About this section
Maritime law regulates the conduct of people and businesses at sea. Because there are a diverse range of activities in Australian waters, maritime law affects many aspects of life. Activities which may be subject to maritime law including the conduct of domestic and international sea going vessels, operation of vessels, the qualifications and licensing of domestic seafarers, navigation, safety and emergency services.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is responsible for ensuring the safety of vessels and the seafarers onboard who operate in the Australian domestic commercial industry. The National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety is the legal framework within which the domestic commercial industry operates. AMSA is responsible for the National System. The state and territory Marine Safety Agencies, as Delegates of AMSA, are responsible for the face-to-face operations of the National System.
Because of this area is so complex, many legal firms specialise in Maritime law. If you conduct any part of your business at sea, or you simply operate a vessel for pleasure, you must always ensure you understand your legal obligations under maritime law.