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Taking your boat overseas

If you are the master of a pleasure craft that you intend to take overseas, there are a number of safety and administrative matters that must be taken care of before you can depart.

Under section 21 of the Maritime Transport Act, masters of all pleasure craft must notify the Director of Maritime New Zealand of their intention to depart New Zealand before they leave.

Additionally, New Zealand flagged vessels must also:

  • satisfy the Director that the vessel and its safety equipment are adequate for the voyage; and
  • satisfy the Director that the vessel is adequately crewed for the voyage; and
  • observe any other relevant maritime rules.

All New Zealand flagged vessels must undergo a safety inspection prior to departure to obtain a Category 1 safety certificate. The inspection will focus on:

  • the design and construction of the vessel being suitable for the voyage intended. and meeting the required standards
  • the safety equipment meeting specific requirements 
  • the skipper and crews ability to undertake the proposed voyage safely and demonstrate preparedness for emergency situations

The Director has delegated this statutory power to Yachting New Zealand, who in turn sub-delegates to Yacht Inspectors. 

Requirements before departing New Zealand for any place outside New Zealand 

  • All vessels must hold a registration under a flag state. New Zealand flagged vessels register with the Registrar of Ships Maritime New Zealand


  • New Zealand flagged vessels require a Category 1 Yachting New Zealand safety certificate and the Maritime New Zealand 12409 safety certificate. Find out more about yacht inspections



  • Completed Customs Outward Yacht Report form and establish where you must present the vessel for outward clearance. Customs New Zealand.
  • Yachting New Zealand carry out inspections and issues category 3, 2 and 1 certificates for racing yachts.
  • Advanced sea survival training

    Yachting New Zealand-approved advanced sea survival training courses meeting World Sailing and Australian Sailing requirements are provided through the following Yachting New Zealand members:

  • ​Flowchart describing end to end process for taking a vessel overseas Yacht Inspectors Manual

    The Yachting New Zealand Yacht Inspectors Manual (Incorporating the Director’s Guidelines for the application of section 21 of the Maritime Transport Act