Boat Registration and Permits

Boat Registration and Permits

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

​1. The Registration System operates on the Shannon Navigation, Shannon-Erne Waterway and Erne System.
2. The Permit System operates on the Grand Canal, Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation. ​

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

Registration by the current owner is a legal requirement.   It requires the boat owner to complete an on-line registration or return a completed Registration Form to the appropriate navigation.  The boat’s Registration Number must be displayed as directed and users must comply with the navigations bye-laws.  If the boat is sold Waterways Ireland must be informed.   Boats should be registered with the Navigation in which the vessel is mainly used and berthed (either LOUGH ERNE or SHANNON).   Valid registrations will permit temporary visits to the other navigational waters (Shannon Navigation & Lough Erne Navigation only).  However, boats previously registered on the Shannon but currently mainly use and berth on Lough Erne and vice versa must be re-registered to the home berth navigation.  Registered Shannon or Lough Erne boats wishing to enter waterways managed under the Permit system are additionally required to apply for the appropriate Visitors  permit in advance of travel. (See Permit System below)

Craft Registration (Shannon Navigation and Erne System)

  • Shannon / Erne Navigation falls under Shannon Navigation control.
  • Boats on the Shannon Navigation with engines more than 15bhp have a legal requirement to register with Waterways Ireland.
  • Boats on Lough Erne Navigation with engine more than 10HP have a legal requiremsnt to register with Waterways Ireland.
  • Registration is FREE and can be managed online.
  • Any changes to ownership must be notified to Waterways Ireland immediately.
  • If you have a query about registration on the Shannon contact the Inspector or telephone +353 (0)90 6494232  or on the Erne contact the Warden or telephone +44 (0)28 6634 6230​​.​

Permit System:

Permits are essential on the Grand Canal. Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation. The permit requires the boat owner to: 

- complete the online application and pay the appropriate fee
- mount the permit provided; and
- obey the bye-laws.
There are three types of permits in place all with different requirements which enable the boater to suit their own style of boating while remaining within the Bye-laws. ​Boats leaving the Grand Canal or Royal Canal to enter ​waterways managed under the registration system are not required to register as the permit on display is sufficient.

​1. Combined Mooring and Passage Permit (CMP):  All boats staying on the Canals more than 30 days in one period within 12 months require a Combined Mooring & Passage Permit (CMP). The Permit allows the boat to pass through locks and moor at Visitor Moorings or any location within 500 metres of that location (that is not an extended mooring location) for up to 5 days in any calendar month. The Permit costs €126 per annum.
To apply for a CMP Permit, a boat owner can;

1. Complete the online application
2. Make payment of €126. 
You should print your own permit, however if required one will be posted out. The permit must be displayed on the boat at all times.
Boats that cruise and move (staying at a Visitor Mooring for up to 5 days) will not be in breach of the Bye-laws or require an Extended Mooring Permit.

​2. Extended Mooring Permit (EMP): An Extended Mooring Permit grants a boat owner the right to leave their boat in one location for longer than 5 days. This permit will enable the holder to moor in a position allocated by Waterways Ireland on a soft bank area of navigation property for a period of up to 1 year. The Extended Mooring Licence will cost €278 per annum.
The Extended Mooring Permit supersedes and included a Combined Mooring and Passage Permit.

1. Read the guidelines
2. Complete the online application
3. Submit the online card payment of €278. 
3. Visitor Permit: Boats entering the Canal System and staying under 31 days can apply on en​try for a FREE permit. This permit can only be used once every calendar year. Boats intending to stay more than the 31 days must apply in advance for the Combined Mooring and Passage Permit and if intending to staying one location longer than five days will also need an Extended Mooring Permit​ as above.​​

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