Taking your boat overseas

Learn about what you need to do before taking your boat overseas.

About overseas travel

All New Zealand boats going overseas must:

  • be registered as a New Zealand ship with the Registrar of Ships at Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) and
  • undergo a safety inspection prior to departure

For a safe voyage, the:

  • design and construction of the boat must be suitable
  • safety and communication equipment must be inspected
  • skipper and crew must be capable of undertaking the proposed voyage safely.


Registration provides nationality, giving you the protection of the New Zealand Government, and the registration papers provide proof of identity like a passport does for a person.

Register now


The main purpose of the safety inspection is to ensure those departing are as safe as possible, and that they can get help if anything goes seriously wrong.

In order to do a thorough inspection, the vessel must be out of the water.

Who inspects vessels?

The inspections are conducted by inspectors approved by Yachting New Zealand under delegation from Director of Maritime NZ. There is a nationwide network of inspectors who are available for advice and assistance with any aspects of sailing or power vessel safety.

By contacting an inspector as early as possible before the planned departure date, last-minute problems can be avoided.

Get a safety inspection

Ballast water management

If your vessel can carry non-permanent ballast water, and will be going overseas, you may have to ensure that the ballast water management systems onboard meet international standards.

Find out more on ballast water management

Related information:
Make sure your boat is up for the job before you head out.

Prep and maintain your boat

Learn how to keep your boat in safe working condition.
Prep now
Doing regular checks and maintenance of your gear will ensure trouble-free boating.

Check your gear and prepare

Know what gear you need onboard and how to keep it in good working order.
Check now

Contact us

If you have any questions about going overseas with your boat, please contact us.