Register a vessel on the Australian international shipping register

The benefits and eligibility requirements of registration on the Australian international shipping register (AISR).

The AISR is an optional register for Australian companies that own or operate ships. If a vessel is required to be registered and is not registered on the international register, it must be registered on the Australian general shipping register

Eligible vessels are international trading ships that are at least 24 metres in tonnage length and: 

  • Wholly owned by Australian residents, or by Australian residents and Australian nationals.
  • Operated solely by Australian residents, Australian nationals, or both, or 
  • On demise charter to Australian based operators.

Vessel owners or operators must provide evidence of the vessel’s eligibility. We have the discretion to decide whether to permit a ship to be registered. This process ensures that ships on the AISR meet appropriate standards.

You can find the definitions of Australian owned ships and Australian residents under subsection 3(1) of the Shipping Registration Act 1981.  

The Guide to the registration of a ship on the Australian international shipping register gives you information about conditions of registration, how to register your vessel and how to maintain a registration on the AISR.

Benefits of registering

There are a range of tax incentives available for vessels on the AISR to ensure the register is competitive with other registers. Tax incentives are managed by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and Cities.
The register also maintains Australia’s international reputation for high quality maritime safety standards.

The AISR aims to:

  • Facilitate Australian participation in international trade.
  • Provide an internationally competitive register to encourage long term growth of the Australian shipping industry. 
  • Promote the enhancement and viability of the Australian maritime skills base and the Australian shipping industry.

As with other international registers, vessels on the AISR can operate with mixed crews. The majority of officers and crew are not required to be Australian citizens or residents. This reflects the global nature of shipping, with crew drawn from around the world.

The Australian Government has determined that at least two senior positions—engineering and deck officers—are to be filled by Australians. This reflects the policy intent to build Australia’s domestic maritime skills base, by providing an opportunity for Australians to gain the necessary international seafaring experience.

How to register your vessel

To register your vessel on the international register you need to follow the steps below.

Last updated: 

Monday 1 February 2021