AMSA changes to shipping registration have come into force

Starting from 1st April 2019, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has applied changes to shipping registration laws.

Registering a ship: There are no changes to the way that you register a ship on the Australian Registers unless you do not know the vessel’s full ownership history. Namely:
– Ships registered on the Australian general shipping register have Australian nationality.
– Registration of a ship on the Australian general shipping register provides legally and internationally recognisable nationality to your ship. When registered, you will have Australian protection on the high seas and in foreign ports.

A vessel may require certification in accordance with:
– the Navigation Act 2012, for a regulated Australian vessel;
– the Marine safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012, for domestic commercial vessels.

Australian owned ships are required to be registered on the Australian general shipping register if they are one of the following:
– a commercial vessel, 24 metres or over in tonnage length, capable of navigating the high seas;
any vessel travelling overseas.

The following vessels are exempt from the requirement to be registered (except if they are travelling overseas):
– pleasure craft;
– fishing vessels;
government vessels.

These vessels are permitted to be registered and may be registered on the Australian general shipping register if the owner chooses to do so.

Notice of intention to register a ship: If you buy or acquire a vessel and you do not know its full ownership history you must lodge a notice of intention to register a ship to be published on our website. This is a change to the old requirement for a Gazette notice to be submitted to the Federal Register of Legislation. The information in the notice of intention to register will be published on AMSA website for 30 days: This allows any former owners to notify AMSA of any claim they may have to the vessel.

Objections to an intention to register a ship: If you have a claim to a ship for which an notice of intention to register has been received you can submit objections to an intention to register to us.

Closure of registration: The way you close a registration—for ships not required to be registered—has changed:
– It is now possible for the legal owner to make an application to close a registration if the Australian registration is no longer required. Previously this application could only be made by the registered owner.
– An application for closure of a ship not required to be registered needs to be completed and a statutory declaration provided.
– In some cases, a Bill of Sale will also be required.

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