Transferring ownership of a domestic commercial vessel
Advice for transferring ownership of a domestic commercial vessel
Current permission holder
If you sell a vessel, you must notify us within 14 days. The steps you need to take depend on the type of certificate or approval, and if the vessel is on the Australian General Shipping Register.
If you wish to remove a vessel from a current certificate of operation that holds multiple vessels, you can do so using the AMSA 504 Application to vary a certificate of operation form. If the vessel has a current certificate of survey or non-survey approval, this can be transferred to the new owner using the AMSA 1780 Application for change of certificate holder for a vessel permission form or revoked using the AMSA 600 Application to suspend or revoke a certificate or approval form.
Certificates of operation are non-transferable. If the vessel is on a standalone certificate of operation, you may revoke the certificate by using the AMSA 600 Application to suspend or revoke a certificate or approval form.
If you hold a certificate of operation without a schedule of vessels, you need to update your safety management system and the list of vessels in your fleet. You will not need to make any applications regarding your certificate of operation.
New permission holder
If you have recently acquired a vessel and its previous owner held a certificate of survey or a non-survey or Exemption 40 approval, then the certificate and/or approval is transferable to yourself as the new owner. You must complete an AMSA 1780 – Application for change of certificate (or approval) holder for a vessel permission form if you intend to use the vessel as a domestic commercial vessel. You will need to provide current certificate details, and evidence of your ownership over the vessel.
If you do not intend to use the vessel as a domestic commercial vessel, you should revoke your certificate of survey or non-survey or Exemption 40 using the AMSA 600 Application to suspend or revoke a certificate or approval form. If you revoke a certificate of survey and would like to use the vessel commercially, you will need to go through the new survey process as opposed to simply renewing the existing certificate of survey.
If you acquired an existing vessel (as defined in Marine Order 503, Marine Order 504 or Exemption 2), it may not be able to be operated outside of current geographical area restrictions or be modified and continue to hold that exemption.
Certificates of operation cannot be transferred so a new application will need to be submitted to AMSA by yourself as the new owner.
You will also be required to maintain the vessel's safety management system.
Certificates of survey, operations and related exemptions do not provide evidence of title or ownership of a vessel or an operator’s competence to operate a certain vessel. If you require evidence of title or ownership of a vessel, you will need to register the vessel on the Australian General Shipping Register.
If you are selling a vessel that is on the Australian General Shipping Register, the new owner must notify us within 14 days of the acquisition date. As the seller, you must provide a Bill of Sale and the original registration certificate to the new owner to facilitate the transfer of ownership. An application for a transfer of ownership must be submitted to the Shipping Registration Office.
Read more about Transferring ownership of an Australian General Register vessel.