Every New Zealand flagged commercial vessel must comply with the Safe Ship Management (SSM) requirements provided under Maritime Rule Part 21.
Under this rule, most of New Zealand’s commercial ships are required to establish safe ship management procedures.
Maritime Rule Part 21 has two sections:
- section one covers SOLAS ships and ships of 45 metres or more in length that proceed beyond restricted limits
- section two covers ships which do not proceed beyond restricted limits, fishing ships, and ships of less than 45 metres in length which are not required to comply with Section one.
Gaining safe ship management approval
Read the steps outlined below if you operate a New Zealand flagged commercial vessel that is required to have safe ship management procedures. These steps summarise the process to get a vessel’s safe ship management certificate.
- Decide if your vessel is (or will be) used for fishing, passengers, non passengers or a combination of these.
- Choose your safe ship management company. (see link below)
- Discuss the scope of your operation with your safe ship management company.
- Draw up and sign a contract (membership document) with your safe ship management company.
- Is your vessel yet to be built or an existing vessel?
- For a new build, get design approval from one of Maritime New Zealand’s approved design companies. (see link below). Build the vessel under supervision of one of Maritime New Zealand’s recognised surveyors. (see link below)
- For an existing vessel, find out if it has design approval. Where the design has already been approved, get a letter from an approved safe ship management company stating design approval is not required. Otherwise get design approval from one of Maritime New Zealand’s approved design companies. (see link below). Following design approval, present your vessel for initial inspection by one of Maritime New Zealand’s recognised surveyors. (see link below)
- Your safe ship management company needs to get a MSA number for your vessel
- You need to get all of the required certificates for your vessel. Register your vessel for national if applicable.
- Correct all deficiencies and get a fit for purpose document
- Get approval for your safe ship management manual and maintenance plan.
- Address all health and safety requirements.
- Get your three-month exemption certificate.
- Begin operating commercially. During this time ensure your safe ship management manual is made ship specific
- Present your vessel for an initial audit well before expiry of your exemption certificate.
- Attend to any corrective actions arising from the audit within agreed time frames and before your exemption certificate expires.
- Get your safe ship management certificate.
- Display your safe ship management certificate on your vessel.
Safe ship management: your guide to entry [PDF: 628Kb, 26 pages]
Contact for further information
If you require any further information about safe ship management, please contact Maritime New Zealand’s Technical Trainer, Safety Management Systems.