FAQs for owners or operators of commercial vessels

We have put together the following owner operator related questions and answers to guide you through the Maritime Levy and fees process.

What has changed?

The following changes came into effect on 1 July 2019:

  • a revised allocation methodology for the Maritime Levy
  • no fees for routine maritime safety audits and inspections for domestic operators. These are funded instead from the Maritime Levy
  • a single hourly rate of $245 for all activities that are charged on actual time taken (and the basis for fixed fees)
  • no charge for travel time and costs (except where an activity is carried out overseas or at an offshore installation)
  • a single reduced fee of $368 for seafarer certificates and endorsements
  • a reduction in most ship registration fees.

What’s not included in the Maritime Levy from 1 July 2019?

Fees are still charged for follow-up visits required as part of a routine maritime safety audit or inspection. They are charged at the hourly rate of $245 (GST inclusive). The travel time and costs of these follow-up visits are not charged and are funded from the Maritime Levy.

Fees still apply for entering into MOSS, for example. The initial fixed application fee and hourly rate of $245 (GST inclusive) for assessment effort required over and above what the initial fee covers, still apply. The travel time and costs (where the assessment occurs away from an MNZ office) are not charged but funded from the Maritime Levy.

When do I have to pay?

The funding source for routine maritime safety audits and inspections has shifted from fees to the Maritime Levy. This means the costs of these audits and inspections are now funded from the Maritime Levy.

What are routine maritime safety audits and inspections?

They are maritime safety audits and inspections of domestic operators under the Maritime Transport Act 1994, Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) and International Safety Management Code (ISM). They are currently recovered through fees.

They include:

  • MOSS routine maritime safety audits
  • New Zealand other non-MOSS maritime safety audits
  • New Zealand SOLAS maritime safety inspection and audits

They do not include assessments undertaken as part of entry into the system (which some people currently call audits).

Is there now a charge for routine maritime safety audits and inspections, or follow-up visits?

There are now no fees for routine audits and inspections of any maritime operation conducted under a maritime rule. If Maritime NZ conducts an audit or inspection of an offshore installation or is requested or required to travel internationally for such purpose, then charges apply. Follow-up visits for routine maritime safety audits or inspections are charged via fees at the hourly rate. The time and cost of travel for any domestic audits and inspections (including where a follow-up is required) is recovered through the Maritime Levy.

What does the Maritime Levy fund?

The Maritime Levy funds key elements of the maritime safety regulatory and response system and fees are charged for specific activities provided to individual operators and seafarers. The changes ensure that appropriate funding is in place for the next six years.


Related information

Funding review consultation

Maritime NZ consulted on proposed changes to Maritime Levies and Oil Pollution Levies over July - August 2023.

Funding review 2023

Previous funding review 2018


Contact us for more help

For more information:


New Zealand (toll free):
0508 225 540

Calling from outside New Zealand:
+64 4 830 5800


Someone from the Funding Review team will be in touch with you within 5-10 business days.
Tell us what you need help with and remember to include your contact details (email address and phone numbers).