Boat Permits and Registration

​Waterways Ireland manages the navigations under a range of legislative measures. For boat owners this means that the regulations (Bye-laws), fees and registration process depend on the waterway on which the craft is to be based. 

​​Erne System
Shannon-Erne Waterway
Shannon Navigation​​
​Registration is required for craft on these navigations. It involves the completion and submission of a Registration Form. No fee is charged, but a number will be supplied which must be adhered to the craft.  A mutual recognition system is in place on these waterways, so boats may travel between these navigations without re-registering. Travel to other WI navigations will require a Permit. 

Any questions, please contact by  email Lough Erne Warden

​The regulations that apply are called Bye-Laws. The Bye-laws for these navigations are:

S.I. No. 80/1992 – Shannon Navigation Bye-Laws, 1992;​

Lough Erne (Navigation) Bye-laws (Northern Ireland) 1978 and 1986​
​Barrow Navigation
Grand Canal
Royal Canal​
​A permit is required for mooring and moving craft on these navigations. Different types of permits are available depending on how the boat is used and a range of fees apply from €126 to €278 per year. A sticker will be supplied which must be displayed on the craft.

Telephone: +353 (0)87 286 5726

​Boats showing a permit may travel between these navigations on the same permit. Permit holders, displaying their permit may travel to Erne, Shannon-Erne and Shannon for one month without registering. Boaters planning a longer journey should register.
​The Bye-laws that apply are 
S.I. No. 247 of 1988 – Canals Act, 1986 (BYE-LAWS), 1988;
​​Grand Canal Dock​​​ ​The EMP permitting system was suspended for the Grand Canal Dock with effect from 31 March 2016 pending a review.

The review and consultations with all the stakeholders has not yet been completed. Please note that current permitting processes will remain in place until 31 March 2017 to ensure that operation of moorings on the canal system is fully regulated and that boat owners are in compliance with current processes.

Vessel owners should therefore ensure that both their CMP and EMP for Grand Canal Dock are fully paid until 31 March 2017, including all arrears and any outstanding service charge amounts due.  Letters outlining the above have been issued to all boat owners concerned.

Completed application forms and payment in full must be received by Shane Anderson, Waterways Ireland, Harbour Street, Tullamore, Co. Offaly by Friday 18 November 2016.

Any vessel which does not have a valid CMP and EMP after this date will be requested to leave the Grand Canal Basin and failure to do so will result in its removal from the navigation.

Changes to the permitting system will be implemented prior to 31 March 2017 and boat owners will be formally notified of the changes and their impact in advance of implementation.

Any queries with regard to the above compliance requirements for owners of boats in Grand Canal Dock should be addressed to:

John Boyle, Director of Business Development, Waterways Ireland, 2 Sligo Road, Enniskillen, N Ireland BT74 7JY.


Boats in non-compliance with the bye-laws will enter an enforcement process. Enforcement is undertaken by Authorised Officers and will begin with a notification in the form of a sticker and if non-compliance continues may result in the ​craft being removed from the navigation at the owners cost.​​

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