Aquatic Event Licence - New South Wales

Service summary

You will require this licence if you intend to promote or organise an aquatic activity in navigable waters. This licence is intended to benefit the community by promoting the safe and responsible operation of vessels and protecting the safety and amenity of the community.

The types of organised activities you will need this licence for include:

  • A race, competition or exhibition;
  • Any other activity that restricts the availability of waters for normal use of the public;
  • Aquatic fun days and festivals;
  • Public entertainment events;
  • Fireworks displays;
  • Media launches;
  • Filming; and
  • Training events (e.g. surf lifesaving, marine rescue).

This licence does not apply to the use of surfboards, other small craft, swimming competitions or fishing competitions. It also does not apply to aquatic activities conducted in accordance with a hire and drive licence.

Navigable waters are waters that are capable of navigation and are open to or used by the public for navigation.

Please consult the Contact Officer in the first instance to determine if your proposed activity will require a licence.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for this licence you must:

  • Provide full details of the event;
  • A map showing areas of operation for the event;
  • Detail and exclusive use requirements;
  • Provide an Aquatic Activity Operational Plan detailing safety procedures, communication procedures, a risk management plan and other necessary details;
  • Evidence of consolation with the community and any stakeholders;
  • Written authorisation from relevant agencies;
  • Written authorisation from the occupier or trustee of any foreshore land intended to be used;
  • Evidence of affiliation with the Australian Power Boat Association or evidence that their safety and technical standards will be applied during the event;
  • For fireworks events, a copy of the Work Cover Risk Assessment;
  • Proof of identity if not applying on behalf of the organisation;
  • Written authorisation for any nominated representative if acting on behalf of an organisation; and
  • Payment of the required fees.

Requirements for particular operations may vary. Please consult the Contact Officer for more information regarding eligibility requirements.


As specified on licence.



Fees are listed on the attached document.

Other resources

Comply Aquatic Licence Fees Opens in a new browser window



Applications must be submitted a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the event date.

Approval time

Applications must be lodged at least six weeks prior to events.

Administering agency

Transport for NSW
Roads and Maritime Services
NSW Maritime Division

Act(s) name

Marine Safety Act 1998 (New South Wales)

Regulation(s) name

Marine Safety Regulation 2016 (New South Wales)

Contact details

Transport for NSW
Roads and Maritime Services
NSW Maritime Division

Operating address:
James Craig Road
New South Wales 2039
Mailing address:
Locked Bag 5100
New South Wales 1450


13 12 56


02 9563 8557


02 9563 8522

Supporting information


The information contained on the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) web site, or via packages or other sources is intended for general guidance only.

To the full extent permitted by law, the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments make no representations or warranties (expressed or implied) in relation to the information, including its accuracy, currency or completeness.

The business information provided does not constitute professional or legal advice, nor is the use of any third party resource an endorsement of the information contained, the associated organisation, product or service. It is recommended that you obtain appropriate professional and /or independent legal advice to ensure that the material provided here is relevant to your particular circumstances.

To the full extent permitted by law the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments, their employees and agents do not accept any liability for any reason, including without limitation, liability in negligence, to any person for the general information which is provided herein, or in respect of anything, including the consequences of anything done, or not done, by any such person in whole or partial reliance upon the information.