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  • Foreign ships visiting Australia

    This information is for foreign-based ship operators (owners and charterers of ships) that carry passengers, livestock, mail or goods into Australia.

    Here you will learn about how to meet the tax requirements set out in section 129 to 135A in Division 12 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936)

    To satisfy our requirements, foreign-based ship operators or their agent must lodge an Overseas ships - voyage return form and pay the tax liability we assess.

    This tax, commonly referred to within the shipping industry as 'freight tax', is a liability of a ship operator who receives a payment for carriage of goods, livestock, mail, or passengers shipped in Australia. This entity is commonly referred to in the industry as the 'freight beneficiary'.

    This tax applies to both non-residents and Australian residents whose principal place of business is outside Australia.

    Foreign-based ship operators may be exempt from tax if a tax treaty or double tax agreement exists between their country of residence and Australia.

    Find out about:

    See also:

    • Refer to Taxation Ruling TR 2006/1 Income tax: the scope of and nature of payments falling within section 129 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
    • These requirements are set out in section 129 in Division 12 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936).
    • What are tax treaties?
      Last modified: 28 Oct 2016QC 25902