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Boat Registration and Permits

Boat Registration and Permits

Two craft management systems are in operation on the waterways managed by Waterways Ireland

1. The Craft Registration System which operates on the Shannon Navigation, Shannon-Erne Waterway and Erne System

2. The Permit System which operates on the Grand Canal, Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation. ​

*A Code of Practice is in place on the Lower Bann. ​

Boat Registration on Erne System, Shannon-Erne Waterway and Shannon Navigation
All craft with an engine capacity in excess of 10bhp on the Erne System and 15bhp on the Shannon Navigation and the Shannon-Erne Waterway must be registered with the Waterways Ireland Inspectorate.  Registration is free and you can register by completing the online application form here or by contacting the Inspectorate to request an application form.  Upon registering, you will be provided with a registration number that must be displayed in a prominent position on your boat.  You need to inform Inspectorate immediately of any change in ownership.  A system of mutual recognition is in place, so boats registered on the Erne System, the Shannon Navigation or the Shannon-Erne Waterway do not need to re-register when moving between these waterways.

For further information on boat registration on the Shannon or Shannon-Erne Waterway please contact the Inspector of Navigation
email: inspectorate.athlone@waterwaysireland.org  
tel: +353 (0)90 649 4232

or on the Erne System please contact the Lough Erne Warden
tel: +44 (0)28 6634 6230


Permits on Barrow Navigation, Grand Canal and Royal Canal
Boats on the Barrow Navigation, Grand Canal and Royal Canal must display a valid permit.

  • Permits are issued on the basis of a completed application form and are subject to certain conditions. 
  • In order to apply for a permit you will be required to provide evidence of insurance (3rd party  minimum).
  • You can apply for a permit HERE .
  • All permits are annual and are valid from 1st November to the 31st of October. 
  • All permits must be displayed clearly on your vessel.

There are four types of permits available:

Combined Mooring and Passage Permit (CMP) permits the holder to pass through locks and to moor at the same Public Mooring for up to five days in any calendar month.  A CMP costs €126.

Non-Residential Extended Mooring Permit (NR-EMP) permits the holder to moor in an allocated location for up to one year.  A NR-EMP is non-residential and therefore cannot be used a primary residence, however the holder is permitted to stay overnight for up to 90 days in any one year.  A NR-EMP costs €278 which includes the cost of a CMP.

Residential Extended Mooring Permit (R-EMP) allows the holder to moor in one location for up to one year.  Holders of a R-EMP have no limitation on the number of nights they may stay on board and are permitted to use their vessel as their primary residence.  Waterways Ireland has 20 houseboat serviced mooring locations in Grand Canal Dock and 8 houseboat services mooring locations in Shannon Harbour, Co. Offaly which are all fully occupied.  If you are interested in acquiring a R-EMP, please email Inspectorate.Athlone@waterwaysireland.org providing your name, address and contact number and your details will be added to a waiting list.

Visitor Permit is free and allows boats to enter the canal system and stay for up to 31 days.  The permit can only be used once every calendar year. If you wish to apply for a visitor permit please complete the CMP application and include a note indicating the date of entry to the canal.  The visitor permit will be valid for one month from this date.  

For further information on permits please contact the Assistant Inspector of Navigation
email: inspectorate.athlone@waterwaysireland.org  
tel: +353 (0)57 935 2300

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