Check before you buy

This page is intended to help owners and operators understand their responsibilities prior to purchasing second-hand vessels from Australia or vessels in Class.

Each year about 100 commercial vessels are imported into New Zealand that meet Australian and Class requirements but not New Zealand Maritime Rules.


Before buying:

It is recommended that before buying such a vessel, owners and operators understand:

  • Vessels that comply with Australia’s and Class requirements might not comply with New Zealand Maritime Rules
  • To check vessels comply with New Zealand Maritime Rules before buying them
  • What to do to make second-hand vessels comply with New Zealand Maritime Rules.

It is also recommended that owners and operators:

  • Pay special attention to the vessels documentation and survey history
  • Consult a Maritime NZ recognised surveyor.


Interim Technical Notice

Maritime NZ has published a rule clarification (ITN-08-18) to help owners, operators and surveyors understand some of the requirements of the Maritime Rules (parts 40A, 40C and 40D) that relate to the design, construction and structural strength of the vessel to be imported.

This ITN is an interim notice and does not override Maritime Rules and general exemptions already issued.

ITN-08-18 Rule Clarification – Vessels coming from Australia and in class:
This ITN has been revoked, without replacement. Please contact MNZ on if you have any questions about the importation of new or existing (second-hand) ships to NZ for commercial use under a Maritime Transport Operator Certificate.



Maritime NZ will consider exemptions and a staged approach to upgrade for electrical requirements if high risk or critical safety matters are first resolved. This would involve three steps:

  • assessment by a Maritime NZ recognized electrical design approver or an electrical surveyor
  • all high risk or critical safety matters are resolved before the vessel comes into service
  • the surveyor writing into the vessel’s survey plan, a clearly identified and staged approach to upgrading.

Contact a surveyor

Related information:

Getting help

Contact a Maritime Officer for help with your operational and health and safety requirements.

Contact now