Commercial moorings

Marine businesses and clubs need a commercial mooring licence to moor on NSW waterways. Here's how to apply and the rules you need to follow.

What is a commercial mooring licence?

A commercial mooring licence permits vessels to occupy moorings under a commercial arrangement. The licence is valid for 12 months. It will be renewed on payment of your annual commercial mooring fees.

There are 2 types of commercial mooring licences:

  • commercial – available to legitimate marine type businesses and identifiable by an orange buoy
  • club – available to a registered club or association (usually a boating or sailing club). Identifiable by a red buoy.

Eligibility for a commercial licence

Commercial moorings are only issued to:

  • A business entity or person approved by Transport for NSW as trading to provide approved marine type services to the boating public. This includes boat repair, marinas, commercial fishing, charter vessels, boat brokerage and mooring contractors.
  • Any other business that cannot be accessed by means other than water and cannot be accessed by land.

Licence conditions

A commercial mooring is subject to Commercial Mooring Licence Standard Conditions. There may also be special conditions specific to your licence.

Transport staff conduct reviews to ensure licences are used for the approved purpose.

How to apply for a commercial mooring licence

When applying for a commercial mooring licence, you’ll need to provide:

  • a completed Application for Commercial Mooring Licence
  • a copy of your Certificate of Registration of Business Name or Certificate of Incorporation. Sole traders and partnerships without a registered business name must provide a copy of the ABN Advice Certificate or Statutory Declaration stating the nature of their business. The licence must be issued in the name of the sole trader or one of the partners
  • a detailed description of your proposed usage of the mooring site on business letterhead. This includes any associated shore-based facilities
  • proof of identity for both your business entity and nominated representative.

You will also need to:

  • comply with current planning control instruments
  • pay the appropriate mooring fees.

You can post or email your application to 1 of the addresses listed on the form.

You are eligible to apply for 1 site per area. Once the licence has been issued, you can make another application.

Priority wait lists

If there are no sites currently available in a mooring area, you can join a priority wait list. These lists have been developed to ensure fair and equitable access for all users.

To join a priority wait list, complete an Application for Commercial Mooring Licence and submit it just as you would to apply for a licence.

Mooring apparatus

Any costs associated with buying, installing and servicing mooring apparatus are your responsibility. On cancellation, you’ll need to remove the apparatus from the seabed.

Mooring buoys

For commercial moorings, marker buoys must be orange and clearly displayed at all times. The issued mooring licence number should be written on the buoys in characters at least 50mm high.

We recommend you use 1 of the commercially available buoys supplied by ship chandlers or mooring contractors.

Mooring installation and maintenance

Moorings must be adequately maintained, so that they are able to secure the vessel in the worst conditions.

We recommend you engage an experienced mooring contractor to ensure your mooring is installed correctly and use only quality materials. The mooring apparatus must be serviced every 12 months or more frequently if it is subject to specific mooring conditions. You must show proof of mooring service to us on request.

If you fail to service your mooring your commercial mooring licence may be cancelled and your liability insurance may become null and void.

If you fail to maintain your mooring and the vessel detaches and comes adrift, you'll be responsible for any associated damage. Penalties may also apply.

Transferring a commercial mooring licence

Some licences may be transferable on sale of the business, subject to Transport approval and any other statutory or legal requirements. To confirm details, contact us on 13 12 36 (option 2).

Updating your contact details

You must advise us if there is any change to your contact details specified in a licence or related to any of the licence conditions, at least 7 days before the proposed change occurs. You can do this by phoning 13 12 36 (option 2). Or you can update your details in person at any service centre.

Having your correct details means we can contact you if there's a problem with the vessel or mooring and know where to send correspondence.

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