Licensing a Harbour Craft

With effect from 1 January 2020, the One-Stop Document Centre has ceased operations. For assistance on licensing and port clearance matters, please contact Marine Licensing and Permits (MLP) @ 1800 272 7777 or email us at Please visit for the full suite of online services.

All vessels used as harbour craft must have a harbour craft licence. The application procedure is included here.

The Maritime and Port Authority (Harbour Craft) Regulations state that no vessel shall be used as a harbour craft within the port without a harbour craft licence.

Categories of licence
Under the provisions of the above Regulations, harbour craft licences are issued by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to vessels used for commercial purposes within the port.

The following categories of licence are issued:

SB Vessel used for the carriage in bulk of petroleum, liquefied gases, liquid chemicals or vegetable/animal oils
Vessel used for the carriage of dry or packaged cargoes
SP Vessel used for the carriage of passengers
Vessel used for towing, pushing or pulling other vessels. The minimum engine shaft power of a tugboat shall not be less than 150 kilowatt (200 brake horsepower). All tugs of steel construction of 750 kilowatt power and above that operate within port limits must be outfitted with anti-oil pollution.
SR Vessel used for any other purpose

Note that the applicant intending to apply for a licence for a passenger ship for the carriage of more than 12 passengers, or a waterboat, is advised to obtain prior in-principle permission from the port master before any commitment is made to purchase or construct the craft.

Applying for a harbour craft licence
When applying for a harbour craft licence, the applicant is required to submit the application via Marinet with Singpass login or marinet access for companies.

The following documents are required upon submission of application:

  • Applicant(s) Identification in the form of
    • NRIC(s) for licensing in the name of one or more individuals;
    • Instant Information Printout from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) for licensing in the name of a corporate body.
  • Proof of ownership - Bill of Sale, Charter Agreement, Builder’s Certificate, Hull Receipt or Invoice, etc;
  • Proof of origin of vessel - Launching Permit, Import Permit, General Arrival Declaration, whichever is applicable;
  • Insurance Policy - A marine policy covering third party liabilities including wreck removal and personal/passenger injuries (see details on insurance);
  • Craft’s manning - MPA Manning licence (see minimum certificated manning on harbour craft);
  • Letter of approval for use of pier/landing places where applicable issued by the owner/manager of the facilities;
  • Any other documents or requirements as may be required by the Port Master.

Work Pass For Foreign Crew working on board MPA Licensed Harbour Craft
Foreign crew working on board the MPA licensed harbour craft must hold a valid work pass. Employers who hire foreigners without valid work passes can be prosecuted under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. For more information, please visit the Ministry of Manpower website.

Medisave for Self-Employed Scheme
For application of licences, self-employed applicants must ensure that they have paid up their medisave liabilities or have arranged for payment by instalment. For more information on the Medisave for the Self-Employed Scheme or to check the Medisave payment status for licence application or renewal, please log on to the CPF website at

Enquiries for licensing matters of harbour craft licence
For enquiries for harbour craft licensing matters, you may contact our hotline 1800 272 7777 or e-mail us at For more information, you may refer to our licensing guidelines here.