ATSB streamlines marine accident and incident reporting requirements

The tugs York Cove and Campbell Cove submerged alongside berth number Three West at the Port of Devonport in Australia after they were struck by the cement carrier Goliath on January 28, 2022 (Photo: ATSB)

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said it anticipates amendments to the Transport Safety Investigations Regulations (TSI Regulations), which detail the requirements for reporting transport accidents and incidents to the ATSB, will take effect on January 1, 2023.

“The TSI Regulations set out the ATSB’s safety occurrence reporting scheme and prescribes what occurrences must be reported to the ATSB, the ‘responsible persons’ who are required to make a report, and the particulars to be included in a report,” said ATSB Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell.

For the marine industry, changes to the regulations primarily relate to the new requirement that marine pilotage providers and vessel traffic service authorities are prescribed as “responsible persons” who will now be required to report transport safety occurrences.

Mr Mitchell explained that this is to cover occurrences that would otherwise not be reported because a ship leaves port and no other relevant entity with knowledge of the occurrence would be in a position to report to the ATSB.

For the marine industry – AMSA is a nominated official to receive occurrence reports from responsible persons, which are then transmitted to the ATSB.

“Capturing additional reporting from pilotage providers and vessel traffic service authorities will establish a more accurate dataset for safety analysis conducted by the ATSB,” added Mr Mitchell.

In consultations with industry and AMSA, some pilotage providers and vessel traffic service authorities already voluntarily submit reporting to AMSA.

The amendments have now been approved by the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, and have been proposed to the Executive Council for endorsement in coming weeks. The amended tegulations and new reporting requirements would take effect from January 1, 2023.

“Reporting is a simple and quick process,” Mr Mitchell concluded. “Nonetheless we do recognise the marine industry has been through a period of considerable change and disruption in recent years and do stress that our approach to implementing these amended regulations is to focus on education and encouraging better reporting practices over an extended period, with less emphasis placed on compliance particularly for industry participants who may not be fully across the new requirements.

“Ultimately all of industry benefits from an open and trusted and marine occurrence reporting framework.”


Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.