Certificate of Operation (Maritime) - New South Wales

Service summary

You must apply for a Certificate of Operation if you intend to use a vessel for commercial purposes. Any commercial vessel operating without a Certificate of Operation is operating illegally.

A Domestic Commercial Vessel is one that is for use in connection with a commercial, government or research use. This includes vessels capable of being used in navigation by water, however propelled or moved, including air-cushion vehicles, barges, lighters, submersibles, ferries in chains and wing-in-ground effect craft.

A Certificate of Operation will be issued to a person, or business, who can demonstrate competency and capacity in relation to the safe operation of domestic commercial vessels.

Please note that an existing vessel registration issued by NSW Roads and Maritime prior to 1 July 2013 will be recognised as the Certificate of Operation under the new national system. However, all existing vessels must obtain a national Certificate of Operation by 2016.

Please consult the Contact Officer for further information.

Service type


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

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible you must:

  • Complete the relevant application form and associated documentation;
  • Provide the documents required as evidence to support the application;
  • Lodge the application either in person at your local marine safety agency or by mail; and
  • Pay the fees required by the local marine safety agency.

Please contact the Agency for more information.


1 year.



Fees are listed on the attached document.

Administering agency

Transport for NSW
Roads and Maritime Services
NSW Maritime Division

Act(s) name

Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (New South Wales)

Regulation(s) name

Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Regulation 2013 (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.