The majority of AIMPE members working on vessels are covered by Federal legislation. There is a vast array of laws in place but here are some of the more important laws which members may find useful. To check on all current Federal legislation visit:

Maritime Legislation

Since 2012 the Federal Navigation Act applies principally to international trading vessels. This legislation adopts IMO Conventions such as SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW and CollRegs. It also applies the Maritime Labour Convention which is of most importance to visiting foreign seafarers. Interstate trading ships can opt to be covered by the Navigation Act.

Navigation Act 2012

Navigation_Act_2012_as_at_1_July_2016_C2016C00853.pdf Navigation_Act_2012_as_at_1_July_2016_C2016C00853.pdf (2.46 MB)

Marine Order 72

Marine_Order_72_Engineer_Officers_2014___F2014L00179.pdf Marine_Order_72_Engineer_Officers_2014___F2014L00179.pdf (749.69 KB)

Most commercial vessels in Australia have been covered by the Domestic Commercial Vessels Act since 2012:

Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessels) Act 2012

Marine_Safety_Domestic_Commercial_Vessel_National_Law_2012_as_at_5_March_2016_C2016C00377.pdf Marine_Safety_Domestic_Commercial_Vessel_National_Law_2012_as_at_5_March_2016_C2016C00377.pdf (1.65 MB)

Marine Order 505

Marine_Order_505_Certificates_of_competency__national_law_2013___F2014C01311.pdf Marine_Order_505_Certificates_of_competency__national_law_2013___F2014C01311.pdf (598.06 KB)

The carriage of cargoes and passengers between Australian ports is regulated by the Coastal Trading Act 2012 - however under this legislation over 8,000 Temporary Licences have been granted to foreign flag ships with foreign crews to operate between Australian ports.

The number of Australian flag major trading ships  licenced under the Coastal Trading Act 2012 has fallen to 11.

The Coastal Trading Act has failed to Revitalise Australian Shipping.

Coastal Trading Act 2012

Coastal_Trading_Act_2012.pdf Coastal_Trading_Act_2012.pdf (616.09 KB)

The Shipping Registration Act 2012 continued the previous policy of requiring Australian owned ships to be registered here in Australia.

However this allows for international corporations to own ships in other countries and avoid Australian registration.

By contrast the Australian Avitation legislation requires aircraft the wish to operate in Australia to be registered in Australia - no matter what company owns them and no matter where that company is located.

The Shipping Registration Act should be amended to require all ships operating anywhere in Australia's EEZ to be registered in this country.

 Shipping Registration Act 2012

Shipping_Registration_Act_1981__as_at_10_03_16___C2016C00626.pdf Shipping_Registration_Act_1981__as_at_10_03_16___C2016C00626.pdf (1.60 MB)

Shipping Reform Taxation Incentives Act 2012

Shipping_Reform_Tax_Incentives_Act_2012__as_at_05_03_16_C2016C00434.pdf Shipping_Reform_Tax_Incentives_Act_2012__as_at_05_03_16_C2016C00434.pdf (759.37 KB)

Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003

Maritime_Transport_and_Offshore_Facilities_Security_Act_2003_as_at_10_08_16_C2016C00904.pdf Maritime_Transport_and_Offshore_Facilities_Security_Act_2003_as_at_10_08_16_C2016C00904.pdf (2.38 MB)


OHS and Compensation Legislation

Members working on vessels which used to be covered by the old Navigation Act 1912 are covered by the Seacare scheme - however this has been an area of on-going dispute.Furthermore there was a proposal in 2015 to merge the Seacare scheme into the Federal Government's Comcare scheme.

For now the following legislation still applies:

Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992

Seafarers_Rehabilitation_and_Compensation_Act_1993_as_at_10_Dec_2015__C2016C00096.pdf Seafarers_Rehabilitation_and_Compensation_Act_1993_as_at_10_Dec_2015__C2016C00096.pdf (1.69 MB)

Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) 1993

Occupational_Health_and_Safety_Maritime_Industry__Act_1993_as_at_27_05_15____C2015C00248.pdf Occupational_Health_and_Safety_Maritime_Industry__Act_1993_as_at_27_05_15____C2015C00248.pdf (948.72 KB)


Industrial Legislation

(updated 16 12 22)

The Fair Work Act was amended on 6th December 2022.

The Amendment Act can be found below:

Fair Work Amendment Act 2022

Fair  Work Amendment Act 2022 Secure Jobs Better Pay C2022A00079 06 12 22.pdf Fair Work Amendment Act 2022 Secure Jobs Better Pay C2022A00079 06 12 22.pdf

The ACTU has prepared a briefing note about the changes contained in the Fair Work Amendment Act 2022.

Some of the more significant changes for AIMPE members will be:

The Registered Organisations Commission will be abolished as a separate agency. Its staff and functions will revert to the Fair Work Commission.

   ACTU Briefing - Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill 2022 - 7Dec22.pdf ACTU Briefing - Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill 2022 - 7Dec22.pdf  

The Federal Government has announced that there will be a second instalment of industrial relations legislation in 2023.     

Most AIMPE members who are working in Australia are covered by the Federal Fair Work Act. This legislation governs Enterprise Bargaining, Enterprise Agreements and Unfair Dismissals among other things. Here is the Act prior to the above Amendment Act being enacted by the Federal Parliament.

Fair Work Act 2009

fair_work_act_2009_as_at_01_05_17_vol_1_____c2017c00144vol01.pdf fair_work_act_2009_as_at_01_05_17_vol_1_____c2017c00144vol01.pdf (4.44 MB Mon May 1 15:59:22 2017)

fair_work_act_2009_as_at_01_05_17____vol_2_____c2017c00144vol02.pdf fair_work_act_2009_as_at_01_05_17____vol_2_____c2017c00144vol02.pdf (3.71 MB Mon May 1 16:02:34 2017)


AIMPE is registered under Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act which sets down the requires for trade union rules, financial accounts, elections and related matters.

Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009

Fair_Work_Registered_Organisations_Act_2009_as_at_5_March_2016_C2016C00479.pdf Fair_Work_Registered_Organisations_Act_2009_as_at_5_March_2016_C2016C00479.pdf (7.07 MB)