Consultation on revision to Harbour Order application fees

Closed 10 Sep 2019

Opened 16 Jul 2019

Results Updated 10 Jan 2020

A public consultation on revisions to Harbour Order fees ran from 9:30am on 16th July 2019 to 11:45pm on 10th September 2019.

The Marine Management Organisation and Department for Transport have been analysing feedback since this closure date, including during the General Election period.  

Ministers will shortly be considering the consultation feedback and new guidance on fee and service revisions is expected to be issued in the early months of this year.

We currently do not envisage introducing any amendments to current processes before April 2020, but we will continue to engage with our stakeholders to ensure appropriate notification is provided.


A consultation on proposals to revise the Harbour Order (HO) fees applied in England and the Port of Milford Haven (a reserved trust port) has been launched. Current fees for applications do not reflect the actual costs to the MMO in determining HO applications nor do they recognise the increased environmental and economic complexity of these applications. The fee structure was last updated 25 years ago in 1994.

This is in-line with HMT guidelines on Managing Public Money and will seek to ensure that a greater proportion of the cost of a marine licence is met by applicants.

The consultation is seeking views on options to revise the fee structure. We are consulting on the following changes to fee increases:

Option 0: Do Nothing - The tax payer would continue to subsidise the harbour orders service. This would not satisfy the Government’s policy objective on cost recovery that those that take benefit from a service should pay for it; or ensure MMO charge fee paying customers consistently; or create opportunities for the MMO to make further improvements to the HO service. This option has therefore been discounted.

Option 1: Increase fees based on an average total of the MMO cost for the continued provision of a complete as is service. With a fee encompassing all activities rolled in to one fixed fee per band, this would result in fee bands increasing by 226% - 336%. 

Option 2: Increased fees based on a statutory service (see consultation document for further detail). The fixed application fees (based on the MMO cost averages) are lower; with fee bands increasing by 213% - 289%. The statutory service will be supplemented by a chargeable discretionary service for non-statutory pre-application work at the applicant’s request. This is chargeable under section 27 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and would be separate to the fee for statutory activity. This is the MMO’s preferred option and provides the applicant with a choice.


  • All Marine Users


  • Marine