Regulation of navigation of foreign vessels in Australia



Publication Details

Gullett, W. (2019). Regulation of navigation of foreign vessels in Australia. In T. L. McDorman, K. Zou & S. Lee (Eds.), Regulation on Navigation of Foreign Vessels: Asia-Pacific State Practice (pp. 199-220). Boston: Brill.


The freedom of navigation is an important principle that underpins much of Australia's approach to the law of the sea. Australia has been a strong advocate of navigational freedoms, especially through nearby regional seas and archipelagos. It has been prepared to assert navigational freedom, most notably in 2001 when three Royal Australian Navy ships transited the Taiwan Strait, and contemplated freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea in the wake of heightened State assertiveness1 during the 2013-2016 proceedings of the Philippines v China South China Sea Arbitration.2 Australia's advocacy for freedom of navigation is tempered by concern about environmental and security risks within its jurisdiction.3 Australia has introduced environmental measures to manage the passage of vessels through particularly sensitive and vulnerable marine ecosystems in the Torres Strait and the Great Barrier Reef and has enhanced notification requirements for foreign ships heading to Australian ports.

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