Recognition of New Zealand near coastal qualifications

Your New Zealand domestic qualification allows you to get a letter of registration for your qualification under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act.

Under subsection 15(2) of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (TTMRA), if you are registered to practice an occupation in New Zealand you are entitled to practice an equivalent occupation in Australia.

If you hold a domestic New Zealand certificate of competency, you will need to get your certificate recognised to work on an Australian-flagged ship or domestic commercial vessel.

Under the TTMRA, you will receive a letter of registration that states the same conditions, endorsements and limitations that are on your New Zealand certificate. Your certificate will need to be valid in order for your application to be considered. A letter of registration for a legacy or perpetual certificate will be valid for a maximum of five years and for every other certificate the letter will be valid until the expiry date of the certificate that it recognises.

Your letter of registration can only be used for service on Australian registered ships engaged on Australian near coastal voyages within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

A letter of registration will state the following:

  • Letter identification number
  • Full name and date of birth of the certificate holder
  • Certificate number and grade of the New Zealand certificate
  • Date of issue of the letter
  • Date of expiry of the letter
  • Capacities and limitations allowed on the certificate, as confirmed by Maritime New Zealand.

Due to differences between the Australian and New Zealand seafarer certification frameworks:

  • It may not be possible to match the exact privileges of your New Zealand domestic certificate.
  • An Australian letter of registration cannot grant privileges that are greater than those of your original certificate.

We very strongly recommend holders of New Zealand legacy or perpetual national certificates obtain a new transition seafarer certificate from Maritime New Zealand before seeking work in Australia.

When your letter of registration expires, you can be reissued with another one, but you will need to resubmit the documents outlined in the application process below.

How to apply

You will need to fill out Notice of registration Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 for seafarers form 887.

When you complete this form, send it to us with the following documents:

  • Copy of your current passport.
  • Copy of a valid Certificate of competency issued by Maritime New Zealand.
  • Copy of your Certificate of medical fitness obtained in Australia. Find out more about medical fitness.
  • Evidence of New Zealand permanent residency or citizenship. If you do not have New Zealand permanent residency or citizenship you are not eligible to apply under the Act.
  • Payment of fees of A$190 per letter of registration. We will tell you how you can pay once we receive your application. 

You will need to submit your application by mailing the completed form and supporting documents to

Processing your application

On receiving your application we complete an authenticity check with Maritime New Zealand.

Once we have received the complete application, please allow up to 28 days for it to be considered. The assessment process may take longer if we do not receive all of the information or documents requested. We will not accept liability for documents lost in transit.

We cannot provide oral or written advice, including by email, on either the acceptability of your application or its likely decision before it is formally lodged and considered. Our application fees must be paid at the time of lodgement of an application, or the application cannot be accepted.

If you have a question, contact us.

Last updated: 28 June 2021