Coastal trading

What's new

Special Recreational Vessel Temporary Licences

There is now a type of temporary licence available for special recreational vessels (SRVs)—also known as superyachts.

A special recreational vessel means a vessel that:

  • is designed to be used wholly or primarily for recreational or sporting activities; and
  • is over 24 metres in length; and
  • is not used wholly or primarily for carrying cargo.

If you are intending to apply for this type of temporary licence, please do not start an application before contacting the Shipping Business Unit (SBU) on 02 6274 7474 for advice on how to proceed.

To understand your tax obligations for income tax, employee withholding tax, goods and services tax, fuel tax credits, please email and information will be provided.

The Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 (the Act) regulates coastal trade by granting licences to authorise vessels to carry passengers or cargo between ports in Australia. The licensing system established under the Act sets out three licence types; general licences, temporary licences and emergency licences. Licences are issued for interstate voyages however; licence holders can choose to apply the Act to intrastate voyages by submitting a section 12 declaration. Applications for licences and reporting requirements must be submitted online through the Coastal Trading Licensing System (CTLS).

In addition to the coastal trading system, the Australian International Shipping Register (AISR) is available for Australian shipowners who predominantly engage in international trading. Eligible vessels registered in the AISR are able to access a range of tax incentives offered by the Australian Government.

All domestic movements of cargo or passengers on interstate voyages must be authorised by one of the below licence types. Using a vessel to engage in coastal trading without a licence is an offence and may lead to a penalty being imposed.

Coastal Trading Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following FAQ section has been published by the Department to assist stakeholders with understanding the requirements around coastal trading licensing and conditions associated with holding a coastal trading licence.

Shipping Business Unit Service Charter

The Shipping Business Unit service charter sets out the role of the Shipping Business Unit and the standard of service you can expect to receive from us.

Coastal Trading Enforcement Strategy

General Licence

A general licence permits a vessel on the Australian General Shipping Register unrestricted access to engage in coastal trading in Australian waters for five years.

Temporary Licence

temporary licence provides access to engage in coastal trading in Australian for a 12-month period, limited to the voyages authorised under the licence.

New Matters Variation

new matters variation is used to add additional, completely separate voyages onto an existing temporary licence.

Authorised Matters Variation

An authorised matters variation is used to vary the existing voyages already authorised under a temporary licence. To be approved by the Delegate, proposed voyage variations must bear a 'reasonable resemblance' to the original voyage.

Energy Security Situation Variation

An energy security situation (ESS) is a type of authorised matters variation that may be granted where there is a shortage of fuel product. ESS applications do not have a mandatory consultation period but must be submitted alongside a Statutory Declaration detailing the special circumstances.

Emergency Licence

An Emergency Licence provides access to engage in coastal trading in Australian waters in identified emergency situations—this licence may be granted for up to 30 days.

Declaration under section 12

An applicant may apply for a Section 12 Declaration (S12) if they wish for a vessel to engage in intrastate voyages while being subject to the requirements of the Coastal Trading Act. Once an S12 is granted, it applies to the vessel for the entire 2 year validity of the declaration.

Statutory Declaration

statutory declaration is required under section 43 (ba) of the Act for applications to vary a Temporary Licence for Energy Security Situations.

Section 11 exemptions

Section 11 allows the Minister to exempt certain vessels or persons from the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 by legislative instrument.