Certificates of survey

Depending on the size, operating area and any grandfathering arrangements which may apply to your vessel, you may need to have it surveyed. The survey is considered proof that your domestic commercial vessel is compliant with Australian legislation and regulations.

A certificate of survey is proof that a vessel has been surveyed and meets specified standards for design, construction, stability and safety equipment that apply to the vessel as defined in Marine Order 503 (Certificate of survey) 2017.

Vessels required to undergo survey and obtain a certificate of survey are scheme S vessels.

Generally, scheme S comprises one of the following:

  • vessels greater than 7.5 metres in length
  • vessels operating in B extended, B or C waters
  • vessels that carry more than 4 passengers in D or E waters
  • vessels that carry any passengers in B extended, B or C waters
  • vessels that have high risk characteristics.

My Boat is an online application which will help you to understand the requirements of scheme S and your vessel suitability.

Understand what catagory you vessel is in. Read about service catagories.

Apply for a certificate of survey

  1. Complete an Application for a certificate of survey for a domestic commercial vessel form 521.
  2. Provide the evidence required to support the application documentation (which might include your vessel’s approved drawings, as well as survey reports from your accredited marine surveyor).
  3. Pay the required fees.

Applications and payments must be made to your local marine safety agency.    

A certificate of survey will normally be issued for a period of five years for each scheme S vessel.

Periodic and renewal surveys

Periodic and renewal surveys are required throughout the life of the certificate and to renew the certificate on expiry. The purpose of these surveys is to demonstrate that the vessel continues to meet the applicable standards as defined in Marine Order 503 (Certificate of survey) 2017

To arrange a survey, or to learn more your vessel’s survey regime, contact an accredited marine surveyor (in any Australian state or territory).

The surveyor or marine safety agency you are using may require you to complete a Request for a periodic survey of a domestic commercial vessel form 551. Not all surveyors or marine safety agencies will require this form.

If you have a complaint or feedback about an accredited marine surveyor, please complete and submit an Accredited marine surveyor complaint / feedback form 630.

Extend your vessel’s survey or safety equipment dates

You can apply to extend the time needed to complete your survey or service safety equipment under exemption 6. But, your survey date will remain the same.

To extend your vessel's survey or safety equipment dates, submit an Exemption application for approval to operate outside certificate of survey conditions form 776.

You will need to pay the relevant fees when you submit your application form to your local marine safety agency.

Suspend, revoke or transfer a certificate

To voluntarily suspend, revoke or transfer your certificate of survey, submit an Application to voluntarily suspend, revoke, or transfer a certificate form 600.

Related information

Last updated: 6 March 2018
Last reviewed: 6 March 2018