Marine licensing—exempt activities
Produced in partnership with Nicola Canty, Barrister of 9 Hazel Tree Chambers
Marine licensing—exempt activities

The following Environment guidance note Produced in partnership with Nicola Canty, Barrister of 9 Hazel Tree Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Marine licensing—exempt activities
  • Brexit impact
  • Exemptions from the marine licensing regime
  • Legislative context
  • Exempt activities

Brexit impact

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content.

For further guidance, see: Brexit—impact on environmental law and Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

Exemptions from the marine licensing regime

Some activities that would normally be regarded as licensable activities under section 66 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (MCAA 2009) may be exempted from the marine licensing regime under MCAA 2009 if they meet certain stipulated conditions. Exemptions enable regulators to be proportionate in the regulation of the marine environment by making the marine licensing process more efficient and cost-effective where the activity concerned is considered to be low risk.

While the proposed activity may not require a marine licence, other consents may still need to be obtained. See Practice Note: Marine licensing—construction.

Exemptions currently fall into six categories:

  1. activities that are regulated under other legislation

  2. activities necessary for the safety of vessels or human lives

  3. activities taken to prevent pollution

  4. operational defence activities

  5. certain types of maintenance by relevant statutory bodies

  6. routine low risk activities

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) published Statutory Guidance on marine