Proposed amendments to the Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) Order (NI) 2011

Closes 30 Jul 2021

Opened 28 May 2021


This consultation paper seeks your comments on proposed amendments to the Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011 (which will be referred to as the Exempted Activities Order from this point). The provisions of this Order apply to Northern Ireland’s inshore region (out to 12 nautical miles) for which the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is the licensing authority. The Exempted Activities Order specifies activities which either do not need a marine licence or do not need a marine licence if conditions specified in the Order are satisfied.

The Exempted Activities Order allows DAERA to be proportionate in its regulation of the marine environment. The Order makes the marine licensing process more efficient and cost effective for users of the marine environment.

Why we are consulting

The Northern Ireland Exempted Activities Order has not been significantly amended since its inception in 2011.  There is therefore a risk that it may become dated and not adequately responsive to the needs of users of the marine environment.  

It is important that, where possible, there is a consistent approach to marine licensing across Northern Ireland waters and the wider UK. Inconsistencies in the decision making process on which activities require a marine licence are undesirable for business.  A number of the proposed amendments reflect those which apply to the Northern Ireland offshore region for which the Secretary of State through the Marine Management Organisation is the licensing authority.

Give us your views


  • All stakeholders


  • Environment