Changes to marine regulations – June 2023

The Victorian Government has introduced the Marine Safety Regulations 2023 to improve safety for Victorian boaters.

The new regulations apply from June 11, 2023 and replace the now expired Marine Safety Regulations 2012.

Safe Transport Victoria will work with the industry and public to ensure they are able to meet the requirements.

The full directory of the new Marine Safety Regulations 2023 is available on the Victorian Legislation website.

Read the Marine Safety Regulations 2023 

Some areas of note are;

Lifejacket useLifejackets must be worn in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions as lifejackets offer little safety benefits if not worn in accordance with manufacturers requirements and specifications.

The following changes now apply for lifejacket use in Victoria:

In situations where children are always required to wear life jackets, the age limit has   changed from ‘less than 10 years old’, to ‘less than 12 years’ old.

A sole adult boating with children less than 12yo is considered boating alone, and must   comply with the heightened risk provisions that apply to boating alone.  
Mandatory lifejacket wear applies in times of heightened risk,

Australian standards are to be the only recognised standard for lifejackets in Victoria.   This change will apply from July 1 2028.

The new regulations replace references to ‘personal flotation device’ with the common   term ‘lifejacket’.

Note: Lifejackets will continue to be required to be worn on vessels up to and including 4.8 metres in length and in circumstances of heightened risk.
LicensingApplicants for a marine licence will  continue to be required to pass a knowledge test in order to be eligible for a marine licence. The Regulations allow for the inclusion of questions relating to safe operations, such as trip preparation and emergency management.

Marine licences can now be issued and renewed for a period of one year or five years. Licences were previously only permitted to be issued or renewed for a five-year period.

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