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  • Boat registration
    All boats with an engine of 3kW or more are required to be registered if they are on the water. Boats that are used entirely for private recreation are required to be registered as recreational boats. Boats that are used for purposes other than recreation (school, surf lifesaving or community activities) are registered as other or prescribed other Queensland regulated ships, which may be fee exempt.

  • Commercial ships operating in Queensland
    All boats used in connection with any commercial, government or research activity require certification under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (the national law) to operate in Queensland.

Related information

Australian Builders Plate

The Australian Builders Plate (ABP) is a national initiative to make boating safer by providing vital information about the capacity, capability and limitations of ships. The ABP requires ship builders, importers or competent persons to clearly display information about a ship's operational capabilities in a standard format.

Penalties apply for selling vessels without an ABP.

For more information about the ABP contact Australia, New Zealand Safe Boating Education Group. For more information about getting an Australian Builders Plate contact Boating Industry Association or the Boating Industries Alliance Australia.

Safety management system

A safety management system (SMS) is how ship owners and operators identify and manage risks, outline emergency and maintenance procedures and establish a culture of safety on board. Most commercial ships are required under either Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994 (TOMSA) or the national law to have an SMS in accordance with National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) Part E.

Existing commercial ships from Queensland that are now regulated under the national system have been required to keep an SMS compliant with NSCV Part E since 2010—this was a condition of their registration under TOMSA. Owners of these ships must review their SMS annually and keep it up to date to ensure their ship continues to be operated safely.

Owners and masters of new domestic commercial vessels, which started operations after the beginning of the national law on 1 July 2013, are required to establish and implement an SMS for vessel operations.

To assist commercial vessel owners and operators to comply with NSCV Part E, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has developed Guidelines on the Implementation of the National Standard for Commercial Vessels Part E.

Owners and masters must make sure the safety management system is:

  • developed, maintained and kept up to date to reflect operational risks
  • on board the ship (or on shore if it is impractical to carry all documents on board)
  • accessible to the ship's crew and the ship's crew is trained and familiar with the SMS, in particular the operational and emergency procedures.

NSCV Part E requires that every commercial vessel keep a log book as a complementary record of the daily operations of the ship to demonstrate compliance with legislative requirements.

Ship insurance

All ships over 15m, including those visiting Queensland waters, must have insurance to cover potential pollution clean up, salvage and wreck removal. Find more information about ship insurance requirements in Queensland.

Last updated
12 February 2017