New Maritime Operator Safety Sytem (MOSS) Under Consultation

Formal Invitations to Comment have been issued for formal public consultation on the proposed introduction of new Maritime Rules Part 19: Maritime transport operator certification and Part 44: Surveys, Certification and Maintenance. The proposed rule changes will bring about significant changes in the way that Maritime NZ will manage maritime operator safety systems in the commercial sector and the fishing industry.

Some of the proposed changes that will impact industry and safe ship management service providers are liste below:


Information Sheet – Review of Maritime Rule Part 21: Safe Ship Management

Maritime NZ are in the process of reviewing the provision of Safe Ship Management (SSM) in New Zealand. SSM is imposed by Maritime Rule Part 21: Safe Ship Management under the Maritime Transport Act 1994 and was introduced into legislation in 1998.

As a result of a review that Maritime NZ has carried out informal consultation with maritime industry sectors including the Federation of Commercial Fishermen has occurred prior to a new DRAFT Rule being approved for formal consultation by the Minister of Transport in March 2010. The review has resulted in the introduction of a proposed new Maritime Rule Part 19: Maritime transport operator certification. The Federation is supportive of the proposed new Rule.

The approval of the new rule will have some effect on commercial vessel owners and operators, approved surveyor and existing Safe Ship Management service providers.

Some of the major issues of interest to, and need for consideration by owners and operators of commercial vessels are listed as follows:

  • Owners and operators will no longer need to belong to an approved SSM organisation;
  • Vessel certification under the new system will remain valid on sale or transfer of the vessel;
  • Recognised surveyors will conduct surveys and issue vessel certification;
  • Maritime NZ will conduct system audits and issue operator safety certification;
  • Survey cycles will be extended out to 5 years for all vessels and the audit cycle will be reduced to every 3 years rather than annually;
  • Vessel propeller shaft and rudder stock inspections will be at the discretion of approved surveyors;
  • The combined audit and survey costs will remain the same for the majority of vessel operators;
  • Current SSM certification will not expire with commencement of the new Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS), but will be allowed to run until its full term;
  • Provisions are being made for the recreational use of commercial vessels;
  • Owner and operators will need to convert their current SSM manual to the format and content of the new Maritime Transport Operator Plan (MTOP).

Some of the major issues of interest to SSM organisations are listed as follows:

  • Status as an approved SSM organisation is no longer available under the proposed new Rule Part 19;
  • The responsibility for systems audits is transferred to Maritime NZ and will be conducted by Maritime NZ from in-house resources;
  • Existing SSM providers can continue to employ or contract recognised surveyors;
  • Existing SSM providers can continue to offer other, non-regulatory services on a normal commercial basis contract basis;
  • Organisational audits by Maritime NZ and ISO 9001 accreditation for existing SSM providers will no longer be required.

Some of the major issues of interest to surveyors are listed as follows:

  • There is no longer a requirement for approved surveyors to belong to an approved SSM service provider;
  • Surveyors will be able to operate independently under a certificate of recognition issued by the Director of Maritime NZ;
  • Surveyors will be required to demonstrate new competency and practice requirements;
  • A new code of ethics requirement for approved surveyors will be introduced and implemented;
  • There will be new survey reporting requirements;
  • Existing recognised surveyor certification does not expire with the commencement of the new MOSS, but is allowed to continue to run until its full term;
  • The survey cycle for all commercial vessels will be extended from 4 to 5 years.

Click on the attachments below to see the proposed (DRAFT) Rules.

Formal submissions close at the end of business 2 July 2010.

Further information on the formal consulation process can be seen at