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How and where to register a boat in New Zealand

How and where to register a boat in New Zealand

Certainly, here’s the translated article about register a boat in New Zealand:

Registering Your Boat in New Zealand: A Practical Guide

New Zealand offers breathtaking natural landscapes and rich maritime life, making it an ideal destination for boat owners. If you own a boat and plan to navigate New Zealand waters, it’s important to be familiar with the boat registration process.

  1. Document Preparation:

Before starting the registration process, ensure you have all the necessary documents. This typically includes proof of boat ownership, a valid sailing certificate, and a skipper’s qualification.

  1. Choose Registration Type:

In New Zealand, there are various types of boat registrations, including private vessels, commercial boats, and charitable vessels. Choose the one that best suits your needs.

  1. Contact Point:

Communicate with the local maritime authority, which could be the Ministry of Transport or the local harbor master’s office. They will provide you with precise information about the registration process.

  1. Fill Out the Application:

Complete the required boat registration form. The information will include basic details about the boat, its owner, and the intended use.

  1. Payments and Fees:

Check the payment terms and fees associated with boat registration. Fees may depend on the type of boat and the registration period.

  1. Technical Inspection:

For some types of boats, a technical inspection may be required. Ensure your boat meets all safety standards and requirements.

  1. Obtain Registration Documents:

After approval, you will receive registration documents containing information about the registered boat and its owner.

What ships must be registered in Part A?

The requirement to register in Part A applies to all New Zealand-owned ships exceeding 24 meters register length except:

  • pleasure vessels
  • ships engaged solely on inland waters of New Zealand
  • barges that do not proceed on voyages beyond coastal waters and
  • ships exempted by the Minister in writing, being New Zealand-owned ships operated by foreign residents under a demise charter which are registered, or are to be registered, under the law of a foreign county.

What ships are entitled to be registered in Part A?

While not required to be registered in Part A, the following ships are entitled to be entered in Part A:

  • New Zealand-owned ships that are pleasure vessels
  • ships on demise charter to New Zealand-based operators (excluding pleasure vessels and New Zealand owned ships)
  • New Zealand-owned ships not exceeding 24 meters register length
  • New Zealand-owned ships engaged solely on inland water of New Zealand
  • New Zealand-owned ships that are barges and do not proceed on voyages beyond coastal waters and
  • ships, where a majority interest in the ship is owned by a person or persons permanently resident in Niue or Tokelau, and the ship would be required to be registered in either Part A or Part B of the Register if it were owned by a New Zealand citizen.

What ships must be registered in Part A or in Part B?

The owners of the following ships have to decide whether to register in Part A or Part B:

  • New Zealand-owned pleasure vessels proceeding overseas and
  • New Zealand-owned ships not exceeding 24 meters register length proceeding overseas.

What ships are entitled to be registered in Part B?

The entitlement to register in Part B extends to:

  • New Zealand-owned ships that are pleasure vessels
  • New Zealand-owned ships not exceeding 24 meters register length and
  • any other ship if a majority interest (more than 32 shares) is owned by a foreign national or foreign nationals who is or are entitled to reside in New Zealand indefinitely under the Immigration Act 1987 – that is, permanent residents.

What is a New Zealand-owned ship?

For the purpose of registration in Part A or Part B a New Zealand-owned ship is a ship owned by:

  • one or more New Zealand nationals, and no other person or
  • three or more persons as joint owners and the majority of those persons are New Zealand nationals or
  • two or more persons as owners in common, and more than half of the shares in the ship are owned by one or more New Zealand nationals.

A New Zealand national is:

  • a New Zealand citizen or
  • a body corporate incorporated under the law of New Zealand including a body corporate incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 or
  • the Executive Government of New Zealand.

What is a register length?

Register length is the length of the ship from the foreside of the head of the stem to the aft side of the head of the stern post or, in the case of the ship not having a stern post, to the foreside of the rudder stock. In the case of the ship not having a stern post or rudder stock, the after terminal point shall be taken to be the aftermost part of the transom or stern of the ship.

What is a demise charter?

A demise charter is the demise, letting, hire, or delivery of a ship to a charterer, by virtue of which the charterer has whole possession and control of the ship, including the right to appoint its master and crew.

How do you go about getting a vessel registered?

Your contact for registration is the Registrar of Ships at Maritime New Zealand in Wellington. All registration business is handled here. For registration in Part A, however, centralisation does not affect your freedom to nominate your principal local port as the port of registry for your ship.

Registration entails a certain amount of paper work – and the payment of the fees specified in the Ship Registration (Fees) Regulations 2013. Guidelines on which forms to complete and the fees payable are set out below. Detailed instructions on how to complete the documentation is printed on the forms, or will be provided to you in conjunction with the forms. You can get forms from the Registrar in Wellington or from Maritime New Zealand offices at Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, New Plymouth, Nelson, Rangiora, Dunedin and Bluff.


Documents required to register in Part A

Application for registration (Form SR2) accompanied by:

  • builder’s certificate (Form SR23)
  • evidence of changes in ownership (including bills of sale) to establish ownership history from the builder to the current owner
  • declaration of ownership and nationality (Form SR4)
  • evidence that any registration of the ship in other country has been closed


  • any surveyor’s tonnage certificate and international tonnage certificate which have been issued to the ship overseas.

Following receipt of the application form and accompanying documents, a recognised surveyor of ships must be requested to complete either of the following documents:

  • for vessels exceeding 24 meters register length, a surveyor’s tonnage certificate and international tonnage certificate. The tonnages may be taken from any acceptable certificates issued to the ship overseas or will have to be determined from the approved drawing of the ship


  • for vessels not exceeding 24 meters register length, a surveyor’s certificate specifying the register length and descriptive particulars of the ship.

These services are not covered by the registration fees. They must be paid for separately. Following receipt of either of the documents referred to above, a carving and marking note will be issued by the Registrar for certification as follows:

  • for commercial vessels, by a recognised surveyor of ships
  • for pleasure yacht, by the owner or one of the owners.

Other Documents

Where the owner does not reside in New Zealand or does not have a registered office in New Zealand, an Appointment of Representative Person (Form SR1) must accompany the application for registration.

In the case of a ship on demise charter to a New Zealand-based operator, the following documents must also accompany the application for registration:

  • a copy of the charter party and
  • a declaration by the charterer (Form SR5).

What documentation is required to register in Part B?

  • application for registration (Form SR3)
  • evidence that any registration of the ship in another country has been closed.

Registration fees and payment

There is a fee for your application (see below). You will be invoiced once we have formally received your application. A reference number and instructions explaining how to pay will be sent with the invoice.

 You can pay:

  • online using a credit card or debit card or
  • by internet banking or bank deposit.

Refer to the Maritime NZ website for website for more information about how to pay your fees.

Registration fees for Part A

  • New build ship over 24 metres $2,450
  • New build ship 24 metres or less $1,715
  • For an existing ship over 24 metres $2,940
  • For an existing ship 24 metres or less $2,205
  • For a demise charter ship $3,430

Registration fees for Part B

  • Registration fee $368

Other fees

  • Appointment of representative person $245

What ongoing costs are involved?

Registration in Part A continues for as long as a ship is entitled to be registered in New Zealand. Additional costs will be incurred for registration of transactions, such as changes of ownership, mortgages and changes of the ship’s name.

Registration in Part B is for five years and is renewable. A fee is payable for renewal. When a vessel is sold, its registration automatically terminates. It is then up to the new owner to decide what form of registration is required or desired.

The Registrar can provide you will full details of ship registration fees.

Why register a ship which does not have to be registered?

While there may not be a legal requirement for you to register your ship at this time, you may wish to consider the benefits set out below.

 Registration in Part A:

  • firmly evidences your title to your ship inlaw
  • may increase the saleability of your ship because of the assurance it gives to prospective buyers that they are dealing with the person who has registered title. Saleability may also be aided by the existence of an authentic record of your vessel’s history from builder’s yard to current ownership
  • will facilitate raising a mortgage against your vessel. In other words, a registered ship increases your capacity to use your vessel to help manage your finances and
  • has a certain prestige attached to it. It gives your vessel a pedigree.

Boat Registration in Part B:

  • could help make reality any vaguely formed intention to someday sail off overseas, say to the islands of the South Pacific. If you see your yacht as a potential safety valve providing the means of escape from urban stress, or you experience a sudden burst of wanderlust, then registration will enable you to move quickly to give reality to your plans and
  • protects your vessel’s name, for as long as the vessel is registered. Once your chosen name is on the books, it belongs uniquely to your vessel; no other registered New Zealand ship can use the same name.

Your contact on Ship Registration matters:

The Registrar of Ships Maritime

New Zealand PO Box 25620


Telephone Toll free 0508 22 55 22 +64 (0)4 473 0111 (Maritime NZ switchboard)

Facsimile +64 (0)4 494 1263


Street Address Level 11, 1 Grey Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Feedback welcome

This document is intended to provide guidance only. If you are in any doubt as to the matters contained within, you should seek legal advice. Our aim, however, is to provide the users of ship registration services with readable and clear guidance on completing registration paper work. Documentation which is right when we first receive it saves you time and helps keep down our costs – and thus the price of our services to you.

To this end, we welcome your comments on the clarity and readability of these notes and the forms and other explanatory documents issued by the Registrar. They will all be given serious consideration with a view to making improvements.