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

An application for a Grand Canal Dock permit can be applied for online, under the "Online Services" section of the Waterways Ireland website. Permits run from 1st November to 31st October the following year.  ​​​​

Operation of moorings on the canal system is fully regulated and boat owners must be in compliance with current processes.

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


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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