MSIC FAQs

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 onboard regulated Australian ships, which have additional security requirements, as defined by theMaritime 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 and sign an application and a consent form and provide of proof of identity. These documents include but are not limited to:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport 
  • Drivers licence 
  • Credit card 
  • Debit card
  • Medicare card 
  • Citizenship documentation 

You will also need to prove that you are either an Australian Citizen or have the right to work in Australia. To do this you will need to provide an Australian Birth Certificate or Passport; an Australian Citizenship or Naturalisation Certificate; or a stamp in your foreign passport stating that you have the right to work inAustralia.

What Background Checks will I undergo?

The background check is a two-part process.  It involves: 

  • a criminal history background check by CrimTrac  
  • a security assessment conducted by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) 
What do they consist of?
 
Police Records Check

A police records check is performed by the CrimTrac. You will need to prepare and sign a consent form for a police records check by the CrimTrac. The CrimTrac will produce a Police Records Certificate which will be assessed against a list of maritime security relevant offences found in the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Regulations 2005.

Security Assessment

A security assessment will be conducted by ASIO. When ASIO conducts a security assessment, it investigates the person’s 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, you will be informed of the recommendation and how you can have it reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

What is the role of MSIC issuing bodies during the implementation phase?

MSIC issuing bodies will be responsible for confirming an applicant’s identity and their Citizenship or right to work in Australia. They will also provide application and consent forms for background checks. The issuing body will also be responsible for producing an MSIC.

What is the role of the Australian Government in the implementation phase?

During the implementation phase the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) will determine if an MSIC applicant is eligible for an MSIC on the basis of the outcomes of the criminal history and ASIO check conducted on the applicant.  DIT will advise the MSIC issuing body and applicant of the outcome of the application.

What happens if I am unsuccessful in obtaining an MSIC?

DIT will give you a written statement of reasons why you are not eligible to hold an MSIC. You will also receive advice on your appeal rights.

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 from DIT that states whether they can or cannot issue an MSIC.

How long is an MSIC valid for?

An MSIC is valid for two to four years unless you leave the regulated Australian maritime environment for 12 months or longer or you no longer have an operational need to be within a maritime security zone. In this case, your card may be cancelled before the two to four year validity period has elapsed.

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.

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 year from when this new check was conducted.

What happens at the end of the five-year validity period?

Your card will expire and you will need to apply for a new one. You will need to undergo another background check before your replacement card can be issued. These checks should be initiated before your MSIC expires, so you don’t lose the ability to work unmonitored within a maritime security zone.

How long will it take to get an MSIC from when I submit my documentation?

The total time taken to obtain an MSIC will depend on whether you have provided the appropriate documentation or if additional information is sought by the background checking agencies.

Additional time should also be allocated for administration processes and determination of your eligibility required by the issuing body and DIT. 

How much will it cost to get an MSIC?

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?

From 1 January 2007 you will be required to display an MSIC while in a maritime security zone. 

How do I need to display my MSIC?

You should wear your MSIC above waist height; at the front or side of your body; with the whole front of the MSIC clearly visible.

What will happen if I don’t display an MSIC?

Inappropriate display of, or not displaying an MSIC could lead to a fine.

For more information on the MSIC and maritime security visit the DIT website http://www.infrastructure.gov.au.