The conditions of registration on the Australian General Shipping Register are specified in the Shipping Registration Act 1981 (the Act).

Obligation to register Australian owned ships

  1. Section 12 of the Act outlines the obligations to register ships greater than 24 metres in tonnage length on the Australian General Shipping Register if they are Australian-owned ships. Where an Australian-owned ship is operated by a foreign resident under demise charter, an exemption may be granted. Ships less than 24 metres in tonnage length, Government ships, fishing vessels and pleasure craft are exempt from registration requirements but are subject to section 68 of the Act.
  2. Section 68 of the Act outlines that unregistered ships shall not depart from an Australian port to a place outside of Australia; and under section 69 of the Act, when an unregistered ship is in a foreign port the ship shall not depart from that port on an international  voyage unless a registration certificate or provisional registration certificate is granted.

Tonnage certificate

A ship which is more than 24 metres in tonnage length and intending to go on an international voyage must be in possession of an international Tonnage Certificate before registration. Tonnage measurement can be arranged through one of the following recognised Classification Societies: