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 is essential, free and requires the boat owners to complete and return a registration form, mount the registration number provided and obey the bye-laws. If the boat is sold Waterways Ireland must be informed. As the Bye-laws on the Shannon and Erne are different, a different form is used for boats which mainly reside on one waterway. A system​ of mutual recognition is in place, so there is no need to change the number if moving temporarily or permanently to another waterway operating the registration system. Boats entering waterways managed under the Permit system are required to apply for the appropriate permit in advance of travel.

Craft Registration (Shannon Navigation and Erne System)

  • Boats on the Shannon Navigation with engines more than 15bhp are obliged to register with Waterways Ireland. On the Erne registration of craft with engines over 10bhp is obligatory
  • Registration is FREE and can be managed online
  • Any changes to ownership must be notified to Waterways Ireland immediately.
  • Boats moving from the Shannon or Shannon Erne Waterway need not re-register as a mutual recognition scheme is in place.
  • 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 and return an application form with 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. Download and complete the Application Form
2. Return the completed Application with payment of €126 to Waterways Ireland, Harbour Rd, Tullamore, Co Offaly. 

The permit 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 €152 per annum.
Only holders of a valid Combined Mooring and Passage Permit will be able to apply for the Extended Mooring Permit.

1. Read the guidelines
2. Download and complete the Application Form
3. Return the completed Application for a EMP Permit  with payment of €152 to Waterways Ireland, Harbour Rd, Tullamore, Co Offaly. A security deposit of €250 will also be required. 
Boaters wishing to apply for both permits at the same time can do so by ticking both boxes on the application form. 

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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