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Recreational use of your domestic commercial vessel

Thursday 4 October 2018

Using your vessel for recreational purposes just got easier. Approval is no longer required for domestic commercial vessels to operate recreationally under Exemption 04. Important limitations and conditions still apply on recreational use.

Using your vessel for recreational purposes just got easier. Approval is no longer required for domestic commercial vessels to operate recreationally under Exemption 04. 

Your domestic commercial vessel can be used for recreational purposes without complying with the usual crewing requirements and operational area limitations.

There are still limitations and important conditions that you need to follow if you are going to operate recreationally. To operate under Exemption 04 your vessel must:

  • be used only recreationally and not be used at the same time or in connection with a commercial, governmental or research activity
  • comply with maximum load and passenger restrictions 
  • comply with local recreational vessel requirements, except those requiring the vessel to be registered as a recreational vessel or to meet Australian Builder’s Plate requirements
  • deal with the risks of operating recreationally in the safety management system (SMS)
  • secure or isolate any powered equipment, lifting equipment or other machinery that could present a danger to passengers
  • record any recreational use in the log book.

Operating under Exemption 04 does not make your vessel a recreational vessel.  Domestic commercial vessel requirements other than crewing and operational area continue to apply. 

Including:

  • the requirement to obtain a certificate of survey for the vessel and comply with the conditions
  • complying with the general safety duties, including implementing and maintain a safety management system (SMS) for the vessel

Exemption 04 cannot be used to take a domestic commercial vessel overseas or to another location.

Read Exemption 4.