In May 2005, the Australian Government introduced amendments to the Maritime Transport Security Act 2003 in Federal Parliament in an effort to further secure the nation's maritime and offshore industries. These amendments have led to the introduction of Maritime Security Identification Cards (MSIC) which ensure that those persons working in these critical industries are subject to appropriate background checks.
Since 1 January 2007, all personnel requiring unmonitored access to a maritime or offshore security zone are required to display an MSIC.
What is a Maritime Security Zone?
Maritime and offshore facility operators are responsible for establishing Maritime Security Zones (MSZ). MSZs may be established for a range of reasons including:
- controlling the movement of people;
- providing cleared areas within the port or offshore facility environs;
- preventing interference with ships and offshore facilities; and
- restricting access to specified areas including critical installations.
What is an Operational Need?
A person has an "Operational Need" to hold an MSIC if his or her occupation or business interests require, or will require, him or her to have unmonitored access to a maritime security zone at least once a year.
- port, port facility and port service workers;
- transport operators such as train and truck drivers;
- seafarers on Australian regulated ships and;
- people who work on and/or supply offshore oil and gas facilities.