Offshore Deposits

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            General Guidance for

                                              Page Number

1.    Introduction                            1

2.    Purpose                                 1

3.    Applying                                1-2

4.    Sediment Removal & Scientific Surveys   2-3

5.    Advertising                             3

6.    Exemptions                              3

7.    Submitting an Application               4

8.    Licence Fees                            4-5

9.    Payment                                 5

10.   The Consultation Process                6

11. Consideration of an Application           6

12. Licence Validity                          7

13. Redress Mechanisms                        7

14. Site Visit                                7

15. Associated Legislation                    8

16. The Crown Estate                          8

17. Privacy Statement                         8-9

18. Public Register                           9

19. Access to the Public Register             9
1. Introduction

   Under Section 20(1) of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, a marine licence from Scottish Ministers is
   required if any person intends to do any of the following from a vehicle, vessel and other structure in
   the Scottish marine area (i.e. from Mean High Water Springs out to 12 nautical miles (nm)):

             deposit any substance or object in the sea or on or under the seabed
             construct, alter or improve works on or over the sea or on or under the seabed
             remove substances or objects from the seabed
             dredging (including plough, agitation, side-casting and water injection dredging)
             deposit and/or use explosives
             incinerate substances or objects

   Scottish Ministers will consider the impact that a proposal will have on the local habitat (see 3.1),
   and any potential obstructions or dangers to navigation which may arise, either while the works are
   being carried out or once they have been completed, caused by the proposal. These impacts will be
   determined by Scottish Ministers after consulting with relevant experts. The Marine Scotland
   Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT), based at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen, act on behalf
   of Scottish Ministers in processing and assessing applications.

2. Purpose

   The Marine Licensing regime allows regulation of the deposit and removal of substances or objects
   in the sea within United Kingdom waters adjacent to Scotland. Works must only be undertaken in
   accordance with the conditions laid down in a licence.

   Marine Licences can be complementary to other approvals required for the undertaking of activities
   in the marine environment. The issue of a Marine Licence does not abrogate an applicant’s
   responsibility to obtain the approval of other relevant parties.

3. Applying

   Licensable marine activities include:

         Reclamation
         Coast protection
         Dredging of minerals
         Beach replenishment
         All capital dredging activity
         Disposal of dredgings at sea
         Placement/use of explosives
         Removal of sediment (e.g. sampling)
         Installation of marine farm equipment
         Installation of marine renewable devices
         Installation of moorings, buoys, pontoons
         Discharge of sea lice treatments from wellboats

        Incineration of waste generated on board a vessel or other facility
        Removal of substances/objects from the seabed by means of a vessel or similar
        Standalone maintenance dredging by means of water injection, agitation, plough, side-

  The main types of applications/licences are:

        Dredging & Sea Disposal
        Marine Construction
        Marine Renewable Energy Projects
        Moorings & Marine Fish and Shellfish Farms
        Discharge of treatment agents (i.e. wellboat)
        Sampling & Instrument Deployments
        Offshore Deposits

  Persons considering any of the above types of operation, or wishing further information about
  whether or not the proposed activity/project is licensable, are advised to contact MS-LOT to discuss
  their proposals.

         Marine Scotland
         Marine Laboratory
         PO Box 101
         375 Victoria Road
         AB11 9DB

         Tel: +44 (0)1224 295579

  MS-LOT aims to process the majority of application types in approximately eight weeks (from
  application submission to final licence issue). This is required to allow adequate time for expert
  advice to be received and for any objections to be made known. It should be noted however, that
  this turnaround time applies to straightforward cases where there are no objections or other
  outstanding issues to be resolved. If objections are made, or if there are any other issues to be
  dealt with, then the determination period may be longer.

  You should therefore apply for consent at least eight weeks before a project start date. For
  complex or potentially contentious projects you should allow longer for an application to be

4. Sediment Removal & Scientific Instrument Deployments

  Prior to a licence application being submitted to MS-LOT, many projects require sampling (i.e. the
  removal of sediment for sampling purposes) and/or scientific instrument deployments to take place
  in order to provide supporting information. For example, before capital dredging and sea disposal
  operations can be licensed, sampling and chemical analysis is required in order to ascertain the
  suitability of the material for disposal at sea. Similarly, marine renewable energy projects often
  require the collection of tidal current data or sampling to gain information about benthic species
  within the potential area of development.

   Under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, a licence is
   required to use a vehicle, vessel, aircraft, marine structure or floating container to remove
   substances or objects from the seabed. This includes the removal of small quantities of sediment
   from the seabed as part of scientific and/or investigative surveys. Such small-scale sediment
   removal applications will normally be considered in 28 days.

   Scientific instrument deployments have the potential to cause an obstruction or danger to
   navigation, or have significant effects on European sites (within the meaning of either
   regulation 10(1) of the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994, and/or European
   offshore marine sites within the meaning of regulation 15 of the Offshore Marine Conservation
   (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 2007), Ramsar sites or Marine Protected Areas. As a result,
   such activities may require to be licensed. In order for MS-LOT to determine whether or not a
   licence is required, an application for instrument deployments must be submitted to Marine
   Scotland who will undertake suitable consultation, after which it can be confirmed whether or not
   the activity is licensable. As with sediment removal, applications for scientific instrument
   deployments will normally be considered in 28 days.

   Should you wish to discuss potential sampling or survey work, or the requirement for a licence,
   please contact MS-LOT. Contact details can be found in section 3 “Applying”.

5. Advertising

   The majority of applications for marine licences under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2011 or Marine
   and Coastal Access Act 2009 will require to be advertised. The purpose of this is to inform local
   individuals, groups and organisations that an application to carry on a licensable marine activity has
   been made.

   Once the details of the proposal have been finalised, an application should be submitted to MS-
   LOT. The application will then be reviewed and once it has been confirmed that the details are
   correct, MS-LOT will provide applicants with an advert template. Advertising will not be required if
   the proposal has already been advertised under another consenting regime (e.g. planning).

   The advert must run for a period of one week in a newspaper local to where the works are to be
   carried out. The advert should not be run more than once (unless instructed) and should not be
   placed in a free paper. Plans of the proposals must be left in a building local to the works (e.g. post
   office or library) so that they can be viewed by interested parties.

   From the date of publication, members of the public will have 28 days to make any concerns or
   objections known to MS-LOT.

   Please be aware that licence applications will not be progressed (i.e. put out to consultation) until
   MS-LOT has received either a copy of the placed advert or confirmation from the publication of the
   date the advert will be run. Once the advert has been publicised, a copy should be provided to MS-
   LOT. Either the paper itself or scanned copies are acceptable, providing they show the advert, the
   date and the name of the paper.

6. Exemptions

   Certain operations are exempted from Marine Licensing. If you have reason to believe that your
   activity may be exempt, please refer to The Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Scottish
   Inshore Region) Order 2011 or The Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Scottish offshore
   Region) Order 2011, and then provide the details of the project to MS-LOT for consideration.

  7. Submitting an Application

     Applications can be submitted one of two ways:

            o   Electronic submissions: a copy of the application form and accompanying documents
                should be e-mailed to in pdf format.

            o   Non-electronic submissions: One copy of the completed, signed application form and
                any supporting documents (e.g. analytical data, environmental assessment, location
                plan etc) should be sent to MS at the postal address below.

     Please note that if any of the material submitted in support of the application is protected by
     copyright, you will be required to include additional original copies of that material to facilitate MS-
     LOT consultations.

  8. Licence Fees

     Licence fees recover average costs incurred during the licensing process. However, if it is
     necessary for Marine Scotland to carry out an investigation, examination or test, undertaken to
     enable determination of an application, applicants may be required to pay a fee towards such costs.

     Fees vary according to the type of licence being applied for and the scale of the proposed works.
     Please see the tables below for details and note that all prices give are in pounds Sterling (£).

     General Licensable Activities

     (incl. construction works, removal operations, scientific instrument deployments, placement & use of
     explosives, dredging activity with no associated sea disposal etc)

                         Cost of Project                    Licence Fee
                         ≤ £2,500                           50
                         > £2,500 - ≤ £5,000                150
                         > £5,000 - ≤ £50,000               600
                         > £50,000 - ≤ £2 million           2,000
                         > £2 million - ≤ £5 million        4,000
                         > £5 million - ≤ £20 million       12,000
                         > £20 million - ≤ £50 million      20,000
                         > £50 million                      30,000

     Sea Disposal of Maintenance Dredgings:

Disposal Weight (tons)     1 Year Licence      2 Year Licence       3 Year Licence     Fee p.a. for years
≤ 10,000                   1,400              2,450                3,500              1,050
> 10,000 - ≤ 100,000       2,800              4,900                7,000              2,100
> 100,000 - ≤ 300,000      5,600              9,800                14,000             4,200
>300,000                   9,400              16,450               23,500             7,050

      Sea Disposal of Capital Dredgings:

Disposal Weight (tons)        1 Year Licence      2 Year Licence     3 Year Licence       Fee p.a. for years
≤ 10,000                      1,750              3,500               5,250               1,750
> 10,000 - ≤ 100,000          3,500              6,125               8,750               2,625
> 100,000 - ≤ 300,000         7,000              12,250              17,500              5,250
> 300,000                     11,750             20,562              29,374              8,812

> 300,000 related to construction of a renewable energy project: 25,000 (no 2nd or 3rd year installments)

      Moorings - £50

      Wellboats - £1400 for the first site within a management area and £100 per site

      Mineral Dredging - £ 29,500

      Sediment removal – in harbour: £50

      – outwith a harbour: £150

      Offshore oil & gas deposits

      Outside controlled waters (i.e. 3nm), these activities must be charged under FEPA fee structure and
      will therefore cost £1045.

      The breakdown of licence fees is as follows:

             Licence                    assessment                       and                    determination:
             Monitoring:                                    20%
             Enforcement:                                   10%

      It should be noted however that should an application be unsuccessful (i.e. be rejected), the
      enforcement part of the fee will be returned to the applicant.

  9. Payment

      Payments can currently be made in the following ways:

      Cheques: should be made payable to 'The Scottish Government' and marked ‘A/C Payee Only’.
      They should be posted to MS-LOT at the Marine Laboratory (address below). A cover note should
      be included with the cheque if it is being submitted separately from an application. The cover note
      should detail either the file reference number (FKB/) if available, or give an identifiable description
      of the works it is connected with.

      Invoice: these will be issued by the MS finance department in Aberdeen and are necessary for all
      methods of payment other than cheque in order to ensure that payments are accounted for. Your
      invoice will be accompanied by details of the possible payment options, these include BACS
      transfers and debit card payments. Please bear in mind that if you require a purchase order number
      to be supplied with your invoice, this should be submitted to MS-LOT with the application.

10. The Consultation Process

    On receipt of a completed application, a check of the application form will be carried out to ensure
    that the form is completed correctly and that all relevant information is included with the application.
    Any discrepancies or omissions will be dealt with by contacting the applicant by telephone or e-mail.
    However, an application form may have to be returned to the applicant if the matter can not be dealt
    with          using         one           of           the          aforementioned            methods.

    Once an application form has been checked and accepted, a written acknowledgement will be sent
    to the applicant, which will also include any further instructions to be carried out as part of the
    consent process (e.g. advertising).

    MS-LOT will then begin a 4 week consultation period. If a shorter period for consideration of the
    application is unavoidable, please give a full explanation in the covering letter/e-mail submitted with
    the application. In such situations, MS-LOT will attempt to accommodate these requests where

    The consultation involves a range of bodies, including a number of statutory consultees:

              Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)
              Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB)
              Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)
              Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

    If the application falls within a harbour area, the local harbour/port authority and the local authority
    planning department will be consulted as necessary.

    If the application falls within, or is close to, a Ministry of Defence (MOD) installation, officials will
    consult with the relevant local MOD contact.

    Please note that tacit authorisation as referred to in the EU Services Directive does not apply
    to Marine Licence applications.

11. Consideration of an Application

    When considering applications, MS-LOT take full account of the expert advice received from the
    consultants listed in this guidance and consider any other comments or objections received from
    members of the public, local interest groups or organisations.

    If an objection is received relating to navigational safety or the environment, the applicant will be
    sent a copy to comment on and/or action as appropriate. The onus is on the applicant to discuss
    and resolve any objections with the objector and if possible, to agree a workable solution. Any such
    solution must not compromise navigational safety or have a detrimental effect on the local
    environment. If necessary, MS-LOT will ask the relevant consultant(s) to reconsider any advice
    given if revisions are subsequently made to the proposal.

    The final decision on whether to issue consent or not lies with MS-LOT. The decision will be based
    on the facts available, the advice received from the relevant experts and the validity of any
    objections received.

12. Licence Validity

    Marine Licences are time limited from the issue of the consent:

                    Type of Licence                        Validity Period
                    Dredging and Sea Disposal              ≤ 3 years
                    General Construction                   ≤ 3 years
                    Renewables                             ≤ 3 years
                    Moorings/Fish Farms                    6 years
                    Offshore Deposits                       1 year
                    Wellboats                              ≤ 3 years

    You can also apply for a revision of an existing consent. In the case of a change of ownership (e.g.
    mooring or fish farm), confirmation in writing from the original consent holder or their authorised
    agents will be required as proof that the consent can be changed. To apply for a revised licence
    please contact MS-LOT in writing.

    Marine construction licences only cover the construction period, as a result, the licence does not
    need to be renewed every year.

13. Redress Mechanisms

    Under schedule 3 of the Marine Licensing Appeals (Scotland) Regulations 2011, both applicants
    and licensees have the right to appeal to the sheriff against a licensing decision taken by the
    Scottish Ministers under section section 29(1) of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010.

    On determining an appeal, the sheriff may:

    (a) dismiss the appeal; or

    (b) allow the appeal and quash the decision in whole or in part.

    Where a decision is quashed, the sheriff may direct the Scottish Ministers to either grant a marine
    licence; or grant a marine licence on such terms or subject to such conditions as the sheriff may

14. Site Visit

    MS-LOT staff and/or their representatives may visit the site outlined in the application, if it is felt
    necessary to check on or expedite the consent application and may periodically visit the site
    following the issue of the licence, to ensure that the licence conditions are being adhered to.

15. Associated Legislation

    Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 1994

    When considering whether to grant a Marine Licence, MS-LOT has a duty under regulation 48 of the
    Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 1994 in relation to European sites, to make an
    appropriate assessment of the implications for the site, in view of that site's conservation objectives. It
    is therefore necessary to determine whether:

              the proposal is likely to have significant effect on the site either individually or in
               combination with other plans or projects; and,

              the proposal outlined in the application is directly connected with or necessary to site
               management for conservation.

    Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007 and The Marine Works (EIA)
    (Amendment) Regulations 2011

    From 24 June 2007 it is also necessary to assess applications under the Marine Works
    (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007 where the application relates to a regulated
    activity. Depending on the type and scale of the works the applicant may be required to produce an
    Environmental Statement in support of their application.

    Town and Country Planning (Marine Fish Farming) (Scotland) Regulations 2007

    From 1 April 2007 new fish farms and modifications to existing fish farms will be subject to local
    authority planning control whilst planning permission for the operation of existing farms is granted
    by the Scottish Ministers under provisions contained in section 31A of the Town and Country
    Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.

16. The Crown Estate

    The entire seabed and around half of the foreshore around the Scottish Coast is owned by the
    Crown and is administered by the Crown Estate Commissioners in terms of the Crown Estate Act
    1961. Consent for the use of the foreshore and seabed within Crown ownership must be sought
    from the Crown Estate Commissioners. Navigation in coastal waters is deemed to be a public right.
    This includes the casting of an anchor while in the course of navigation and as part of an onward
    journey. However, the laying of a mooring, or other equipment, to hold a vessel or other structure,
    such as a fish farm, requires Crown Estate consent, usually in the form of a lease.

    Rental is charged for both private and commercial use of Crown foreshore and seabed. More
    information on the Crown Estate can be found on their website at:

17. Privacy Statement

    MS-LOT provides a central facility for the processing and administration of Marine Licences and
    applications. As required by the legislation referred to below, a public register (database) is
    maintained of all applications received and all licences issued. This data may be made available to
    various business areas within the Scottish Government. It will also be used during the processing
    and administration of the application to which it relates, including consultation with such bodies that
    MS-LOT considers may have an interest. The data will also be made available in response to
    requests made by any person who asks to see information on any particular licence in accordance
    with Freedom of Information legislation.

    Additionally, MS-LOT may contact or be contacted by Competent Authorities in other EU member
    states for the purpose of sharing information. This may be necessary in order to ensure that either
    an applicant, or information provided by an applicant is authentic. Under the EU Services Directive,
    the Competent Authority receiving such a request is legally obliged to respond within the deadline
    set by the authority making the request.

18. Public Register

    Section 54 of the Marine (Scotland) Act requires that the public register contains “prescribed
    particulars“ including information supplied as part of a licence application.

    If, in your opinion, placing any or all of the details from your application (and any subsequent
    licence) on the Register would be contrary to the interests of national security or liable to prejudice
    to an unreasonable degree your or some other person's commercial interests, please indicate this
    on the application form and provide full justification.

    If your case for withholding this information is accepted, an entry will be made on the Public
    Register to the effect that application and/or licence details have been withheld and on what basis.
    If this question is not answered, it will be assumed that there is no reason to withhold the
    information from the Public Register.

    The decision to support withholding information from the Register will be reviewed by MS-LOT after
    a minimum of four years from the date of the decision. However, it will be possible for licensees to
    apply for continued exclusion from the register, although the final decision rests with MS-LOT.

19. Access to Public Register

    As part of the conditions of a Marine Licence, a return detailing the deposits/removals made under
    the authority of a licence must be submitted within 28 days of completion of works or within 28 days
    of the expiry of the licence (whichever comes first). This information is held on the Public Register.
    Should you wish to be provided with information from the public register, please contact MS-LOT
    between 08:30am – 4pm (Monday to Friday) with the details of your request.


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