Foreign ships visiting Australia


Foreign-based ship operators (owners and charterers of ships) that carry passengers, livestock, mails or goods shipped in Australia must ensure they meet our tax requirements. These are set out in sections 129 to 135A in Division 12 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936). To satisfy these requirements, ship operators must lodge an Overseas ships - voyage return and pay liability we assess.

The tax payable under section 129 of the ITAA 1936, commonly referred to within the shipping industry as 'freight tax', is a liability of a ship operator who receives the freight payment for carriage of goods, livestock, mails or passengers shipped in Australia. This entity is commonly referred to in the industry as the 'freight beneficiary'.

Division 12 of the ITAA 1936 applies to both non-residents and Australian residents whose principal place of business is outside Australia.

    Last modified: 13 Jun 2014QC 25902