The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has issued a marine notice about the international delivery of domestic commercial vessels and near coastal vessels operating overseas in order to provide general guidance to owners and/or operators of domestic commercial vessels.
All Australian commercial vessels 24 metres or more in tonnage length, and any Australian vessel (including domestic commercial vessels and recreational craft) in international waters are required to be registered in accordance with the Shipping Registration Act 1981 (unless a specific exemption applies). All Australian vessels which operate in international waters fall within the definition of a Regulated Australian Vessel (RAV) as a result of s15 of the Navigation Act 2012 (Navigation Act).
The Navigation Act regulates matters related to the construction and safety of vessels operating internationally. All RAVs are required to hold certification issued under the Navigation Act. As the basis for the issue of Navigation Act certification a vessel that is currently a domestic commercial vessels, or will be domestic commercial vessels once delivered to Australia, may be able to rely on certification issued under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (National Law).
National Law certification, of itself, does not permit a vessel to undertake international voyages regardless of the service category.
Options for delivering a ‘domestic’ vessel to, or from, Australia.
There are generally three options for delivery to, or from, Australia for Australian owned vessels:
1. Carry the vessel as cargo or
2. Where the vessel is Australian owned, sail the vessel under the Australian flag as a RAV
3. For a delivery voyage to Australia where the vessel is not yet Australian owned or for overseas delivery of an Australian flagged vessel under demise charter to a foreign operator, sail the vessel under another flag.