Administration of marine and wildlife licence applications and harbour orders will transfer from the Marine Management Organisation to Welsh ministers from 1 April 2018. Natural Resources Wales will act on behalf of Welsh Ministers to carry out these activities.

This follows the commitment by UK Government to devolve further powers to the Welsh Ministers following recommendations made by the Silk Commission.

What this means for marine licence applicants

If you have submitted an application to the MMO prior to 1 April 2018 for a marine and/or wildlife licence, this will continue to be determined by the MMO. Once the licence application has been determined, any post licence requirements, such as monitoring or discharge of conditions, will be considered by NRW.

If you conduct any activities in the Welsh offshore region, please refer to The Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Wales) Order 2011 for details of activities exempt from the requirement for a marine licence in Wales.

If you make an application for a marine licence or a wildlife licence in the Welsh Offshore region after 1 April 2018, this must be made to NRW.

Changes to Harbour Regulations

Under the Wales Act, from 1 April 2018 the Welsh Ministers will also take over responsibility for port development policy for harbours wholly in Wales apart from major trust ports. This responsibility extends to applications for Harbour Revision and Empowerment Orders, private act ('Admiralty') consents, applications for powers to make harbour directions and confirmation of byelaws.

To help ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements, the Department for Transport (DfT), the MMO and the Welsh Government have agreed that the DfT or the MMO will be responsible for certain applications received before 1 April 2018.

All applications received after 1 April 2018 will be handled by the Welsh Government.

Contact Natural Resources Wales

Website - Marine Licensing Email:
Telephone: General Enquiries line on 0300 065 3000

Website - Species Licensing Email: (English) (Welsh) Telephone: 0300 065 4974 or 0300 065 4921