Masters of foreign ships

Information to assist Masters of ships visiting New Zealand.

COVID-19 Maritime Border Entry Restrictions

  1. The New Zealand Government for the purpose of preventing and limiting the risk of an outbreak, or the spread, of COVID-19 is

    a). restricting which ships may arrive in New Zealand; and

    b). putting in place isolation or quarantine requirements for people who arrive in New Zealand by sea.

  2. Vessels are not permitted entry to New Zealand unless exempted by the order. A cargo ship that is arriving in New Zealand for the purpose of loading or unloading cargo is an example of one such exemption.

  3. The right of innocent passage through the territorial sea, and transit passage through straits used for international navigation is unaffected.

  4. The current restrictions are detailed in the “COVID-19 Public Health Response (Maritime Border) Order 2020” which is available at:
  5. These maritime border restrictions remain in force until further notice and may be amended or updated at short notice. It is therefore advisable to access the latest information, which includes advice on when and how to apply for exemptions, on the Ministry of Health’s website here:

Reporting accidents and defects

Accidents, damage and defects occurring in New Zealand must be reported using the online reporting form.

Report online now

Masters of vessels visiting New Zealand with a known defect must report the defect to prior to arrival.

SOLAS Ch.1 Regulation 11(c)

SOLAS Ch.1/Reg.11(c) requires Masters to report accidents, damage and defects discovered on-board ship to the flag State and their Recognised Organisation (RO) or Surveyor, and when in the port of another Contracting Government, to the port State. The RO/Surveyor also bear responsibility under this regulation to ensure that such a report has been made.

Whenever an accident occurs to a ship or a defect is discovered, either of which affects the safety of the ship or the efficiency or completeness of its life-saving appliances or other equipment, the Master or owner of the ship shall report at the earliest opportunity to the Administration, the nominated Surveyor or Recognized Organization responsible for issuing the relevant certificate, who shall cause investigations to be initiated to determine whether a survey, as required by SOLAS Ch.1 Regulation 7, 8, 9 or 10, is necessary. If the ship is in a port of another Contracting Government, the Master or owner shall also report immediately to the appropriate authorities of the port State and the nominated Surveyor or Recognized Organization shall ascertain that such a report has been made.


Many ports in New Zealand offer standard pilotage plans which Masters may incorporate into their voyage plans. In offering links to these pilotage plans Maritime NZ does not endorse them but reminds Masters of their overarching responsibility for the safe navigation of their vessels which may necessitate adjusting specific plans. Maritime NZ emphasises the importance of an effective Master:Pilot exchange of information, and that the Master and Pilot MUST discuss any deviation or interpretation to the standard pilotage plans.


Ship inspection and security

Maritime and marine protection rules

View Rules

Environmental requirements for operators

Regulations that apply to commercial vessels operating in NZ waters.
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