Please call the toll-free number 1800 011 034 (24 hours), for advice or assistance on reporting requirements. If telephoning from outside Australia, please use +61 2 6230 4470.

Incidents should be notified to AMSA via Incident alert form 18.

Masters of Australian registered vessels, or of foreign flag vessels in Australian waters and other 'responsible persons' are obliged, under the Transport Safety Investigation Act and Regulations 2003, to report any accident (or 'immediately reportable matter') as soon as practicable to the ATSB, by the quickest means possible. Recognising the practical difficulties of reporting to a number of separate authorities, the Regulations consider a report to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), or to AusSAR in Canberra, to be a report to the ATSB, although the ATSB is a separate organisation. On receipt of a report of an incident, ATSB staff, who are on 24-hour call, decide(s) what action will be taken.

Depending on the type and severity of the incident, this may be:

  • an investigation carried out by an ATSB or specially appointed investigator, or
  • more information sought from the owner, employer or other body, or
  • no further action taken

Incidents should be notified to AMSA using forms found on the AMSA website. AMSA forwards copies of the completed forms to the ATSB and these meet reporting requirements.

Submission of information known by the reporter to be false, or misleading is a serious offence under section 137.1 of the Criminal Code. Aiding, abetting, counselling, procuring or urging the submission of false or misleading information is also a serious offence.

Incident reporting:

Incident reporting under the Navigation Act 2012 for commercial vessels.

Incident reporting under the National System for domestic commercial vessels. 

Note: Section 49 Notices of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 (TSI Act) provides for the ATSB declaring a vehicle's On-Board Recording (OBR) should not be treated as such for the purposes of Part 6 Division 1 of the TSI Act.


Information may be disclosed to other organisations or individuals in the interests of safety. Where possible, the ATSB will remove information that directly identifies an individual (such as names, licence numbers and addresses). However, other indirect identifiers (such as times, dates and locations for the occurrence of incidents) will usually be disclosed in the interests of safety. If the information is the subject of an investigation, it will only be used in accordance with the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. The ATSB’s privacy policy also includes relevant information.