Ship Reporting Systems

Two ship reporting systems now operate in Australia. They are operated by AUSREP (introduced in 1973) and REEFREP (introduced in 1997) and although designed for different purposes, are complementary systems allowing reports destined for either system to be received by the other.

AUSREP is operated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) through Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) Australia in Canberra and is compulsory for all Australian trading vessels and for foreign vessels on voyages between Australian ports. AUSREP covers the entire Australian area of responsibility and provides an active SAR watch for participating vessels. It is designed to initiate a SAR response if the safety of a ship or its crew is in doubt. On voyages where reporting to AUSREP is not compulsory, voluntary participation by vessels either entering or departing the Australian area of responsibility is actively encouraged.

Both AMSA and Queensland Department of Transport (Queensland Transport) through REEFCENTRE operate REEFREP, the ship-reporting centre at Hay Point (near Mackay). It is designed to enhance the safety of shipping operations and the protection of the marine environment in the Torres Strait and the Great Barrier Reef regions.

This ship reporting system (SRS) has been formally adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) under the terms of regulation V/8-1 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974 and is mandatory for those categories of ships listed below.

  • All ships of 50 metres or greater in overall length.
  • All tankers, liquefied gas carriers, chemical tankers or ships coming within the INF Code, regardless of length;
  • Ships engaged in towing or pushing where the towing or pushing ship or the towed or pushed ship(s) is a ship described as above; OR
  • Where the length of the tow, measured from the stern of the towing ship to the after end of the tow exceeds 150 metres.

REEFREP (call sign "REEFCENTRE") requires ships to report by VHF at designated reporting points in the SRS area, and when entering and leaving ports in the area. It will provide ships with information relevant to their safe passage through the reporting area (Torres Strait and the whole of the Great Barrier Reef [GBR] Inner Route).

REEFCENTRE is electronically linked to RCC Australia and all reports (including AUSREP position reports, pollution reports/POLREPs and incident reports of any kind) are passed directly to the RCC. Ships in the REEFREP system therefore have to send their reports only to REEFCENTRE and do not have to pass them separately to AUSREP.

This information is provided as broad guidance only. Details are contained in the 'AUSREP and REEFREP - Ship Reporting Instructions for the Australian Area'. Copies of this booklet can be obtained from:

RCC Australia
Australian Maritime Safety Authority
GPO Box 2181
Canberra ACT 2601

Queensland Transport (Maritime Division)
GPO Box 2595
Brisbane QLD 4001
Telephone +61 7 3224 8799
Facsimile +61 7 3221 8718