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Ship registration in New Zealand

Ship registration provides nationality. For some ships it is compulsory to be registered. For others it is voluntary. Find out about the New Zealand Register of Ships and where to start to register your ship.

When a ship registered in New Zealand travels overseas, its registration gives it the protection of the New Zealand Government. This is in much the same way as a New Zealand citizen is protected while travelling overseas. The ship’s registration papers provide proof of identity like a passport does for a person.

The New Zealand Register of Ships

The New Zealand Register of Ships is a list of all vessels registered in New Zealand under the Ship Registration Act 1992. The register, held in Maritime New Zealand's Wellington office, is available for inspection by the public. The Registrar of Ships is responsible for maintaining the register.

Ship Registration Act 1992 [New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office]


The register has two parts (Part A and Part B) and includes details of those ships which must be registered under the Ship Registration Act 1992 and those ships whose owners have voluntarily chosen to register them.

Ship registration – start here to register your ship

To learn about the benefits of registration, choosing which registration type, the registration process and making registration transactions; use the links below.

Registration transactions involve changes to the New Zealand Register of Ships. For example: changing your registered address/vessel ownership, closing a registration, appointing a representative person and getting a replacement Certificate of Registration.

The benefits of ship registration
Choosing the registration type, ie Part A or Part B
Part A ship registration - registering your ship
Part B ship registration - registering your ship
Registration transactions for Parts A and B

Searching the register of ships
Searching for a ship name

Where to get further assistance

A general guide to ship registration [PDF: 1Mb, 7 pages]
Registration of commercial ships under Part A [PDF: 1.2Mb, 8 pages]

Contact Maritime New Zealand’s Registrar of Ships