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Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Amendment) Order 2019


This regulation will introduce three new exemptions from the requirement to hold a marine licence. These relate to the recovery of marine litter etc. in the course of diving activities, using vehicles or vessels to remove marine litter or debris and depositing substances removed from the hull of a vessel in the course of certain activities (e.g. cleaning). This Order also amends conditions on a number of existing exemptions.



The Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Amendment) Order 2019 amended the Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) Order 2011 on 31 May 2019.

What has been updated?

Revised Exempted Activities

Conditions attached to the following exempt activities are updated as follows:



Scientific activities: depositing or removing scientific equipment, instruments, reagents and tracers

This exemption remains unavailable for deposits that may obstruct or endanger navigation.

This is amended to specifically state that this particularly applies where deposits are tethered to the seabed or reduce navigational clearance by more than 5% by reference to Chart Datum.

Maintenance of coast protection, drainage and flood defence works

This exemption is extended to local authorities, the Secretary of State for Defence and Coast Protection Authorities maintaining coast protection works.

“Beach replenishment” and “coast protection works” are also defined.

Emergency works in response to flood or flood risk

Additional conditions are attached to notifications required prior to this work.

Use of vehicles or remove litter, seaweed or dead animals from beaches

This exempt activity is extended to also cover intertidal areas.

Mooring and aids to navigation

Persons responsible for notifications to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) are defined.

Temporary markers

Notification is no longer required where the marker will be removed within 24 hours.

Diver trails within restricted areas

This exemption is extended to include placing markers and signs on scheduled monuments or controlled areas under the Protection of Military Remains Act.

Authorised emergency inspection and repair of cables and pipelines

The requirement for prior approval by the MMO is replaced with an obligation to notify them within 24 hours of the emergency inspection and/or repair.


New Exempted Activities

The 2019 order adds the following activities, which may be carried out without a marine licence subject to the conditions set:

  • Recovering marine litter and abandoned, discarded or lost fishing gear;
  • Use of vehicles or vessels to remove marine litter and debris; and
  • Depositing substances arising from the cleaning of vessels.


The Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) Order 2011 states activities that do not require a marine licence under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Exempted activities include firefighting activities, air accident investigations, the deposit of equipment to control, contain or recover oil, deposits during aggregate or mineral dredging and the dismantling of ships.



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