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B50/1992 PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING INFORMATION FROM AUSTRALIAN MARINE SAFETY AUTHORITY
DATE OF ISSUE: 16 NOVEMBER 1992
PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING INFORMATION FROM AUSTRALIAN MARINE SAFETY AUTHORITY
Records of Merchant Navy personnel during the 1939/45 war period contained in the General Register of Seamen System (GROSS), previously held by Department of Transport and Communication (DTC), are now held by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
2.AMSA is a Statutory Authority, established on 1 January 1991, which regulates and provides services to the Australian Maritime Service Industry as part of the Government's microeconomic reform of the Australian Shipping Industry. AMSA receives no funding;, for research work concerning mariners' service during World War II.
3.Requests for information from GROSS now attract a fee to reflect the amount of research and preparation involved. DVA, however, will not be charged for this research. Individuals and other organisations will incur a fee.
4.At a meeting held recently with the Marine Crews Business Unit of AMSA, a number of issues relating to the provision of information to DVA in relation to Australian seafarers were discussed as follows:
.AMSA pointed out that DVA branch offices were seeking confirmation of original source documents and copies thereof, eg. original certificates of discharge, statements of sea service, etc. in effect, AMSA was being asked to confirm information it had previously provided to the applicant and/or authenticated.
.It is essential that any requests for information from AMSA records be precise in relation to the amount of information required. For example, where evidence of a voyage in a war zone is necessary to establish eligibility, this should be clearly stated to avoid unnecessary research and expense.
.Information required to determine if an applicant may have suffered an injury or disease was war-related cannot be provided by AMSA. This information can only be obtained from the Official Log-Book of the ship on which the injury/illness occurred. Official Log-Books for the Second World War period are held by Australian Archives. AMSA will on request provide the accession details for the log-book concerned. The applicant will need to nominate the ship and the date on which the injury occurred.
.AMSA records relate only to service on Australian ships and British ships where the seafarer was engaged/discharged at a port in Australia. Where Australian seafarers served on ships operated by allied governments during World War II eg. Norwegian, British, Dutch, U.S. small ships etc. it will be necessary to seek details from the relevant authority in that country (see attached list).
.Where information concerning the voyage records for a ship, either Australian or Allied is required. enquiries should be directed to:
Naval Historical Section
Department of Defence
PO Box E33
Canberra ACT 2600
5.The following scale of charges applies to research performed by AMSA:
Application and search fee$25 (this amount is not refundable if search fails to locate required information, but is deducted from the cost of any service provided)
Statement of sea service$43 per hour (this statement contains information on approximately 5 years of service)
Copies of/or extracts from source$43 per hour
Provision of research$43 per hour
6.Where a claimant seeks information beyond that which is needed by DVA to determine a claim then they should be given the address of AMSA and advised of the charges. DVA will not seek that additional information, but refer them to AMSA. In most circumstances claimants will provide all the necessary information required to be lodged with a claim.
7.In cases where a claimant requires AMSA to validate or provide specific information regarding their service they will need to approach AMSA themselves and incur the relevant fee. An example of this may be where a person is lodging a claim for acceptance of a condition as related to service. Under the appropriate legislation the condition must be as a direct result of service. AMSA advised at the recent meeting that the ship's log book would have recorded any significant occurrence and particularly where a seamen may have been injured or taken ill.
8.The Department will not refund costs incurred by a veteran seeking information from AMSA.
9.To reduce the number of telephone contact points between AMSA and DVA, AMSA has requested that specific DVA contact officers be nominated in each state. It would be appreciated if names and numbers of contact officers could be forwarded to Justin O'Shannassy on (06) 2896786 in Central Office as soon as possible so as they can be passed on to AMSA.
10.Attached is a list of the various authorities overseas which hold information relating to Mariners.
NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR
10 November 1992
LIST OF ADDRESSES FOR OVERSEAS CONTACTS
Director of Shipping Policy
& Marine Affairs
Hoopd van de Scheepvaartinpectie
Ministrie Van Verkeer
Directorate for Seamen
PO Box 8105-DEP
OSLO 1 NORWAY
Swedish Merchant Seamen
Central Seamen's Register
Ministry of Mercantile Marine
18 II Mararhias Street
Mercantile Marine Office
Harbour Building 3/F
38 Pier Road
Telex - 64553
Fax - 852-5-449241
Director-General of Shipping
Ministry of Shipping and Transport
Walchard Hirachard Marg,
BOMBAY - 1 INDIA
Department of Transport and Power
General Register & Record Office
26/27 Eden Quay
DUBLIN 1 IRELAND
Registry of Shipping
PO Box 1628
Registry of Shipping
OTTAWA CANADA KIA
Danish Maritime Authority
DK-211 Copenhagen E
PO Box 326
General Register & Record Office of — Block 2
Shipping & Seamen — Government Buildings
Department of Transport — St Agnes Road
PO Box 165 — CARDIFF CF4 4YA
GABALFA CARDIFF CF4 4UX
Department of Transportation
United States Coast Guard
Division of Merchant Vessel Personnel
WASHINGTON DC 20591 USA
USA Small Ships only
National Personnel Records Centre
9700 Page Boulevarde
ST LOUIS MISSOURI 63132