Minister Muir launches consultation on marine licensing fees

Date published: 09 July 2024

A consultation on a review of the fees paid for marine licences has been launched by DAERA Minister Andrew Muir.

He said the proposals were aimed at helping the Department to recover costs to provide the service as well as ensure a more effective licensing system is in place.

Minister Muir said: “Last year DAERA processed around 20 marine licence applications and we are running the service at a loss every year. With increasing interest in the use of the NI marine area for renewable energy, a streamlined marine licensing system will be essential in achieving the Executive’s goal to deliver 1GW (gigawatt) of offshore wind from 2030.”

Unlike other UK marine licensing authorities, DAERA can only charge a fee for determining an application for a marine licence and therefore cannot recover the cost for other related aspects of the licensing process which require Departmental resources. The proposals would bring DAERA in line with the rest of the UK.

Minister Muir explained: "We are now seeking views on the proposals which include an increase to some fees and extending the Department's fee charging powers to recover the cost of the full range of marine licensing services. The proposals are necessary to recover the costs of staff time spent on determining such complex applications and to help provide a more efficient service to our customers and is in line with the requirements placed on us in managing public money."

The eight-week consultation is now open until 3 September 2024 and can be found on NI Direct, and also on the DAERA consultation webpage The responses submitted will help DAERA determine what steps need to be taken to develop a proportionate way forward.

DAERA is the marine licensing authority for the Northern Ireland inshore region as set out in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

    Notes to editors: 


    1. You can find more information on marine licensing fees at Marine Licensing | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs ( and existing marine licensing fee structures can be found here:  
    2. This consultation contains two sets of proposals. In the short-term, DAERA wishes to utilise powers under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to amend fees and to recover the expense of providing services under the Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007, as amended, in order to achieve higher cost recovery rates.
    3. Offshore renewable energy is the name given to electricity which is generated using ocean-based resources. The energy generated is measured in gigawatts (GW). Offshore renewable energy is transformed into electricity using modern technology and supplied back into the power network onshore.
    4. Follow DAERA on X and Facebook.
    5. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email to
    6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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