Revised guidance on the role and powers of maritime security guards

The Department has released revised guidance material on the role and powers of maritime security guards (MSG) for use by those appointed to the position and regulated maritime industry participants who employ them.

The Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003 (the Act) was introduced to enhance the security of Australia's maritime environment against the threat of unlawful acts. To achieve this the Act provides regulated maritime industry participants with a number of mitigation measures, including the employment of maritime security guards.

The primary role of a maritime security guards is to maintain the integrity of a maritime security zone established under the Act which includes landside-restricted zones, waterside-restricted zones, cleared areas, ship security zones and offshore security zones.

The powers of an MSG can only be exercised by persons meeting the requirements set out in s162(1) of the Act. In summary, a person must fulfil all of the below when exercising powers:

  • the person fulfils the requirements of an maritime security guard; and
  • the person is on duty as a maritime security guard at a security regulated port, ship or offshore facility; and
  • there is an active maritime security zone established.

The guidance outlines:

  • each maritime security guard power contained in sections 163-163E in the Act
  • any restrictions on the use of that power, and
  • where that power can be used.

The revised guidance (538KB PDF) is intended to replace all previous guidance issued regarding the role and powers of MSGs.

If you have any further questions, refer to the Contact us page and get in touch with your local Office of Transport Security office.