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Latest rule updates

Maritime Rule Part 132: New Zealand Oil Spill Control Agents

Part 132: New Zealand Oil Spill Control Agents was signed by the Minister on the 28th of November 2015 and will come into force on the 11th of January 2016. The rules revoke the previous version of Part 132: Dispersants and Demulsifiers.


Maritime Labour Convention Rule Amendments 2015

The proposed amendments create a new Part 52 as well as amending Parts 31, 34 and 51. The purpose of the amendments is to enable New Zealand to become a party to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC).

The MLC sets minimum standards for seafarers in relation to: employment conditions; accommodation; recreational facilities; food and catering; health care; medical care; welfare; and social security. The MLC consolidates over 68 international maritime labour standards adopted over the last 80 years. This includes the 14 International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions that New Zealand is a party to. It updates the previous conventions, some of which were adopted in 1920 to reflect contemporary working and living conditions on board modern merchant ships.

The MLC also contains a “no more favourable treatment” clause. This means that regardless of a ship’s flag, it may be subject to inspection and detention in relation to compliance with the MLC when visiting the ports of member states.

In addition, the “no more favourable treatment” clause will ensure a level playing field for operators that meet minimum standards in relation to crew working and living conditions.

The MLC applies to commercial ships over 200 gross tonnage operating outside the inshore limits. It does not apply to fishing vessels. Ships over 500 gross tonnage engaged on international voyages must hold a Maritime Labour Certificate and a Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance.

The new Maritime Rule Part 52 and amendments to Parts 31, 34 and 51 cover:

  • Requirements for foreign flagged ships;
  • Minimum age for work at night;
  • Seafarer medical standards;
  • Conditions of employment;
  • Crewing and watchkeeping;
  • Minimum age for ships’ cooks;
  • Accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering;
  • Burial costs;
  • Maritime Labour Certificates and Declarations of Maritime Labour Compliance; and
  • Inspections.

The question of whether or not New Zealand should become a party to the MLC was consulted on in July 2014. The amendments are associated with minor additional compliance costs for the existing New Zealand fleet.

Part 51 and Part 52 were signed off by the Minister on the 2nd of December 2015, however do not enter into force for approximately 12 months. Maritime New Zealand will keep you informed around the entry into force date of the rules and what you need to do to comply.

Refer to Maritime Rules Parts 51 and 52:


Marine Protection Rules Part 180: Dumping of Waste or Other Matter

The update of Part 180 is one of several amendments to maritime transport legislation consequential to the amendments of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012.

The changes are detailed at the bottom of this link:

The regulations can be found at:


New Marine Protection Rules Part 131: Offshore Installations – Oil Spill Contingency Plans and Oil Pollution Prevention Certification

This rule has been recently signed by the Minister and will come into force on the 31st October 2015.

The purpose of Part 131 is to ensure that offshore installations operating in New Zealand continental waters and in the internal waters of New Zealand have marine oil spill contingency plans (OSCP) that will support an efficient and effective response to an oil spill.

Part 131 also ensures that certain pollution prevention equipment and arrangements on board installations meet international performance standards and in-service maintenance requirements.

Part 131 in conjunction with the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects—Discharge and Dumping) Regulations 2015 gives effect to the provisions of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973/78 (MARPOL) and the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation 1990 (OPRC) in respect of offshore installations.

The Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act (EEZ Act) and the Maritime Transport Act amendments passed in 2013 will transfer responsibility for regulating discharges from offshore installations in this area from Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) on 31 October 2015. Therefore as at the 31st October 2015, Part 200 will be revoked and Part 131 will enter into force.