Under the Shipping Registration Act 1981 every registered vessel must have a registered agent appointed. The registered agent must be an individual or company responsible for the day to day management of the ship.
Powers of a registered agent
As the registered agent, you can:
- Apply for a new registration certificate.
- Apply for a change of a ships name. The owner also has this power.
- Apply for a change of a ships home port. No other person may do this.
Obligations of a registered agent
As the registered agent, you have the following responsibilities:
- You must give notice of an alteration to a ship, within 14 days of the alteration.
- You must surrender a replaced registration certificate or provisional registration certificate. Owners also have this obligation.
- You must notify us of changes of name, address and nationality of the owner, charterer, and registered agent.
- In relation to a change of home port, you must send the signed marking note back within 30 days of receiving it. If you don’t, you can be fined A$500.
Communication with the registered agent
There are some questions we can only ask you as the registered agent, and we are obliged to send you information under certain circumstances:
- We must send the registration certificate to you or your nominee after the registration of a transfer or transmission of ownership.
- We must send the registration certificate to you after a change of home port.
- We may ask you for information or documents to determine whether the register is up to date. We may also ask the owner for this information.
- We may ask you for evidence of ownership. We cannot ask anyone else.
- We must give you notice of any authorisation to vary requirements for the flying of the flag at the ships stern.
- We must give you notice that a change of home port can proceed.
If you do not comply with the Shipping Registration Act 1981 and its associated regulations, you may be penalised.
There are some offences where you will be considered guilty of an offence if the owner it is guilty of the same offence. These offences are:
- Failure to maintain registration markings on the ship.
- Failure to observe the flag flying requirements.
- Concealing a ship’s Australian nationality.
- Failure to lodge transfer documents within 14 days of the execution of a bill of sale.
- Failure to lodge transmission documents within 14 days of the transmission.
- Failure to deliver the registration certificate to a transferee after a transfer of ownership.
- Failure to lodge a notice of alteration of a ship.
- Failure to lodge notice of the loss of ship, or an event that causes the ship to cease to be entitled to be registered such as the sale to a non-Australian.
- Taking an officer to sea without their consent. An officer is generally an officer or employee of the Commonwealth, a police officer or a Defence Force member.