Safety Management Systems/ International Safety Management

Australian Superyachts offers a fully comprehensive service to superyacht owners and crew that is designed to reduce the burden of yacht ownership and operation, whilst maintaining compliance with the myriad regulatory requirements now in force.

Our goal is to handle all of the technical and administrative matters in order to maximize the owner’s enjoyment of his yacht and also its commercial potential.

Compliance with compulsory safety management protocols is another area of our expertise.


Safety Management Systems (SMS) are compulsory for Australian Commercial Vessels; all operators of commercial vessels that seat more than 8 adult persons (with at least one person being a passenger) must have an approved SMS. We can help you implement your Safety Management System.

We have written custom Safety Management Systems for some of Australia’s largest and most sophisticated commercial superyachts. Our Safety Management Systems are certified NSCV Code Compliant.

What is a Safety Management System?The majority of incidents on board a vessel occur because of human error. Having a SMS in place reduces accidents and incidents and results in:

  • Improved safety culture
  • Improved safety performance
  • Improved operational reliability
  • Improved industry safety credentials

After a thorough inspection of your vessel, we will produce customised documents which satisfy the guidelines as set out by AMSA. These guidelines identify all elements of a SMS that will be checked and audited by AMSA. By following the guidelines and customising your report we can assist you to satisfy the official requirements for a SMS. Both the owner and master of the vessel are responsible for ensuring that a vessel has an effective SMS and that the vessel is operating in accordance with this system.


The ISM Code is a SOLAS (Safety of Life at SEA) requirement adopted by all recognized Flag States. All commercial vessels (chartering) 500 tons and over have been required to comply with the code since July, 2002.

International Safety Management Code (ISM) under the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a ship management system embracing quality control in the areas of safety and pollution prevention. It is a formal, 13 point system that is applicable to any vessel, from a 2-man tug, to a yacht; to a 2,000 passenger cruise ship and its management structure.

The requirements create an on board and shore side Safety Management System (SMS) under which each vessel operates. We create an SMS that is organised into manuals which are bound and include operational guidelines designed to guarantee compliance with the 13 points of the ISM Code requirements. These standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and ratified by Flag States, aim to establish systems of safe management on commercial yachts.

Australian Superyachts can provide a simple and workable system to address the requirements of the Code including:

  • Designated Person Ashore
  • Develop yacht specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
  • Contingency Plans
  • Develop yacht specific Safety Management System (SMS), incorporating the SOPs and Contingency Plans
  • Implement the SMS on board and briefing to crew on the system
  • Liaise with Flag State for ISM Pre-Verification and the award of the Interim Safety Management Certificate (SMC)
  • Attend Pre-Verification
  • Conduct initial Internal Audit, produce Audit Report and monitor corrective action
  • Liaison with Flag State for initial External Audit and the award of the Full Term SMC
  • Attend Flag State initial External Audit ISM or ISPS


ISM – International Safety Management. This is an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) requirement for all vessels over 500 gross tons (GRT) operating commercially, regardless of cruising area or country of registration.

Mini ISM – The MCA Large Yacht Code (LY3) calls for all commercial yachts over 24 meters but under 500GRT to adopt a safety management system (Mini ISM) in some cruising areas.

ISPS – International Ship and Port Security Code. This is an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) requirement for all vessels over 500GRT operating commercially and applies to the same ships as ISM. However the new Red Ensign group MCA Code indicates that all yachts over 500GRT, both private and commercial, should comply with the ISPS Code.

Flag State – The responsibility of ensuring compliance with the Codes is held by the Flag State. In some cases the Classification Societies have been sub-contracted to do this on behalf of the Flag State. Some Flag States do these themselves; others have appointed independent bodies to do this work on their behalf. In Australia it is AMSA – Australian Maritime Safety Authority