Amendments to Maritime Rules to implement the Cape Town Agreement
Maritime NZ seeks feedback on proposed Maritime Rules to bring the Cape Town Agreement into effect. The Agreement sets global minimum safety standards for fishing vessels.
The Agreement and the Rules will help to ensure that fishing vessels operate safely in waters that New Zealand has an interest in. They will also contribute to a level playing field by ensuring that foreign vessels competing with New Zealand vessels are not unfairly advantaged by operating with lower safety standards and lower costs.
The full version of the Cape Town Agreement can be found here:
The proposed changes
The proposed changes relate to the design, construction, equipment, operating procedures, and training for fishing vessels.
The bulk of the new requirements will only apply to New Zealand fishing vessels 24 metres or longer that are newly built or undergo a major conversion from the date the Rules come into force. As New Zealand rarely constructs or converts fishing vessels, these requirements will have minimal impact.
A small number of changes to the Rules will affect existing fishing vessels 24 metres or longer that operate in the unlimited area. The impact of these requirements is likely to be minimal, as many of the requirements are already standard to New Zealand vessels and the Rules allow for a transition period of five or ten years.
New foreign fishing vessels using New Zealand as a supply port will be required to meet the same requirements as New Zealand fishing vessels.
28 August 2020 – Consultation begins
30 October 2020 – Consultation ends
1 October 2021 – It is proposed that the changes, if agreed, would come into effect by this date, at the latest.
Frequently asked questions
Why are Rules needed for New Zealand to sign up to the Cape Town Agreement?
Maritime Rules are the means by which the Agreement can take effect in New Zealand.
When are the Rules expected to be signed?
The Rules are expected to be signed by October 2021. This will enable New Zealand to sign up to (or accede) to the Agreement by October 2022 (in line with 2019 commitments) and for it to be in force globally by October 2023.
How does the Rule impact New Zealand fishing vessels?
The bulk of the Rules’ requirements will apply to fishing vessels 24 metres or longer that operate in the unlimited area and are newly built or undergo a major conversion in New Zealand from the date the Rules come into force.
As New Zealand rarely constructs or converts fishing vessels, this part of the Rules will have minimal impact.
How do the Rules impact existing New Zealand fishing vessels?
A small number of requirements in the Rules affect existing fishing vessels 24 metres or longer that operate in the unlimited area.
These requirements cover radio-communications, life-saving equipment and arrangements, navigational equipment and arrangements, emergency procedures, and muster drills.
The impact is likely to be minimal because:
- Many of the requirements are already standard on New Zealand fishing vessels;
- Operators have up to 5 years after the Rules come into force to comply (10 years for the radio-communications requirements); and
- We estimate that only around 40 existing fishing vessels will be impacted.
The Rules also require an annual survey of life-saving equipment and surveys of structure, machinery, and equipment. This may affect a small number of existing vessels.
Most of the existing 24m vessels are pre-2004 vessels – how will these be affected if previously grandparented?
The requirements in the proposed Rules relating to existing fishing vessels are non-structural. They relate to operating procedures, training, and equipment. It is unlikely that grandparenting for pre-2004 vessels covers these elements.
How do the Rules impact foreign fishing vessels?
New Foreign fishing vessels using New Zealand as a supply port will be required to meet the same requirements as New Zealand fishing vessels.
Why don’t the Rules cover fishing vessels that only operate within the EEZ?
Globally, there are a large number of smaller fishing vessels, but these generally operate within countries’ exclusive economic zones and are subject to any national safety regulations. In New Zealand’s case, this is Maritime Rules Part 40D.
Why don’t the Rules also apply to fishing vessels that operate in the unlimited area but that are under 24m in length?
The Cape Town Agreement primarily covers vessels 24m in length or longer. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), this is the typical profile of vessels that carry out commercial fishing operations on the high seas.
There are a large number of smaller fishing vessels, but these generally operate within countries’ exclusive economic zones and are subject to any national safety regulations. In New Zealand’s case, this is Maritime Rules Part 40D.
If I’m a fishing operator, how will the Rules benefit me?
The purpose of the Agreement (and hence the Rules) is to decrease the number of low quality fishing vessels operating in waters New Zealand has an interest in.
It will provide a level playing field for industry, in that foreign fishing vessels won’t be able to compete unfairly through having potentially lower operating costs due to lower safety standards.
The Agreement has a ‘no more favourable treatment’ clause, which is reflected in the Rules. This means that all vessels entering a port state would be subject to the same inspection standards, even if their flag state hasn’t ratified or acceded to it. This will allow Maritime NZ to inspect any applicable foreign fishing vessel, even if it only uses a port in New Zealand as a supply port.
Will the maritime levy go up to pay for this Agreement to be implemented?
No – Maritime NZ will check vessels (domestic and foreign) for compliance with the Agreement as part of routine port state control inspections or Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) audits. The costs of these will be managed from existing funding.
What changes will most impact on my existing operation?
You know your operation better than anyone else. That’s why we are keen to identify whether there are any parts of the Rules that will have a particular impact on your operation.
I have an exemption from a requirement that will now be covered by the Cape Town Rules. What should I do?
Talk to us about your existing exemption. Depending on the nature of the exemption and what it relates to in the Rules, it could continue.
Will there be any exemptions issued by Maritime NZ?
Requests to be exempted from requirements of the Rules will be considered by the Director on a case by case basis.
How to make a submission
If you wish to comment on these proposed rules changes, please make a submission by:
- e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- post to PO Box 25620, Wellington 6146 (Please address postal submissions to the Rules Coordinator.)
- physical delivery to Maritime New Zealand, level 11, 1 Grey Street, Wellington (Calling ahead is recommended, as office access may be affected by COVID-19.)
The deadline for submissions is 5.00pm Friday 30 October 2020.
The following documents are referred to in the Invitation to Comment. We’ve linked them here for your convenience.
1. IMO resolution MSC.149(77) Revised performance standards for survival craft portable two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus
Referenced in Schedule 1 Part 40D amendment to Appendix 1.1
2. IMO resolution A.424(XI)
Referenced in Schedule 1 rule 45.24(5A)
3. IMO resolution A.472(XII) Improved Recommendation on Test Method for Qualifying Marine Construction Materials as Non-Combustible Referenced in rule 404.143(6) and AMOC404.130 and AMOC404.131
4. IMO resolution A.706(17) Referenced in rule 404.02 definition of NAVAREA
8 5. IMO resolution A.802(19) Recommendation on Performance standards for survival craft radar transponders for use in search and rescue operations
Referenced in Schedule 1 Part 40D amendment to Appendix 3.3
6. IMO resolution A.809(19) Recommendation on Performance standards for survival craft portable two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus
Referenced in Schedule 1 Part 40D amendment to Appendix 1.1
7. IMO resolution A.917(22), as amended by A.956(23) Referenced in AMOC 404.210]
8. IEC 60092 series of standards – Electrical installations in vessels Referenced in rule 404.93
9. Australian Standard 1530 Part 3 "Methods for fire tests on building materials, components and structures - Simultaneous determination of ignitability, flame propagation, heat release and smoke release”
Referenced in rule 404.143(5) and AMOC404.130 and AMOC404.131
10. NZS 5807:1980 “Code of Practice for Industrial Identification by Colour, Wording or other Coding”
Referenced in rule 404.148 and AMOC404.130 and AMOC404.131
11. GMDSS Master Plan adopted by the IMO
Referenced in AMOC404.210 in first row in table
12. SOLAS Chapter IV regulation 2 Referenced in rule 404.02 in sea area A4 definition
13. Uniform Shipping Laws Code
Referenced in rule 404.30
14. National Standard for Commercial Vessels
Referenced in rule 404.30
15. Recommendation 8 of the recommendations of the International Conference on Safety of Fishing Vessels, 1993
Referenced in rule 404.181(2A) and AMOC 404.181
See Appendix Three of the Cape Town Agreement attached above.