As of 30 June 2016, port service providers in Australian ports
will no longer need to have maritime security plans as part of
their operating framework. This change will apply to all port
service providers, including lighter, barge, line handling,
pilotage and tug operators. The current requirement for all ports,
port facilities, ships and offshore facilities to have security
plans will continue.
The Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Act 2003
(Cth) sets out minimum maritime security measures required to be
put in place by persons engaged in maritime activities, aimed at
preventing unlawful interference with port, maritime transport and
offshore oil and gas facilities. The primary requirement is for all
such participants to have in place a written maritime, ship or
offshore security plan, which must meet certain criteria contained
in the Regulations.
Previously, Regulations were passed which extended the
requirement to have a maritime security plan to all port service
providers. However, following a recent review and industry
feedback, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
has concluded that the risk of unlawful security interference in
the operations of port service providers is negligible. Further,
the Department has concluded that the current regime for port, port
facility, ship and offshore facilities to have in place maritime
security plans is sufficient to cover off the activities of port
service providers, who will continue to fall under the umbrella of
those third party maritime security plans when conducting relevant
As a result, port service providers will be excused from the
requirement to have in place their own maritime security plans. The
new laws will come into force on 30 June 2016.
Port service providers will still need to inform themselves of
the content of the maritime, port and/or offshore security plans
that will apply to their operations and ensure that they continue
to comply with those requirements, failing which service agreements
and/or licences may be able to be terminated. Given that port
service providers will now only be indirectly governed by the
security plans of third parties, port service providers should
conduct an audit of the security plans which apply to their
operations and of their compliance with those terms.
Our Transport team can help conduct a maritime security plan
compliance audit before the new laws come into force.
This publication does not deal with every important topic or
change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute
for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's
specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of
interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice
relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named
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This decision will be significant to aviation industry participants in assessing whether claimants in the context of international or domestic carriage by air have commenced claims in an appropriate forum in Australia.
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