Staying compliant in MOSS

Find out what you have to do to keep your operator plan up to date, and how to adapt it to any future changes in your operation.

As the holder of a Maritime Transport Operator Certificate (MTOC) it is your responsibility to ensure that your Maritime Transport Operator Plan (operator plan) is up to date and appropriate for your operation. You must also ensure that all the vessels in your operation are safe. Also Maritime NZ will engage with you to ensure you continue to operate safely and follow your operator plan.

These are the main things you will need to focus on:

  1. Changes to your operator plan that only require notification
  2. Changes to your operator plan that will require MNZ approval
  3. Vessels in your operation hold a valid certificate of survey
  4. Engagement with MNZ MOSS audits for ongoing monitoring


1. Changes requiring notification

You must notify Maritime NZ as soon as is possible about the following changes:

  • when a vessel enters or exits the operation
  • if the name of the operation or trading name changes
  • if the contact details (address, phone, fax, email) for the operation change.

You will need to complete the Notification of update to an operator plan form for changes of this type.

Notification of update to an operator plan [PDF: 161kB, 9 pages]

When a vessel exits the operation (whether permanently or for a short term), you will also need to complete the Change of vessel status or ownership form.

Change of vessel status or ownership form [PDF: 212kB, 2 pages]


2. Changes requiring approval

You must obtain approval from Maritime NZ before you make any changes to transport operator details including:

  • the full name of the operator
  • the person(s) responsible for the following:
    • the operation
    • resourcing of the operation
    • crew training and competency assessments
    • operational decisions, including the control and scheduling of maintenance and internal
      quality assurance

      A new person exercising responsibilities must complete a Fit and proper person form.
  • the primary harbours or ports from which the operation is conducted
  • the category or categories and the activity or activities of operation that will be conducted under the MTOC.

You will need to complete the Application to update an operator plan form for changes of this type.

Application to update an operator plan [PDF: 245kB, 15 pages] Fit and proper person form [PDF: 361kB, 10 pages]


3. Certificates of survey

The rules about surveying your vessel are an essential requirement of MOSS.

Responsibility for compliance with the rules rests with you, as the operator.

You must ensure that each vessel that is part of the operation has a valid certificate of survey issued under rule 44.41 (or a deemed certificate of survey under rule 44.81) and any other certificates required under other maritime rules and maritime protection rules.

If you are in any doubt as to the vessel(s) compliance with the maritime rules in relation to survey dates you should discuss it, in the first instance, with a recognised surveyor.

Contact a surveyor


4. MOSS audits

The MOSS audit looks at how your operation is performing against your operator plan under your MTOC.

Ongoing 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.

Read more about MOSS audits


MOSS self-audit overview for operators [PDF: 523 kB, 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.