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The Maritime Levy

Maritime Levies are paid by maritime operators to Maritime NZ in accordance with the Maritime Levies Amendment Regulations 2019.

Maritime Levies overview

Maritime Levies are paid by all commercial maritime operators to fund the regulatory system. Separate fees are charged for direct activities. Maritime Levies apply to all New Zealand commercial vessels and foreign commercial vessels visiting New Zealand and must be paid whether or not an operator uses the functions and activities it funds.

We recently consulted on a rescheduled funding review over July - August 2023. See the full information:

Funding review consultation information 2023 Funding from Maritime Levies allows Maritime NZ to maintain important activities and functions that are critical to maritime safety and protection of the marine environment.

In addition, it can be used to fund regulatory activities undertaken by the Authority, the Director, or the Crown in the performance or exercise of functions, duties, or powers under the Maritime Transport Act 1994.

The activities and functions Maritime Levies pay for includes:

  • Participating in the technical work to develop, maintain and update international maritime conventions and agreements, and ensuring that New Zealand’s obligations under these conventions are incorporated into New Zealand legislation
  • First port state control inspections of foreign vessels
  • The provision of information and education to help commercial operators improve maritime safety and protection of the marine environment
  • Investigations and compliance functions, including prosecutions
  • Aids to navigation, and distress and safety communication (radio) services
  • Assisted compliance functions including research, intelligence, issuing guidance and information
  • Systemic risk activities such as targeted safety awareness and other campaigns and industry engagement
  • Routine maritime safety audits and inspections of domestic operators.

Other Maritime NZ activities will continue to be funded outside Maritime Levies via other mechanisms, such as the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ, our Health and Safety At Work regulator role, recreational boating safety activities, our oil pollution incident response activities, and direct regulatory activities to individuals and organisations (that are paid by fees).


How Maritime Levies are calculated

The vessel categories that pay levies are:

  • New Zealand non-SOLAS under 24 metres
  • New Zealand non-SOLAS 24 metres and over
  • New Zealand SOLAS
  • Foreign non-Passenger
  • Foreign Passenger.


  • ‘SOLAS’ is Safety of Life at Sea convention.
  • A ‘New Zealand’ vessel is:- New Zealand registered
    - Not New Zealand registeredbut required or entitled to be New Zealand registered.
  • A foreign vessel is a vessel that is not a New Zealand vessel.
  • Foreign vessels pay per port.

The three factors used to calculate the levy payment for a vessel category are:

  • deadweight tonnage (DWT) – if the vessel is New Zealand SOLAS or a Foreign vessel
  • passenger capacity (Pax Cap) - Pax Cap is the maximum passengers a vessel can carry and does not include crew or staff on board. If a vessel has more than one Pax Cap the highest one must be used. A vessel operating part-time/seasonally and not being full has already been assumed in the Pax Cap rate
  • overall length in metres (Length) for New Zealand non-SOLAS under 24 metres and gross tonnage (GT) for all other vessel categories.

Each of these factors has a different rate for each vessel category.


Maritime Levies rates from 1 July 2022

These rates exclude goods and services tax (GST)

For 2022/23 to 2024/25

Vessel category Factor Rates
GT or Length rate PAX Cap rate DWT rate
Annual New Zealand non-SOLAS under 24 metres $15.1746 (Length) $17.5403 $0.00
  New Zealand non-SOLAS 24 metres and over $8.2179 (GT) $17.5403 $0.00
  New Zealand SOLAS $7.7931 (GT) $46.71 $0.4607
Per Port Foreign Non-Passenger $0.1178 (GT) $0.00 $0.0095
  Foreign Passenger $0.1004 (GT) $2.0248 $0.0082

Maritime Levy Allocation Recommendations – Castalia Report

Castalia’s review of Maritime New Zealand’s previous allocation method and proposal for new method.

Maritime Levy Allocation Recommendation - Castalia Report [PDF: 431kB, 30 pages]

Enabling regulation

Maritime Levies Amendment Regulations 2019 [New Zealand Legislation] Maritime Levies Regulations 2016 [New Zealand Legislation]