Register your interests or rights if you are a foreign person investing in registrable Australian water interests.
If you're a foreign person, you need to register your interests in Australian registrable water interests on the Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets (the Register).
Registering an asset is free.
You can find the definition of 'registrable water interest', and 'foreign person' at Foreign investment terms and definitions. For further guidance, refer to the Foreign InvestmentExternal Link website.
From 1 July 2017, foreign persons are required to register their interests in certain registerable water entitlements and contractual water rights. The requirement for you to register continues under the Register.
Generally, the person with the direct legal interest is required to register the registerable water interest (asset) with the ATO.
If you have direct legal interest but own the water interest jointly with other foreign persons, one owner must register the asset first. Other owners who are foreign persons will then add themselves to the registered asset.
You need to decide which owner will register the water interest. Once registered, that owner will need to give the other joint tenants the Asset ID. They will then add themselves to the asset.
Once all foreign owners are added, any owner can access and update the registered asset details.
Tenants in common
If you own the water interest with others but are assigned specific ownership, then each foreign person must register the asset with their percentage of ownership.
When to register
A foreign person or their authorised representative must register a registrable water interest if they:
- acquire it during the financial year and they hold the interest at the end of the same financial year
- become a foreign person during the financial year and they hold it at the end of the same financial year.
For registrable water interests, the registrable event day for a notice is generally within 30 days after the end of the financial year in which you acquired an interest or became a foreign person.
To register, log in to Online services for foreign investors and select Register asset.
Register or manage an asset has the information you need for the registration and for joint tenants to add themselves to the asset.
You need to complete a new registration for each registrable water interest.Online services for foreign investors
You need to update your details in Online services for foreign investors if:
- you dispose of the registrable water interest
- you are no longer a foreign person
- the volume of your registrable water interest changes
- details of the registration change, such as change in use of water.
- personal details change, update your profile – see Manage your details
- asset details change, update the asset using Add or Edit an event – see Register or manage an asset.
If you do not comply with your obligations to give a register notice or keep your details up to date, you may face an infringement notice or civil penalties.
If you have information about someone you think may be deliberately breaking our foreign investment rules, you can confidentially report a breach to us.
We use our compliance approach to ensure foreign investors comply with their obligations.
If you are having difficulties meeting your obligations, contact us.
The Registrar provides a report to the Treasurer about the operation of the Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets. They also publish aggregate statistics of foreign ownership.
The reported statistics may include:
- the proportion of registrable water interests held by foreign persons
- foreign held registrable water interest by state or territory
- foreign held registrable water interest by resource
- foreign held registrable water interest by type
- how foreign held registrable water interests are used.
Only aggregated statistics are included in the report. Privacy restrictions prevent publishing information which may identify an individual or entity.
You can view the latest report on the Foreign InvestmentExternal Link website.Register your interests or rights if you are a foreign person investing in registrable Australian water interests.