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Tenders and auxiliary vessels

Find out about the special arrangements for vessels which meet the definition of ‘tender’ under the national law.

Tenders are small vessels used to transport people or goods between a vessel and the shore, or for a purpose associated with a parent vessel. They are also sometimes known as auxiliaries or dories.

The national law applies to vessels used for a commercial purpose, including tenders. There are special arrangements for vessels which meet the definition of ‘tender’ under the national law.  

Is it a tender?

To determine if the vessel is a tender under the national law, the vessel must:

  1. Be used to transport goods or up to 12 people, or for a purpose associated with the parent vessel’s operation.
  2. Operate in line of sight of its parent vessel, or another distance approved in writing by AMSA, or in a marina or mooring area.
  3. Measure less than 7.5 metres or another length approved in writing by AMSA.
  4. Measure less than its parent vessel.
  5. Not be powered by an inboard petrol engine.

Sometimes a vessel is called a tender by its owner, but if it doesn’t meet the above criteria it cannot access these special arrangements. However, other exemptions may apply.

Special arrangements for tenders

Different arrangements apply depending on whether the tender entered the national system before or after 1 July 2013.

Last updated: 

Wednesday 7 August 2019