Steps to registration

  1. The applicant lodges an application form to the Shipping Registration Office with supporting documents and fee.
  2. The Shipping Registration Office will advise the applicant of any outstanding requirements or corrections, if required.
  3. When the application is complete and correct, the Shipping Registration Office will send a Marking Note with instructions for permanently marking the vessel with the registration particulars.
  4. When the ship is marked according to the instructions on the Marking Note, the Marking Note is then signed by the owner, witnessed and returned to the Shipping Registration Office.
  5. Once the Shipping Registration Office has received all of the required documentation, the fee and the certified Marking Note, the ship can be registered and the ship’s Australian Registration Certificate issued.

Please note that the application process must be completed within 6 months. It is possible for the applicant to apply for an extension if this timeframe cannot be met. An extension fee is payable.

Ships that are required to be registered

A ship is required to be registered if it is an:

  • Australian owned commercial vessel, 24 metres or over in tonnage length, capable of navigating the high seas
  • Australian vessel, of any size, sailing to a foreign port.

Ships that are permitted to be registered

A ship is permitted to be registered if:

  • more than half of the total 64 shares are owned by Australian nationals, or
  • it is less than 12 metres in length overall and wholly owned or operated by Australian residents or by Australian nationals and residents together, or
  • it is on demise charter to an Australian based operator, commercially operated and 24 metres or more in tonnage length.

Property in ships

There are a total of 64 shares in a ship. Applicants will declare the number of shares they own in the vessel as part of the application process.