About the Australian Builders Plate

Find out about the Australian Builders Plate and which vessels need it.

The Australian Builders Plate (ABP) is a plate which provides information on a recreational vessel's buoyancy performance, maximum engine power and loading capacity, including maximum number and weight of people and engine weight.

The ABP was introduced across Australia in 2006 by the National Marine Safety Committee to improve recreational boating safety.


Example of Australian Builders Plate

  What is the ABP Standard?

The National Standard for the Australian Builders Plate for Recreational Boats (the ABP Standard) specifies requirements for the uniform display of information on the ABP, and importantly, the design and construction standards to be used in determining that information.
An updated version of the ABP Standard - Edition 5 is now available. 

The ABP Standard was reviewed by the Australian Recreational Boating Safety Committee in 2020 and underwent an extensive national consultation process. The update is designed to improve clarity and ease of use, and to deliver better safety guidance to Australian boaters. 

The new edition of the ABP Standard has applied in other states since June 2021. For it to come into force in WA, it must be adopted by WA legislation. 
Until our legislation is amended, the Department of Transport will accept vessels for registration which comply with Edition 3, 4 or 5 of the ABP Standard. 

Once the legislation is amended, only vessels which comply with Edition 5 may be registered. 

Please refer back to this page for updates on the progress of the new legislation.

Australia New Zealand Safe Boating Education Group: Australian Builders Plate

  Which vessels require ABPs?

ABP are legally required for new recreational powered vessels that are either:

  • Offered for sale to the public for the first time.
  • Being registered in WA for the first time.

Vessels built before 2 September 2006 do not need an ABP.

Find about more about vessels that do not need an ABP.

  How is the requirement for an ABP enforced?


The Department of Transport checks that a vessel has an ABP when it is registered for the first time. If a vessel builder or dealer attempts to register a new vessel that does not have an ABP and is not exempt, registration will be refused.
If a buyer applies to register a vessel without an ABP, registration may be allowed if it would be unreasonable for the vessel to be required to have an ABP.

Consumer Protection

Consumer Protection checks that vessels sold commercially comply with product information standards found in the Fair Trading (Product Information Standard) Regulations 2005 (WA) by checking that ABP are installed on all vessels that are not exempt.

If you have purchased a new boat that does not have an ABP, please contact Consumer Protection on 1300 304 054 or at consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au

Fisheries and Transport compliance monitoring

Compliance Officers may check a vessel's ABP if it:

  • is being investigated; or
  • appears to be overloaded.

If an incident occurs due to the overloading or overpowering of the vessel, the owner or skipper may have to justify why they did not comply with the limits stated on the ABP.

Vessel builders and retailers are protected from responsibility for such incidents if the vessel was built in compliance with specified design and construction standards, and they have informed the user about its operational limitations via the information on the ABP.

Opens in a new window Department of Commerce: Consumer Protection Division
Page last updated: Thu Feb 9 2023 4:20:59 PM