Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Marine Navigation Levy

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Federal Government's coastal marine aids to the navigation network. The cost of performing this function is recovered from the commercial shipping industry through the Marine Navigation levy.

About the levy

The Marine Navigation levy is a charge against commercial shipping which is used to recover the costs of operating the Commonwealth's marine aids to navigation systems. It is Government policy that the "user pays" principle is applied and all costs are recovered.

The Marine Navigation levy is payable each quarter for coastal trading vessels, and upon arrival at an Australian port for overseas trading vessels. A receipt is valid for three months and is issued on the occasion of each payment. The charge is based on the net tonnage of a vessel. Vessels with a length of 24 metres or greater are required to pay the Marine Navigation levy.

Although users of aids to navigation include commercial shipping, fishing vessels and pleasure craft, it is only commercial shipping which is required to pay the levy.

A commercial operation is where a vessel is earning revenue. Vessels with cargo or paying passengers on board are a commercial operation.  

The following operations are not ‘commercial operations’ and do not pay the levy:

  • Vessels which enter ports to load fuel, provisions and water to complete a voyage, undertake crew changes or for repairs only are not required to pay the levy.
  • Harbour tugs engaged solely in harbour towage. If the tug is performing a tow outside the harbour and is earning revenue specifically for that tow then it is required to pay the levy.
  • Vessels that do not move under their own power. For example, oil rigs or platforms being towed to and from their work position. Tugs performing the tow of these vessels outside harbour limits do have to pay the levy.
  • Fishing vessels or vessels solely engaged in attending a fishing vessel (mother vessel).
  • Vessels belonging to religious or missionary societies are also exempt.

Exemption from payment of the levy are defined in revy rates.

In practice, no Commonwealth aids are provided specifically for fishing and recreational boating users and their aid to navigation requirements are considered to be a State or Territory responsibility.

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