Australian owned vessels, less than 24 metres in tonnage length, government ships, fishing vessels and pleasure craft, are exempt from the requirement to be registered, but may be registered on the Australian General Shipping Register. Foreign-owned ships on demise charter to Australian operators may also be registered.

Section 12 of the Act details the obligation for certain Australian-owned ships to be registered on the Australian General Shipping Register. In circumstances where a valid application is made under section 15 of the Act, where there is an appropriate certificate relating to the tonnage measurement of the ship (section 16 of the Act) and the ship is not otherwise registered (section 17 of the Act) then the Registrar is obliged to register the ship on the Australian General Shipping Register.

Demise charter party

The demise charter party is only required if the ship is a foreign ship and operated under a demise (or bare boat) charter by an Australian whose principal place of business is Australia.

Demise charter means the demise, letting, hire or delivery of the ship to the charterer under a charter party, whereby the charterer has whole possession and control of the ship (including the right to appoint the master and crew of the ship).

If the ship is operated under a demise charter, the charterer must also provide an extra declaration called ‘Declaration by Charterer’, to be submitted with their application for registration.