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The Australian Federal government has announced an additional $10 million in funding for the launch of the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety (National System) administered by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which began on 1 July this year.
Last year, in response to an industry backlash over new fees and charges associated with the National System, the government promised $102 million in funding over ten years and announced that no levies would be charged during the first year of the scheme’s operation. With the additional funding, the levy-free period has now been extended to three years.
Announcing the funding boost, deputy prime minster Michael McCormack said the government remains committed to the National System delivering safety benefits for commercial boating, fishing and tourism operations across Australia.
“The Australian Government has listened to the concerns of Australia’s domestic commercial vessel industries about the cumulative impact of costs and charges on these industries. In response, I am announcing the Australian Government will provide an additional $10 million funding for the national system, increasing our total contribution to $65 million over ten years, and increasing total funding by all governments to $112.4 million.
“This additional funding will mean no levy will be charged to industry for the first three years of AMSA’s service delivery to assist all operators as services transition.
“This will provide two more years for AMSA to engage with industry on a range of important matters.”
New fees for services provided by AMSA to individuals, such as issuing safety certification to vessels and seafarers, and accrediting marine surveyors, were also introduced on 1 July. However, the government also announced that due to “efficiencies that have already been identified” by AMSA, the fee for a new Certificate of Survey and a Certificate of Survey renewal will be reduced from $366 to $206.
A review of all costs and charges for the National System will be conducted in 2020–21 including public consultation.
Courtesy of www.marinebusiness.com.au