Maritime Safety Victoria (MSV) is implementing a revised system for certifying specialist knowledge of certain waters from 1 October 2020.

Masters of certain domestic commercial vessels are required to hold a Victorian local knowledge certificate – in addition to a certificate of competency – where the risks, due to local conditions, are sufficient to justify additional permissioning requirements.

There are several waters where a local knowledge certificate is required. These include parts of Victoria’s port waters, Port Phillip Bay, Gippsland Lakes and the Yarra River.

The changes to local knowledge requirements include:

  • the removal of local knowledge certificate requirements for some State Waters deemed to be low risk – due to improvements in navigational safety practices, technology, vessel design and capability
  • the expansion of some certification areas to include waters deemed to be high risk – such as waters adjacent to Port Phillip Heads and Lakes Entrance Bar.

Local knowledge certificate holders do not need to take any action, as their qualification(s) will remain valid until expiry, but should contact MSV at least four weeks before it comes time to renew.

“This significant review ensures commercial vessel operators can safely navigate Victorian waters that pose unique challenges. Reviewing these requirements allows us to keep pace with changes to industry, environment and technology,” said Cameron Toy, Director Maritime Safety.

You can find more information about the process on our local knowledge certificate page.

If you have a question about the changes, you can email [email protected]