Am I commercial or recreational?

If you’re earning money or receiving any form of benefit from a third party from using your vessel, it’s likely to be commercial and you need to be in a safety system.

To be a pleasure craft, a ship owned by an individual must be used exclusively for their pleasure or residence and not used for hire or reward.

If you want to take paying passengers, have a chat with one of our helpful Maritime Officers – we will walk you through what you need to do. Everyone’s situation is unique and we take that into account.

This table will help you work out if your situation is commercial or recreational:

Your situation Commercial or recreational? What do you need to do?
You’re having a fun day on the water with your family and friends on a boat you own or hired. None of your passengers are giving you money or gifts. You’re likely recreational Follow the Safer Boating Code when you’re on the water. Remember to wear your lifejackets and avoid alcohol. Keep a look out for other boats as it might get crowded.

If your situation changes and you will receive money, goods, services or other benefits for having guests on your vessel, you may be commercial. Contact Maritime NZ to discuss your situation.

Enjoy your day on the water!
You’re heading out for the day on your recreational boat and your passengers are paying you to take them out. It’s likely commercial If you want to take paying passengers, you may need to either come into a recognised safety system or apply for an exemption. Contact Maritime NZ for advice on what you need to do.
You usually operate commercially in a recognised safety system or with the relevant exemption and passengers are paying to be on board your vessel to watch the America’s Cup. It’s commercial If you’re in an appropriate safety system (e.g. MOSS) and being in that safety system allows you to carry passengers within Auckland inshore limits, you can continue operating during the America’s Cup.

If your current area of operation doesn’t include Auckland’s inshore limits and/or your activities don’t include carrying passengers, please contact Maritime NZ for advice on what you need to do.

Please contact us americascup@maritimenz.govt.nz if you will be carrying passengers to watch Cup races and you want a flag to show the public you’re a legitimate operator.
A journalist offers to pay you $50 to take them out for the day to see the Cup. It’s likely commercial If you want to take paying passengers, you may need to either come into a recognised safety system or apply for an exemption. Contact Maritime NZ for advice on what you need to do.
Contact a maritime officer

Getting help

Contact a Maritime Officer for help with your operational and health and safety requirements.

Contact now