Documents required onboard!

Table of contents

What do I really need?

The documents required by AMSA today and, with so many options of hard copies versus electronic it’s difficult to completely understand what is required onboard.

We have listed the primary documents that should be carried onboard  Domestic Commercial Vessels (DCV) at all times:

Vessel Certificate

You must always carry your vessel’s Certificate of Operation (CoO) and/or Certificate of Survey (CoS) on board. This can be in hard copy or an electronic version, such as a copy on your smart phone.

Your vessel’s certificates and surveys must be available upon request by an AMSA inspector or their compliance partners.


Any permissions relevant to your vessel’s operations; e.g., landing permits for specific locations, etc., must always be carried onboard. As with Certificates these may be in hard copy or an electronic version, such as a copy on your smart phone.

Safety Management System

All DCV are required to have a Safety Management System (SMS) that complies with Marine Order 504 (MO504) Again this may be in hard copy or an electronic version.

Log Book Covers Image

Vessel/Deck Log Book

All commercial vessels are required to have a vessel or deck log book in which they are required to record specific information

Maintenance Log Book

All maintenance must be recorded either in a dedicated form in your SMS, a Maintenance Log Book or in an electronic maintenance program.

Medical Log Book

All commercial vessels are required to record the use of all medicines, first aid and medical incidents in a Medical Log Book. Shorlink’s Medical Log Book is the easy way to do this as it meets all the requirements of the NSCV C7A H8.

Sewage Management Plan (Declared Ships)

All declared ships must ensure they have a Sewage Management Plan onboard and available for inspection.

All vessels, including recreational and commercial vessels that are fitted with sewage treatment system must ensure they have the appropriate documentation and follow specific guidelines.
What is a Declared Ship?

A declared ship has a fixed toilet and is:

  • • a domestic commercial vessel with a certificate of operation issued, or taken to be issued, under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 stating it is a class 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 4C, 4D or 4E ship, or
  • any other Queensland regulated ship regulated under the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994 and Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016 designed to carry more than 12 passengers

Copies and/or receipts for serviceable items

Items service for inflatable life rafts, electrical installations, fire extinguishers, EPIRB etc. If unsure, contact our office with what you should keep.

Shorlink’s Recommendation

Number one recommendation is to ensure you have ALL the required documents onboard at all times. You must be able to present the relevant documents to AMSA or their delegates when asked.

Secondly it’s not good enough to just have them onboard, they must be up to date which means you need to ensure your SMS is reviewed annually and your log books are filled in daily when operational.


If for any reason you are unsure about exactly what you require on your vessel, what format is best for you (hard copy or electronic) or anything in relation to documents required don’t hesitate to contact our office!

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