Supersedes 8/2012

Transfer operations at sea and in coastal waters

This Notice supersedes Marine Notice 8/2012 which is now cancelled.

The purpose of this Notice is to provide advice to ship owners and operators on regulations specific to the transfer of oil cargoes between oil tankers at sea.

This advice is applicable to domestic commercial vessels, regulated Australian vessels and foreign flagged vessels.

Transfer of oil cargo between oil tankers at sea

International requirements related to ship to ship (STS) transfer of oil cargo at sea are contained in Annex I of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). These requirements apply to STS operations involving oil tankers of 150 gross tonnage and above.

Masters and Operators need to be aware that Chapter 8 of Annex I of MARPOL (Preventions of Pollution During Transfer of Oil Cargo Between Oil Tankers at Sea) mandates the following for STS operations:

Regulation 41(5) of Annex I also requires that records of STS operations be retained on board for three years.

These international requirements are given effect in Australian law in:

Transfer operations at sea other than STS transfers between oil tankers

All necessary precautions to ensure the safety of persons and protection of the environment should also be taken for any ship-to-ship transfer of cargoes, persons, or other goods undertaken at sea in the vicinity of the Australian coast (outside port limits).

To enable the appropriate maritime safety information to be promulgated, it is requested that early notification be forwarded to AMSA when such operations (outside port limits) are planned.

It is requested the notification be provided in the manner detailed in s.28 of Marine Order 91 (Marine pollution prevention - Oil) 2014 and include:


Gary Prosser
Deputy CEO
Australian Maritime Safety Authority
December 2017

GPO Box 2181

File No: 2010/1342