MOSS audits

Find out what is involved in the MOSS audit process and get helpful information on how to keep your operation compliant.


The MOSS audit looks at how your operation is performing against your Maritime Transport Operator Certificate Plan (operator plan) under your Maritime Transport Operator Certificate (MTOC).

MOSS audits look at your whole operation and check, that you are operating safely and following your operator plan, and that you continue to do so.


Audit timings

Audit date

When you were first issued an MTOC a risk profile was completed for your operation. The timing of the first audit is set by the risk profile score. It can be from 1 to 24 months from the date of issue of your MTOC. Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) will get in touch with you up to two months before your audit is due to set up a time to meet with you.

Time involved

The amount of time involved will depend on the complexity of your operation, the number of vessels involved and how well you have implemented your safety system. MNZ’s time includes preparation, a visit to the operation and writing up the report following the visit.

Updates to your risk profile

Part of the audit will involve a review of your risk profile. This looks at the safety system across the whole of your operation. It includes:

  • safety culture
  • compliance history
  • operating practice
  • experience and capability
  • organisational factors.

The risk profile score will help decide when your next audit will be. This will be 2 to 48 months after the audit.


The audit process

Key items covered in your audit

The following items are checked as part of the audit:

  • vessel details and requirements including maintenance of the vessel, survey requirements and compliance with relevant maritime rules
  • people who have control and responsibility over the operation
  • crew training and manning levels
  • changes to the operator plan including activities, ports or harbours and vessels
  • the operator plan is kept up to date and changes recorded
  • management of safety risks and hazards
  • harm prevention
  • protection of the environment

MOSS audit visit

A Maritime Officer (MO) will visit your operation. The MO will look at your operator plan, records and relevant vessel documentation.
They will also observe an emergency procedure.

The MO will talk to the people named in the operator plan to make sure they know and understand their responsibilities.

MOSS self-audit overview for operators [PDF: 523kB, 1 page] MOSS audit overview for operators [PDF: 233kB, 1 page]


Preparing for your audit

What you need to do

You will need to be available to show your operation to the MO.

People named in the operator plan as having responsibilities will need to be available to talk to the MO.

If you have added a vessel into your operation that wasn’t there when you were assessed for your MTOC, you will need to make sure the vessel manual and its operating procedures are available for the MO.

Tips for your audit

  • Make sure you have the latest version of your operator plan available.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your operator plan and your operation in general.
  • Make sure your records are up to date and can be accessed easily.
  • Be prepared to demonstrate an emergency procedure.
  • Make sure your crew understand what the audit is about and that they may also be asked questions.