Australian international shipping register

Conditions of registration, how to register and maintain your registration on the Australian international shipping register (AISR).

Are you eligible to register on the AISR?

The AISR is an alternative to other international ship registers for Australian companies that own or operate ships.

Ships eligible for entry on to the AISR are at least 24 metres in tonnage length and international trading ships that are:

  • Australian owned
  • Wholly owned by Australian residents, or by Australian residents and Australian nationals
  • Operated solely by Australian residents, Australian nationals, or both
  • On demise charter to Australian based operators.

You can find the definitions of Australian owned ships and Australian residents under subsection 3(1) of the Shipping Registration Act 1981. Companies that have not been incorporated in Australia don’t meet the definition of an Australian national.

The Guide to the registration of a ship on the Australian international shipping register gives you information about conditions of registration, how to register your vessel and how to maintain a registration on the AISR.

Benefits of registering

Ships on the AISR have access to a range of tax incentives to ensure the register is competitive with other registers. The AISR also allows for alternate crew arrangements. The register will maintain Australia’s international reputation for high quality maritime safety standards.

Tax incentives are managed by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

The AISR aims to:

  • Facilitate Australian participation in international trade.
  • Provide an internationally competitive register to encourage long term growth of the Australian shipping industry.
  • Promote the enhancement and viability of the Australian maritime skills base and the Australian shipping industry.

As with other international registers, vessels on the AISR can operate with mixed crews. The majority of officers and crew are not required to be Australian citizens or residents. This reflects the global nature of shipping, with crew drawn from around the world.

The Australian Government has determined that at least two senior positions—engineering and deck officers—are to be filled by Australians. This reflects the policy intent to build Australia’s domestic maritime skills base, by providing an opportunity for Australians to gain the necessary international seafaring experience.

Vessels must comply with the International Labour Organization’s Maritime Labour Convention 2006, which Australia has ratified, providing the appropriate safety net for seafarers.


For service on a ship registered on the AISR, all seafarers must hold a primary certificate or certificate of recognition issued by AMSA. Seafarers who do not hold either of these must hold a certificate of equivalence (COE). A COE is only valid for service on a ship registered on the AISR. We will only issue a COE to seafarers holding a certificate issued by an administration that has entered into a formal agreement with us for recognition of certificates.

Read more about obtaining a certificate of equivalence.

Working conditions

Ships registered on the AISR must have a collective agreement with the seafarers bargaining unit. This agreement can be based on the International transport forum standard collective agreement.

The minimum wage and minimum requirement for compensation insurance have been established by ministerial determination.

Other important information

The AISR requires vessel owner or operator to meet ownership requirements or provide evidence that the ship is under a demise charter to an Australian entity.

Entry on to the AISR is a discretionary option. A vessel required to be registered that is not on the AISR must be registered on the Australian general shipping register. We have the discretion to decide whether to permit a ship to be registered. This process ensures that ships on the AISR meet appropriate standards.

Last updated: 

Monday 29 October 2018