Exemption 3—Marine Safety (Certificates of operation)

This exemption is for owners of certain vessels who may not want to obtain a certificate of operation, or comply with certain conditions on a certificate of operation.

Eligible vessels are detailed in Schedule 1. If your vessel is one of the following, it may be eligible:  

  • tenders (including auxiliaries) 
  • Class 2 or 3 vessels that  
    • are less than 7.5m long,
    • operate in sheltered waters only, and
    • do not carry passengers
  • human powered vessels
  • sailing vessels
  • personal watercraft
  • dragon boats
  • bait gathering vessels

Please refer to the exemption to determine if your vessel meets the criteria in Schedule 1. All domestic commercial vessels are required to have a certificate of operation unless exempt.

What this exemption will allow you to do

You will not need to apply for approval for this exemption as long as you comply with the conditions mentioned in Schedule 1. 

Exemption 03 exempts certain kinds of vessels and vessel operations from the requirement to have a certificate of operation, provided vessels comply with the conditions set out in Schedule 1 of this exemption.

However, a vessel does not need to comply with the conditions set out in Schedule 1 if:

  • we have given written approval for a vessel to operate in a way that does not comply with the condition 
  • the specified period of time is no more than 90 days
  • further conditions on the approval are complied with.

Conditions attached to a certificate of operation

Certain kinds of vessels that are required to have a certificate of operation may be exempt from the conditions on the certificate, provided the vessel complies with the conditions attached to each exemption set out in Schedule 2 of this exemption. 

Legislation and incorporated material

Related information


Last updated: 27 February 2023