Tenders come in all shapes and sizes and can perform a range of different roles from passenger transport to marina maintenance.

Namely, AMSA defines a tender as a domestic commercial vessel used to transport goods or people (no more than 12), or for another purpose associated with its parent vessel’s operation. A tender is limited to operating in line of sight of its parent vessel (or another approved distance), or in a marina or a mooring area. A tender is usually less than 7.5 m long and must not be longer than its parent vessel and not powered by an inboard petrol engine.

 

Identifying a tender 

There are special arrangements for vessels which meet the definition of ‘tender’ under the national law. To figure out if the vessel is a tender under the national law, the vessel must:

  • Be used to transport goods or up to 12 people, or for a purpose associated with the parent vessel’s operation.
  • Operate in line of sight of its parent vessel, or another distance approved in writing by AMSA, or in a marina or mooring area.
  • Measure less than 7.5 metres or another length approved in writing by AMSA.
  • Measure less than its parent vessel.
  • Not be powered by an inboard petrol engine.

 

Markings for tenders

  • Like all commercial vessels tenders must have appropriate markings. If your tender is associated with a parent vessel, it does not have to have its own unique vessel identifier (UVI) but still must be appropriately marked in one of the following ways.
  • Display the words ‘tender to’ followed by the name or UVI of the parent vessel.
  • Also display the UVI of the parent vessel followed by ‘- T’.
  • Display the name of the owner of the vessel followed by the word ‘tender’.
  • If your tender does not operate with a parent vessel you must obtain and display a UVI for that tender.

 

General safety duties

The general safety duties apply to all commercial vessel operations—even those that are grandfathered or operating under an exemption.

General safety duties indicate that you must at least:

  • Provide and maintain the vessel so that it is safe,
  • Ensure the safety of the vessel, people, marine safety equipment, and the operation of the vessel.
  • Implement and maintain a safety management system (SMS) that ensures that the vessel and its operations are safe.
  • The general safety duties, including the requirement to implement and maintain a safety management system apply to tenders as well.

 

Tenders without parent vessels

When people think of a tender, it is often a small vessel attached to a larger one, but this is not always the case. AMSA’s definition of a tender does not require the tender to have a parent vessel.

Under the national law a tender may operate without a parent vessel while in a marina or mooring area. These types of operations may include work boats that perform maintenance activities around marinas or transport passengers from a wharf to moored vessels. While these types of tenders may not relate with a parent vessel, the same rules apply to their operation.

While the operation of a tender with a parent vessel may be covered in the parent vessels SMS, a tender without a parent vessel must have its own dedicated SMS.

Tenders without a parent vessel must also have their own unique vessel identifier.