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Maritime Law

Maritime Law

With the Great Barrier Reef on our doorstep and one of the busiest ports on the east coast of Australia, maritime issues have a significant influence on both commercial and recreational activities in this region.

The law relating to shipping or maritime activities is not confined to the passage of ships at sea. There is a growing body of laws both state and federal which govern virtually all water borne and associated activities in this region. These range from pollution issues to visitation and use restrictions in national park areas and on the Great Barrier Reef.

Penalties for non-compliance are substantial. Similarly, boat building for commercial vessels is governed by Australian Standards that are mandatory in Queensland.

When it comes to maritime law, it pays to talk to someone who knows the waters; someone who understands the business fore and aft.

Connolly Suthers has considerable knowledge and experience in marine-related industries and issues. The Firm provides advice and assistance with:

  • Negotiation of ship-building contracts;
  • Preparation of standard small boat-building contracts for builders;
  • Supply and service agreements for marine service providers;
  • Sale or purchase of both recreational or commercial/survey vessels;
  • Demise charter agreements;
  • Cruise operator ticket conditions;
  • Bareboat charter and management agreements;
  • Registration of vessels as Australian Ships under the Shipping Registration Act 1981;
  • Advice with respect to the provisions of state and federal legislation governing the use and operation of vessels in our waters including the provisions of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act;
  • Preparation of standard broker boat-sale agreements;
  • Securities/charges over vessels (both Australian Ships and otherwise);
  • Applications for review of tribunal decisions including judicial reviews where required;
  • Arrest of ships;
  • Negotiation and conclusion of service contracts with government or statutory bodies;
  • Leasing of property from port authorities;
  • Licensing advice (surveyors, fishermen).

 If you require further assistance with any maritime law matters, please call or email:

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