British Marine comments on the CRT boat licensing changes

On Tuesday 6 March the Canal & River Trust (CRT) published the changes it will be making to boat licensing following a consultation period. The CRT have said that the changes, to be phased in over five years from April 2019, aim to ensure the financial contribution made by boaters towards the cost of looking after the waterways is spread fairly across the boating community.

The headlines include the news that an additional charge, of up to 20%, will be levied on wider boats, again to be phased in over the five years. There will be three pricing bands for boat width in addition to the existing bands for boat length, which remain unchanged.

The full details on the announcement, along with the consultation reports, are available on the CRT website at
Importantly for British Marine members, this announcement does not include commercial licences. Last year, British Marine responded to the initial CRT consultation, calling for the need of proportionate licensing for commercial craft. British Marine has since been in contact with the CRT, which confirmed that it will be undertaking some further work with its business boating customers on the licensing regime for commercial craft. The CRT is expected to publish a timeline for this work to take place in the near future.

Russell Chase, Managing Director of Farncombe Boat House and Chairman of British Marine Inland Boating commented: “The British Marine Inland Boating Committee have discussed the CRT press release in some detail and we believe that the CRT has not gone far enough, in both simplifying the licence categories or that they will generate any real extra revenue. We now await CRT to consult with the industry over commercial trade licences in due course.

Furthermore, it is my intention as the newly elected Chairman of the British Marine Inland Boating Association, to ensure that all our members which are commercial licence holders on the CRT network continue to be consulted fully on any discussions with the CRT and that any outcome from those does not have a negative impact on their businesses in the long term.”

British Marine will provide further updates to its membership as and when they become available.

This story is from British Marine.

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