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Changes to Life Jacket Standards – Frequently Asked Questions

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When is the new standard effective from?

From 1 January 2021, all life jackets in Tasmania on recreational boats will need to be approved to AS4758.

Why?

A new Australian Standard (AS), AS4758 for life jackets was introduced in 2010 and then implemented through Tasmanian Legislation the same year. MAST has been alerting boat owners for 10 years of the need to change by 2021.

What are old Standard Life Jackets?

Old jackets are labeled with AS1512, AS1499 or AS2260 or PFD Type 1, 2 or 3 inside the jacket.  These jackets will become redundant through legislation on 31 December 2020 and should be thoughtfully disposed of.

According to a number of manufacturers, the “average” life span of a life jacket is ten years.

What is the difference between the old and the AS 4758 Standard life jackets?

AS4758:

  • Has increased buoyancy
  • Incorporates new technology
  • Takes into account advances in life jacket design and manufacture
  • Has increased reflectivity

Buoyancy comparison example:

Old standards

AS 4758

Type 1       87 newtons

Level 100 newtons (foam)
Level   150+ newtons (inflatable only)

I have recently purchased a new life jacket, will this comply?

If you have bought a life jacket in the last three years, there is a very good chance that it is approved to AS4758.  Check the label inside the life jacket.

If I am purchasing a new AS4758 life jacket what should I consider?

Choose a life jacket that suits your needs, it could well be a life saver.

Ensure your life jacket, whether foam or inflatable, fits correctly.

If you purchase an inflatable life jacket you have responsibility for on-going mandatory servicing costs and maintenance requirements.

What life jacket do I need in Tasmanian waters from 2021?

One that is approved to AS4758.

Level 50 or greater for use in Smooth waters only.

Level 100 or greater for use in sheltered and coastal waters.

My life jacket looks like brand new, why should I have to replace it?

Prior to the adoption of AS 4758 in 2010, manufacturers advised that the average life of a life jacket is 10 years. MAST has provided nearly 11 years to transition to AS4758 with regular reminders.

Over time materials deteriorate, especially in the marine environment. Stitching for example is very vulnerable to UV degradation as is webbing and nylon materials. It may look alright but is it? How do you know? Is it worth risking the life of your child, family member to save a couple of dollars?

I have an ISO or other standard jacket on my yacht for racing, why do I have to have an additional jacket for cruising?

Sailing Australia accepts a range of jackets for yacht racing however recreational boating is covered in Tasmania under the Marine and Safety (Motor Boats and Licences) By-Laws. Recreational boaters must comply with Tasmania’s legislation, as is the case in every other state.

I am travelling to Tasmania on my boat and my life jackets are ISO or another standard, do I have to buy AS4758 life jackets or can I use my ISO or other standard life jackets?

You will need to comply with Tasmanian legislation. This is the same as anyone travelling from Tasmania to another state must comply with the relevant legislation in that state.

Why is Tasmania different to every other state?

All states have AS4758 written into their legislation. Some other states also allow ISO or other standard jackets.

Tasmania requires AS4758 because this standard is superior to other standards in that it requires all life jacket manufacturers to be audited every year so that you, the consumer, can be confident that the life jacket you have purchased is being manufactured in accordance with the standard.

Can I use my life jacket that is approved by AMSA (for use on my commercial vessel) on my recreational vessel if not AS4758?

Commercial safety equipment is regulated by AMSA under Commonwealth legislation and does not apply to recreational vessels. You will need to use AS4758 on your recreational vessel in accordance with Tasmanian legislation.

The following models are approved AS4758 life jackets but not branded as such:

Sirocco                                           level 100N

Hurricane                                       level 50N

Mistral                                            level 100N

Coastal                                           level 150N

Diablo                                             level 50SN

Crewfit                                           level 165N sport (model # 1194)

Crewfit                                           level 165N classic (model # 1181)

Crewfit                                           level 150N junior (model # 1202)

Crewfit                                           level 180N Pro (model # 1191)

Highback                                        level 50N (model # 1228)

Kallista Legacy                               level 50N (model # 1124)

Xipe                                                level 50N (model # 1161)

Axis Pilot jacket                             level 150n

CSR Mk3 Response Blaze             level 50N

For further info go to www.mast.tas.gov.au

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