Local knowledge certificates

In order to operate a vessel for commercial purposes you may be required to hold a local knowledge certificate in addition to a certificate of competency.

Visit the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) website for information about the certificate of competency.

A local knowledge certificate is required where the risks, due to local conditions, are sufficient to justify additional permissioning requirements.

Local knowledge certificates are the responsibility of Maritime Safety Victoria.

Following a comprehensive state-wide review of the local knowledge framework, a number of changes to certification requirements came into effect on 1 October 2020.

The changes include:

  • the removal of LKC requirements for some State Waters deemed to be low risk – due to improvements in navigational safety practices, technology, vessel design and capability
  • the expansion of some certification areas to include waters deemed to be high risk – such as waters adjacent to Port Phillip Heads and Lakes Entrance Bar
  • a requirement by the applicant to attend the relevant port office for a new application and the renewal of an existing LKC – to increase the visibility of LKC holders in port waters to the relevant Harbour Master.

Domestic commercial vessels masters who currently hold a local knowledge certificate do not need to do anything until their certificate is due for renewal. The certificate remains valid until its expiry date.

Guidance and forms


Gazetted local knowledge area charts


The fee payable depends on the type of application and certificate type. You must pay the application fee prior to your certificate being issued.

There are a number of convenient methods of paying your Request for Payment notices for your commercial maritime qualifications or vessel survey fees. These payment options are listed below.

Payment options


Payments can be made over the internet via BPAY. Contact your bank or financial institution to make this payment from your cheque, savings, debit, credit card or transaction account. More information is available on the BPAY website.

In person

Simply visit an Australia Post outlet that offers Post Billpay and present your Request for Payment notice with your chosen method of payment for an easy and secure payment option. Post Billpay is available at more than 3200 outlets around Australia.

Methods of payment are cash, EFTPOS, credit card and cheque.

For further information, please contact TSVQualifications@transportsafety.vic.gov.au

Maritime chart of Corner Inlet and navigation tools

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