorporated into AMSA’s next National Compliance Plan, to be published later this year.  

Read the report here.


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