Certificate of Local Knowledge - New South Wales

Service summary

You will require this certificate if you are the master of a vessel and you intend to pilot your own vessel in a pilotage port. This certificate is issued to the master of an identified class or classes of vessels for a specific pilotage area.

Pilotage is ordinarily compulsory in every pilotage port, meaning that a master of a vessel cannot enter, leave or move within a pilotage port with a vessel before taking on board the marine pilot made available by the pilotage service provider for that port. This certificate exempts your vessel from compulsory pilotage in respect of the relevant port.

A pilotage port means any of the following ports:

  • Sydney Harbour;
  • Botany Bay;
  • Newcastle;
  • Port Kembla;
  • Yamba; and
  • Eden.

Please note that Certificate of Local Knowledge is not available for the following classes of vessels:

  • A vessel the length of which exceeds 80 metres unless approved by the Minister or the relevant port authority;
  • A vessel that is nuclear powered;
  • A vessel carrying dangerous or hazardous goods in bulk, unless approved by the Minister or the relevant port authority; and
  • A vessel or class of vessels that poses a threat to the safety of life or port property.

Please consult the relevant port authority for more 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 for this certificate you must:

  • hold a certificate of competency that authorises you to be a master of the type of vessel to which the application relates
  • have satisfactorily passed an examination approved by the relevant Harbour Master for the pilotage port
  • provide evidence that you are competent to carry out unsupervised movement of the type of vessel to which the certificate relates in the relevant pilotage port to the satisfaction of the relevant Harbour Master
  • meet the health requirements set out in the certificate of competency in respect of a master for the type of vessel to which the application relates
  • pay the required fees.

Please consult the Contact Officer for more information regarding eligibility requirements.


Two years.



Renewal fees must be paid within two months after each second anniversary of the granting of the certificate.



Application for Certificate of Local Knowledge - Please contact the individual ports for relevant forms

Other resources



To renew your certificate you must provide evidence of your employment history and port experience. You are also required to provide evidence that you are medically fit.

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


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