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Coasting trade licences and permits

Find out about coasting trade licences and permits.

Last updated 16 November 2020

Ships may only engage in the coasting trade if they are licensed or have been granted a temporary licence. This is defined in Division 1 and 2 of the Coastal Trading (Revitalisation Australian Shipping) Act 2012 (Coastal Trading Act).

Ships do not need to be entered as imported if they are either:

  • operating under either a licence or temporary licence issued under the Coastal Trading Act
  • otherwise exempt under the Coastal Trading Act.

However, there are other Department of Home Affairs requirements, such as reporting and paying duty and GST on bunkers and other ship's stores.

There is no direct correlation between coasting trade licenses or permits and the voyage types used for the purposes of establishing liability for duty and tax. This is due to differences in definitions and the underlying concepts.

The coasting trade is generally defined as the carriage of cargo or passengers in the interstate coastal trades. In 2012 the Coastal Trading (Revitalisation Australian Shipping) Act 2012 (Coastal Trading Act) was introduced. It replaced the part of the Navigation Act 1912 that dealt with the licence or permit system for ships engaged in the coasting trade.

See Department of Home AffairsExternal Link for more information.