Applying for an exemption

Find out how to apply for exemptions from complying with a maritime or marine protection rule.

How to apply

Vessel owners and operators should always contact their surveyor or local Maritime Officer to get advice about what they need to do before applying for an exemption.

For your application to be approved, it must meet all the specific criteria laid out in the relevant section of the Maritime Transport Act 1994.

Criteria for maritime rules [Maritime Transport Act 1994 section 40AA] Criteria for marine protection rules [Maritime Transport Act 1994 section 395]

Vessel owners can apply in writing, giving full details of the ship/operation and the reason the exemption is requested.

  • Your application must provide sufficient ‘technical’ reasons for it to be granted and show that the risk to safety (or the marine environment) is not increased.
  • Your application must state the legal criterion under which you are applying.

For additional information about applying for rule exemption refer to the following guidelines:

Guidelines for applying for an exemption [PDF: 210kB, 5 pages] Exemption information - Ballast water management [PDF: 516kB, 4 pages]


Application forms

To apply for an exemption, you will need to complete the relevant form(s).

Exemption request form - marine protection rules [PDF: 70kB, 3 pages] Exemption request form - maritime rules [PDF: 70kB, 3 pages] Exemption request form - seafarers [PDF: 67kB, 3 pages]


Exemption fees

  • These fees are effective from 1 July 2019.
  • All charges are in New Zealand currency and include goods and services tax (GST).
  Hourly rate
Maritime rules  
Marine protection rules  


Contact us

If you need further information about exemptions, please contact our Exemptions Officer.


Related information:

Getting help

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

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