Survey & Vessel Registration
For information on registration requirements, click here.
If you wish to operate a vessel commercially in New South Wales, your vessel may require to be in survey.
Commercial vessels are those used for any type of business, trade or commerce. They can include fishing vessels, tourist/charter boats, workboats, ferries, water taxis, dive boats, hire and drive boats. All commercial vessels are assessed in accordance with the Uniform Shipping Laws (USL) Code or to approved Classification Society Standards.
Some vessels are exempt from survey
whilst 3C fishing boats less than 7.5 meters in length require Initial Survey, but are exempt from Periodic Survey.
Link to the list of Commercial Vessel fees.
Initial Survey is the process of surveyor inspections, plan approval and stability approval for vessels entering NSW survey.
At the completion of the Initial Survey a Vessel Permit is issued and the vessels enters Periodic Survey.
Completion Of Application For Initial Survey
An application for initial survey form is to be completed and returned to the Authority together with the prescribed fee. This fee only covers duties completed by the Authority and does not include the cost of consultants engaged in preparing plans, stability etc for approval by the Authority.
Before the start of new vessel construction, a minimum of 2 sets of plans are to be forwarded to the Authority for approval, together with the prescribed fee.
The plan submission requirements for existing vessels are the same as for new vessel construction.
Existing timber fishing vessels less than 15 metres may be considered without formal plans if currently in survey in another state.
In order to ascertain the extent of survey work necessary before proceeding with Initial Survey owners are advised to have a preliminary survey inspection completed by a Marine Surveyor or Naval Architect with commercial vessels experience.
Survey During Construction
Vessel construction is not to start until approval of the construction drawings have been completed and the builder notified. If any construction is started before this approval is given, the builder accepts all responsibility for any remedial work which may be required as a consequence of the construction approval.
The Authority will inspect the vessel at various stages during construction in particular:
The particular survey program for each vessel should be discussed with the surveyor responsible for the initial survey.
Inspections of the vessel are required, the number of inspections being dependent on the size, classification and condition of the vessel. The surveyor will be able to indicate these during the first survey inspection.
After the witnessing of the appropriate stability test by a NSW Maritime Authority surveyor, a report should be forwarded to the Authority for stability approval.
The stability report in most instances is complex, and requires the services of a consultant naval architect for preparation.
Completion Of Initial Survey
A final inspection is required at the completion of the Initial Survey process to check the vessels safety equipment and to conduct sea trials to confirm the vessels safe operation, and trial the machinery, pumps and electrical installation.
All outstanding plans, stability information, test certificates, documentation and any outstanding fees must be submitted to the Authority before a vessel permit will be issued.
Prototype approval is a process of plan and stability approval, and surveyor inspections for a series of vessels entering NSW Survey. At the completion of this process the design is granted Prototype Approval and an associated Prototype Approval number. The benefits of prototype approval include:
Additional informationon Prototype Approval can be obtained through the Vessel Survey Branch.
Issue Of A Certificate Of Survey
On satisfactory completion of plan approval, stability approval and inspections, the vessel will be issued with a NSW Maritime Vessel Permit valid in most cases for 12 months
Details Required On Plans
Plans are required as for "New Construction" except that, where no construction plans are available the need for these plans may be waived subject to certain provisions.
Presentation Of Drawings
Plans should be submitted according to one of the following scales:
1:1, 1:2, 1:5, 1:10, 1:20, 1:25, 1:50, 1:75, 1:100. Imperial scaled drawings are only acceptable for existing designs prepared prior to 1987.
For information on Initial Survey requirements phone (02) 9563 8777 between 8.30 and 4.30pm Monday to Friday or fax (02) 9563 8788.