As the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is mainly un-subsidised, marine licence fees include the cost of the time taken to consult statutory advisors, consult the public, resolve disputes where possible and prepare the license. The high cost of licence fees has always been of concern to the RYA, particularly for those undertaking small-scale, low risk activities.
Following consistent feedback from operators and stakeholders including the RYA, Defra consulted on proposed changes to the MMO’s licence fee structure, resulting in new marine licence fees and charges in 2014. The fees were published in The Marine Licensing (Application Fees) Regulations 2014. You can also view details of the formal public consultation which preceded the regulations and a summary of responses to the consultation.
Many of the changes made to the MMO fee schedule constitute a reduction in costs for the kinds of activities that RYA clubs and members undertake (including resurfacing slipways and minor maintenance works). The below extracts are from the The Marine Licensing (Application Fees) Regulations 2014.
The new fee structure is based on the principle of hourly charging, at a rate of £94 per hour, but with maximum ceilings (or caps) applied to fast tracked (Band 1, above) or routine projects (Band 2, below). Coupled with this, there are now several more fee bands for routine projects which will equate to more proportionate fees for smaller works with a capital cost of up to £199,999.
The RYA is still working to get lower licence fees for the installation of simple and trot moorings. These are currently subject to the full licensing regime and dealt with on a case by case basis. As a result, the licences can take 3-4 months to be granted and conditions could be included to specify what kind of equipment can be used depending on the seabed type in the mooring location.
We will continue our negotiations with the MMO and statutory advisors to agree standard licence conditions so that licence applications for moorings can be processed through the fast track system - more quickly and at a lower cost. For further information about fees and charges, visit the MMO website or speak to an MMO case officer about your works on 0300 123 1032.