EU Exit: marine environmental legislation in Scotland

Explains the changes made to marine legislation to ensure that the law remains operable and effective from 1 January 2021

Activities exempted from marine licensing

Amendments have been made to Orders setting out which activities are exempted from the marine licensing system, so that they continue to work in the same way now that the UK is no longer part of the EU. The amendments are minor and technical in nature - the legislation continues to operate as it did before exit day.

Further information

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 introduced a new marine licensing system, designed to achieve a consistent approach across a range of activities, and simplify the process of getting approval for a project. Certain activities require a marine licence before they can be carried out in Scotland's seas, such as the removal of sediment, laying of submarine cables and construction projects. In some cases, a marine licence is not required, or is not required if certain conditions are met. Examples include certain day to day activities, cases where issuing a licence would mean regulating the same activity twice, and cases where emergency action is required without delay.

The Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Scottish Inshore Region) Order 2011[16] and the Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Scottish Offshore Region) Order 2011[17] set out exempted activities and associated conditions.

A number of technical amendments[18] were needed to ensure that these instruments continue to operate now that the UK has left the EU. These changes are minor in nature and do not change the way the Orders work, or the activities which are exempted.

The Scottish Ministers continue to issue licences and consents for activities in Scottish inshore and offshore waters through the Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT).



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