• 09 May 2020 1:39 PM | The Institute (Administrator)

    In an age where most industries are seeking a reduction in red (and green) tape, the marine survey sector of the maritime industry could use any left overs going around.

    Increasingly AIMS is receiving more and more consumer complaints related to what is termed in our industry as “shingle hangers” – to be more precise, marine surveyors doing slap happy surveys on recreational vessels.

    Luckily for us, the vast majority of complaints do not involve AIMS members and I can only assume our vigilance in ensuring our surveyors are qualified to do what they say they can and have an equal amount of experience goes some way to discouraging the less than qualified operators from applying for membership.

    For some time now we have tried to influence the regulators and State Governments to introduce ‘vessel registration’ at the point of sale or change of ownership of a recreational vessel. We argue that a registration process should involve what’s known as a Condition Survey by a qualified surveyor, and by ‘qualified’, we mean ‘qualified to be in business’ as well. Surveyors should hold appropriate insurance and a professional business structure and be accountable for the quality of their service.

    AIMS has transitioned the marine survey sector to a contemporary model that addresses consumer welfare in terms of the quality, price and standard of work they receive from marine surveyors and is striving to improve the professional standards of our marine surveyors and thereby protect consumers. 

    Road vehicles are regulated in terms of ‘roadworthiness’. In Queensland the rules are strict.  Vehicles being sold, deregistered vehicles or interstate vehicles must have a roadworthy certificate and it must be displayed once the vehicle goes on sale. Victoria and the ACT only enforces this at the point of sale to allow a transfer of registration, while NSW requires a blue slip for cars under 5 years old which confirms the condition, and includes confirming the vin and engine numbers. If the vehicle is over 5 years or selling or transferring interstate, a pink slip or e-safety check of the vehicle is required to renew registration. Western Australia doesn’t have any requirements for private vehicles unless imported or modified, and Tasmania, has what is known as the Defective Vehicle and Random Vehicle Inspection call-in scheme in place to check vehicles that may be considered un-roadworthy. Lastly, the Northern Territory requires that if a vehicle is under 3 years old and under 4.5 tonnes before it is registered, renewed or transferred from interstate, it must be inspected and issued with a compliance certificate.

    So why isn’t this happening with recreational vessels? The largest proportion of marine incidents occur in the recreational vessel sector. Every year we see incidents due to vessels in poor condition and alarmingly, vessels that don’t have the right safety equipment. They get in to trouble and then scream to be rescued – also expensive and exhausting on the State, AMSA or both. 

    Considering that tax payers fund the wages of maritime safety staff it’s hard to fathom why the lack of oversight is allowed to happen.

    Marine Insurers don’t assist either. They have a very rudimentary check list for surveyors to use for insurance purposes and most, if not all, don’t check that the surveyors they recommend are properly qualified. It appears to be a nice little club where its win/win for everyone except the vessel owner.

    Beware when shopping around for the cheapest surveyor because this is risky and while a good survey might seem expensive at the time, it’s certainly a whole lot cheaper than repairing a vessel after the fact or relying on your insurance broker to assist.

    State maritime safety agencies have the power to hold recreational vessel surveyors to account by regulating registration at the point of sale and insisting on a condition report. They just need to talk to us – we will help.

    If we can achieve a bit of red tape the shingle hangers will think twice before writing up a condition report that could be contested, surveyors will need insurance and vessel owners will not only have some peace of mind but that nice expensive boat that you want to take out on the water won’t be in dock getting repairs that should have been done BEFORE the purchase. 

    We are here to help you and protect good surveyors. We need numbers to help our lobbying effort. So if you are a vessel owner, prospective buyer, a marine surveyor or someone who thinks this is just plain common sense you can help us by liking or loving our post, retweeting or contributing with a reply!

    Safe boating! 

  • 29 Apr 2020 10:30 AM | The Institute (Administrator)

    In a response to concerns raised by the Institute about the impact of COVID-19 on marine surveyors, Deputy Prime Minister Hon Michael McCormack MP, recognised that marine surveyors are vital to Australia's supply chain and acknowledged the unprecedented impact the pandemic was having on operations.

    The Institute was assured that The Australian Government was working closely with state and territory governments on the issues it raised, including resolving issues related to interstate travel.

    On 25 March 2020, the Transport and Infrastructure Council affirmed the critical role the freight sector plays in providing essential supplies of food, medicine and other goods. All jurisdictions where restrictions are in place have provided exemptions to these measures to ensure Australia's supply chains are maintained.

    Read a copy of the communiqué here.

  • 17 Apr 2020 10:03 AM | Susan Hull - CEO (Administrator)


    AMSA today forwarded a letter outlining their response to several complaints raised by the AIMS over the past few months regarding AMSA accredited surveyors misrepresenting their accreditation or using misleading advertising. 

    AIMS has received complaints from shippers and members advising that some AMSA accredited surveyors are engaging in misleading practices. Shippers advise that they are confused as to whether the surveyor is an AMSA PSC surveyor and whether the scheduled survey is actually being carried out on behalf of AMSA.

    AMSA do not outsource PSC inspections to private surveyors and shippers and AIMS members should note that AMSA accredited surveyors are not accredited to carry out PSC or Flag State Inspections. They are only accredited to carry out statutory surveys for domestic commercial vessels under 35 metres.

    A copy of the AMSA response can be downloaded here

  • 20 Mar 2020 7:48 PM | Susan Hull - CEO (Administrator)

    Updated information from Department of Health Updated advice for commercial vessels dated 17 March

    The AIMS will continue to post what information we have and ask all marine surveyors to pass on any new information that might be of value to our members.

  • 10 Feb 2020 4:10 PM | Susan Hull - CEO (Administrator)

    The AIMS is concerned that surveyors have received little or no information on how to protect themselves from the Coronavirus when boarding vessels from China.

    Of particular concern are those vessels that have been berthed in China for a period of time, vessels that have recently visited China or vessels with Chinese crew who may be affected.

    While many employers have been pro-active in WHS practices we encourage all marine surveyors to take personal responsibility for their health and well being.

    How to protect yourself

    Follow information published on the Department of Health’s website as it will be the most up to date.

    There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against human coronavirus infection. You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following

    • wash your hands before and after attending a vessel with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and wear disposable rubber gloves while on board the vessel
    • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
    • avoid close contact with people or crew who appear sick or have flu like symptoms by wearing a mask

    General Practice

    • Make sure your personal protective equipment includes gloves, masks (PP2) and eye wear when conducting surveys on vessels arriving from affected regions

    • Authorised officers should also wear protective equipment and should note that they have delegation and a responsibility to report any vessel that they believe may have affected crew to the Department of Health as soon as practical.

    If any marine surveyor or Authorised Officer suspects any crew on board a vessel may have contracted the virus, report the matter immediately to the relevant state health authority and refer yourself to a Doctor.

    The link to State and Territory Health Departments is listed below

  • 31 Jan 2020 4:58 PM | Susan Hull - CEO (Administrator)

    Information for international vessels regarding the novel coronavirus 

    Dear shipping agents

    In response to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019 –nCoV) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, the Department of Agriculture is requesting that shipping agents provide information to all vessels arriving in Australia.

    You may have already received an email asking you to provide factsheets to vessel masters and crew following the lodgement of pre-arrival reporting. This factsheet includes information about coronavirus. It is important that all crew have access to this fact sheet, particularly crew who have been in mainland China. A copy of that fact sheet is available here:

    The Department of Agriculture conducts risk assessments of human health on international vessels on behalf of the Department of Health. Mandatory pre arrival reporting of human health on board international vessels must be undertaken at least 12 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival into Australian territorial waters. This reporting is an important part of preventing the spread of the virus and promoting the health and safety of crew, port workers, and the general public. The Vessel Master must also update the human health status on board the vessel if any changes occur while the vessel is in Australian waters.

    Where pre-arrival reporting indicates a human health risk, biosecurity officers will conduct an assessment, and where necessary work with state and territory health departments to manage the risk to the ill person, healthy passengers and crew, seaport personnel, border staff and health professionals.

    The Department of Health has dedicated resources related to 2019-nCoV available here: These resources may help you, your staff, and your clients to understand the virus and its implications for your business. Information on this page is updated regularly to reflect the most up-to-date information about the illness.

    If you have questions regarding the novel coronavirus, please email

    Kind regards,


    Guy Bursle


    Conveyances and Ports | Compliance Controls

    Department of Agriculture

    Ph: +61 2 6272 5301 | +61 466 792 851

  • 28 Oct 2019 1:31 PM | Deleted user

    On Sunday the 20th October the new and remedial works to our National Merchant Navy War Memorial were unveiled by Senator, The Honorable Linda Reynolds CSC, Minister for Defence and Senator for Western Australia.

    The ceremony took place at the Merchant Navy Memorial at Kings Park on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra and AIMS President Peter Murday and CEO Susan Hull were invited to lay a wreath in honour of those who served during the Great War on troop carriers taking our men from Australia to Europe and to those who lost their lives.

    It was a honour to be able to participate in this ceremony said Murday and we thank David Field from the Merchant Navy Memorial Fund for his very kind invitation and the opportunity for us to pay our respects on behalf of our members.

    The Merchant Navy Memorial Fund vision is to ensure that the Australian Merchant Navy "A title emblazoned in battle and honoured in freedom" is recognised as an important part of Australian Maritime History and Social Culture.

    This fund will be the AIMS charity for 2020 and we hope to support it's good works.

    The Honorable Linda Reynolds CSC, Minister for Defence and Senator for Western Australia gave a moving speech which can be downloaded here. The Honorable Linda Reynolds CSC, Minister for Defence and Senator for Western Australia. .pdf

    The Red Ensign, commemorating the Merchant Navy will be flown or displayed at all AIMS official functions during 2020

  • 23 Oct 2019 2:39 PM | Susan Hull - CEO (Administrator)

    I would like to thank all of our wonderful sponsors and supporters of the Biennial Conference and Awards for Excellence.

    The conference day itself was a huge success (photo's coming soon) and 71 delegates were treated to a wide range of informative presentations that included information on biofouling and aquatic bio-security by Michael Sierp, the survey of composites in the modern era by Mark McIlwain, Safe Shipping of Solid Bulk Cargo by Tim Evans, Securing the South China Sea by Professor Douglas Guilfoyle, Incoterms by Kerryn Wooning  and the Strength of Membership by BIA's Nik Parker.

    We were very fortunate indeed to also have presenters from AMSA and the Department of Agriculture.

    AMSA, our gold sponsor for both the conference and Awards dinner opened the conference with an inspiring speech and Al Schwartz, GM Operations presented the Steve Beale award with Susan Beale, wife of the late Steve Beale.

    Our silver sponsor was Hunter Marine Services and Bronze Sponsors were

    Cargo Care, Australian Marine Surveys, AMSPEC CR Cox and of course BRIC Insurance.

    Thanks to all of our sponsors, without you the day would not have been the great success that it was.

  • 20 Jun 2019 4:06 PM | Deleted user

    MSC approved measures to improve the safety of seafarers during mooring operations

    were incorporated during the committee meeting.

    It amends SOLAS regulation and guidelines to improve the current situation where

    accidents and unsafe work situations frequently happen during mooring operations.

    These amendments require appropriate and safe-to-use designs of mooring

    arrangements and introduce a maintenance and inspection regime with proper


    It also includes work situations where crew members are exposed to excessive dynamic

    forces, heavy manual work processes and unfavorable weather conditions.

    Further details can be found via mfame article.

  • 20 Jun 2019 4:05 PM | Deleted user

    AMSA are seeking your feedback on proposed changes to Marine Order 47 (Offshore Industry Units).

    This consultation may be of interest to owners, operators and designers of offshore industry units, as well as recognised organisations. Offshore industry units include mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs), floating production, storage and offtake vessels (FPSOs), floating storage units (FSUs), floating liquefied natural gas facilities (FLNGs), floating central processing facilities (CPFs) and similar. The are seeking your feedback on the following:

    • Does the draft marine order clarify obligations for the survey and certification of offshore industry units?
    • Does the marine order provide sufficient practicality in terms of complying with drydock alternatives such as in-water hull inspections?

    The consultation is open until Monday 1 July 2019 and it is intended that these amendments will be made to the current order with effect from 1 October 2019.

    Read the consultation papers below and have your say.

    How to have your say


    Enter your submission online.


    Have your say in writing using our public comment form.

    If using this form, then you can either:

    • email the form to
    • post the form to: 
      • Business Support, Standards
        Australian Maritime Safety Authority
        GPO Box 2181
        Canberra ACT 2601
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