Certificate of Operation - Victoria


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 can be used in connection with a commercial, government or research purpose. Commercial vessels are defined as being able to move by water by any means of propulsion such as:

  • air-cushion vehicles
  • barges
  • lighters
  • submersibles
  • ferries in chains
  • 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 Safety Operation Certificate issued by Transport Safety Victoria prior to 1 July 2013 will be recognised as the Certificate of Operation under the new national system. However, all renewals must be made as a Certificate of Operation.

Please consult the responsible agency for more information and to ascertain the level of compliance (if any) that may be required.

Service type


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

Eligibility requirements

Conditions that apply on a Certificate of Operation are:

  • the number of crew required to be on board for the vessel to be operated
  • the qualifications of the master and crew
  • the number of people that may be on board
  • the physical condition of the vessel
  • safety management systems
  • limitations on the geographical use of the vessel
  • operating hours
  • compliance with standards.

Please consult the responsible agency for more information regarding eligibility requirements.


Fees Details for this service in table format.

Task Type Business Structure Description
Apply Application All

Please consult the responsible agency for information on fees to be submitted.

Other resources

Task Business Structure Resources
General All Certificate of Operation Industry Guidance Notice - Please consult the responsible agency for more information.

Act(s) name

Marine (Domestic Commercial Vessel National Law Application) Act 2013 VIC

Administering agency

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

Transport Safety Victoria

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Maritime Safety

Transport Safety Victoria

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

Operating address: 121 Exhibition Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Mailing address: GPO BOX 2797
Melbourne, Victoria 3001
Toll Free: 1800 223 022
Website: Maritime Safety (Opens in new window)