Marine licensing—licence application procedure
Produced in partnership with Nicola Canty
Marine licensing—licence application procedure

The following Environment guidance note Produced in partnership with Nicola Canty provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Marine licensing—licence application procedure
  • Brexit impact
  • When is a marine licence required?
  • Pre-application
  • Statutory consultees
  • Application
  • Public consultation
  • Licence decision
  • Conditions
  • Inquiry
  • more

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.

When is a marine licence required?

The list of ‘licensable marine activities’ is set out in section 66 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (MCAA 2009). In summary:

  1. all vessels, aircraft or structures will need a licence to deposit, scuttle or incinerate any object or substance within the UK marine licensing area

  2. all vessels, aircraft or structures will need a licence to load or begin towing in the UK marine licensing area, and

  3. British vessels, aircraft or structures will need a licence to deposit, scuttle or incinerate any object or substance anywhere at sea

There is a list of exempt activities, eg the laying or maintenance of exempt cables in the UK sector of the continental shelf. See Practice Note: Marine licensing—exempt activities.

MCAA 2009 may affect onshore and offshore energy projects, shipping, dredging, fishing, port and harbour developments and drainage activities.

Pre-application

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) provides two hours of