Marine Licensing

Key facts
  • A simpler licensing system minimises the number of licences required, cutting bureaucracy and introducing efficiencies to encourage economic investment and growth.
  • Licences for dumping at sea and safety of navigation will be integrated allowing for a streamlined approach.
  • Industries such as renewables will benefit from special procedures allowing marine and electrical consents to be considered together for renewables, a single process will replace 4 separate licences.
  • A registration system for activities below a specified threshold of environmental impact (to be determined) will free resources but allow for activities to be monitored.
  • Local authorities will have the option to opt out of aquaculture consenting and transfer powers to Marine Scotland allowing flexibility and opportunity for greater streamlining.
  • All forms of dredging will now be subject to licensing, with exemptions to meet statutory requirements to ensure safety of navigation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What effects will the changes to the licensing system bring?
  • The licensing system will be simplified and the number of licences required reduced.
  • Marine Scotland where possible will be the one point of contact for all licensing in the marine environment.
  • There will be efficiencies within the licensing process.
Who will it benefit?
  • It will reduce the costs to developers who will receive a quicker decision on their licensing application.
Why do the aquaculture consents remain with Local Authorities?
  • The development consents by Local Authorities were introduced in 2007 and will take time to bed in.
  • Local authorities have been developing expertise on aquaculture consents for a number of years and are well placed to grant consents.
  • However, for the first time, local authorities will be able to transfer consenting powers to Marine Scotland if they choose to do so.
  • This allows flexibility to respond to different issues around Scotland's coast as well as greater streamlining of licences.
How will the threshold for which registration rather than licensing is required be assessed?
  • Existing systems, such as in relation to Controlled Activities Regulations, are being explored as appropriate models for marine licensing.
What activities will require a licence?
  • Licensable activities are set out in the Marine Bill.
  • All forms of dredging will be subject to licensing with exemption to meet statutory requirements to ensure safety of navigation.
What are the cost implications for licensing?
  • Fees will be set to recover the costs for the determination and issuing of a licence.
  • The introduction of registration rather than licensing for projects that are below a certain environmental threshold will reduce costs to marine users.
Will there be an appeals process?
  • Transparency and accountability are important. The appeals process will be set out in secondary legislation at a later time.