On Monday 21st October Mike Rodd represented NABO at the first of a series of workshops run by the EA to get input from users before finalising charging proposals for consultation in spring 2020. The aim of the exercise is to simplify the charging, introduce consistency (where possible) across EA’s waterways and (of special interest to NABO) to look at adopting similar principles uses by other Navigation Authorities.

The workshop started by looking at a template for designing the charging scheme for boat registration charges across all EA’s waterways. This simple framework will be used to categorise all the different types of boats which use the waterways. The conclusion of delegates was that it is a valuable tool and, indeed, similar to that used by CRT.

The rest of the3 hour workshop was dedicated to examining:

1. Method of calculation and caps on boat size for charging

2. Registrations for unpowered boats

3. Registrations for visiting boats

4. Registrations for business boats

5. Registrations for tenders

6. Concessions - youth/charity & education boats

7. Refunds and part year registrations

Clearly at this stage actual monetary implications were not discussed! But the well-structured workshop, led by an external consultant, was far ranging and all views welcomed. From a NABO point-of-view it struck me how close the EA is moving on charging towards CRT! A summary of the workshops will be published at their conclusion.

Mike Rodd