Special purpose vessels - F4

Standards for vessels used for special work.


Full title 

National Standard for Commercial Vessels 

Part F - Special vessels 

Section 4 - Special purpose vessels 

Current edition



A special purpose vessel is a vessel that carries either: 

a) at least 13 special personnel; or 

b) at least 13 special personnel or passengers made up of: 

i) at least 1 is special personnel; and 

ii) no more than 12 passengers

Special personnel means a person who is either: 

a) an observer, trainee, coach or person being coached; or 

b) employed by or a volunteer for an emergency services organisation; or 

c) all of the following: 

i) not a member of the crew; 

ii) not a passenger; 

iii) on the vessel to perform the special work being carried out on board the vessel 

Due to the varied nature of special purpose vessels, we determine their requirements on a case-by-case basis. 


If you are planning to design, buy or build a special purpose vessel as defined above for commercial use vessel in one of these categories  please email for advice on classification and certification. 

For enquiries relating to an application please email


No previous editions.



Last updated: 

Tuesday 1 August 2023