Mariner's Handbook for Australian Waters (AHP20)


The Mariner’s Handbook for Australian Waters (AHP20) is an official nautical publication providing mariners with important regulatory, procedural and environmental information affecting the planning and conduct of a voyage to or from Australian ports, or within Australian waters. It includes a summary of all relevant information from various Australian government agencies under the cover of one combined reference, with links to further information if required.

The publication includes:

  • Major Australian maritime legislation and regulations, and responsible agencies
  • Marine Protected Areas, regulations and responsible agencies
  • Coastal Pilotage arrangements
  • Torres Strait and Great Barrier Reef shipping routes, accident and incident reporting
  • Maritime Safety Information, meteorological broadcasts, Warnings, search and rescue
  • Ship Reporting Systems - AUSREP and REEFVTS
  • Maritime security, Customs, biosecurity, quarantine and immigration
  • Australian trading ports – Pilots, boarding arrangements, arrival and departure notification requirements, VHF Channels and port contact details
  • Mariners guide to interpreting the accuracy of depth information in Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC)
  • The regional climatic environment
  • Key contact information for each relevant government agency and links to further information
  • Important information relating to the accuracy of charts, zones of confidence and effects of over-scaling in ECDIS (this can also be downloaded as a separate supplement).

AHP20 Cover


It is expected that all commercial vessels operating in Australian waters carry and refer to the publication, updated to the latest Notice to Mariners.

Users of the digital edition should ensure they carry and use the latest download version (which will include all relevant Notices to Mariners), available only from here.


The Mariner’s Handbook for Australian Waters is published as a paper book and may be purchased from chart distribution agents.

The Mariner’s Handbook for Australian Waters is also published as a PDF publication which may be downloaded from here.

The Mariner’s Handbook for Australian Waters is Copyright Commonwealth of Australia. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 no part may be reproduced, adapted, communicated or commercially exploited without prior written permission from the Australian Hydrographic Office.

Downloads are provided for personal / ship use only and may not be reprinted, redistributed, included in electronic services or used for any other purpose without specific written permission from the Australian Hydrographic Office.

Further information can be obtained from


The Mariner’s Handbook for Australian Waters is updated via fortnightly Australian Notices to Mariners. The relevant notices can be:

  • found in the Notices to Mariners section of this website (including replacement text formatted to fit the affected page)
  • supplied automatically via the eNotices email service

Instructions on how to update the printed version are included in the Australian Chart & Publication Maintenance Handbook (AHP24), also published by the Australian Hydrographic Office.