1. The Navigation Act 2012 requires vessels over 70 metres in length, loaded oil tankers, loaded chemical carriers and loaded liquefied gas carriers (irrespective of length) to utilize the services of a licensed coastal pilot when transiting any of the prescribed compulsory coastal pilotage areas.
2. In this regard, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued an updated Marine Notice No. 06 of 2022 reminding vessel masters, owners and operators about the coastal pilotage requirements that apply within the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, as prescribed in Marine Order 54 (Coastal pilotage) 2014 (MO54).
3. Significant penalties may apply for navigating in any of the coastal pilotage areas without an AMSA-licensed coastal pilot onboard. Further, it is to be noted that the master of a vessel is not relieved of responsibility for the conduct and safe navigation of the vessel whilst the vessel is under pilotage.
4. The following areas are prescribed compulsory coastal pilotage areas under MO54:
• Hydrographers Passage
• Inner Route
• Torres Strait
• Great North East Channel
5. Marine Notice No. 06 of 2022 provides coordinates/ boundaries for above mentioned compulsory coastal pilotage areas.
6. Masters or vessel owners may apply to AMSA for an exemption from the pilotage requirements of the Navigation Act. An exemption application must also be made to the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to navigate without a licensed pilot in the Hydrographers Passage, Inner Route and Whitsundays pilotage areas.
7. Ship Owners/ operators and masters are advised to be guided by above.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.