COVID-19 (coronavirus)

The Maritime Border Order (MBO) has been revoked. The MBO and a number of other orders are no longer in force.

COVID-19 Maritime guidance

The following guidance has been prepared for maritime industry stakeholders, following the removal of the Maritime Border Order and a host of other Orders on 12 September 2022.  

It highlights key changes made to ease current public health restrictions and a move to more voluntary measures better suited to the current outbreak context within New Zealand.

Its aim is to provide up to date COVID-19 maritime guidance for port operators, unions, agents, government officials and PHUs, with a focus on remaining requirements under New Zealand law, and best practice where no legislative requirements exist.

COVID-19 Maritime guidance [PDF: 517kB, 11 pages]


Changes to border requirements

The following border requirements have been removed:

  • Testing for arrivals on commercial craft, including freight, fishing, fuel vessels, specialty vessels and research ships
  • Requirements for arrivals on cruise and recreational ships to be vaccinated

The notice of arrival via the Extended Notice of Arrivals form is no longer required, however the Advanced Notice of Arrival, No Change of Health Status and Maritime Declaration of Health documentation, are still required.

Masters still need to advise the port health authority at each port whether there are any notifiable infectious diseases on board, including COVID-19. Please visit NZ Customs for more information.

NZ Customs website

Passengers and crew no longer have to be COVID-19 symptom free before travelling to New Zealand. However, if passengers and crew have COVID-19, they are encouraged not to travel to New Zealand.

There is a new Face Mask Order in force to ensure face masks are used in certain healthcare settings, and mask wearing is still encouraged on public transport. Please visit the Ministry of Health for more information.

Ministry of Health website


Testing positive and self-isolation

If you are experiencing symptoms you are encouraged to test and if you test positive for COVID-19, you will need to self-isolate for 7 days.

If someone tests positive for COVID-19 on board a commercial ship, they will need to isolate on that ship. However If someone tests positive on a cruise ship, they will need to isolate in their cabin. People who have COVID-19 can move to a place of self-isolation on land from their ship if they go directly to that destination, wear a mask and limit the amount of time they are in public. On a commercial vessel, crew may continue to perform ‘defined’ essential tasks if they test positive for COVID-19.

If you are a household contact of someone who has tested positive, you do not need to isolate however you are encouraged to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) every day within the first 5 days following that person’s positive test.


For people flying to NZ to join a cruise or commercial ship

The Air Border Order has undergone some changes. Post arrival testing, vaccination requirements and the requirement to not be showing symptoms when boarding, have been removed.

Masks are no longer required on international flights to and from New Zealand and masks are no longer required to be worn at New Zealand airports.


Guidance on COVID-19 related regulatory requirements for cruise return

This document outlines COVID-19 related requirements and other key regulatory settings for cruise ships arriving and operating in New Zealand.

This guidance is written to help cruise operators understand their legal requirements and related expectations. Currently, the COVID-19-related requirement of greatest relevance to cruise operators and passengers is the need for COVID-19 cases to isolate for 7 days.

This document also covers:

  • Pratique exemption for COVID-19
  • Health reporting requirements before arrival and while operating in New Zealand
  • Other key border requirements and recommendations
  • The Vessel Management Framework
  • Expectations and Guiding Principles for cruise operators.

COVID-19 requirements are subject to review and may change over time. We will keep cruise operators informed of changes to the settings and update this guidance as and when required. The guidance includes a version history which identifies changes made over time.

Guidance on COVID-19 related regulatory requirements for cruise return [PDF: 314kB, 16 pages]


Information for:

Foreign ship masters

Maritime Pilots

Contacting us


Latest maritime industry updates

Maritime industry update 113 - 10 October 2022 [PDF: 257kB, 9 pages] Maritime industry update 112 - 12 September 2022 [PDF: 238kB, 10 pages] Maritime industry update 111 - 8 August 2022 [PDF: 203kB, 8 pages] Maritime industry update 110 - 25 July 2022 [PDF: 246kB, 9 pages]


Contact us

The best way of contacting us is by email.

We are monitoring our email and will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

Please use the following email addresses: for all seafarer enquiries for vessel related safety and certification for Part A and Part B registrations for all exemptions for all other general enquiries

Alternatively you can use our online enquiry form.

Contact us online

If you don't have email

We are still answering the phones but there may be a delay in our response times.

New Zealand (toll free): 0508 SEACERT or 0508 732 237
Calling from outside New Zealand: +64 4 473 0111

Operators, vessel safety, ship registration, exemptions and all other commercial enquiries
New Zealand (toll free): 0508 22 55 22
Calling from outside New Zealand: +64 4 473 0111


Our office and postal services

Our staff are working to provide services for you under the current COVID Alert Levels. Thank you for your patience.

Although we are still using our postal service, there will be a significant delay for processing incoming and outgoing mail. Also we may have to stop this service if changes to the Government's COVID response requires us to.