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Existing vessels moving to modern safety equipment standards

Wednesday 20 December 2017

From 1 January 2018 owners of Class 1, 2, 3 and 4 domestic commercial vessels that are ‘existing vessels’ will start upgrading to contemporary safety equipment standards, as outlined in the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV).

Domestic vessel on a a lake facing towards you

This also applies to existing non-survey vessels under Exemption 02—application for approval of a non-survey vessel. These changes support our commitment to gradually apply modern safety equipment standards to pre-National System vessels.

The new arrangements have been implemented through changes to the following standards:

  • Class 1, 2 and 3 vessels—new safety equipment requirements in Annex I of NSCV Part C7A.
  • Class 4 vessels—new leisure craft requirements in NSCV Part F2.
  • Fast craft—new requirements in NSCV Part F1.

To minimise costs for operators, most safety equipment can meet the NSCV requirements ‘on replacement’ or over a period of 1 to 5 years. In addition, some requirements only apply ‘on replacement’—such as a lifejacket type and standard. Other requirements do not apply at all—such as some water illumination requirements, which could mean significant costs for little benefit.

Other changes include:

  • a number of existing generic equivalent solutions have been included in the safety equipment standard (NSCV Part C7A)
  • an error in regards to lifejacket requirements for houseboats in the leisure craft standard (NSCV Part F2) has been corrected.

For more information: