Seagoing Ships Visiting NSW Minor Ports

When a Seagoing Ship intends to visit a NSW Minor Port+ the operator and/or master of that ship is required to make arrangements for the visit, in accordance with the standing Harbour Master Directions (PDF, 89.9Kb) for NSW Minor Ports. This page provides information and instructions for the operator and/or master of the vessel.

Seagoing Ship Visits

Seagoing Ships regularly visit Minor Ports along the NSW coast.

For the safety of these ships and other waterway users during these visits and for the protection of environmental interests in the area, approval must be given by the agency managing the waters of the Minor Port (or for that particular vessel type) before the vessel is to enter the Minor Port waters.

View the minor ports application form.

Maritime will administer the visit to a Minor Port for Seagoing Ships, when the vessel is:

  1. Between 45.72 metres and less than 80 metres in length; and
  2. Less than 500 GT (Gross Tonnage); and
  3. Not a Cruise Ship.

Note: Any commercial vessel (not only Seagoing Ships) carrying Dangerous Goods** as cargo into a NSW Port is also required to obtain approval to do so. This approval must be requested at least 48 hours before entering the proposed port entry. View the Carriage of Dangerous Goods page.

The Seagoing Ship operator and/or master needs to notify Maritime as early as possible that such a visit is intended. This is to be done well in advance (approximately six weeks and a minimum of seven days), ahead of the proposed entry date. Shorter timeframes are only permitted for short notice or unscheduled visits, with an appropriate justification provided on application.

The initial point of contact for the visit is Maritime’s Oil Spill and Emergency Response Duty Officer:

Following this initial notification, Maritime will liaise with the operator and/or master of the Seagoing Ship to ensure the visit is appropriate for the Minor Port and that their operational documentation is in order, along with addressing any other relevant matters.

For additional information on the process, examples of documentation required and conditions that may be imposed on a visit, please view the Seagoing Ships Visiting NSW Minor Ports Factsheet. 

The Port Authority of NSW will administer a visit to a Minor Port by a Seagoing Ship, when the ship is:

  1. A Cruise Ship; or
  2. 80 metres or greater in length; or
  3. 500 GT or greater.

The Port Authority of NSW is also the administering authority for all entry requirements associated with the NSW Major Ports of Sydney Harbour, Newcastle Harbour, Port Kembla, Port Botany, Port of Eden and Yamba.

To advise the Port Authority of NSW of your intention to visit a Minor Port, and to make the necessary arrangements, please follow this link to Port Authority of NSW website.

Seagoing Ship means a vessel of more than 45.72 metres in length that is used or intended to be used to carry cargo or passengers for hire or reward and that normally operates on voyages between ports, as defined in Clause 3 of the Marine Safety Regulation 2016.

Minor Port means defined waters of the following NSW Ports:

Minor ports overview map

Note: Several of the listed NSW Minor Ports contain waters defined under Schedule 1 of the Marine Safety Regulation 2016 as Coastal Bars. Due to the increased safety concerns associated with crossing coastal bars, additional conditions may be placed on these visits. Visit the website for more information on Bar Crossing Licences and conditions or the Seagoing Ships Visiting NSW Minor Ports Factsheet for more information.

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