Recognition of Australian certificates

Information for Australian seafarers wishing to work on a New Zealand-flagged ship.

On this page:

Working in New Zealand

To work on a New Zealand-flagged ship, you will need to have your Australian certificate recognised as an equivalent to a New Zealand certificate.

Due to differences between the Australian and New Zealand seafarer certification frameworks:

  • it may not be possible to match the exact privileges of your Australian domestic certificate
  • a New Zealand recognition cannot grant privileges that are greater than those of your original certificate

Corresponding New Zealand certificates, providing the closest match to your Australian certificate, can be found in the Australia-New Zealand seafarer certificate conversion tables.

Is your certificate eligible?

Starting work in New Zealand

You may begin working in the capacity of your corresponding New Zealand certificate while the Director considers your application, provided that:

  • your application is correct and complete

During this period, you must adhere to any special conditions placed on your Australian certificate.

If your certificate is recognised, it will be acknowledged by way of an endorsement, a New Zealand certificate of competency or proficiency (as appropriate).

How to apply

These steps provide a basic overview of how to apply for recognition and is in accordance with the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.

To complete an application, you need to provide all of the information and documents we require.

If you do not provide all of the required information we cannot process your application and we will return it and your other documents to you.

Australia-New Zealand seafarer certificate conversion

Australian certificates eligible for recognition

State or Northern Territory certificate Australian certificate New Zealand certificate
General Purpose Hand General Purpose Hand NC Qualified Deck Crew
Coxswain Coxswain Grade 1 NC Skipper Restricted Limits endorsed to carry 12 or more passengers
Coxswain (restricted to smooth or sheltered waters) Coxswain Grade 1 NC (restricted to sheltered waters) Skipper Restricted Limits
Master Class 5

Skipper Grade 3

Master Class 5/ Skipper Grade 3

Master Class V (Trading)

Master Class 5 (Fishing)

Master Class 5 (Trading and Fishing)
Master <24m NC Skipper Coastal/Offshore endorsed to carry 12 or more passengers; restricted to deck capacity only (unless also holds minimum MED 3)
Master Class 4

Skipper Grade 2

Master Class IV (Trading)

Master Class IV (Fishing)
Master <35m NC Skipper Coastal/Offshore restricted to deck capacity only (unless also holds minimum MED 3)

Skipper Restricted Limits endorsed for vessels <500GT
Mate Class 4

Mate Class IV (Fishing)

Mate Class IV (Trading)
Mate <80m NC Skipper Restricted Limits endorsed less than 24m; restricted to serve as Mate Near Coastal
Master Class 3

Skipper Grade 1

Master Class III Trading)

Master Class III (Fishing)
Master <80m NC Skipper Coastal/Offshore restricted to deck capacity only (unless also holds minimum MED 3)
Marine Engine Driver Grade 3 Marine Engine Driver Grade 3 NC Marine Engineer Class 6
Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 NC Marine Engineer Class 5
Marine Engine Driver Grade 1 Marine Engine Driver Grade 1 NC Marine Engineer Class 4

If your certificate is unlisted - please contact us with a scanned copy of your certificate, including details.

Australian STCW certificates eligible for recognition

Australian certificate Equivalent New Zealand STCW certificate
Able Seaman Able Seafarer Deck
Deck Rating Deck Watch Rating
Master Master
Master less than 3000 GT Master on ships less than 3000GT
Master less than 500 GT Master on ships less than 500GT
Chief Mate Chief Mate
Chief Mate less than 3000 GT Chief Mate on ships less than 3000GT
Mate less than 500 GT Chief Mate on ships less than 500GT
GMDSS General Operator’s Certificate GMDSS Radio Operator
Engineer Watchkeeper - Steam Marine Engineer Class 3 (Steam certificate)
Engineer Watchkeeper - Motor Marine Engineer Class 3 (Motor certificate)
Engineer Watchkeeper - Steam & Motor Marine Engineer Class 3 (combined motor and steam certificate)
Engineer Class 2 – Steam Marine Engineer Class 2 (Steam certificate)
Engineer Class 2 – Motor Marine Engineer Class 2 (Motor certificate)
Engineer Class 2 - Steam & Motor Marine Engineer Class 2 (combined motor and steam certificate)
Engineer Class 1 – Steam Marine Engineer Class 1 (Steam certificate)
Engineer Class 1 – Motor Marine Engineer Class 1 (Motor certificate)
Engineer Class 1 - Steam & Motor Marine Engineer Class 1 (combined motor and steam certificate)

If your STCW certificate is unlisted - please contact us with a scanned copy of your certificate, including details.

Related title

SeaCert background

Read about the background of SeaCert and its aims to provide competency-based systems that better suit seafarers in NZ.

Read more
 

Contact us

E-mail:

seafarers@maritimenz.govt.nz

Review of decision

You may request that the Director of Maritime New Zealand review any decision relating to your application by writing to:

The Director
Maritime New Zealand
PO Box 25620
WELLINGTON 6140

Making an appeal

Any appeals against a decision relating to your application may be addressed to:

The Registrar
Trans-Tasman Occupations Tribunal Unit
Ministry of Justice
PO Box 5027
WELLINGTON 6140