Latest rule updates

View the latest changes and amendments for maritime and marine protection rules.

Various amendments 2016

Maritime Rules Various Amendments 2016 and Marine Protection Rules Various Amendments 2016

These rules were signed by the Associate Minister on the 20 September 2016 and enter into force on the 1st November 2016.

Maritime Rules Various Amendments 2016[PDF: 286kB, 15 pages] Marine Protection Rules Various Amendments 2016[PDF: 197kB, 7 pages]

The proposed amendments correct minor errors in the following Maritime and Marine Protection Rules.

Maritime Rules Parts: 23, 24C, 31, 32, 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D, 40E, 40F, 40G, 41, 42B, 45, 46, 47, 50, 51, 53, 90, and 91

Marine Protection Rules Parts: 100, 102, 103, 121A, and 150.

Maritime Rules Parts 31, 32 and 34 SeaCert Amendment 2016

The SeaCert amendments specific to each rule part are detailed below:

  • Amendments to Maritime Rules Part 32: Seafarer Certification (SeaCert)
    • The amendments are to enable seafarers holding specific old or legacy certificates to ring-fence an existing certificate, transition to a new SeaCert certificate, or both.
    • Additional amendments include the extension of the transition deadline for specific certificates and changes to the temporary seasonal endorsement.
  • Amendments to Maritime Rules Part 31: Crewing and Watchkeeping
    • The amendments are to include provisions for holders of ring-fenced certificates and align their transition under this Part with the Part 32 amendments.
    • Amendments are also made to change the crewing requirement threshold from 12 to 19 passengers.
  • Amendments to Maritime Rules Part 34: Medical Standards
    • The amendments are to prescribe medical fitness standards for holders of certificates that are ring-fenced under Part 32.

For more information see:

Maritime Rules SeaCert Amendments 2016[PDF: 427Kb, 39 pages]

Information for old or legacy certificate holders

Maritime Rules Various SOLAS-related Amendments 2016

Maritime Rules Various SOLAS-related Amendments 2016[PDF: 338Kb, 29 pages]

The changes will require all export containers to have a verified weight, with the responsibility on the shipper (the consignor of the container) to provide this information in the shipping documents. The verified weight (verified gross mass of the loaded container or VGM) can be provided by one of two methods – (1) weighing the loaded container, or (2) weighing all the contents of the container and adding the tare (empty) weight of the container.

Maritime New Zealand has recently consulted on changes to Maritime Rules Part 24B to give effect to the SOLAS changes as part of a wider package of rule amendments. The amendments make changes to Parts 23, 24B, 25, 40B, 40C, 43, 45, 53 and 90 of the Maritime Rules.

The amendments are to ensure that New Zealand law reflects changes to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) which have entered into force or are due to enter into force via the tacit amendment procedure. The amendments are straightforward, technical in nature, remove redundant provisions, and amend outdated references.

The amendments to the Rules will give effect to requirements in SOLAS relating to:

  • Operational procedures related to safe navigation;
  • Nautical publications;
  • Providing a verified gross mass for loaded containers;
  • Radio communication equipment;
  • Navigation equipment; and;
  • The updated Casualty Investigation Code.

For more information see:

Container weight

Maritime Labour Convention Rule Amendments 2015

Maritime NZ will be administering the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) - and enforcing it on New Zealand-flagged ships and on foreign ships visiting New Zealand ports – from March 2017.

New Zealand ratified the MLC in March 2016 and thus will enter into force in New Zealand on 9 March 2017, the convention gives New Zealand the power to inspect and verify that crew on foreign ships carrying New Zealand’s goods are treated fairly and within internationally accepted standards.

The Convention is an International Labour Organization (ILO) treaty that sets international standards for the provision of crew working and living conditions on commercial ships.

The MLC sets minimum standards for seafarers in relation to: employment conditions; accommodation; recreational facilities; food and catering; health care; medical care; welfare; and social security.

The MLC also contains a “no more favourable treatment” clause. This means that regardless of a ship’s flag, it may be subject to inspection and detention in relation to compliance with the MLC when visiting the ports of member states.

The MLC applies to commercial ships over 200 gross tonnage operating outside the inshore limits. It does not apply to fishing vessels. Ships over 500 gross tonnage engaged on international voyages must hold a Maritime Labour Certificate and a Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance.

For more information on the MLC refer to:

Maritime Labour Convention

The subsequence Maritime Rule amendments create a new Part 52 as well as amending Parts 31, 34 and 51 and cover:

  • Requirements for foreign flagged ships;
  • Minimum age for work at night;
  • Seafarer medical standards;
  • Conditions of employment;
  • Crewing and watchkeeping;
  • Minimum age for ships’ cooks;
  • Accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering;
  • Burial costs;
  • Maritime Labour Certificates and Declarations of Maritime Labour Compliance; and
  • Inspections.

Part 51 and Part 52 were signed off by the Minister on the 2nd of December 2015.

Refer to Maritime Rules Parts 51 and 52:

Maritime Rule Part 51

Maritime Rule Part 52

New Marine Protection Rule

Part 300 - Ballast Water Management

Part 300 was signed by the Minister on the 1 March 2016 , however does not enter into force for approximately 12 months.

This delay is in accordance with the requirements of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments 2004. Maritime New Zealand will keep you informed around the entry into force date of the rules and what you need to do to comply.

The purpose of Part 300 is to prevent, minimize and ultimately eliminate the risk to the environment, human health, property and resources arising from the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens through the control and management of ships’ ballast water and sediment.

Part 300 gives effect to the provisions of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments 2004. You can find a link to the signed goatskin of the rule here:

Part 300 signed goatskin [PDF: 522 kB, 33 pages]

All rules and circulars

Download all current rules and advisory circulars

[ZIP: 40.6MB, 109 files]


About the rules

Maritime and marine protection rules contain detailed technical standards and procedures and form part of New Zealand’s maritime law.

Rules overview

Contact us for more help

If you have any questions about the maritime and marine protection rules, please phone our Domestic and International Policy team or email

Call Domestic and International Policy