Australia relies on sea transport for 99 per cent of our exports. A substantial proportion of our domestic freight also depends on coastal shipping.

The Australian Government, through the department, contributes to the prosperity of the economy and the wellbeing of all Australians by supporting and enhancing our maritime industry.

The department supports an efficient, safe and environmentally friendly maritime transport system, including an effective regulatory framework for shipping and environmental and safety regulations.

The Australian Government has commissioned a comprehensive review of the National Law and associated legislative framework, to commence in January 2022.

  • Establishing an Australian flagged maritime fleet to strengthen economic and social wellbeing.

  • The department consults with industry on a range of policy measures including amendments to liability and insurance standards for the maritime industry, and tax incentive operations for Australian corporations with eligible Australian registered vessels. In addition, the department provides operations to uphold its commitment to continuing a vibrant and efficient maritime industry through the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012.

  • Information about the international conventions and guidelines relating to the living and working conditions of seafarers.

  • Information about the department's role in protecting the marine environment from the harmful effects of shipping.

  • This section provides information on safe shipping, accident investigations and the transportation of hazardous materials.

  • Information about the department"s coordination and oversight role in relation to advising AMSA about government policy on administrative arrangements, financial and taxation matters, and corporate governance.

  • Part X of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, including details on registration of conference agreements and general contact details.

  • This section provides information on the Shipping Reform (Tax Incentives) Act 2012, including details on how to apply for the tax incentives under the Act.

  • Information about national and international regulatory schemes designed to determine liability for maritime incidents and ensure adequate and prompt compensation for damage caused by such incidents.

  • On 2 July 2009, the Council of Australian Governments agreed to implement national regulation for maritime safety with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority becoming the national safety regulator for all commercial shipping in Australian waters.

  • Visit this page for information on the background, purpose and funding of programs which are aimed at alleviating the cost disadvantage associated with transportation of freight and passenger vehicles to Tasmania by sea.

  • The Australian Government has established a clear, transparent and consistent process to help ensure that border services (biosecurity, immigration and customs control) are available at ports when they are required. This section provides further information for port operators on this process.

  • The Department seeks to consult with interested parties in relation to maritime legislation.

  • A listing of departmental maritime related publications.

  • The Australian Government has commissioned a comprehensive review of the National Law and associated legislative framework, to commence in January 2022.