Australian Builders Plate exemptions

Find out which vessels do not need an Australian Builders Plate.

Recreational vessels which are being offered for sale or being registered for the first time in WA must have an Australian Builder's Plate (ABP).

The following types of powered vessels do not need an ABP:

  • Vessels constructed before 2 September 2006.
  • Vessels intended for sale outside Australia.
  • Vessels imported from New Zealand (most will already have an ABP fitted).
  • Commercial vessels.
  • Racing boats which are built solely for racing and are not intended by the builder for other recreational use.
  • Second hand vessels that have been previously registered in WA.
  • Vessels more than 24m in length.
  • Submersibles.
  • 1- or 2-person personal watercraft.
  • Amphibious vehicles (e.g. DUKW and LARC).

Personal water craft (PWC) designed to carry 3 or more persons must have an ABP unless the maximum weight (in kilograms) and maximum number of persons it may carry is clearly and permanently marked, or unless it has a capacity label which complies with ISO 13590.

Unpowered vessels

Most vessels which are not propelled by, or designed to be fitted with engines do not require ABP. This includes:

  • Paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and surf skis.
  • Foot-pedal boats.
  • Rowing shells used for racing or training.
  • Sailboards.
  • Sailing boats.
  • Surf row boats.
  • Aquatic toys such as inflatable tubes, ski biscuits and wakeboards.

Inflatable boats

An inflatable boat needs an ABP unless it has a plate attached certifying it meets the requirements of:

  • Directive 2013/53/EU - Recreational Craft Directive, or
  • National Marine Manufacturers Association (US) as set out in ABYC S-7.

Second hand vessels 

Second hand, used or pre-owned vessels which have previously been registered in WA do not require an ABP, however, the following uses of a new vessel does not make it 'second hand':

  • Testing during construction.
  • Sales-related activities such as demonstrating or transporting.
  • Sale by the builder to a marine dealer or agent for subsequent sale.
  • Any use by the builder, owner-builder or marine dealer.
Page last updated: Mon May 29 2023 3:28:40 PM