Ship registration

Learn about the New Zealand Register of Ships, how to register your ship, the benefits, registration types and more.

On this page:

About registration

Ship registration provides nationality; a registered ship that travels overseas has the protection of the New Zealand Government. The registration papers provide proof of identity.

Additional benefits depend on the type of registration that a ship has. The type of registration required for a vessel depends on several factors, including:

  • if the ship will be used commercially or for pleasure
  • the length of the ship
  • if the ship is New Zealand or foreign owned
  • if the ship will go overseas

To determine whether you need to register your ship and, if so, the type of registration you need to apply for, use our flow chart.

Further information can be found in our ship registration guide.

How to register your vessel

There are two types of ship registration and for some ships it is compulsory* to be registered:

All transactions regarding ship registration involve making changes to the New Zealand Register of Ships. For example:

  • changing your registered address/vessel ownership
  • closing a registration
  • appointing a representative person
  • getting a replacement Certificate of Registration
* To determine whether you need to register your vessel, see our flow chart.

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.

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.

Searching the register

Related information:
Our search tool enables you to find the availability of ship names.

Search for a name

Use this search tool to find out if the name of a vessel or ship is available for registration.

Search now

Ship registration fees and charges

Find our ship registration fees, how they are applied and how you can pay them.
View fees and more

For more information

Contact us

If you have any questions about ship registration, contact us.

+64 4 473 0111