Occupation of waters by a vessel

Please note the following NSW marine legislation that deals with the occupation of NSW waters by a vessel:

  1. The operator of a vessel must not allow a vessel to be at anchor in NSW waters for more than 90 days in any calendar year.
  2. The operator of a vessel must not allow a vessel to be at anchor in any one place in NSW waters for more than 28 days in any calendar year.

Roads and Maritime considers 'at anchor' to include a vessel made fast to the shore, and 'any place’ is considered to be a single bay or section of a waterway where the river is clearly recognised in sections.

Any vessel occupation outside of these parameters requires a Roads and Maritime mooring licence (or some other lawful occupation agreement).

In accordance with Ports and Maritime Administration Act 1995 – 85B - Use of moorings by vessels, a person must not cause a vessel to occupy a mooring in any navigable waters except in accordance with a mooring licence issued by the Authority in accordance with the regulations.

The following information is also relevant to vessel occupation under clause 17A:

  • the vessel must be lawfully registered
  • the vessel must not add risk to the environment (there are several aspects to this statement)
  • the interpretation of clause 17A includes a vessel at anchor and/or affixed to the shore in some way (eg: tied to a tree).
  • the location where the vessel is ‘anchored’ needs to be suitable and may be subject to a Safety (or other) Direction by an Authorised Officer if considered unsafe or due to other factors such as land use constraints that a council or other lawful landholder may enact.
Share this page: