Technical Circular No: 040/2021

Subject: Focused Inspection Campaign (FIC) by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on Safety of Navigation beginning 1 August 2021 and ending on 30 September 2021.

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1. Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) vide Marine Notice 4-2021 has informed that a focused inspection campaign (FIC) on Safety of Navigation will be initiated by AMSA.

2. The inspection campaign will be held for two (2) months, commencing from 1st August 2021 and ending on 30th September 2021.

3. The purpose of the FIC is to determine the;

a. Level of compliance with the safety of navigation requirements of International Conventions, and;

b. Familiarity of the master and officers with their processes for ensuring safety of navigation.

4. The Focused Inspection Campaign (FIC) is specific to Australia. It will apply to foreign flagged ships and Regulated Australian Vessels (RAVs) arriving at an Australian port.

5. AMSA inspectors will undertake the FIC in conjunction with a normal port or flag State control inspection. Inspectors shall be using a questionnaire to assess that information and equipment provided onboard complies with the relevant Conventions, that the master and officers are familiar with operations relating to safety of navigation and that equipment is properly maintained and functioning.

6. Accordingly ship owners, managers and masters are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of SOLAS Chapter V and their safety management systems implemented onboard.

7. With respect to the questionnaire, Please be guided as following;

a. All nautical publications on board ship, regardless of format, should be the latest editions and up to date. When electronic nautical publications with electronic back up are carried, portions of the publications needed for navigation while the vessel is enroute between ports (tides and current tables, light list, etc.) should be printed and included with the voyage plan unless the electronic back-up is an independent computer system with its own emergency source of power. International Code of Signals and the IAMSAR Manual Volume III should always be available in the form of hard copies.

b. For ships fitted with ECDIS, the following arrangements are accepted as fulfilling the back-up requirement:

• An appropriate folio of up-to-date paper nautical charts; or

• a second type approved ECDIS;

Both the primary and secondary ECDIS shall be fully independent and both supplied from the ship’s main and emergency source of power. When paper nautical charts serve as the only back-up arrangement, the charts shall include the planned route and, when navigating within restricted waters, the ship’s position is to be regularly updated to ensure a safe take-over of ECDIS functions should the need arise.

c. Watch keeping officers are familiarized with the installed ECDIS and record for same is to be maintained.

d. The passage plan is to be made from berth to berth and is to be approved by the Master. No go areas, abort points, wheel over points, contingencies, parallel indexing etc are to be appropriately marked on the charts. Safety depths and safety contours are to be marked taking into account under-keel clearance requirement of the SMS.

e. VDR/S-VDR - annual performance test is carried out and test report is available onboard. The operations manual for the VDR or S-VDR is available on board. The VDR/S-VDR is operational with no active alarms. Procedures required to save the data to the VDR / S-VDR are in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and posted near the VDR/ S-VDR panel. Procedures for data retrieval from VDR / S-VDR included in the ship’s safety management system and navigating officers are familiar with the procedure.

f. AIS - annual performance test is carried out and test report is available onboard. Responsible officer to ensure that voyage related data (Ship’s draught, hazardous cargo (type), destination and ETA, etc) are correctly fed in the AIS and updated as required.

g. BNWAS - The watch keeping officers are able to demonstrate the operation of BNWAS, confirming the system is in normal working condition. The means of selecting the Operational Mode and the duration of the Dormant Period (Td) should be given safety protection so that access to these controls is for the Master only.  Once the BNWAS went into operation, the second stage and / or the third stage remote audible alarm shall be activated when the first stage alarm had not been reset.

h. Navigation lights are in good condition and operating satisfactorily. Navigation light failure warning device-Visual/Audible on bridge operating efficiently.

i. With regards to pilot transfer arrangement, for a pilot ladder placed on a vessel with keel laid after 1 July 2012 or equipment in its entirety or for individual components of the system delivered after 1 July 2012, a certificate by the manufacturer stating compliance with the requirements of SOLAS Chapter V, Regulation 23 and IMO Resolution A.1045 (27) as amended is required.

j. All arrangements used for pilot transfer are to be kept clean, properly maintained and stowed and are to be regularly inspected to ensure that they are safe to use. Record of inspection is to be maintained onboard.

k. Official working language is to be established and recorded in the ship’s log book. It is to be ensured that each seafarer is able to demonstrate that they understand and, where appropriate, give orders, instructions and report back in working language.



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. 

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