Mooring Audits - Maintaining your mooring and vessel

NSW Maritime manages over 23,000 private and commercial mooring sites throughout NSW.

A mooring apparatus failure can result in a vessel coming adrift and damaging other moored vessels, maritime infrastructure, the environment or other boating users.

A poorly maintained vessel can sink - polluting the waterways and the environment and become a hazard to navigation. Costly salvage and clean-up operations are becoming an increasing burden on money available for improving infrastructure and services for boaters.

Boat image
Sailing vessel moored on a waterway.

Why we are auditing moorings

NSW Maritime is conducting a state-wide audit of moorings. The mooring audits are conducted each year between March and September.

The audit program aims to:

  • reduce salvage costs of vessels that sink
  • safeguard the marine environment
  • increase mooring compliance and remove mooring minders
  • improve water safety and access, and potentially reduce wait list times for moorings in some areas
  • protect customers from purchasing non-compliant vessels on the secondary resale market
  • register non-compliant vessels and alert potential buyers to any outstanding mooring issues when transferring ownership

The audit process

  1. Before an audit is conducted, a letter will be sent to the registered mooring licence holder advising the licence holder that an audit of their mooring and vessel has been scheduled for the following month. The letter will contain information on what needs to be done to make the vessel and mooring apparatus compliant with the mooring licence conditions. A brochure with details of the mooring licence conditions will be attached to the letter.
  2. The audit will be conducted by a Boating Safety Officer, and a follow-up letter will be sent with the result of the audit.
  3. If your mooring and vessel are fully compliant, and Proof of Service was provided as requested, you will receive a thank you letter, and no further action is required.
  4. If your mooring and/or vessel are non-compliant, a letter will be issued listing the defect/s that you must rectify. This may include an official caution or a penalty notice (fine).
  5. Mooring licence holders will be given time to fix the non-compliances or remove the vessel and give up the mooring. The timeframe is generally 21 days from receipt of the letter.

2020 audit program

View the 2020 audit program.

Mooring licence conditions

Fixing defects – developing a plan of action

If you receive a non-compliant letter, you may contact the Boating Safety Officer (BSO) to develop a 'plan of action' if you can’t complete the repairs in the time required. It may be because you cannot book a contractor to complete the works in the timeframe required as they have no available appointments.

The plan of action outlines what needs to be repaired and when. The plan will take into account the number of slipways and resources in your local area.

You will have to begin repairs within 14 days of agreeing to the plan. When the repair works are completed, the mooring licence holder needs to provide proof of service from either the qualified contractor who did the work or the slipway owner. This can be sent to

What happens if repairs are not carried out?

If you refuse all requests to carry out the repair works on your mooring and/or your vessel and it has been identified as unseaworthy, NSW Maritime will issue you a fine for non-compliance and is likely to issue a notice to remove your vessel.

Proof of service

It is a condition of your Private Mooring Licence that the mooring apparatus must be kept in good condition and serviced every 12 months, and that proof of mooring service must be produced on request. It is a requirement to provide a proof of service by the date notified in the pre-audit letter. Email the proof of service to 

If you have had your mooring serviced by a mooring contractor, you must provide an invoice or receipt from the contractor showing:

  • The contractor’s name and ABN/ACN
  • The mooring ID
  • The date the mooring was serviced

If you serviced your mooring yourself, you must complete and provide a Proof of Service Statutory Declaration.

Frequently Asked Questions

A comprehensive list of questions and answers about the mooring audit program and what you need to do has been prepared. Read the Frequently asked questions.

Mooring audit fact sheet

Download the mooring audit fact sheet for details on how the audits work

Audit Contact details

For further information you can contact NSW Maritime about your audit using the details contained in the initial letter. Alternatively you can email: or phone 13 12 36 (option 2).

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