Amendments to Maritime Rules to improve safety and consistency with the international maritime framework

Public consultation on the proposed amendments to Marine Protection Rule Part 199: Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships closed on 3 October 2022.


Maritime NZ is proposing to amend the Maritime Rules to improve safety and to be more consistent with the international maritime framework. The proposed amendments will clarify the Rules requirements. The Rules proposed to be amended are:

  • Part 53 – Pilot Transfer Arrangements and Ship - Helicopter Pilot Transfers, and
  • Part 23 – Operating Procedures and Training.

Maritime NZ is consulting on a proposal to remove Rule 53.4(2)(a) and not remake the exemption. Additionally, Maritime NZ is recommending some other minor changes to Part 53 to improve safety and consistency with the international maritime framework. Other amendments are proposed relating to:

  • the approval of equivalent pilot transfer arrangements
  • requirements for accommodation ladders, and
  • the thickness of side ropes on pilot ladders.

Amendments to requirements for lifeboat drills under Part 23

During work on Part 53, Maritime NZ identified risks for crew due to the current requirements of Part 23. Under Part 23 requires that lifeboats are launched and manoeuvred with crew aboard which is a risk to crew safety. Maritime NZ proposes to amend these Rules so crew are not required to be aboard lifeboats when they are lowered during drills.


Proposed changes

A summary of the proposals is available here:

Proposed changes to maritime rules Part 53 and Part 23 [PDF: 132kB, 1 page]


Consultation documents

The Invitation to Comment explains the reason behind the proposed changes, how it is likely to be applied in practice, and the anticipated impacts of the proposed Rules amendments. The consultation questions are in the document and are also in the submission form (below) to help with your response.

Invitation to comment [PDF: 292kB, 25 pages] Appendix 2: Proposed maritime rules Part 53 and Part 23 [PDF: 143kB, 16 pages]


Contact us

If you have any questions or comments relating to this project, please email