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Renewing your MSIC?

Please read the information in the MSIC brochure - it explains all of the requirements and will help you make your application correctly

The Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC)

On 3 December 2010 important changes will be made to the current MSIC scheme. These changes are designed to strengthen the security of Australia's maritime,offshore oil and gas industries.

  • There are an increased number of criminal offences that will preclude an individual from obtaining an MSIC
  • MSIC cards issued after 1 December 2010 will be valid for a period of 2 or 4 years
  • Background checks will be carried out every 2 years, so a 4 year card holder will be checked twice
  • New offences have been introduced for MSIC holders who fail to advise their MSIC Issuing Body of additions to their criminal record and any sentences of imprisonment imposed as a result. (MSIC Issuing Bodies will also be required to take appropriate action on receipt of this new maritime security relevant offence information.)

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New Mandatory Reporting Requirements

After 1 December 2010, all MSIC holders will be required to notify AusCheck or their Issuing Body (in writing, detailing the sentance imposed), if they have been convicted of a maritime security relevant offence. The issuing body will be obligated to cancel an MSIC if the holder has been convicted and sentanced to imprisonment for a maritime security offence. An MSIC holder who fails to notify their Issuing Body od AusCheck,in writing, of a conviction for a maritime security relevant offence will be committing an offence and be subject to a fine.

For a full list of the changes to the MSIC Scheme click here

The Australian Government has introduced stronger maritime security laws to protect all Australians from the threat of terrorists and others who would disrupt our maritime operations. The Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC) has been introduced as part of the Australian Governments stronger maritime security laws that were introduced through the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003 and the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Regulations of 2003.

If your organisation has a presence in the maritime industry and you have a need for unmonitored access to a maritime security zone, you must apply for an Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC). From 1 January 2007, it became compulsory to have an MSIC before unescorted access can be granted to a Maritime Security Zone. Maritime security zones within the Port of Albany consist of all wharves and adjacent areas within the permanent security fencing. Access to maritime security zones within the Port is managed by the Albany Port Authority.

The MSIC is a nationally consistent identification card which states that the holder has met the background checking requirements to work in a maritime security zone. It is designed to give assurance that people who hold an MSIC do not pose a threat to maritime security. MSICs are only issued after the completion of background checks: a criminal background check and a security assessment conducted by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)

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An MSIC is not an access control card, and it does not provide the right of entry to any facility within a maritime security zone. However, in order to reduce the number of cards required to be carried and displayed by the individual, the Port of Albanys MSIC cards are manufactured with an access component embedded into the card. This offers the convenience of an ‘all in one’ MSIC/Security Access Card. If you hold an MSIC issued by another organisation and it cannot be programmed for access, you will need to purchase a separate gate pass at a cost of $47.00.

The Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003 identifies several types of people who do not require an MSIC to enter a Maritime Security Zone. These are


  • Law Enforcement Officers who are on duty and are able to display appropriate identification without an inherent risk to their personal safety. This includes:
  • a member of the Australian Federal Police
  • a member of the police force of a State or a Territory
  • a customs officer as prescribed in the regulations, i.e.
  • Customs officers who are attached to a Customs district officer or to the Northern Territory or Tasmanian Customs regional offices
  • Customs officers who are assigned customs duties associated with intelligence activities, passenger processing; compliance, or investigation / enforcement of border and cargo matters.



After an operational need to be in a maritime security zone has been proved, an MSIC issuing body can process the application and issue an MSIC. The Albany Port Authority is an issuing body and is authorised to administer the issuing of MSICs for access to the Albany port. The Albany Port Authority is only able to process MSIC applications for those requiring access to the Albany port, therefore if you need to apply for a card to access another port in Australia, you need to apply either through that port or one of the independent issuing bodies approved by DOTARS.

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Personnel applying for an MSIC need to :

a Complete and sign an MSIC application form.

b. Provide identification document. Examples below:

Catagory A

Catagory B

Catagory C

Catagory D

Only required if categories A, B or C does not have your current address.

Document must be less than 6 months old

c. Provide proof of their requirement to have regular, unmonitored access to a Port Security Zone at least once a year. This requires a letter from their employer confirming their operational need to do so, or in the case of a sub-contractor, the requirement is a letter from the company which has hired the sub-contractor to work in the port's security area.

d. Be aware that when you sign the application you are giving consent for background checks to be completed by Auscheck.

The background check is a two part process. It involves a criminal history background check and a security assessment conducted by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). The security assessment investigates your background and any past activities that may indicate a threat to national security. ASIO will determine whether you pose a politically motivated violence threat in the maritime environment. Politically motivated violence is any act or threat of violence or unlawful harm that is intended or likely to achieve a political objective, whether in Australia or elsewhere. Should ASIO make any recommendation against the issuing of an MSIC, the applicant may ask for the decision to be reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

If unsuccessful in the appeal or where the applicant chooses not to appeal, the applicant will not be able to enter a maritime security zone. It is a matter for the employer to redeploy the employee outside of the maritime security zone and to decide upon future employment options for the individual concerned.

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The Albany Port Authority is responsible for confirming an applicant's identity and citizenship or right to work in Australia. The Port arranges for the background checks to be carried out, and is also responsible for ordering and distributing the MSICs. Criminal history information or the information arising from background checks is not made available to Issuing Bodies. Only the information recorded on the initial application form and the proof of identity and citizenship information will be seen. Issuing Bodies only receive advice that indicates whether the applicant can or cannot be issued with an MSIC.

The MSIC must be worn and clearly visible at all times when inside a defined maritime security zone. It is a legal requirement under the Maritime Transport Offshore Facilities Security Regulations to correctly display your MSIC at all times within the ports secure areas. The MSIC must be worn above waist height; at the front or side of the body; with the whole front of the MSIC clearly visible. The MSIC is valid for 2 or 4 years unless the holder leaves the regulated maritime environment for 12 months or longer or the holder no longer has a need to be within a maritime security zone. If an MSIC has been lost or stolen, the holder must make a statutory declaration, and if stolen, also produce a police report setting out the circumstances of the loss or theft to the MSIC issuing body within 7 days. A new replacement MSIC may then be issued. The person who has lost or had their card stolen may be issued with a temporary card in the interim. An MSIC becomes invalid 1 month after the holder changes his or her name, therefore holders should advise their issuing body as soon as possible to seek a replacement MSIC in his or her new name. Charges apply for the issue of new or replacement cards.