River Thames boaters urged to renew registrations or face prosecution

Boaters on the River Thames are being urged to renew their registrations or face prosecution, the Environment Agency has said.

The reminder comes after a two-day operation on the lower reaches of the non-tidal Thames saw waterways officers serve 49 boaters with registration enforcement notices.
Waterways officers, supported by officers from the Met’s Marine Police Unit (MPU), targeted 46 vessels moored on the river bank near Teddington last Wednesday, 10 April, serving 22 enforcement notices to those failing to display a valid registration.

On Thursday, 11 April, a further 69 vessels were checked on the stretch above Molesey Lock and 27 enforcement notices issued.
The Inland Waterways Order 2010 (IWO), introduced in April 2011, requires all boats kept on the river Thames to properly display a valid annual boat registration plate.
Matthew Carter, Waterways Operations Manager, said: ‘The income we raise from boat registration fees helps to pay for the upkeep of the entire non-tidal navigation between Teddington and Lechlade, a length of 144 miles, including 45 locks.

‘All boats kept on the river must display a valid annual registration plate.
‘The Thames is the oldest and most famous public navigation in the world, and we need every penny of registration income that we are due to keep it in the best condition possible.

‘Our crackdown on non-registration will continue throughout the boating season.’

Environment Agency officers were joined for last week’s enforcement operation by officers from the London Boroughs of Richmond and Kingston Upon Thames. The councils were serving notice to quit upon illegally moored boats near Teddington, several of which appeared to being used as houseboats.
The councils served notices to quit on vessels along the stretch upstream of Teddington on Wednesday (10 April, 2013), with the Met’s MPU officers in attendance to prevent a breach of the peace.
Information and advice on how to purchase a boat registration can be found on our website at: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/129937.aspx
If you have any further questions about the application process, please contact us by phone on 03708 506 506 or by email at boatreg@environment-agency.gov.uk.
As the navigation authority for the River Thames between Cricklade, Wiltshire and Teddington, Middlesex, the Environment Agency’s lock staff and enforcement patrols monitor all boats on the river. Anyone keeping or using a boat on the non-tidal Thames including in a marina needs to register it, and display a valid registration plate: failure to do so will lead to prosecution.
You cannot keep or use a boat on the non-tidal River Thames without it first being registered with the Environment Agency. This applies to all types of craft, including motor cruisers, sailing boats, narrow boats and unpowered craft such as canoes or rowing boats.
An annual registration charge is payable and covers the period 1 January to 31 December. A registration plate is then issued which must be displayed on the boat. Visiting boats also need to be registered to cover the period of the visit.
Anyone taking up boating on the non-tidal River Thames should make themselves aware of the relevant rules and regulations. This information can be found on our website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/riverthames