Review of Section 11 of Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991

Have your say on the circumstances Australian courts have jurisdiction in shipping disputes when the port of shipment is in Australia.

Why we want your input

We want your views to inform a policy discussion whether Section 11 of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991 should be amended.

How you can voice your opinion

Read the department's discussion paper and voice your opinion on the discussion and the questions posed in the paper using the 'Have your say' button below.

Alternatively, you can email the department

Please ensure to advise the department whether you want your submission to be made public or private and if you want to remain anonymous.

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

Your views will help inform the department's decision whether to amend Section 11 of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991.

The Issue

Some stakeholders in the maritime trade sector have raised concerns with Section 11 of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991. Their concerns relate to the way Section 11 prevents them from using international arbitration to settle shipping disputes, and creating uncertainty in contractual arrangements.

The department has put together a discussion paper which identifies three potential policy concerns in Section 11:

  • Whether 'sea carriage document' needs to be better defined
  • If interstate voyages should also be protected from foreign arbitration clauses
  • Whether the location and seat of arbitration should be in Australia.

We want to hear the sector's views on these policy concerns.

To help guide feedback, the department has included a list of questions under each policy concern set out in the discussion paper.

For example, under Concern 1: Definition of a Sea Carriage Document, there is a question box which asks questions such as:

  • What concerns do you have with regard to the lack of a definition for the term 'sea carriage document' in COGSA?

See page 6 of the discussion paper.

Relevant documentation


19 Sep 2022 08:30 AEST
01 Nov 2022 17:00 AEDT

We invite you to to tell us your views on this topic.

Please include:

  • contact name
  • organisation name, if applicable
  • contact details, including telephone number, postal and email addresses
  • confirmation whether or not your submission can be made public—published—or kept confidential.

All submissions to be made public need to meet the Digital Service Standard for accessibility. Any submission that does not meet this standard may be modified before being made public.

If your submission is to be made public, please ensure you do not include any personal information that you don't want to be published.

If your submission is confidential, please ensure each page of the submission is marked as confidential.

Please click on the 'Have your say now' button below to upload your submission.

This consultation is closed.

Alternatively please email your completed template submission to

Please ensure to advise the department in your email whether you want your submission to be made public or private and if you want to remain anonymous.

Australian Privacy Principle 5 Notice

Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991—potential amendments to section 11

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (the Department) is collecting personal information for the purposes of receiving feedback on section 11 of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991 in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.

The department will use your personal information to inform its discussion of whether to amend section 11 of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991 and will store this information securely. The Department may also use your personal information to contact you regarding your submission or to inform you of the consultation process.

The department will not disclose personal information (including contact details and addresses) to third parties without the permission from the author.

If you make a submission via the have your say portal, and provide permission for the department to publish the submission on the department's website including the have your say webpage, the submission will be published in accordance with this permission. Authors that wish to remain anonymous will have their identities removed from their submissions.

If you make a submission via email and do not advise the department that permission is granted to make the submission public or whether you wish to remain anonymous, the department will not publish your submission.  The department will only publish the submission on the webpage or publish your identity with your permission. 

Confidential submissions will be kept securely and will only be disclosed in the following circumstances:

  • in response to a request by a Commonwealth Minister
  • where required by a House or a Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, or
  • where required by law.

The department may also disclose confidential submissions within the Commonwealth of Australia, including with other Commonwealth agencies, where necessary in the public interest.

The department's privacy policy contains information regarding complaint handling processes and how to access and/or seek correction of personal information held by the Department.

The Privacy Officer can be contacted on (02) 6274 6495 or email