Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Shipping registration

Shipping registration fees will be increasing on 1 October 2015 in line with the AMSA Fees Determination instrument made on 21 September 2015. Please read the new fees schedule.

Introduction to Shipping Registration video

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has produced a five minute informational video about AMSA's Shipping Registration Office (SRO).

The above five minute video [mp4MP4: 490Mb] and a one minute video [mp4MP4: 139Mb] is also available to download.

About Shipping Registration

All Australian owned or operated commercial and demise chartered ships, 24 metres and over in tonnage length and capable of navigating brochure
the high seas must be registered.  All other craft, including Government ships, fishing and pleasure craft need not be registered, but may
be if the owner/operator desires.

There are two Australian Shipping Registers:

  • The Australian General Register. This register is the main register for Australian Shipping Registration.  It is primarily used for pleasure craft that are travelling to overseas ports, domestic vessels and Australian vessels with international certification that are required to be registered. This register is open to any individual or company who wishes to register their title to an Australian owned ship.
  • The Australian International Shipping Register (AISR). This register is open to International trading ships that meet specific criteria. The purpose of the AISR is to provide a register that is a competitive alternative to other international registers and which is available to Australian companies that own or operate ships.

What is the purpose of ship registration?

The purpose of Shipping Registration in Australia is to grant ships Australian nationality.  It also allows for Australian ships to fly the Australian National Flag or the Australian Red Ensign in accordance with Australia's obligations under article 91 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, to which Australia is a party.

When a ship is registered in Australia it receives legally recognisable Australian nationality, giving it advantages at home and abroad. The ship will be accorded Australian protection on the high seas and in foreign ports.

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