The Official Number is a five or six digit number that is part of The Australian Register of Ships which was established on Australia Day, 1982. From this day, for the first time since European colonisation, ships owned by Australians could be registered in this country instead of being added to the British registers kept in Australia, the registration of a vessel under this system is via an 'Official Number'. In addition, the provisions of the Shipping Registration Act 1981 together with its associated regulations, fulfill part of this Australia's obligations under the Geneva Convention On The High Seas.
All Australian owned commercial ships 24 metres and over in tonnage length, capable of navigating the high seas must be registered.
All other craft, including Government ships, fishing and pleasure craft need not be registered, but may be if the owners desire.
A ship must be registered if the owner intends to use it for travel from Australia to places outside Australia or on voyages from foreign ports to other overseas destinations or to Australia.
Any ship demise chartered to Australian based operators, or any craft under 12 metres in length, owned or operated by Australian residents, nationals or both, can be registered if the owner/operator wishes.
Ships that were originally registered in Australia under the British system (before 1982 ) were automatically transferred to the new register subject to nationality eligibility at the time of changeover.
The Australian Register of Ships currently lists the particulars of some 11,000 active ships.
The Hull Identification Number (HIN), also known as a BoatCode, is a unique series of characters and numbers assigned to your vessel, similar to the chassis number (VIN) on motor vehicles. It is usually moulded in the hull or engraved on a metal plate that is fastened the hull.
A HIN is required when a boat is: