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Registered Vessels

Commercial Registration of a Vessel

Vessels that may be exempt from periodic survey inspections by a MAST surveyor are known as commercially registered vessels. These vessels pay commercial vessel registration fees, must be maintained, equipped and operated by qualified personnel the same way as surveyed vessels.

Following initial survey by MAST, owners of vessels meeting the criteria for commercial registration have the option of either continuing with periodic survey or opting for commercial registration where vessels receive a registration certificate, which is not recognised by other Authorities, should the vessel wish to transfer interstate.

Criteria to become Commercially Registered

Commercial Vessel Criteria

Class 3 or Class 4 vessels less than 7.5metres; or

Class 2 or Class 3 vessels that are less than 12metres and:

  • Operate within sheltered waters; and
  • Have propulsion machinery less than 250kw; and
  • Do not carry dangerous cargoes; and
  • Do not carry passengers; and
  • Are not a landing barge; and
  • Do not have a crane or davit exceeding 1 tonne capacity; and
  • Do not have a stability book; and
  • Do not operate in towing operations or as a dredge.

Registration Renewal

A registration renewal notice will be sent by MAST approximately two months prior to the anniversary date.
The notice will detail:
  • the range of dates to declare the vessel,
  • programmed items due for inspection,
  • registration fee,
  • Inspection declaration.
  • may also contain notice of audit which is required to be arranged with MAST every three years.

As a registered vessel is not surveyed by a MAST surveyor, the owner must undertake the inspections listed on the renewal notice. MAST provides the owner with information in the VSRB on how to conduct inspections, however if the owner does not have the skill or knowledge to undertake the inspection they must either request a competent person to undertake the inspection, or contact MAST on 6235 8855 to arrange an inspection.

Completing the Declaration

When the inspections have been made and the owner is satisfied with the condition of the vessel, then the inspection declaration must be completed and sent to MAST within the range of dates shown on the renewal notice.

Registration Fee Structure

A survey registration fee is charged to all commercial vessels and the amount varies depending on the vessel length. The fee is set to recover MAST’s costs of running the survey and registration system. A table of registration fees is contained within Marine and Safety (Fees) By-laws 2010.

Certificate of Registration and Information Provided to an Owner

When the inspection declaration is received, MAST will send out to the vessel owner:
  • Certificate of Registration as a Commercial Vessel to be displayed or stored in the VSRB.
  • Registration label to be displayed in a prominent position within the vessel.
  • Invoice for registration which is payable within 21 days of the issue date.

Suspension of a Certificate of Registration

During the term of the certificate, if a vessel owner does not meet obligations under the registration system, then the certificate will be suspended. This means that a vessel cannot be operated and MAST will also advise the Marine Police when a vessel is suspended.

Suspension of Registered Vessels

A vessel will be suspended from commercial registration if an owner does not declare an inspection within due dates or does not arrange a MAST random audit or if the registration fee invoice is not paid by the due date.

If a vessel is suspended from survey the owner will be advised in writing and there will be an additional fee to remove the suspension. Click here too see current Table of Fees.

Vessel Survey Record Book

MAST issues every commercial vessel owner with a vessel survey record book.

The book remains the property of MAST and must be provided to a new owner, if the vessel is sold and remains in survey, or returned to MAST if the vessel discontinues survey.

The VSRB explains survey or registration procedure, stores reports for reference of both the vessel owner and MAST and must be presented to a surveyor at the survey or inspection of a vessel.

Random Audit

The commercial vessel registration process places the responsibility on vessel owners to ensure their vessel is properly equipped and maintained. MAST will however undertake random audit of registered vessels, approximately once every three years, to ensure the standard of vessels.

Should your vessel be targeted for random audit, advice will be included with the renewal notice, requiring the owner to arrange an audit with MAST on a date and at a location, from the selection provided.

There is no cost, additional to the registration fee for MAST audit of registered vessels.

Mutual Recognition of Commercial Registration

MAST will not recognise vessels holding certificates of registration issued by another Authority and similarly will not expect another Authority to recognise the certificate of a commercially registered vessel issued by MAST.

Reporting of Incidents

Under the Marine and Safety (Maritime Incidents) Regulations 2010the owner is obliged to report to MAST the details of any incidents such as an injury or accident to a person or vessel. An incident report form is provided in the VSRB, or Click Here for a PDF version.

Modification of a Vessel, of Operation or Class

Significant modification of a commercial vessel may require design approval and an application must be made to MAST.

Increase of operational limits or the class of an existing vessel will be subject to the vessel satisfactorily complying with initial survey procedure.