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Exemption 4—Marine Safety (Recreational use)

Under exemption 04, you may be allowed to use your domestic commercial vessel for recreational purposes without complying with the operational area limitations and crewing requirements which apply when you are operating for commercial, governmental or research purposes.

While operating under exemption 04 you must:

  • deal with the risks of operating recreationally in your safety management system
  • record any recreational use in your log book
  • comply with local recreational vessel requirements—for example safety equipment, waterway management rules—except those requiring registration as a recreational vessel or to meet Australian Builder’s Plate requirements
  • comply with maximum load and passenger restrictions—these may be related to the vessel’s build or certificate of survey
  • continue to comply with any operational restrictions related to the vessel’s structure, machinery and systems—for example wave height limitations, speed restrictions and securing watertight doors
  • isolate or secure any powered equipment, lifting equipment or other machinery that could be dangerous to passengers
  • comply with any further conditions imposed by AMSA.

If your vessel 12 metres or greater in length, an approval is required if you wish to operate under exemption 04.

To apply for exemption 04, you must complete an Exemption application for recreational use form 775 and submit it to us. No approval is required for vessels less than 12 metres in length.

Please note:

  • Exemption 04 does not make your vessel a recreational vessel.
  • If someone charters a boat to you and you use it recreationally, exemption 04 does not apply, because the owner is operating it commercially.  However, if the owner uses it themselves recreationally, for example to take their friends fishing, they may be able to operate under Exemption 04. 
  • Exemption 04 cannot be used to take a domestic commercial vessel overseas, or relocate another domestic commercial vessel.

Please note below two versions of exemption 04:

  • EX04 Marine Safety (Recreational use) 2013—in force until 30 June 2018
  • EX04 Marine Safety (Recreational use) 2018—effective 1 July 2018.

Last Updated: 

22 June 2018