Exemption application – February 2015 | 5
2. Consideration by the Authority of an application for exemption
(a) Consideration by the Authority of an application for exemption from the operation of the Seafarers Act will in
every case involve an assessment pursuant to section 19 of the Seafarers Act as to whether the Seafarers
Act has application to the employment of the employees on the particular ship or ships which would be
subject to the proposed exemption.
For example, ﬁshing vessels and ﬁshing ﬂeet support vessels proceeding on voyages other than
overseas voyages would not be covered by the legislation; therefore applications for exemption would be
(b) All requests for exemptions will be considered on their merits.
(c) In accordance with section 20A(4) of the Seafarers Act the Authority will not grant an exemption from the
operation of the Act if the proposed exemption would be inconsistent with an obligation of Australia under
an international agreement.
2.2 Factors for consideration
Without limiting the circumstances in which the Authority may exempt employment on a particular prescribed
ship from the operation of the Seafarers Act, the Authority will consider the following factors:
(a) The nature of the operations and the voyage arrangements of the prescribed ship. The Authority may
exempt employment on a particular ship from the operations of the Seafarers Act where:
(i) the prescribed ship’s proposed voyage or voyages do not constitute a regular trading pattern;
(ii) the prescribed ship is expected to voyage between two places outside Australia over a period of
12 months or more, and the majority of crew on the prescribed ship are not residents of Australia; or
(iii) the voyages undertaken by the prescribed ship which make the prescribed ship subject to the
operation of the Seafarers Act are incidental to the primary operations of the prescribed ship.
For example, If a prescribed ship engaged in a particular industry is required to undertake interstate
voyages so that the prescribed ship can engage in and perform those industry operations/activities
interstate, then undertaking interstate voyages cannot be considered to be a primary part of or integral
to the operations of the ship.
(b) The availability of workers’ compensation insurance under a state or territory scheme, at a cost lower
than that available under the Seacare scheme
. The Authority may exempt employment on a particular
prescribed ship from the operation of the Seafarers Act where an employer is able to demonstrate to the
Authority that workers’ compensation cover is available to its employees under another Australian workers’
compensation scheme, at a cost that is below that available under the Seacare scheme.
(c) The size of the prescribed ship or ships. The Authority may exempt employment on a particular ship from
the operation of the Seafarers Act where a prescribed ship is under 500 gross tonnes.
(d) Prescribed ships operating within a territory only. The Authority may exempt employment from the operation
of the Seafarers Act where the prescribed ship voyages within a territory and does not voyage between a
territory and a place (or places) outside a territory.
1 This factor is included in these guidelines in accordance with the Seafarers Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Directions 2006 (1),
issued by the Minister on 24 August 2006.