Jump to Content
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development logo

Coasting Trade Licences & Permits

The Navigation Act 1912 requires all vessels trading interstate on the Australian coast to be licensed or have a permit.


Under the Act vessels may be licensed to participate in Australia’s coastal trade irrespective of flag and crew nationality. Licenses are issued on condition that:

  • the vessel’s crew are paid Australian wages while the vessel trades on the Australian coast; and
  • the vessel’s crew have access to the vessel’s library facilities

The cost of a licence application is $22. Licences are renewable annually on 30 June. See section 288 of the Navigation Act 1912 and Regulations 10 to 16 of the Navigation (Coasting Trade) Regulations 2007. It is a strict liability offence for a licensed ship to engage in the coasting trade while the vessel is in receipt of a subsidy or bonus from a foreign government has received a subsidy or bonus within the previous twelve months or is to receive a subsidy or bonus under an arrangement. See section 287 of the Navigation Act 1912. A list of licences on issue may be found at Current Licences.

Back to Top

Coastal Permits

An unlicensed ship may be granted a permit to trade on the Australian coast in the carriage of either cargo or passengers where:

  • there is no suitable licensed ship available for the shipping task; or
  • the service carried out by licenced ships is inadequate; and
  • it is considered to be desirable in the public interest that an unlicensed ship be allowed to undertake that shipping task.

See section 286 of the Navigation Act 1912. Two kinds of permits are issued:

  • Single Voyage Permit (SVP) is issued for a single voyage between designated ports for the carriage of a specified cargo or passengers
  • Continuing Voyage Permit (CVP) is issued for a period of up to three months and enables a vessel to carry specified cargo between specified ports for that period.

The cost of a permit application is as follows:

  • Passenger SVP $22.00
  • Cargo SVP $200.00
  • CVP $400.00

Note: SVP applications are processed within four working days after the day on which complete application is received. For Urgent Cargo SVP applications (ones that require processing by the end of the second working day after the complete application is received) a fee of $400 applies. CVP applications are processed within 10 working days after the day on which complete application is received.

Back to Top

Public Interest

The public interest is assessed for each permit application on the merits of the case. In the case of tankers and dry bulk vessels satisfactory inspection reports are required to satisfy the public interest test.

Back to Top

Information for Applicants

Ministerial Guidelines for granting licences and permits contain details of the legislative provisions and administrative practices for the issue of licences and permits.

Applications for Coastal Trading Permits and Single Voyage Permits are only accepted electronically via Coastal Trading On-Line.

Click here to register for a login and apply for permits Coastal Trading On-Line.

Copies of Applications and associated forms are provided for reference and information only. Reference Documents.

Back to Top


Shipping@infrastructure.gov.au +612 6274 7800 Facsimile: +61 2 6274 6089

Permits are processed during office hours (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, Eastern Standard Time) excepting public holidays and the annual shutdown of the Department between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Permit applications received after 5pm on any working day will be deemed to have been received on the following working day (as set out in the Ministerial Guidelines).

Bookmark and Share


Last Updated: 27 February, 2013