Summary (pollution)


  • The Commonwealth is a party to the MARPOL Convention and gives effect to its international obligations via Marine Orders Parts 91 to 97 and the Navigation Act (Cth) 1912.
  • AMSA has significant Port State Control powers to enforce MARPOL provisions against all shipping.
  • The ISM Code requires all ships to provide operational guidelines on ships pollution control measures.
  • Penalties of up to $220,000 apply for deliberate pollution.
  • Pollution incidents should be reported to the nearest coastal state by the fastest means available. In Australia this by POLREP to RCC Canberra using Satellite communications.
  •  Masters must be familiar with operations which require an entry in an Oil Record Book, Cargo Record Book and Garbage Record Book.
  • Masters must be familiar with the requirements for certificates and insurance.
  • Masters must be familiar with operational discharge requirements.

 Summary - NSW

  • In NSW, while specific aspects of maritime operations are regulated by the Marine Pollution Act NSW 1987 and the Protection of the Environment Operations Act NSW 1997.
  • NSW has compatible legislation with the Commonwealth for pollution by oil and noxious substances in bulk and has adopted with minor modification the Commonwealth’s Marine Orders Parts 91 and 93.
  • The NSW Maritime Authority is entitled to enforce pollution regulations in NSW.
  • NSW Safety Management Systems require documented pollution control procedures.
  • Penalties of up to $500,000 (or $10,000,000 for a corporation) apply for each and every person involved in an oil spill.
  • All vessels operating within NSW waters are subject to NSW law which currently has more stringent requirements and much harsher penalties than Marine Orders.
  • NSW vessels operating beyond 3NM from land must comply with the requirements of Marine Orders 91 – 97 which contain MARPOL Annexes I to VI.
  • Masters of all vessels should maintain a record of all fuelling, oil (including residue) transfer and bilge pumping operations for their own protection.
  • Mariners should adopt the precautionary principal when conducting operations and complying with regulations, that is always comply with the more stringent.
  • If in doubt always land ashore the pollutants and dispose of them properly.