What is an MSIC?

The MSIC is a nationally consistent identification card which confirms that the holder has met the minimum background checking requirements to work in a maritime and/or offshore security zone. An MSIC is not an access control card, and possession of an MSIC does not provide the right of entry to any facility within a maritime security zone. Access to maritime security zones is managed by the Maritime Industry Participant (MIP), or facility operator.

What are maritime security zones?

Maritime security zones are areas within regulated ports, around and on-board regulated Australian ships, which have additional security requirements, as defined by the Maritime Transport Security and Offshore Facilities Act 2003. The MSIC will also cover security zones on offshore oil and gas facilities.

How do I know if I will need an MSIC?

If you require unmonitored access within a maritime security zone you will require an MSIC.

What documents will I need to fill in and provide to get an MSIC?

You will need to complete the MSIC Awareness Training (compulsory), sign an application and a consent form and provide proof of identity.

These documents are required to fulfil specific categories and may include but are not limited to:

Category A:

  • Original Australian Birth certificate

  • Original Australian Citizenship Certificate

  • Current Australian Visa

Category B:

  • Drivers licence (with your current)

  • Original passport (Australian of Foreign)

  • Australian security licence

Category C:

  • Bank card (current)

  • Medicare card (current)

  • ASIC or MSIC (current)

You will also need to provide an operational need letter from your employer.  The template for this letter can be downloaded during your MSIC Awareness Training.

What Background Checks will I undergo?

AusCheck, within the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD), coordinates the ASIC and MSIC background checks which comprise:

  • a security assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
    ASIO security assessments consider factors about security as defined in the ASIO Act 1979.
    Security assessments are not character checks and factors such as criminal history, dishonesty or deceit are only relevant to ASIO’s advice, if they have a bearing on security considerations.

What happens if I am unsuccessful in obtaining an MSIC?
  • If your application for an ASIC or an MSIC is refused by AusCheck you will be informed of the reasons for the decision and your legal rights for a reconsideration or appeal.

  • If you are unsuccessful in your appeal or chose not to appeal, you will not be able to enter a maritime security zone. It is a matter for your employer to redeploy you outside of the maritime security zone and if not being able to obtain an MSIC will affect your employment status.

Will issuing bodies and employers have access to the information and details of the background checks that were conducted on me?
  • During the implementation phase, only the Australian Government will have access to background checking information.  Issuing bodies will only receive written advice that states whether they can or cannot issue an MSIC.

How long will it take to get an MSIC from when I submit my documentation?
  • The total time taken to obtain an MSIC is between 2 and 6 weeks, if additional information is sought by the background checking agencies this may delay the process.

What happens to my card if it is cancelled?
  • If your card was cancelled you will need to return it to the issuing body who issued your card within 30 days.

  • If your MSIC is cancelled due to an adverse criminal record, you can apply to the Secretary of the Department to have your card reinstated.

What happens if my card was cancelled but I now find myself working in the industry again?

If you return to the industry after this time or you find once again you have a need for an MSIC and it is before the date the card would have expired, you will need to sign a statutory declaration stating there has been no change to your criminal record and your card will be re-issued to you with the original expiry date.

Even if there has been no change to your criminal history the issuing body may decide that new background checks will need to be undertaken. If this is the case your new card will expire two to four years from when this new check was conducted.

How much will it cost to get an MSIC?

Port of Brisbane MSIC card pricing options

  • 2 years new or renewal application $225.00

  • 4 years new of renewal application (with additional background check after 2 years from approval date) $450.00

  • Provisional or ASIC base $160.00

  • Replacement $115.00

The Government is not setting the price of the MSIC. You should contact your local issuing body to find out the cost. 

When do I have to display my MSIC?

You are properly displaying your valid blue MSIC if:

  • the whole of the front of the MSIC is clearly visible at all times that it is being worn; and

  • the MSIC is attached, at or above the waist, to the front or side of your clothing or on a band around your upper arm.

Failure to properly display a valid MSIC (excluding white MSIC) in a security zone is an offence of strict liability and may incur a penalty of up to $3,600.