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Vessel Management Framework

The Vessel Management Framework was initially developed for Cargo and Commercial vessels when the Maritime Border was closed due to COVID-19. With the Maritime Border now open, it continues to be a useful tool that may be used to help to manage the public health risk posed by vessels with known or suspected cases of COVID-19 onboard.


The Vessel Management Framework was initially developed for Cargo and Commercial vessels to ensure safe cargo operations and pilotage at a time when the Maritime Border was closed due to COVID-19.

With the Maritime Border now open, it continues to be a useful tool that may be used to help to manage the public health risk posed by vessels with known or suspected cases of COVID-19 onboard.

The Framework has been prepared for port operators, unions, agents, government agencies and the National Public Health Service to follow for ensuring the safe and collaborative management of vessels with COVID-19 on board at the maritime border. The framework clarifies the roles and responsibilities for all parties involved, and provides a process map and templates to guide users for safe cargo operations and pilotage. You can find the guidance in the documents listed below.

Since the Vessel Management Framework was published, a Director General exemption has been granted (July 2022), that means that pratique will not be withheld on the basis that there are COVID-19 cases on board. It is important to keep this exemption in mind when consulting this guidance document. The document continues to be revised, including for Cruise and recreational vessels and an updated version will be published when completed.

A guidance document containing considerations for cruise vessels is also now available below. This reflects that the Vessel Management Framework is cargo vessel focussed, but may still be used for Cruise and other recreational vessels where considered appropriate.

You can find the guidance on the Maritime New Zealand website