The laying of cables within UK territorial waters (up to 12 nautical miles) requires a marine licence.
If the cable is an international cable we must grant the marine licence but can include conditions.
The laying of cables outside UK territorial waters (beyond 12 nautical miles) does not require a marine licence unless it is constructed for or used in connection with:
- the exploration of the UK sector of the continental shelf
- the exploitation of the natural resources of that sector
- the operations of artificial islands, installations and structures under the jurisdiction of the UK
- the prevention, reduction or control of pollution from pipelines.
Compensation for telecommunications cables
There are additional requirements for applications for a marine licence connected with electronic communications apparatus, including for telecommunications cables.
In these situations, we cannot grant a marine licence unless we are satisfied that adequate arrangements have been made to compensate owners of interests in the tidal water or lands affected for any loss or damage they may sustain.
Authorised emergency inspection and repair
There is an exemption for a deposit, removal or dredging activity carried out for emergency inspection or repair to a cable. However, our approval of the activity is still required before it can be carried out.
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